13 Aug 2017

Her Packing List: 350 Days, 1 Backpack

RTW Packing List for Her

After over 7 months traveling and putting this list to the test, I’ve also updated it and shared some thoughts on what I would do differently.

The Backpack

I chose the Osprey Farpoint 55 with a zip off day pack. Before we left, Nate and I used the day pack regularly and it was the perfect size for taking to baseball games, picnics, or day trips. The backpack itself is a good size for a carry-on and there is a cover for the straps that make it easy to store. It is bigger than is absolutely necessary but I am also taking more things than is absolutely necessary, so it all works out. When fully packed with the daypack attached my bag weighed between 20-25 lbs. With the hip belt on, it was comfortable and not tough on my shoulders.


  • 6 tank tops – Two black, two white, two Uniqlo airism
  • 2 T-shirts – One black and one white
  • 3/4 sleeve shirt - I got one with UV protection
  • 1 chambray shirt
  • 1 pair of shorts – One pair of casual shorts
  • 1 long cotton pants I picked up at a clothing swap that is for hot climates and doubles as PJ pants.
  • 1 pair leggings – Airism leggings for long flights or bus rides, also for hiking or yoga
  • 1 pair of black travel pants – I considered taking jeans but these were passable and dry faster
  • 2 long sleeve linen button downs – One light blue and one white. Good for sun protection and cool evenings
  • 1 light sweater – I splurged a little on this with no regrets. It’s so soft
  • 1 black cardigan - For nights out when a sweatshirt isn’t nice enough
  • 1 maxi skirt – I prefer skirts to shorts and this was conservative enough for anywhere we might visit
  • 1 short sundress
  • 2 bathing suits
  • 1 SPF 50 swim shirt
  • 1 rain jacket – The lightweight kind that folds up into its own pocket (purchased at Nordstrom rack)
  • 3 bras – one plain nude, one bralette, and one sports bra
  • 3 pairs of socks – Going to warm places meant that I planned to wear sandals a lot
  • 7 pairs of underwear
  • 1 sarong – I purchased this one in advance but with every intention of replacing it with a more interesting one along the way
  • 1 baseball cap – sun protection is important to me. A hat was a must have but if you don’t normally wear one, you could leave this out.
  • 1 travel vest– Again, this is probably overkill but I love it for keeping all my important belongings on me, especially when on airplanes or buses. This one looks more normal than most I saw. I also consider it my alternative to the money belt
  • 1 small cross-body bag- This one was smaller than the day pack and good for going out to nicer restaurants or quick trips somewhere I wouldn’t need a water bottle or book
  • Two headbands for when I can’t deal with my hair
  • Eyeglasses
  • Sunglasses


  • 1 pair cheap flip flops – They are great for showers, not worrying about them being stolen from the beach, or for taking the trash out at your AirBnB. You can pick them up at Old Navy, Target, or Walmart for under $5.00.
  • 1 tennis shoes/ hiking shoe– I went with a more hiking focused shoe because we had several fairly long hikes planned and I have bad ankles.
  • 1 Chaco sandals– These are comfortable and durable. They aren’t the cutest sandals and I would have preferred my Birkenstocks but being waterproof and having an ankle strap made these the superior choice.
  • 1 ballet flats– For nice dinners or most of Europe. I got a pair at Nordstrom rack on sale.


  • Shampoo Bar- I used Honey I Washed My Hair for something light that wouldn’t weigh down my hair.
  • Electric razor
  • Toothpaste Tabs- This solid toothpaste is a little strange at first but it has really grown on me. (Shout out to the lovely April for all my recommended solid toiletries!)
  • Floss
  • Toothbrush
  • Sunscreen Stick- because you don’t mess with sun burns
  • Bug Spray Stick- because I’m every mosquito’s favorite snack
  • Deodorant- this one is all natural and smells amazing. I’ve tried several and this one left me smelling fresh the longest
  • Hair Ties
  • Bobby Pins
  • Comb
  • Tweezers
  • Compact Mirror
  • Razors
  • Fingernail Clips
  • Ibuprofen
  • Pepto
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Bandaid (lots of them)
  • Rehydration Salts- These will hopefully make the inevitable stomach related suffering less painful and reduce the amount of time we are out of commission.
  • Mascara, rep lipstick, coverup stick

Odds and Ends

  • Packing Cubes – everyone seems to swear by the organizational powers of packing cubes and I am always looking for ways to be organized, so giving these a try was a no brainer.
  • Toiletry Case - One I already had from Land’s End.
  • Washing Bag - This is a luxury but we don’t plan to send our laundry out and washing our clothes in small sinks seemed onerous. Many of the AirBnBs we’ve looked at have a washing machine and so in those places I’ll be able to leave this packed up.
  • 1 travel pillow – When you’re doing over a dozen flights, several trains, and who knows how many buses; comfortable sleeping and a fancier pillow while traveling will make or break your experience. I used this one for long megabus trips before we left and liked it so much I got Nate a matching one. It is a splurge but it will hopefully make the 35 hours in the air between Hawaii and South Africa more bearable.
  • 1 eye cover –See travel pillow.
  • Ear plugs– See travel pillow. I used these while I was working in an open office with some chatty co-workers. Whenever I needed to concentrate, I could put these in and get to work. Hopefully they stand up to trains and planes just as well.
  • 1 water bottle– collapsible is really wonderful. Now that I’ve had one, I’ll never go back.
  • 1 sleep sack–It’s small and I can be a germaphobe. It is also recommended for the meditation retreat. I went with this one.
  • 1 travel towel - we looked at wirecutter for recommendation (as you always should) and they recommended a high-end linen towel to avoid the smell issues associated with synthetic travel towels. We went with linen towels but at a fraction of the cost. I’ve tried this one out already and I love it. It also rolls up much smaller than the synthetic towel I originally planned to take.
  • 1 canvas bag– to use to buy groceries and as a day pack alternative.
  • 1 travel silverware set – a collapsible set with a case to use at food stalls and for groceries. Nate and I will share this one.
  • 1 head lamp– needed/recommended for my silent meditation retreat. I went with This one.
  • 1 collapsible cup– a nice Sea to Summit cup for when you need wine on a train, or in a park, or some other beverage you’d like to share.
  • Travel Journal - I use Moleskine. I also brought pens and some double sided tape to be able to add ticket stubs or other items to the journal along the way
  • Caligraphy pen, inkwell, pens, colored pencils
  • Sewing kit - I used one that was provided at a hotel. I just wanted to have a few types of thread, a needle, and some buttons.
  • 1 parachute picnic blanket - for taking a break on hikes or at the beach
  • Door stop - just for feeling a little more secure in hotels or in shared Airbnbs.
  • Laundry cable
  • Laundry detergent sheets
  • Tea bags - My favorite kind to help me feel a little more at home wherever we are.


  • 1 Kindle paper white- Dealing with my need to have books (I aim to read 15,000 pages each year) was always going to be tough. I love real books, usually from the library, but for travel the Kindle is the best.
  • 1 smart phone- I’ll be using this mostly as a camera. Nate will use his Pixel for most other things we need.
  • 1 phone photo tripod- This is our alternative to the selfie stick and having a stranger take photos of us. We won’t use it everywhere but hopefully it means there will be more nice photos of the two of us together.
  • Attachable camera lenses- These were my compromise once I decided I was not going to get a DSLR to take on the trip.
  • 1 phone charger
  • 1 plug adapter
  • 1 Ipad- I plan to try to learn some new skills, work on this blog, and generally will want to entertain myself at the same time Nate is using his computer. I really considered leaving this at home but hopefully it will pay off not to have to share this particular item. -1 collapsible and rechargeable iphone speakers