[ ] 3-5 pairs of quick-dry underwear  

      look for a cotton or nylon blend for easy washing and quick drying

[ ] 3-5 pairs of moister wicking low cut socks 

       these socks will keep your feet dry and keep a low profile

[ ] 1 pair of light weight breathable sneakers

      good for hiking or walking around town, solid color also makes them good for going out

[ ] Sandals/ flip flops

      flip flops a must for shared restroom showers, bring sandals if you're not a fan of sneakers.

[ ] 2 T-shirts 

      a light cotton or poly blend will dry quicker after a wash or rain and keep its color

[ ] 2 Tank tops

      great for around the house or beach in any warmer climate

[ ] 1 Collared shirt 

      look smart when you go out and the game will weigh highly in your favor

[ ] 1 pair of long pants 

      you won't regret bringing your favorite pair of pants or jeans on your travels

[ ] 1 pair of shorts 

      great for lounging around the house and sleeping

[ ] 1 lightweight waterproof jacket

      great for long train and bus rides or flights, and of course the rain

OPTIONAL

[ ] Heavier parka/ coat

[ ] Hiking boots & pants 

[ ] Sweater

[ ] Top & Bottom thermals

[ ] Long wool socks

[ ] Gloves

[ ] Knit Hat

 

for cooler climates & cold nights
Picking a Bag

What Should I Bring?

There are a million and a half pieces of luggage you could choose from when trying to find a travel bag. What we are going to talk about here is finding the right bag for you that will travel well in the air and on the ground, let you pack all the necessities, and stay light enough so you can move around with ease.  

Backpacks

As backpackers, we naturally prefer sturdy backpacks with solid frames and adjustable straps. These bags will allow you to keep your hands free while on the move which can be very important if you are crossing borders, rushing through terminals, or trekking outdoors. We have a couple of recommendations that we are using first hand and are going to breakdown why these are solid and popular options.

This bag has been a close friend to Travis since 2014. When choosing a bag you want to start with the size, which is measured in liters (L). As a photographer, this bag allows him to pack photo equipment, his laptop and leaves more than enough space for clothes and essentials that will last for a long journey. Here's some of the Grand Tour's highlights:

 

 - Adjustable suspension system to fit the length of your torso

 - Detachable Day Pack for daily excursions

 - Front (or panel) loading main compartment for easy access

 - Lockable zippers for added security 

 - Interior & exterior compression straps to prevent load from shifting

 - Side mesh pockets for supplies and water bottles

 - Water resistant cover included

This bag is designed for men, but REI has also designed a Grand Tour 80L for women as well. The bag size is also fit to carry on planes. Having traveled all over with this thing packed to the brim, Travis has never had an issue keeping it with him. We would recommend this pack for anyone going on a long journey who are only taking what they will need, and not looking to replace clothes with new ones often or for travel photographers that need to pack equipment in a stable and secure bag. The day pack can also be replaced with any bag of a similar size should you wish to switch it out. 

Eliana got one of these bags from Deuter after doing tons of research on the best backpacks designed with women in mind. At 50 liters, its a bit smaller than the Grand Tour but just as strong and with plenty of space for packing the essentials. Here are some of the highlights of the Deuter Transit: 

 

 - "Variquick" adjustable suspension system to fit torso

 - Zipper detachable Day Pack

 - Front (or panel) loading main compartment for easy access

 - Lockable zippers for added security

 - Bottom pocket to keep wet shoes or dirty clothes separated 

 - Interior & exterior compression straps to prevent load from shifting

 - Shoulder strap to turn backpack into a practical shoulder bag

 - Air-mesh and foam padding for comfortable carrying

This bag is designed to be unisex and comes in two different sizes, 50L & 60L, both perfectly sized for airplane carry-on. We would recommend this backpack for most travelers, its a sturdy and stylish bag with plenty of packing space and security measures. Deuter also sells convenient water resistent covers that can be stashed in the bottom pocket for easy access.  

Backpack Tips

In case our recommendations don't fit your needs, here are a few tips to help choose the right bag for your travels:

 

 - Go with a front loading pack, also called panel or clamshell loading. Top loading packs usually provide slightly less security for your belongings, and it's always more difficult to get to the things that make their way to the bottom. Don't be the one wearing the same clothes everyday because the ones at the bottom are a hassle to get to! Top loaders are also harder to sneak on a plane as they can be a lot longer and most don't have day packs where you can keep the necessities (like passports and extra money) with you at all times.

 

 - Size matters. Regardless of what size bag you choose, you will probably fill it up. If you are a shopper, consider choosing a larger bag so you won't end up throwing clothes away due to lack of space. Everything you have, you will have to carry with you, so really consider how much you are willing to carry in those instances where you may have to walk a bit with your bag before you reach a safe place to set it down.

 

 - Buy at the store if possible. REI and other outdoor camping stores have really good selections and their experienced professionals will be able to perfectly adjust any bag you choose. We both bought our bags from REI and will be customers there for life. Their selection and expertise make them the premiere shop for everything travel. The last thing you want is a random bag that doesn't fit properly, causing back pain and "wobble-walk", or one that will fall apart on you at the worse possible time. So buy from REI, you will get the best and have a team backing you all the way!

Packing Essentials

All the different regions of the world may require you to change up your pack a bit. From jackets and sleeping bags to shorts and tank tops, it all depends on where you are traveling. Here, we are going to discuss packing essentials, the things that can stay in your pack no matter where you are in the world! 

Essentials

[ ] PASSPORT (in all caps)

[ ] Tickets

[ ] Insurance (see our section here)

[ ] Debit/Credit cards

[ ] Cash ($100 tucked away)

[ ] Prescription Meds

[ ] Spare glasses/contacts

[ ] PASSPORT COPIES (in all caps, again)

[ ] Insurance Policy

[ ] Student ID (if you have one)

[ ] Visa Photo copies 

[ ] Vaccine Certification

 

Documents

[ ] Travel First Aid kit

[ ] Antiseptic wipes & cream

[ ] Antidiarrhoeals (imodium)

[ ] Antacid (for indigestion) 

[ ] Ibuprofin (tylenol)

[ ] Inhalers (bring a backup if asthmatic)

Medical
Toiletries

[ ] Contraception (just in case)

[ ] Sanitary napkins/Diva Cup

[ ] Travel towel

[ ] Toothbrush & paste

[ ] Shampoo/Conditioner (small)

[ ] Deodorant (non aerosol)

[ ] Soap (liquid or bar)

[ ] Shaving razor

[ ] Sunscreen 

[ ] Make up & remover

[ ] Nail Clippers/ file

[ ] Insect repellent w/ deet

[ ] Comb/ brush

[ ] Hair ties

Gadgets

[ ] Smart phone (unlocked)

[ ] Camera (see photo section here)

[ ] Laptop

[ ] Tablet

[ ] Solar charger

[ ] Charging cords (bring a few)

[ ] External HD

[ ] USB sticks (8 or 16gb)

[ ] Universal plug adapter

[ ] Head lamp

[ ] Personal alarm

[ ] Digital watch (waterproof)

[ ] Headphones

Miscellaneous

[ ] TSA combo locks (for bags/ doors)

[ ] Sunglasses

[ ] Hat or Beanie

[ ] Sleeping bag liner 

[ ] Sleep mask

[ ] Ear plugs

[ ] Inflatable neck pillow

[ ] Packing cubes

[ ] Duct tape (wrap around pencil for space)

[ ] Ziplock bags 

[ ] Pen

[ ] Fanny pack or money belt

[ ] Small travel safe (masterlock)

[ ] Personal alarm

 

We have broken up clothing essentials into His and Hers sections. We will detail the things we think you should bring along with you, but our best advice, especially if you are going to a country less expensive than your own, DON'T PACK CLOTHES! Fashion is a big part of travel and culture and chances are the things you will find on the road will replace the stuff you brought with you anyway. Save yourself the hassle, bring the essential underwear and socks, a couple of outfits, and save the space in your bag for all the cool clothes you'll add to your collection along the way.

Fortunately, we've already done all the searching for you!

Check out our Amazon Roamers Wish List for all the things on this checklist in one hassle free spot!

His

[ ] 3-5 pairs of underwear/ bras

      moisture wicking undies for the hotter climates are heaven sent!

[ ] 3 pairs of moister wicking low cut socks 

       these socks will keep your feet dry and keep a low profile

[ ] 1 pair of light sneakers

      good for hiking or walking around town, solid color also makes them good for going out

[ ] 1 pair of nice and comfortable sandals & flip flops

      make sure sandals can be worn with nice outfits for a night on the town

[ ] 1 Sarong 

      can be used as a beach cover, clothing, scarf, the list goes on and on

[ ] 3 Tank tops

      great for around the house or beach in any warmer climate

[ ] 3 short sleeved shirts

      light linen blends are good for hiking and warm climates

[ ] 2-3 swimsuits 

      luckily they don't take up too much space

[ ] 1 pair of moisture wicking leggings/capris 

      for hikes or walking around the city

[ ] 3 pairs of shorts 

      great for lounging around the house and sleeping

[ ] 1 cute lightweight rain jacket

      great for long train and bus rides or flights, and of course the rain

[ ] Diva cup

      some countries do not sell tampons and a menstrual cup is reusable and easily cleaned

Hers

When packing clothes, our best advice is to bring the things that make you comfortable.  If there is a favorite t-shirt or pair of jeans that you love, bring them. Not only will you feel comfortable in your appearance but you will also feel more confident in your new environment. 

 
 
Camera Equipment

Taking photos (and maybe some video) while on your travels is an absolute must. Whether you plan on just taking a few shots for memory's sake or documenting your entire journey in detail, having a decent camera that suits your needs will be well worth it. In this section we have detailed several different options for camera equipment that should satisfy any travelers photo needs.  These are all non-professional options, DSLRs and other professional equipment varies far too much to cover in this section.  If you have any questions or concerns regarding professional equipement please drop us an email so we can help you out!

Smartphone

Let's face it, the advancement of smartphone cameras and editing apps has turned everyone into a hobbyist photographer. If you have (or can buy) a smartphone made post 2014 you probably have a pretty decent camera. This is the best option for most as you can take all the photos you want, add in some video, edit, download to the computer, and post to the internet and social media directly from the device. If you take photos purely for the memories, you smartphone will be your best friend. And dont forget, before you do anything... take a selfie!

Compact

If you like having a camera besides your cell phone, then these compact travel cameras are worth checking out. The ones recommended here are water resistent and can take a few drops without breaking. A good compact camera is the perfect tool for easily catching breath-taking moments and photos of friends on the road. As always, we are trying to get you everything you need without breaking the bank. If a camera is on your "must buy" list, then these options under $300 should be within budget.

Olympus Tough TG-870

$279

This rugged compact will keep up with even the most adventurous outdoors people. Waterproof, freezeproof, shockproof, lifeproof... for those that like to have fun without worrying about the safety of their gear.

 Samsung WB350F

$163

An inexpensive pocket pal with a 21x optical zoom and built in WiFi. Nothing fancy but will get the job done and comes in a variety of cool colors to choose from.

Fujifilm XP90

$179

Love taking those beach photos? This is your guy. A solid compact with an underwater housing allowing you to take photos underwater down to 50 feet. Perfect for snorkeling trips.

Canon PowerShot SX710 HS

$299

A pocket-sized powerhouse of a point-and-shoot. Supports full 1080p video and a 30x optical zoom for those close shots. It also has built in WiFi, making it easy to send photos straight to your laptop and geotagging images

 

$199 - $499

GoPro, and similarly functioning action cameras, may very well be the best option for a travel camera.  Full HD video and HiRes photos and with all the accessories made for them, you can configure one to fit any lifestyle or activity.  Strap it on, hit record, and go seize the day!