Because people seem to love packing lists (and since I love lists in general), I’m going to start sharing some of my travel packing lists with you here.
Here’s a look at what currently travels with me:
Kelty Redwing 50 (blue) — This small, compact backpack has traveled around Europe with me for 3 months, and Asia for nearly 2. I love how small it is (it keeps me from over-packing), and love that it unzips fully to be front-loading. There are also some extra side and front pockets that make organizing easy.
Osprey Sojourn — For trips when a backpack isn’t necessary, I’ve started using a convertible Osprey pack. It has sturdy wheels on the bottom, but also comes with removable backpack straps, should you need them. I LOVE this bag — it’s the best of both worlds!
Packing cubes — Like to be organized? Then you HAVE to start using packing cubes. They come in multiple sizes, and usually fit together, puzzle-like, in any size bag. I use anywhere from 3-5 when I pack: one for shirts, one for shorts, one for skirts, etc.
Hoboroll — I love my packing cubes, but sometimes you need something with even more compartments for things like socks and underwear. I use a Hoboroll by Gobi Gear for all these miscellaneous items. It’s divided up into 6 compartments and has compression straps so that you can shrink it down.
Pacsafe Slingsafe — This little backpack really packs a punch. With anti-theft features like slash-proof material and secure zippers, this bag is perfect to carry around just about any city. It even a tablet, iPad, or 11-inch Macbook Air.
STM Drifter — The STM Drifter was my go-to carry-on backpack for quite a while. This bag is pretty amazing. The Drifter is slim and will easily fit under any airplane seat. It also has “floating” pockets for laptops and tablets, giving your devices a little extra padding. Lastly, the bag has a ridiculous amount of pockets, which is a must-have for any organizational freak.
Pacsafe Camsafe V25 — Now that I’m traveling with a lot more camera equipment, I’ve shifted over to taking a camera-focused bag as my main carry-on. Like the Slingsafe, this bag has anti-theft features like slash-proof material and secure zippers. It also has a separate compartment with dividers made for camera gear, which is perfect for photographers.
Donner bag — Made by Overland Equipment, my new favorite travel purse is the Donner bag. It’s big enough for everything I would want to take with me for a day (my camera, wallet, Kindle, a scarf or sweater, etc.), and I also love the side pockets for water bottles or an umbrella.
Cocoon silk sleep sheet — We’ve all experienced questionable sleeping situations on the road. A silk sleep sheet is the answer — it acts like a lightweight sleeping bag, meaning you don’t have to actually touch those sketchy sheets or mattresses. These also take up virtually NO space in your bag.
Micro fiber towel — Traveling with a quick-dry towel is a must for most travelers. I never go on long trips without mine. Even if I’m staying in a hotel where towels are provided, having a micro fiber towel can be great for the beach.
Dual voltage hair dryer — In some parts of the world, it’s easy to forego the hair dryer and just let your locks dry naturally. But in other situations (I’m looking at YOU, winter), you really need a hair dryer. And, because I don’t always stay in hotels that provide hair dryers (and because sometimes hotel hair dryers are AWFUL), I bring my own dual voltage dryer that folds up and packs easily.
Compression socks — For long plane rides (or really any time you’re going to be sitting a lot), I recommend getting a good pair of compression socks. They help increase circulation and decrease swelling, and can also help prevent blood clots from forming in your legs. I’m a fan of my Travelsox!
Keen Whisper sandals — Good for hiking or just walking around in a city, these lightweight Keens are my go-to if I don’t want to take sneakers but still want to have a shoe that will keep my toes protected.
Teva Tirra sandals — While not the cutest sandals out there, my Tirras are my most comfortable travel sandal. They’re not super clunky, and don’t look terrible when you’re wearing them out and about.
Crocs Adrina Flat — Okay, so I hate most Crocs shoes. I think they look ugly and obnoxious. But I was convinced to try a pair with the promise of supreme comfort. I found the Adrina Flats which don’t actually look like Crocs at all (and don’t have the name branded on them anywhere you can see it), and they ARE, in fact, incredibly comfy.
Merrell Moab waterproof hiking boots — I’m not much of a hiker, but I still think it’s good to have a solid pair of hiking boots in my arsenal. I bought these for my trip to New Zealand, and was SO glad I did. These are ankle-height, lightweight boots that actually don’t look entirely hideous. And, bonus, it didn’t take long at all to break them in!
Kindle Paperwhite — I used to be quite anti-Kindle, but now that I have one, I can’t imagine traveling without it! The Paperwhite is great because it comes with a built-in backlight, making reading on planes or in bed a breeze.
Olympus PEN series camera — I love the mirrorless cameras Olympus has come out with; they are small, good-looking, and take great photos. I also have a 40-150mm zoom lens to go along with my Olympus camera that I highly recommend!
Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II — This is my NEW camera; an update from the PEN series model I used to have. It’s a slightly bigger, beefier camera and comes with a price tag that reflects this. I LOVE this camera, though, and the 12-40mm Pro lens I bought to go along with it.
Sony smartphone lens — This is a new find for me, but it’s pretty cool — and perfect for situations where you don’t want to carry a full-sized camera around with you. You can hook it onto your smartphone, or use it on its own. You can buy an SD card for it, or have it send photos to your smartphone via built-in wifi and a special app.
Panasonic waterproof video camera — Before I’d been converted to a GoPro user, my HX-WA3 worked just fine as a waterproof video camera. I love the flip-out screen it has so you can see what you’re recording.
GoPro Hero 4 Silver — When I finally caved and bought a GoPro, I went for the Hero 4 Silver. Mostly because I didn’t need 4K video and I loved that it has a touchscreen on the back that let’s you see what you’re filming/review shots afterwards. This little camera takes great video, and the widescreen angle ensures that you don’t miss anything in your shot.
LifeProof Fre Case — When you spend a ton of money on an unlocked iPhone like I do, you want to make sure that it’s protected from dirt, spills, and drops. I’ve been using a waterproof LifeProof case recently, and I absolutely love it. I don’t stress so much about rain or clumsily dropping it any longer.
For keeping charged up
Belkin SurgePlus Travel Charger — With 3 regular (US) outlets and 2 USB outlets, I never travel with out this surge protector. (It also comes in super handy when I find myself in a hotel room or hostel with too few wall outlets.)
myCharge power block — When you use your smartphone, video camera, and other electronics a lot, you run through a lot of battery. I’ve started traveling with a portable charger to make sure I don’t run out of juice in the middle of the day!
Skross World Travel Adapter — When you’re traveling to multiple countries/continents in the same trip, keeping all those outlet adapters organized can be a pain. Enter this awesome little adapter from Skross. It will work in all corners of the world, AND comes with built-in USB ports.
Pacsafe portable safe — Sure, you can count on hotel safes and hostel lockers to keep your valuables safe. However, a laptop or DSLR camera won’t always fit into those tiny hotel safes. And what happens when you stay in a room that doesn’t HAVE a safe? I highly recommend the Pacsafe portable safe – it’s basically a sturdy, slash-proof bag that you can secure around a sink or something else in your room that can’t be removed.
I visited Iceland for less than a week in March, 2012. Here’s what I took with me (and yes, I fit a winter coat AND boots into my backpack!).
This list is for a spring trip, but could easily be tweaked to apply to any time of year in New Zealand. (Hint: take lots of layers. And a rain coat.)
Southeast Asia seems like it would be easy to pack for: hot temperatures and plenty of beaches. But don’t forget that many countries in this part of the world are slightly more conservative. Check out what I packed for 6 weeks in Hong Kong, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand.
I headed to Europe for 8 weeks in summer 2012, hitting up Eastern Europe, the Balkans, and the UK — meaning lots of different types of weather!
It’s bound to happen eventually if you travel often — the dreaded multi-season trip, where you have to pack for more than one climate in just one bag. Here’s how I fared packing for a trip to both Scotland (in winter) and tropical Belize in one go!
Headed for the Arctic tundra, or maybe the South Pole? You definitely want to pack warm, and pack smart! Here’s a look at what I took with me to go chase the Northern Lights in northern Canada.
After my first river cruise down the Danube with AmaWaterways, I put together this packing list for anyone going on a similar vacation.
From the packing cubes I use, to how I keep my electronics charged up, to what I put on my feet, check this post out to discover what sort of gear I travel with beyond just my backpack/suitcase.
People often ask me what kind of camera(s) I use to capture photos and video footage on the road. Check out this post to find out what I’m currently using!
*Note: Some of these links are affiliate links, meaning if you book something after clicking, I may get a small percentage of the sale. This is a great way for you to support my site by doing something you were going to do anyway!