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WHAT TO PACK FOR LONG-TERM TRAVEL: ULTIMATE PACKING LIST FOR NOMADS

Wondering what you need to pack for a big trip you have coming up? Figuring out how to pack for longer term travel can be tricky. You don't want to overpack and end up having to get rid of things along the way (which does happen inevitably), nor do you want to pack too little and end up spending unnecessary time and money on things you already had (which will also probably occur).

After spending over a year on the road, I've tweaked the contents of my backpack several times and now feel like I have a pretty optimal setup. I've put together a comprehensive packing list that includes everything I carry in my backpack. 

Note: this list is optimal for SUMMER travel. During the winter, I change it a bit by adding a couple pairs of pants and sweaters. 

BACKPACK

Osprey Farpoint 55 Travel Backpack 

After trying out a few different backpacks throughout my travels, I've found this one works best for me. It's the perfect size, allowing you to pack just enough without overpacking. The main pack is a 40 liter that zips all the way open like a suitcase, so you don't have to dig from the top every time you need something. It has a detachable 15 liter backpack that zips onto the front, which is great for using as a daypack and for storing extra stuff you didn't plan on accumulating. The backpack is extremely durable and well-made, so you don't have to worry about it falling apart out on the road. 

PACKING CUBES

TravelWise Packing Cubes

I used to not use these, but since I recently started I've noticed how much better everything fits and how my backpack actually feels like a closet now. 

I’ll give you the exact breakdown of how I sort everything (by packing cube) below:

CLOTHING

Packing Cube #1- Bottoms

  • 1 Long Skirt
  • 1 Short Skirt
  • 2 Pairs Shorts
  • 1 Pair Workout Shorts
  • 1 Pair Leggings

Packing Cube #2- Dresses + Tops

  • 1-2 Dresses/ Rompers
  • 2 Short Sleeve Shirts
  • 4 Tank Tops
  • 1 Cardigan/ Lightweight Coverup
  • 1 Pair PJs

Packing Cube #3- Socks, Undies, Swimsuits

  • 3 Swimsuits
  • 10 Undies
  • 5 Socks (depending on your sandals to tennies wearing ratio)

And for the ladies...

  • 1 Bralette
  • 1 Nude Colored Bra
  • 1 Strapless Bra

TOILETRIES

Packing Cube #4

  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Floss
  • Hair Brush
  • Shampoo (I use mine as body wash as well to save space)
  • Conditioner
  • Face Wash
  • Face Lotion
  • Sunscreen
  • Razor

MISCELLANEOUS 

Packing Cube #5

  • Bug Spray
  • Melatonin
  • Ibuprofen
  • Cough Drops
  • Extra Hair Ties + Bobbies
  • Any medications

Non-Packing Cube Items

  • 1 Crossbody Bag
  • 1 Tote Bag
  • 1 Jewelry Bag (packed in a zipper)
  • 1 Light Jacket/Sweater (I take a jean jacket)
  • 1 Microfiber Travel Towel
  • 1 Pair Sandals (lay flat in backpack)
  • 1 Pair Flip Flops (lay flat in backpack)
  • 1 Pair Tennies (wear while traveling)

TOP SECRET SECTION

I have a hidden, not easily accessible zipper in my main backpack where I hide my “emergency supplies”. In case any of these items are lost or stolen from my main wallet, I like to have backup.

  • Extra ATM card
  • Extra Credit Card
  • Extra Cash Stash (Local currency + I always have $30 USD stowed away in case of emergency)
  • Copy of Passport (I have about 5 printed and stashed around different parts of my backpacks/ purses)

OPTIONAL BACKUP ITEMS

  • Mouthwash (mini)
  • Makeup Bag
  • Q-Tips
  • Hairspray
  • Baby powder/ dry shampoo
  • Nail Polish/ Remover
  • Ladies- feminine products

CARRY ON BAG 

This also doubles as my camera bag. To find out my full camera bag setup click here.