T minus 2 days…it’s time to get serious about packing!
I love the idea of living out of a backpack or suitcase for months on end. There’s something liberating for me about simplifying and having to leave “stuff” behind. I’ll admit, it’s a little daunting trying to pack for 4+ months, but I look at it as a challenge to fit everything I’ll need on my back.
Don’t get me wrong, I thought twice (or three times) about stuffing my blender in my pack….I’m a morning smoothie addict but leaving that at home will pipe down that protein shake fanatic in me as well 🙂
So what am I bringing? Every article of clothing needs to be able to mix and match so a lot neutral colors and multi-purpose items. Here are my basics in the clothing department:
1 swim suit
4 pairs socks (2 tall + 2 short) – These Smartwool socks are my favorite. They keep my feet dry while I am traveling
3 pairs of shoes (1 pair boots, 1 pair casual shoes, 1 pair athletic shoes) I bought black running shoes but if I am gone for 4 months, there’s no way I am working out in Converse. These will come in handy when I am working outside too! Give it up for Hoka One One Challenger ATR 3 in black. I’ll have to fill you in on my shoe quest at a later date…
5-6 pair Travel underwear – the ExOfficio brand is amazing, they dry super quick and it’s antimicrobial treatment reduces odor. Some people go with just 3 pairs…but they didn’t take up much space to add a couple pair. They come in bikini cuts and hipster cuts as well.
2 bras + 1 sports bra
1 hooded rain jacket – Classy trench coats never go out of style, here’s another that’s a little dressier. A waterproof coat is key in the spring all over Europe. I bought an unlined jacket so I can layer up
1 insulated, easy compressible jacket – This nano jacket is water repellant and doesn’t contain real down so it stays warm even when it gets wet, ideal for cooler, light rain days. I’m a huge fan of Patagonia since they stand behind their products for it’s lifetime.
1 base layer (when I am working outside)
2 (long or 3/4 sleeve) shirts
1 light sweater
2 v-neck t-shirts
2 tank tops or camisoles
1 casual dress
1 Chrysalis Cardi by Encircled (this is multiway clothing that can be worn 8 different ways!) or 1 cardigan or another dress
1 pair leggings
2 pair skinny jeans (1 black + 1 blue jeans)
1 pair water resistant pants (for working outdoors in gardens etc) I love these from Prana and they come in tall inseams and short inseams (These fit me perfectly)
1 pair athletic shorts (I love Brooks Chaser Shorts in 3″ or the medium length 5″ version)
1 knit beanie or winter hat (I love these from C.C. – talk about variety and great fit)
1 Infinity scarf with a pocket (a hidden pouch for little items. Lots of different prints here and here)
1 pair gloves – Keeping my hands warm
1 pair sunglasses – Love my big sunglasses
I may have gone a little overboard on the layers for colder weather…but I really don’t like to be cold (c’mon peeps from the South, you know what I’m talking about)!
Now for the accessories, travel gear, electronics and toiletries… here’s an overview:
Passport, ID’s, Visas and Credit cards – Keep a copy of these on hand and saved online in case these important docs get lost or stolen
RFID Travel Neck Wallet – I opted out of carrying a purse after hearing too many pickpocketing stories. This wallet can be worn around my neck and prevents people from scanning your important info, hands-free + safety measures = piece of mind
Prescriptions – Make sure you have your doctor’s Rx with you and in the original bottle. Some countries may ask for this documentation based on what kind of drug it is. Check for bans on certain pills and drugs for each country.
Stomach Aids – You never know what kind of ethnic food or street fare that might disagree with you
Vitamin C and other supplements – Some people may prefer Emergen-C. It’s easier to have something on hand in case pharmacies are sold out or when you feel something icky creeping up.
Travel Sink Detergent – Ideal for quick washes in a hotel or hostel sink when you are running low on socks, underwear etc.
Tide Spot Remover Pen – This will come in handy with limited amounts of clothes
Travel Alarm Clock – This is a back-up to my smart phone…lots of times and deadlines when it comes to flights, buses and work assignments.
Eagle Creek Specter Travel Packing Cubes – These are SO helpful! Instead of throwing things in my
Eagle Creek Specter Travel Packing Shoe Sacks – No need to get the rest of your clothes and things dirty from the bottom of your shoes!
Toilet Paper and/or small Pack Of Tissues – Back-up…you can never be too prepared
Sleep Eye Mask and Earbuds – to drown out plane noise or chatter in a hotel or hostel and light when you’re upside down with jet lag – Sleep is key to staying healthy while traveling
Little gifts for my hosts – I’m bringing magnets from Montana to share a piece of home with the families and people I’m staying with
Travel Plug Adapter – I bought one that would work in the EU, UK and other countries as well
Headphones or earbuds – perfect for my books on tape or when I am jamming out to my favorite playlists
Quick- Dry Travel Towel – perfect when you are stuck
Lightweight, Compact Travel Umbrella – for this crazy rainy springs that Europe is known for!
Phone and/or Computer Charger(s) – Yep, staying connected 🙂
Set Your Own Combination Padlock – As much as I’d love to trust people, I’d rather lock up my stuff and have piece of mind
Silicone Travel Bottles for Liquids – I’d love to carry 4 months of shampoos and toiletries with me, but that’s a lot of weight and wasted space. I’m taking what I need for a couples weeks then can buy as I stay at certain locations longer
Collapsible Water Bottle – Staying hydrated is so important, but water bottles can be bulky…storage problem solved!
Journal or notebook – I’ve made a personal goal to write down something every day, even if it’s just a couple words
Make-up (I am bringing the minimum but that’d be up to you)
Hair products (shampoo, conditioner and hair gel to tame my crazy curls)
Toiletries: Lotion, bodywash, razor, deodorant, toothbrush and tooth paste, etc.
Wet Wipes – you never know when you will run into a stick situation!
Travel Size Hand Sanitizer – Better to be safe than sorry, and I’m trying to avoid getting sick
Small Lint Roller – I’m wearing a lot of dark colors, and my pants always attract stuff – this will keep me looking spiffy ha!
First Aid Kit Items – a few BandAids, Neosporin, Aspirin etc for the accidents that might come my way
Feminine Products – ‘Nough said…
Tennis Ball: OK, this isn’t a necessity but I love The Stick Massager and Foam Rollers to help work out knots in my muscles and goodness knows, traveling makes me a little achy!
Whew, ok…I guess I better get to it! 🙂