• featured image for the ultimate packing list

What is our ultimate travel packing list?

Travel light! Buy a small backpack! On each travel blog, you read the same advice… But how do you decide what to take with you when leaving on an extended travel trip? We are for months on the road, and are extremely satisfied with the things we have in our backpacks. And we are happy to share our travel packing list with you. Hope it can give you inspiration on the things to pack, and more importantly, the things you should not take with you.

STEP 1: CHOOSE THE RIGHT BACKPACK

Your backpack will become your new home, as it is stuffed with all the things you will need during your trip. You need a backpack that is large enough to fit all the stuff you take with you. But you also want your backpack to be small enough that people will still recognize you and not only your backpack.

But what is the ideal size of a backpack? It depends on the type of trip you will be doing. If you will hike and camp a lot, you will need a larger backpack, so your tent, sleeping mats and sleeping bags fit in it. If you are planning to stay in guesthouses and hostels during your entire trip, a smaller backpack is sufficient. So there is not a conclusive answer on the question how large your backpack needs to be.

Just make sure when shopping for a backpack that you try the backpack on and put some weights in it. That will give you an idea on how it will be to carry it. Only buy it when it feels comfortable and the backpack can be adjusted to your body. But don’t worry, there is a saying in the backpackers community: It is not you who chooses the backpack, it is the backpack that chooses you.

We have two Deuter backpacks, one of 65L (+10) and one of 55L (+10). As you can see, we did not manage to buy small backpacks! But, because we were planning an independent trekking in Mongolia, we had to carry a tent, sleeping mats and sleeping bags with us.

STEP 2: SHOP FOR LIGHTWEIGHT MATERIALS

By paying attention to the weight of the different items you take with you, you are able to reduce the weight of your backpack substantially. Keep in mind that you often will have to walk a lot with your backpack on your back.

Tips on what items you spare some extra weight and space:

  • Lightweight tent
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping mattress
  • Hiking boots and shoes in general
  • Travel guides: consider e-books
  • Clothing: consider non-jeans pants and fleece sweaters

STEP 3: RECONSIDER YOUR INITIAL PACKING LIST

Okay, you have everything written down on your packing list? Gather everything and place it all in front of you. Be critical and consider for each item if you need it and how many times you will use it. Try to reduce the amount of items on your packing list again and again.

Tip: Don’t wait until the day before you leave to pack your backpack. Rehearse a couple of times. By doing so, you will know for sure if everything fits in your backpack and if you need extra dividing compartments.

OUR ULTIMATE TRAVEL PACKING LIST

We are now months on the road and have the feeling we have everything with us. Here you can find our up-to-date-packing list.

Travel documents

  • Passport
  • International driver licence (important when you want to drive a scooter/car legally)
  • Copies of your passport
  • Credit cards
  • Insurance papers
  • Money belt
  • Vaccination card for yellow fever (if you travel to countries where this is necessary)

Travel bags

  • Backpack of 65L and backpack of 55L
  • Two smaller Deuter backpacks
  • Dividing compartments: We love these! They help you to arrange everything and allow you to pack your backpack in five minutes!

Camping material

Some items can be useful to take with you, even if you’re not planning to camp

  • Tent Quickhiker Ultra Light
  • Two sleeping bags for normal temperatures
  • Two fleece sleeping bags (together with our “normal” sleeping bags, they have kept us warm during the cold nights in Mongolia, and it’s much cheaper than a sleeping bag for extreme temperatures. And they are so useful for many other things as well: to sleep on airplanes and night buses, as a picnic blanket, when the sheets of your guesthouse are smelly and have doubtful stains, …)
  • Two sleeping mats
  • One small stove to cook
  • Lightweight cooking pots
  • Two aluminum mugs
  • Cutlery
  • Swiss pocket knife
  • A safe but sharp knife
  • One lighter
  • Water bottle

Sleeping material

  • Earplugs and eyepatches
  • Silk sleeping bags (when it is too hot or when we are confronted with bed bugs)
  • Impregnated mosquito net: we know that there is a big controversy whether you should take this with you or not. We would never travel without one. We’ve seen so many hostels with bugs in the room. Sleeping under a mosquito net just gives you a safe feeling without having to panic you will wake up with a beetle in your hair.

Toiletries and medicines

  • Compact toilet bag with mirror
  • Tooth brushes and one tube of toothpaste
  • Some razor blades and shaver
  • Small bottle of shampoo and shower gel
  • Contacts and glasses
  • Deodorant
  • Comb
  • Tweezer and nail clippers
  • Toilet paper and wet wipes
  • Two compact towels that dry very quickly
  • Lip balm
  • Medicines!
  • Sun screen
  • Thermometer

Clothes and shoes for Matthias

  • 1 pair of walking shoes
  • 1 pair of flip-flops
  • 1 pair of sneakers
  • 1 rain coat
  • 1 shorts for swimming
  • 5 cotton underpants
  • 2 pairs of trekking socks
  • 2 pairs of quick drying socks
  • 1 thermal shirt with long sleeves
  • 1 fleece sweater
  • 2 quick drying shirts
  • 3 cotton t-shirts
  • 2 trekking pants
  • 1 chill pants
  • 2 shorts
  • bandana and buff
  • sun glasses
  • belt
  • 1 pair of thin gloves
  • 1 woolen hat

Clothes and shoes for Mieke

  • 1 pair of walking shoes
  • 1 pair of flip-flops
  • 1 pair of sneakers
  • 1 rain coat
  • 1 bikini
  • 2 bra’s
  • 5 cotton underpants
  • 2 pairs of trekking socks
  • 2 pairs of quick drying socks
  • 1 thermal shirt with long sleeves
  • 1 fleece sweater
  • 2 tops
  • 2 quick drying shirts
  • 1 shirt with ¾ sleeves
  • 1 dress
  • 2 trekking pants
  • 2 shorts/skirts
  • 1 capri pants
  • bandana and buff
  • sun glasses
  • 1 pair of thin gloves
  • 1 woolen hat

Miscellaneous

  • Universal sink plug (very convenient when you have to do laundry)
  • Card reader for banking
  • Carabiners
  • Small sewing kit
  • Small and one large locker
  • Duct tape
  • Small book and pencil (for writing down our memories)
  • Heating coil (is very small, but is really useful to make coffee or noodles in your room)
  • Business cards with our contacts (easy if you meet people on the road)
  • Hair-ties (so our rolled cloths stay rolled)
  • Sarong: you can use it as a dress, a towel, …

Electronics

  • 2 lightweight laptops
  • our smartphones
  • photo camera
  • video camera
  • powerbank
  • e-readers
  • universal plug
  • external hard disk
  • head lamps
  • action camera
  • extra memory cards

Advice: Make a complete packing list, but don’t stress too much when you forgot something. Unless you are heading to an uninhabited island, you can find everything you need elsewhere as well.

That’s about it!

If you liked this post or have any questions or suggestions, leave a comment at the bottom of this page! Or like us on social media!

2018-08-18T09:31:37+00:00By |Packing tips, Travel planning|

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