The Only Long-Term Travel Packing List You’ll Ever Need!

The ultimate packing list for overseas travel! Never forget a thing when using this backpacking packing list for women and men. The ultimate packing list FREE PRINTABLE. Plus useful packing tips, products, templates, ideas and which are the best bags to put it all in! #Packinglist #Free #downloadable #travel #CwC #products #tips

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      This is all you need to know to create the best long-term travel packing list ever. Download your free checklist and pack all the things you’ll use, and nothing you won’t!


      You’re close to heading off on a round the world trip and you’ll be away for a long time. You don’t know exactly what weather you’ll have so you need to pack for all of the seasons. And that’s understandable because when you travel for a long time, chances are you don’t know exactly what conditions you’ll be packing for. If you’re a little unsure about how to pack for long-term travel, we’ve got you covered!

      Crystal and Rosy have both been on extended travel for six months or more (actually, Crystal has done this three times now) and we both have loads of super-awesome tips about what to bring on a long-term trip. We have now combined our magical packing powers to bring you the ULTIMATE long-term packing list, because one person’s list may not suit another’s! Take what you want and leave what you don’t need. With this packing list for long-term travel, you won’t forget a thing!

      Would you like a FREE checklist? You can download the PDF here.

      Long-Term Travel Essentials


      ✔ Passport

      What to pack for long term travel? For starters, your Passport! With AT LEAST 6 months validity from the time you plan to return to your home country. I.e: If you are doing a year-long round the world trip. Make sure you have at least 1 year 6 months left in your “valid until” section.

      ✔ Vaccination Certificates

      You’ll need your Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate in South and Central America and Africa.

      ✔ Drivers License + International Drivers Licence

      You’ll need an International Drivers License if you are traveling somewhere where English isn’t spoken. You’ll need this especially if you plan on hiring any type of vehicle while overseas, since the hire company may not be able to read your license without the translation.

      ✔  Travel Printouts

      Of flight itineraries, scans of your passport, etc. This is especially needed in countries where your exit flight must be proven to receive your visa (Bali, India, and the USA to name a few). Or you could use a cool app called TripIt to store all your itineraries and bookings.

      ✔  Visa

      I have been using a super useful website that helps you find out country-specific information for a destination. Just enter into VisaHQ the country of your passport and where you’re going to and BAM! All the information you could possibly need.

      ✔  Spare Passport Photos

      Some countries require a passport photo on arrival (especially in Southeast Asia) so to avoid being charged extra, always have these on hand. Keep them in the same place as your passport.

      ✔  Passport Holder or Pencil Case

      This is to keep your passport and other important documents safe. Crystal uses a Pencil Case with her passport, pens to fill out immigration forms, important documents, credit cards, money, spare passport photos and keys safely inside. An RFID Blocking Passport Holder is also a nice way to keep your passport and credit cards safe.

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      ✔ Sunscreen (Biodegradable & SPF 30+)

      You especially need biodegradable sunscreen if you plan to enter the water when any other life also lives in those waters. The ingredients of most sunscreens and insect repellants can severely harm fish and are one big reason coral reefs are dying. It’s best to buy biodegradable sunscreen at home and bring it because it can be difficult to find and/or very expensive in other countries.

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      ✔ Bug Repellant

      Read up about your destinations to make sure you’ve got the right DEET level (stronger for those higher-risk areas). While traditional spray-on repellant still works a treat, we’ve heard great things about mozzie-repelling wristbands, which are a brilliant option for those travelling on hand luggage only as it negates worry around the 50ml in-flight liquids limit, plus you don’t need to shower yourself in spray every six hours.

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      ✔ Ziploc Bags

      It may sound weird now, but on the road you’ll use them ALL THE TIME. From storing tea bags, hair ties and leftover snacks, to placing fragile souvenirs into. Every backpack needs a good backup of different-sized zipper bags for using at the drop of a hat.

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      ✔  Duct Tape (Gaffer Tape)

      This one is a game-changer. Permanently fix your backpack, your raincoat or your tent in seconds. Patch up your bike, re-waterproof the soles of your shoes, use it as a label for hostel fridge food storage, a temp fix for clingy shower curtains or a quick-fix for earphone wires or glasses – its uses are limited only by your creativity.

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      ✔ Travel Sewing Kit

      From patching up the trusty flip-flops (thongs, for our friends down under) to essential backpack maintenance and lovingly repairing those little rips in your favourite top. A needle and thread is an absolute must for any adventure. Be sure to include a kit in your long term travel packing.

      They’re so tiny, they need barely any packing room.

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      ✔ String

      Lost your hair tie? String! Tent ropes disappeared? String! Hammock fallen down? String! Finger falling off? String (plus duct tape)! Worried you’ll lose your travel buddy in a big crowd? Why not tie yourselves together for added security? Joking aside, you can do so much with a simple piece of string. Small and portable, it’s an easy addition to any backpack and the sky’s the limit in terms of uses.

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      ✔ Waterproof Phone Case

      Take it from an Rosy, an Englishwoman who’s spent the last rainy season in Guatemala – you never know when the rain will hit. Smartphone raincoats are cheap and effective, and most travellers will have at least one with them.

      If you want to waterproof larger items as well (like your laptop, tablet, passport, etc) check out our genius waterproofing travel hack below! ⬇

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      ✔ A Portable Laundry System

      Yes, this really is a thing. You can use this revolutionary device as a laundry bag and, once it’s full, you drop in a little laundry liquid and water, leave everything to soak, then basically just punch it for a bit. Drain, rinse, and hang out to dry!

      This is also a great substitute for a dry bag (if the water can’t get out, it can’t get in either). Dry bags are perfect to protect your camera, phone and other valuables if you plan to do any water-based activities (taking a boat in Thailand or across the San Blas Islands of Panama, jumping around in the Semuc Champey cascades of Guatemala or going caving in Borneo, for example).

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      ✔ Life Straw Water Purification

      A travel water bottle with inbuilt purification filter that is Eco-friendly, easily portable, and providing a vital way to ensure your drinking water is safe. No Earth conscious traveller should leave home without a re-useable water bottle. The Life Straw bottle is our personal favourite. You can also get just a single Life Straw if you find the bottle is too limiting!

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      ✔ Activated Charcoal Tablets

      No traveller should leave home without a sufficient supply of charcoal tablets. They’re a brilliant solution to general digestive grumbles (which can strike at any time!) and they take up very little space. These are some great organic ones.

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      ✔ Rehydration Packets

      You can pick these up in most pharmacies around the world, but when you need them most you may not feel like popping out to the shops and trying out your new language skills. Bring a decent supply of rehydration sachets wherever you’re going to keep on top of your health and fitness (they’re also the best hangover cure we’ve ever come across). But there’s no substitute for drinking plenty of water, so remember to drink at least two litres of water each day. The sachets give your body the minerals it needs to absorb the water.

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      ✔ Emergency First-Aid Kit

      As a bare-minimum inclusion, we suggest: plasters, blister plasters, mini bandages, antiseptic cream (many are also local anaesthetics that you’ll be glad of if a mosquito got through your carefully-planned defences), anti-histamines (also great re: mosquito bites), and malaria tablets. Every traveller is different and you know your own body best – put careful thought into what you need to include in your first aid kit.

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      ✔ Travel Pocket Knife

      You’ll really never know when this item will come in handy. You may need it for cutting up tomatoes when having a park-baguette lunch in expensive Europe, or tightening up a loose screw on your camera. In the very least, carry it around in your daypack for a bit of protection on the streets (fingers crossed you’ll never need it).

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      ✔ Anti-Theft Belted Wallet

      With so many affordable options out there, there’s no excuse not to get one of these brilliantly-designed security wallets. Strap up in the morning, tuck your shirt over the top, and enjoy a hands-free day safe in the knowledge that your valuables are going nowhere without you.

      Honestly, though. These are only good for people who wear loose clothes. For the rest of us, an anti-theft backpack might be a better idea. We have compared the best anti-theft backpacks so you can choose one that’s best for you. Couple it with an anti-theft wire and you have yourself a portable safe.

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      ✔ Packing Cubes

      Thinking how to pack for long term travel? If you’ve heard people rave about packing cubes but really don’t know what all the fuss is about; just try them. We are sure you’ll be converted! There’s honestly nothing better than being able to just pull a cube out of your backpack and throw it in a drawer.

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      ✔ Travel Pillow

      After trying many travel pillows and never being 100% satisfied, we finally found one that’s both comfortable and packs down small. It uses both soft foam inside and air to give you a malleable comfort. Stop the inflation at your desired support.

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      ✔ Foldable Shopping Bag

      This is as good for mother earth as it is for you. Just scrunch it up and throw it in your daypack for any supermarket side trips. They are also perfect for taking to the beach (just throw in your sarong and some sunscreen and you’re good to go)!

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      ✔ Microfibre Towel

      You’ll need a lightweight, quick dry microfibre towel for any cheap hotels or Airbnb’s that don’t provide one. It also doubles as a blanket on cold buses, etc. Make sure you get a LARGE sized ones as you’ll want it to wrap around your body… Trust me, a small one is no fun! Crystal also prefers the more absorent, thicker ones as they feel much nicer on the skin. P.S. Buy a dark coloured one.

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      Also, don’t forget to pack these essential things for travel:

      ✔ Lighter
      Head Torch (Water Resistant)

      ✔ Wallet
      ✔ Small Locks (TSA Approved)

      Never Leave Home Without Long-Term Travel Insurance

      Just don’t, this is one of the most important long term travel essentials. You never know what could happen and without insurance, you could end up with a hefty hospital bill, or worse. Generally, all backpacking travel insurers will cover you for up to a year.

      Crystal uses Clements Insurance to cover all her expensive camera and computer gear… Hello, 8TB of hard drive photography storage 😭.

      If you’re just after travel medical insurance, SafetyWing is another backpacker favourite and it’s super cheap!

      For hospital and less-expensive gear (computers worth up to $2,000, for example) Crystal uses World Nomads.

      World Nomads are one of the best at long-term travel insurance for backpackers and digital nomads. They understand that you’ll be doing adventurous activities and they also allow you to buy coverage when you are already overseas (whereas a lot of travel insurers require you to purchase cover while you are still in your home country.

      Just enter your trip details below for a quote. If you end up buying it, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. 💕

      Long-Term Travel Packing List: Electrical Items

      The Best Apps for Long-Term Travel

      These are the Apps Crystal always has on her phone to use every day when she travels. Some of them are absolute life-savers (like the offline maps) and others have functions that will save you money!

      We recommend you download them all before you leave and start getting familiar with them so when you are on the road you’re like a fighter jet in a sea of snails. You can even try turning your phone on aeroplane mode to see how the maps function offline (they are a little different than when you use them online). It’s fascinating to notice that even when your phone is on aeroplane mode, your phone still knows exactly where you are… Scary! (But also super cool!)

      • Trip-It (FREE) Store all your flight, hotel and other bookings in one place and access them offline
      • Skyscanner (FREE) Use the “everywhere” button for cheap flights to anywhere in the world
      • Google Maps (FREE) Download selections to be used offline. Also a great way to decipher public transport in cities
      • (FREE) Download entire countries for use offline – a good Google Maps backup
      • Xe Currency (FREE) Save up to 10 currencies to check offline
      • Trail Wallet (FREE) for tracking expenses while travelling
      • Uber Rideshare (FREE) Often cheaper than local taxis plus you can send live updates to family at home whenever you are using one
      • Duo Lingo (FREE) Learn some phrases in the local language
      • Spotify (FREE) Find awesome new music. With Premium you can listen to music offline


      ✔ Phone

      ✔ Laptop or iPad

      It’s one or the other… Not both. You choose.

      ✔ VPN (Virtual Private Network)

      This is essential for long-term travellers and Crystal couldn’t have been on the road for so long without it. A VPN can save your ass in so many ways.

      If you ever use a public access WiFi while travelling (like an airport, restaurant, vacation rental or hotel) then you’re potentially putting your online security at risk by hackers. It also helps out in other ways too. Can’t access your Gmail because it thinks you’re in a dodgy country? (Which you ARE, but still). Just connect to your home country using the VPN. PayPal payment won’t go through because you aren’t in your home country? VPN.

      With a quality VPN such as Nord VPN, you instantly protect your sensitive data on all different devices with just one click. Also, Nord is really affordable, super easy to turn on and we use it daily.

      Check Price on Amazon FREE App for Android Phones

      ✔ Portable Charger Pack

      These affordable, small and lightweight little friends are a travel essential; imagine that 15-hour overnight bus journey without a podcast or Netflix series to binge! Unthinkable. In fact, I can’t even get through a day of using Google Maps on my iPhone without needing some sexy charger juice (thanks for that, Apple *shakes fist vigorously into the air*). Anyway, charge your smartphone, tablet, MP3 player or even laptop (sometimes) on the go.

      If you do a lot of camping or you go to places with no access to power, you might also like a solar power charger. Charge your devices using energy from the sun! Perfect!

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      ✔ Universal Converter

      Maybe an obvious one, but I’ve managed to forget this crucial item on a trip or two! We definitely recommend bringing a high-quality converter along as opposed to buying abroad; for example, we can tell you from personal experience that the cheaper ones sold outside countries with strictly-enforced quality laws may not have decent regulating abilities and will, therefore, kill your phone… Surprisingly quickly.

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      ✔ Podcasts

      There’s nothing better on a long bus ride than to settle in with a bunch of your favourite Podcasts when you can’t access the internet.

      If you are on an iPhone you can download podcasts through your Podcasts App which should already be on your phone. If you are on an Android you can download through your Google Play Music App and on any other phone there should be an app called Podcasts you can use. Just open the app and search for the name of the podcast you want to listen to offline.

      Some great ones Crystal has been listening to for a thick dose of wanderlust are: Zero to Travel, Extra Pack of Peanuts and Budget Minded Traveler are a great place to start.

      ✔ GoPro + Attachments

      Action cameras are becoming somewhat of an essential for everyone – and that’s awesome. There’s really not much they can’t do! If you don’t need a manually operated DSLR, a GoPro can easily replace this camera. You really don’t have an excuse not to buy one when their prices start at only $199 USD!

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      ✔ DSLR Camera + Lenses and Attachments

      If a DSLR is essential for you, try to make sure it’s as small and powerful as possible and that it has good video capabilities! Add a few lenses and other attachments and you’ve already gone over your carry-on limit! Crystal has used Panasonic cameras her whole career because they have some of the BEST video capabilities.

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      ✔ Camera Tripod or Octopod

      There are loads of versatile and lightweight tripods that do some cool shit like wrap around tree branches and fence posts. You can attach your GoPro or your phone. You can even use it as a stand for your phone or small iPad for those long-haul flights.

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      ✔ Phone Lens Kit

      Don’t want to splash out on any fancy cameras but still like to do cool stuff with lenses? be sure to take these tiny lenses that fit right onto your phone’s camera! This set includes a macro lens for cool close-ups, a fish eye for warping buildings, a wide-angle for spectacular scery shots and even a telephoto lens to capture things that are far away. All you need to do is clip them onto your phone (any type) and start taking awesome photos!

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      ✔ Wireless Speaker

      Crystal doesn’t do any long-term travelling witout her bluetooth speaker (she just loves music THAT much). The UE Roll is one of the best options because the sound is clear and loud and the actual speaker is small and flat-ish. It is also water resistant, which comes in handy when travelling (spills, rain and whatnot). Honestly though, once you hear the sound of a UE, you won’t be able to listen to anything else.

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      Also, don’t forget to pack these important electrical items for travel:

      ✔ Phone Charger
      Headphone Splitter (Listen with Friends)
      Digital Luggage Scale

      ✔ Spare SD Cards for your Cameras
      Flash Drive
      External Hard Drive (Extra Storage for Pictures / Video)

      Packing List for Long Term Travel: Personal Items

      For the ladies and the gentlemen. Both are covered here in this long term packing list.

      ✔ Tweezers

      From retrieving broken-off earphone jacks in your laptop, tablet or smartphone (trust us – it is possible) to quickly removing splinters or a loose thread, tweezers are a must-have for any traveller. And you can even stretch their use to essential eyebrow maintenance, if the inclination so takes you.

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      ✔ Nail Scissors

      Like the multi-purpose tweezer, these handily travel-sized little tools have no end of possible uses. Cutting that string or duct tape, for starters.

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      Your Favourite Re-Usable Razor

      Don’t bother trying to buy disposable ones overseas. Not only will you end up carrying large bulk packs of razors, but they just don’t do the job right. Bring your favourite interchangeable head razor with a handful of spare heads.

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      ✔ SPF 15+ Lip Balm

      Women travellers will be all-too-familiar with the necessity of this little gem, so this tip is especially for the gentlemen – keep those lips smooth and healthy with a dab or two of SPF lip balm each day. It protects against every extreme weather type and I promise nobody can tell you’re wearing it. Unless you are actually kissing them at that very moment and, if that’s the case, they’ll be grateful for the added softness 😉

      Also great for smoothing dry skin on the hands, elbows, knees and face.

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      ✔ Tampons or Moon Cup

      While sanitary towels are generally available in most places worldwide, tampons are much rarer and can be eye-wateringly expensive. You will not believe how many countries don’t really sell tampons (think Southeast Asia and South/Central America). It’s utterly crazy. So you can either bring a huge backup of tampons (if you’re travelling one of the above countries for a year you’re going to need A LOT)…

      OR you can bring one tiny little Moon Cup. These are reusable orb cups you put up your hoo-ha to catch your unfertilised baby bag. They are a little weird/uncomfortable to use at first but after a couple of go’s, you won’t even notice them! And if you’re wondering how to clean them, it’s easy. Just boil them at the end of the period cycle or wash with soapy water.

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      ✔ Shampoo

      This may seem an obvious one, but I’m listing it on the basis that shampoo is a highly versatile travel companion. If, like me, you travel light; you can use shampoo as soap, laundry detergent and, in a pinch, a tasty and nutritious cool drink (joking on that last one. Please don’t ingest shampoo).

      If you love mother Earth, then try out solid shampoo bars. They are like soap bars but shampoo (and conditioner if you like!) While most bottled shampoo is 80% water, solid shampoo will save you space in your backpack AND they will mean you are buying (and then throwing out) LESS plastic bottles. It’s a win/win.

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      ✔ Conditioner

      Bring your favourite because chances are, where your going they will be crap. Loads of hotels only provide shampoo too (not conditioner), so if you have thick long hair you’re going to need the best you can get.

      If you are considering a solid conditioner bar (to save room and mother Earth) Crystal will just quickly tell her experience… Initially, she brought one on her latest trip with her because she hates using so much plastic. But, she found the conditioner made her hair really oily and her hair was still super knotty after using it. It was a shame.

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      ✔ Medical Essentials

      Please look after yourself; be vigilant with your health. Visit your doctor with plenty of time before your trip (we’re talking a year to 6 months) to discuss vaccinations, supplies of any regular medication you may need and for general travel health advice.

      ✔ Motion Sickness Wristbands

      If you suffer from sea sickness or motion sickness, then this simple invention is a godsend. They work by applying pressure to a pressure point on your wrist which has been shown scientifically to restore the balance in your body. Crystal’s girlfriend uses them all the time and says they help her a lot.

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      ✔ Hanging Toiletry Bag

      One of the most handy things you can take travelling. Just open it up and hang it off the towel rack. Make sure you get one with an enclosed plastic section for shampoo and other liquids so when you change altitudes and your bottles pop open – you don’t ruin your whole bag!

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      ✔ SHEWEE

      If you’re anything like Crystal and you have a terribly tiny bladder (Crystal has named hers T.B) then you might want to think about thrying out a SHEWEE. It’s a female urination device that enables the ladies to FINALLY pee standing up. Although we have not used them ourselves, we have heard people swear by them. They are especially good for festivals and camping!

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      ✔ Jewelry Organiser

      If you plan to take any type of jewelry travelling that can get tangled, you will have to think about how to look after it. For rings and earrings you can put them in small plastic jars and for necklaces and bracelets you might be able to fit them in a 7-day pill box organiser. If you really need to protect them, here’s a sleek AF jewellry organiser that would be sure to keep everything safe.

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      Also, don’t forget to pack these important personal items for travel. If you click the link, you will be taken to the travel-friendly version of these products:

      ✔ Face Washer
      ✔ Baby Wipes
      ✔ Hard Glasses Case
      ✔ Moisturiser
      Travel Plastic Bottles (Storage for Creams & Liquids)
      ✔  Travel Tissues
      ✔  Earplugs
      ✔  Stick Deodorant
      ✔ Malaria Tablets

      Want Exclusive Discounts on Accommodation, Travel Products and More? Click Here!

      Long-Term Packing List: Clothing for Women & Men

      This packing list is a general one for those long-term travel essentials. You could be jetting off on an Australian Outback adventure, hitting the slopes for a season in the Alps, backpacking SEA or hiking to Petra; so, of course, the clothing you bring will entirely depend on your destination.

      There are some fantastic travel-specific clothing ranges out there with everything from ‘non-wash’ tops to multi-style dresses and jackets with completely hidden pockets for your valuables.

      TOP TRAVEL TIP: Pack for a Week and Wash

      The general mentality you want in terms of clothes is ‘pack for a week’. Do your laundry once a week and you’ll be grand. It’s easy to find cheap laundry places all over the world or to wash your clothes yourself with this awesome contraption. Sometimes you can even find an Airbnb with a washing machine. If all else fails, just wash your underwear in the shower with soap! This is a common backpacking go-to, especially good if you run out of underwear before anything else.

      Only bring the casual clothes you love and can mix and match with other clothes you will bring. Muted colours for the basics with splashes of bright colour in the belt, scarf or overthrows is a great way minimalise the number of outfits you bring.

      TOP TRAVEL TIP: Layer Up In the Cold

      Layering is the route of all excellence. Bring vest tops, tees, long-sleeved tees and thin sweaters and you’re ready for whatever nature throws at you. You can even travel to Europe in Winter so long as you have several quality layers like a thermal undershirt, a lightweight cashmere sweater and a rain jacket for on top. Layering is king when you want to keep the long term travel packing list to a minimum!

      In one week you will need the following basic clothes:

      Women’s Long Trip Packing List

      ✔ 8x Underwear
      ✔ 2x Sports Bra
      ✔ 2x Bra
      ✔ 1x Light Pyjama Shorts & Bed Shirt
      ✔ 1x Active Shorts (Exercising & Lounging)
      ✔ 1x Denim shorts
      ✔ 1x Cotton Shorts
      ✔ 2x Tank Tops
      ✔ 2x Cotton Shirt
      ✔ 1x Long Sleeve Thermal or Base layer
      ✔ 1x Cashmere Sweater (Lightweight & Warm)
      ✔ 1x Trekking Pants / Shorts
      ✔ 1x Lightweight Jeans or Pants
      ✔ 1x Lightweight Rain Jacket
      ✔ 1x Beanie

      ✔ 1x Maxi Dress
      ✔ 2x Short Dress
      ✔ 1x Comfy Yoga Leggings
      ✔ 1x Loose Comfortable Pants (Long Bus Rides, Sleeping & Lounging)
      ✔ 2x Cute Bikinis
      ✔ 1x Swimsuit Coverup
      ✔ 1x Foldable Hat
      ✔ 1x Warm Scarf (Cashmere if Possible)
      ✔ 8x Pair of Socks (1 Trekking Pair)
      ✔ 1x Pair of Trekking Shoes (Lightweight)
      ✔ 1x Pair of Travel Sandals (For All-Day Walking, Water Activities & Going Out)
      ✔ 1x Pair of Flip flops 

      Click the pic to see the tee! All these items are great for shoving into suitcases and are lightweight too. They can be found on Amazon for a REALLY good price, with nothing under a 4-Star rating!


      Men’s Long Travel Packing List

      ✔ 8x Underwear
      ✔ 8x Pair of Socks (1 Trekking Pair)
      ✔ 2x Board Shorts
      ✔ 1x Active Shorts
      ✔ 2x Trekking Shorts / Pants
      ✔ 1x Long Trousers / Jeans (Going Out & Sight Seeing)
      ✔ 1x Super Comfortable Long Pants (Long Buses, Lounging & Sleeping)
      ✔ 1x Long Sleeve Base Layer
      ✔ 1x Beanie

      ✔ 2x Tank Tops
      ✔ 2x Cotton Shirts
      ✔ 1x Dress Shirt (Going Out)
      ✔ Sweater (Lightweight & Warm)
      ✔ 1x Warm Scarf (Cashmere if Possible)
      ✔ 1x Cap or Hat
      ✔ 1x Lightweight Rain Jacket
      ✔ 1x Pair of Hiking Shoes (Lightweight)
      ✔ 1x Pair Flip Flops
      ✔ 1x Pair Closed Shoes

      Click the pic to see more information about these products. All these items are great for packing into luggage and are lightweight. They can be found on Amazon for a REALLY good price too, with nothing under a 4-Star rating!

      Packing List Clothing Accessory Essentials (Men & Women)

      ✔ Sarong

      This is possibly the most versatile piece of clothing in my packing list. It can take the place of a scarf AND a light blanket. You can wear it over your swimmers as a cover, even tie it into a dress. And when you’re on the beach, it’s the perfect lightweight towel. It even dries you off. In emergencies, a sarong can also take the place of a bath towel.

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      ✔ SPF Sunglasses

      You won’t find the locals or long-term expats wearing shades, but whether you plan to stay a week or half a year, so many incredible places in the world have fierce sunlight and nobody wants their travel mementos to include squint-induced crow’s feet!

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      ✔ Head Buff

      These little pieces of headwear have to many uses! A head band to keep hair off your face, an eye mask for sleeping on overnight buses/planes, a sweat rag. The list could go on! Always have one in your day pack for use whenever needed!

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      ✔ Waterproof Rain Coat with a Nice Big Hood

      Use it as a top layer in cold weather and always keep it in your daypack for emergency downpours.

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      ✔ Very Good Hiking Shoes

      Perfect for walks, of course, but also general wet weather, navigating gravelly/pot-holed roads, caving/climbing, and long sightseeing walks. This is one thing it’s worth splashing out on.

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      ✔ Bum Bag / Fanny Pack

      This is honestly the best (yet unfashionable) travel item. Crystal wears a bum bag almost every day wherever she’s speeding around cities and sight seeing. Having your phone and right there (without having to reach around for backpacks) keeps you happy and taking pics. They are good to keep valuables close on overnight buses and even better to keep your passport and travel documents in while zipping around airports. Better than handbags because you can just do them up and forget about them!

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      ✔ Fingerless Gloves

      Fingerless because you ALWAYS still need to use your phone when you’re wearing them, and you don’t want to be taking them on and off. It’s even better to have ones with little mitts on the end so you can cover your fingers when needed. Mmmm toasty…

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      Packing For Long-Term Travel: Non-Essentials

      Things that are really nice to have if you have room. Some of these may become an essential packing list item depending on how you travel and where you’ll be going.

      ✔ Travel Coffee Press

      Not having a quality coffee or two in the mornings ranks pretty highly on my personal tragedy barometer. To that end, I am happy to introduce you to the travel coffee press! Just add fresh ground coffee and hot water, and you’ll never suffer morning sluggishness again, whether you’re in the middle of the Sahara or halfway up a tree in the Amazon. Shout out to our friend Debs, clinician and volunteer coordinator at Project Ix-canaan, Guatemala for this invaluable tip.

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      ✔ Aloe Vera Gel

      Again, Rosy is from England, where the sun comes out about three days a year and the entire national immediately suffers comic levels of sunburn. She cannot conscientiously write this list without including Aloe Vera. Whenever she’s sunburned, she uses about half a litre every couple of days and IT IS MAGIC. Sometimes she even looks tanned after a few days.

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      ✔ A Pack of Cards

      No… Two packs of cards! Do not ever leave your country without at least one pack of cards. Awesome for passing the time and breaking the ice in a hostel general area.

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      ✔ An International Power Board

      If you’re going to be on the road for a REALLY long time and you have loads of electrical items, then this is the product for you. Sometimes you’ll end up buying electronics in strange countries leaving you with strange cords and they all need charging at once! Make sure you buy one with USB connectors too. Crystal uses hers every day, and although it’s taped together with duct tape (after so much use) she honestly doesn’t know what she’d do without it (probably just charge stuff one-by one with her boring universal converter I suppose…)

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      ✔ Kindle or E-Reader

      Save room in your bag while still enjoying access to thousands of books. They are pricey, but an essential if you like reading.

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      ✔ Travel Camera Drone

      This is not an essential travel item, but by golly, they are GREAT. There’s nothing more sexy than a crisp birds eye view of amazing scenery. Now that drones have been around for a while, the technology has made them small and seriously powerful. FYI: Crystal has written an entire article comparing all of the best travel drones and talks about their specs and functions.

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      ✔ Travel Yoga Mat

      When you travel long-term you are going to need a way to stay fit on the road. So you can either run along the beach every day (a great option if you are near a beach), pay for expensive gym entries (not a great option IMO), or carry a travel yoga mat to exercise on! Crystal has written a post comparing all the best travel yoga mats out there, with a video of her personal review of the yoga mat she has been traveling with for the past 1.5 years.

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      ✔ Sleep Sheet

      If you plan to stay in hostels and 1-2 star hotels this might be something you are interested in. It’s a fact that in cheap places you don’t always get the cleanest sheets, so bringing along a sleeping bag liner could help with the mental battle you’ll inevitably end up having sleeping in questionable beds.

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      ✔ Hammock (Parachute Silk)

      This is a luxury item for the budget traveller! String your hammock up anywhere for a free place to sleep. The hammock pictured includes a zip up mosquito net for those tropical climates and is made of parachute silk for strength but is also lightweight.

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      ✔ Washing Line

      This is listed as non-essential because neither of us carry a portable washing line. However, they do have great functionality and fold up very small so they are a great thing to carry. There have been many situations where we’ve wished we had one because the room was dusty or there was no where else to hang out wet clothes (once Crystal simply draped hers over a pot plant, ha ha).

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      What Not Pack for Long-Term Travel

      ✘ Shaving Cream

      Honestly, you don’t need it. Just use a little bit of your hair conditioner, it works perfectly. Thank me later… P.S. If you’re a man and you don’t use conditioner, forget I said anything!

      ✘ A Hair Dryer, Curling Iron or Straightener

      Should you bring a travel hair dryer on your trip? The answer is a definitive NO… Unless you really want it.

      Although Crystal LOVES to blow dry her hair when she’s at home, she would never bring one with her travelling. The reason is simple, they are big and heavy (even the travel-sized ones) and the “air” dries your hair just as well (would you believe it?!?!)

      It’s a luxury item that just doesn’t belong in the bag of a long-term traveller. Plus, many hotels will have a hairdryer in their bathrooms. But say you are going ultra-budget, you will probably end up finding you never really needed to blow dry your hair anyway…

      ✘ Heavy Boots

      Heavy hiking or normal boots will only weigh you down. Unless you’ll be spending most of your time somewhere super cold, you will regret these.

      What Backpack to Take on Long-Term Travel

      We have dedicated ourselves to find out what is the best luggage for long term travel. Altogether we’ve spent over 5 years travelling long-term so these backpacks are tested, tried and true. Read on to find out why these long-term backpacks are perfect for you!

      Best Large Backpack for Long-Term Travel

      ✔ The Osprey Hybrid Backpack

      If you’re like Crystal and you have so much camera gear and other stuff that you just can’t fit it into carry-on luggage you’re going to need a large backpack for your travels. I have tried three different backpacks; one hiking pack (hated it – annoying to get stuff out and didn’t hold enough) and one 70 Litre adventure open front backpack (far too heavy and totally overkill). The final backpack I found and the one I use now is the 60 Liter Osprey Hybrid Backpack.

      Hybrid backpacks really can do it all! They can be wheeled (which is how Crystal uses hers most of the time) and they can also be put on your back (think deep cobble stones or muddy pathways).

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      Pros of the Osprey Hybrid

      The wheels are huge and durable, able to withstand even the bumpiest of pathways. The edges are hard, meaning the bag stays open and taught even when there’s nothing left in it (kind of like a squishy suitcase). There are loads of pockets. The 60 Lt backpack holds the same amount of contents as a 70 Lt traditional backpack.

      Cons of the Osprey Hybrid

      It’s not incredibly comfortable to wear. Although it has a hip strap (a deal breaker since the hips can take most of the weight) after a while of use it becomes quite uncomfortable.

      Best Carry-On Sized Backpack for Long-Term Travel

      ✔ Little World IT Wheeled Backpack

      After six weeks in Spain with a MASSIVE wheeled suitcase (checked luggage), then another month with a smaller wheeled suitcase (hand luggage), Rosy was ready to admit that neither of these were practical for long-term travel. Backpacks are a much more user-friendly option and, of course, far more portable than the suitcase.

      But what about those moments when you have to walk for miles? Sometimes, a person needs wheels… Enter the IT Luggage Business Backpack. Complete with durable straps, extendable handle AND wheels, it has a multitude of pockets including a cushioned compartment for laptops and tablets, a side pouch perfect for water bottles, and a pocket perfect for the straps when not in use (or flip flops, when the straps are being used). If you roll your clothes and pack carefully, the bag will fall well within the limits of hand luggage size specs, so you can avoid the risk of lost luggage and the cost of checking luggage – and enjoy the added bonus of having everything right at your fingertips during the long-haul flight. It’s also a really reasonable price for what it is!

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      Best Daypacks for Long-Term Travel

      ✔ Pacsafe Venture Safe 25L GII

      Combining a casual day pack with a small backpack that you can also take on day hikes is usually the best option.

      For added security get an anti-theft backpack to keep your valuables safe while in transit and also in your hotel room. I have written an entire post comparing all the top anti-theft backpacks and weighing up their pros and cons. Check it out if you’re in the market for a new backpack (because you might as well make it an anti-theft one).

      The best anti theft daypack is the Pacsafe Venture Safe 25L GII. This bag is stylish, lightweight and durable. Its anti theft features include RFIDsafe blocking materials throughout the bag and a padded laptop compartment too. The PacSafe has hidden eXomesh slashguard stainless steel wire mesh within the fabric for protection against slash-and-go thefts. This anti theft backpack mesh is the best of its kind on the market.

      The turn-and-lock security hooks are a great feature that adds a subtle additional security element while allowing you to get in and out of the bag with ease. The zippers discreetly attach to the security hooks to offer this bag anti theft security galore. Ideal for all kinds of travel experiences including hiking and the daily commute.

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      So there you have it! This long term travel checklist has hopefully given you all the information you need to know on what to pack for long-term travel. Plus tips on how to use these products. If you have any questions at all about any of the things I have recommended in this long-term travel checklist, feel free to hunt me down and stalk me with your incessant questioning! I love hearing from you, so I promise I won’t call the police 😉

      READ: How YOU Can Save Money For Travel (25 Secrets to Saving)

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      If you have a favourite packing for long term travel item that you just can’t live without, please comment below and tell us about it!

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      About the Authors

      This post was written in combination by Crystal Egan and Rosy Hawkins, two long-term travellers. Crystal travels with a huge backpack that she curses every day (just kidding, I love my hybrid backpack) while Rosy bounces along in life with only carry-on. We wanted to ensure you don’t forget anything before you leave on your long-term travels while also packing smart and not letting non-essential items weigh you down. You can read more about us below.


      Rosy is a remote-working writer, proofreader, marketer and website-creator, with a background in the NPO, legal, health and higher education sectors. Her work allows her to travel Central America and Mexico (at the moment – who knows where next) finding charities and ethical/sustainable businesses she can volunteer her skills and time with. Most recently, she spent several months in the Guatemalan jungle village of El Remate, where she volunteered as marketing and communications manager with Project Ix-Canaan to design and develop their new website, create online content, write grant applications, and run a volunteer recruitment drive. She’s always looking for her next project, so get in touch if you know anyone who could use her help!

      Know someone who always forgets things when they pack? Share this with them and (possibly) change their life!

      Categories: Favourite, Featured, Guides, Travel Products & Accessories
      Crystal Egan

      Passionate baby goat cuddler and part-time adventurer, Crystal can often be found doing headstands on the edges of cliffs, taking photos of abandoned buildings or sleeping on deserted islands with dangerous criminals. She has too many awesome stories and helpful tips to keep them all to herself so follow along and in return she will bring you inspiring pictures, travel videos and a whole load of fun!


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