The Nightmare before Departure: Packing
I hate packing. But there is no way around it. Usually I do the packing right before I leave for the airport. But this time it needed some more consideration as I wanted to travel far more longer than at any time before. So what I did was to look what other travellers had packed and read through many packing lists on other blogs. The rest is my own experience from various travels before. And here it is: my personal packing list.
Each travel has its own requirements depending on the places to go and the activities planned. This packing list is the one for my trip around the world for mostly warmer countries and no special activities. I have not arranged certain outfits but chosen items and colours in a way that I can combine all of them with each other. That gives a good variety of different outfits and those clothes can also be layered to adjust to colder temperatures if needed. I prefer light weight functional clothing over cotton stuff: It dries fast, has only little weight and folds in tiny pieces. But I have few cotton things though for convenience, like my jeans.
Less is more. I guess this can be read on most travel blogs meaning you better pack as little as possible. Some suggest for packing to take everything out that one wishes to pack and then half it. I say it’s better to have a little more, as long as certain weight limits are not exceeded. So maybe the optimum lies in the middle. So half the half that was taken out and add it again!
LESS less is more. Why? There are at least 7 good reasons:
- With time it is annoying to wear the same two T- Shirts over and over again.
- It is not convenient to wash clothes every other day or – even worse – to wear smelly clothes.
- It is better to have clothes for all occasions anticipated, like office, sports, night out etc. Certainly one can’t put a variety but at least one suitable item for everything planned.
- You don’t want to run around and waste your time looking for an item to buy that you left behind but now need it.
- Certainly you don’t want to spend money on an item that you already have at home but left it there.
- And finally, you can get rid of things on the way once you don’t need them anymore or they are worn out.
- It’s just nicer to have a little more of your familiar stuff.
My Complete Long-Term Packing List
1 Womens Hiking Shirt, short sleeve
2 Hawaii Blouses, very thin, 1x long sleeve, 1x short sleeve
3 Tops, sleeveless
10 T-Shirts, short sleeve
2 Basic Tops, long sleeve
2 Cardigans, 1x short with half sleeves, 1x long with long sleeves
2 Jumpers (1x wool and 1x fleece)
1 Pyjama, basically a T-Shirt and shorts
14 Panties (underwear)
1 Hot Pants
9 Pairs of Socks
1 Pair of Gloves
1 Set of Thermal Underwear
1 Fleece Jacket with Hood, thin, sportswear
1 Sports Jumper, thin, long sleeve
1 Sports Shorts
2 Jogging Pants, 3/4 length
1 Sports Bra (turns out that is not enough if one goes 4x a week)
3 Sport T-Shirts, short sleeve
3 Sport-Tops , sleeveless
1 Jumper with half sleeve
1 Leggins 3/4 length, cotton
2 Business Blouses, 1x short sleeve, 1x long sleeve
1 Padded Jacket (trekking down jacket from Decathlon)
1 Softshell Jacket
1 Sun Protection Skin Jacket
1x Hiking Shoes
1x Jogging Shoes
Electrical Toothbrush and Charger
Floss and Interdental Brushes
Soap (no shower gel, no shampoo, no cream: as all this can be bought at any destination)
Razor and Spare Blades
Hairband, Hairbrush and Comb
Magic Towel ( the tiny compressed thing that grows to full size once in contact with water)
Microfibre Travel Towel
1 Package of Wet Wipes
Mascara and MakeUp
Nail Scissors and Nail File
First Aid Kit
Personal Medication and Immodium
Autan Insect Repellant
Laptop Convertible (HP Envy X360 13″ with 512 SSD), Charger and Laptop Bag
External Harddrive 1TB
Travel Adaptor worldwide (EXTSUD)
Earphones (I left the noise cancelling ones at home as they are quite big)
Smart Phone (Motorola Moto g6 play comes with a 4000 mAh battery) and Charger
Headlight and Torch
SLR Camera, Charger, Spare Batteries & SD Card, Camera bag
Cable USB to Micro USB for Laptop
2 USB Sticks
2 Spare cable USB to Micro USB
USB Data Cable to connect PC and Camera (A-Male to Mini-B)
2 Power Banks, Anker PowerCore and Allpowers Solar Charger
Hard Shell Case for Power Banks and all Cables
Two passports ( in case one gets lost, or one country does “not like” the stamp of another country)
2 extra Passport Photos
International Vaccination Certificates
International Driving License
All other documents I have saved digitally in the cloud accessible via phone or any computer: confirmations, flight tickets, insurance documents, resume (CV), school certificates and references. In addition I have put there a copy of all documents at hand and of the credit cards.
1 Pocket Belt (which I also use as smartphone waistband during jogging)
Microfiber Sleeping Bag Liner (Fit-Flip)
Inflatable Travel Pillow (BIFY)
Sewing Set incl. a few safety pins
Notebook and 3 pens
Purse, and Money
2 Credit Cards (Master and Visa)
Set of Travel Bags or Compression Bags (I use the Ikea ones) plus 2 Dry Bags and 3 Shoe Bags
Water bottle (0.75l)
Leatherman Micra and Swiss Knife (do not put in hand luggage!)
Travel Lock (use it on my suitcase which makes a perfect travel safe for laptop and camera etc. so I did not have to buy an extra one, and my bike lock can be used to look the suitcase to something immobile)
1 Set of Cutlery incl. two metal straws (yes, I want to avoid the plastics) (Kohumi)
Travel Wash Detergent
Fat Soft Pillow saying “Smile” to sleep with (ok that was an extra and I would survive without, just nice to have)
Travel guide (Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan)
1 Book ( to read and then leave it in a public bookshelf from where I would take another to read)
Family Item : fob watch with engraving and picture of family
Jewellery: 1x earrings and 1x necklace
Set of German Bread (ok another extra but gone by the end of the first week)
Big Backpack (very old but I guess its around 50l)
Daypack 20l (Osprey)
Handluggage: small hard shell suitcase – with travel lock to be used like a safe
Flight Bag for Rucksack (to check in) and little daypack (included)
Ultra Compact Travel Backpack 10l (Decathlon)
Crossbody Handbag (small, very handy at the airport holding purse, glasses , tickets and passport at hand. It’s so small that they never count this as additional bag)
All in all it did work out very well. The big backpack was weighted 12 kg at the airport, my suitcase was 11kg. That means both on its own are rather light weight and much better to handle than one big 23kg-suitcase. With Wizz Air I could check-in both. If that is not possible I would have suitcase and daypack as cabin luggage. My daypack was about 5kg and sitting on my suitcase with the straps tight around it’s handle, riding and rolling. Of course the most important things are in the daypack: camera and laptop!