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The long term travel packing list

Clothing:

I left home being warned about taking too much clothing. I thought I’d packed light but still ended up giving things away while I was travelling to save space. Wherever you end up from a snowy mountain village in India to a tropical beach in Sri Lanka anything you don’t have will be available to buy where you’re travelling and often cheaper than you can buy them at home. I had no warm stuff and bought everything I needed to trek to Mount Everest Base Camp in Nepal for about $80. I borrowed a backpack from the hostel I was staying in and then donated the stuff I didn’t need after the trek to other travellers in the hostel I was staying. Below is the list of travel items I currently have in my bag:

  • 2  pairs of Reebok CrossFit training board shorts. These I use for running, gym, CrossFit and any other exercise I do and can also be used for swimming.
  • 1 pair of quick drying board shorts. (Bikini or bathing suit for ladies)
  • 2 training tops for gym and running
  • 6  T-shirts (ensure they’re not too thick when travelling to warmer countries)
  • 3 pairs of shorts
  • 1 lounge shirt – to dress up when needed
  • 1 pair of jeans
  • 1 warm tracksuit top (in a colour that doesn’t get dirty)
  • 1 Waterproof jacket
  • 8 pairs of underwear
  • 5 pairs of socks
  • 1 pair of Innov8 F-lite 195 trainers flat enough for CrossFit and gym but enough support for road and trail running. These New Balance are also a good option
  • 1 pair of Vibram “ugly shoes” – I do some running and some short hikes in these especially when it’s muddy or we’re going canyoning.
  • 1 pair of Converse All Stars to wear when travelling or to “dress” up with jeans and the lounge shirt.
  • 1 pair of flip flops. I like these.

Technology and gadgets:

I’m very much a “techno traveller” and my business is in content creation so I spend a fair amount on my gear, you don’t have to have all of these on the list nor do you need to get the models that I’ve suggested, this depends on how you plan to travel and your want to capture your journey.

  • Nikon D750 full frame DSLR camera.
  • GoPro Hero 4 Silver.
  • Macbook Pro Retina 13″
  • iPhone 6S. Make sure you get at least 64GB of space in order to store all your media photos and music while on the road. (Unsure that it’s not network locked so that you can use a local SIM card in the countries that you’re in.
  • iPad Mini (wifi only) – also 64gb to store books, music and videos while on the road. (As I can use my phone as a hotspot I didn’t spend the money on a 3G option for my iPad.
  • A decent power bank – for charging phones and iPad when you’re not near a plug. Don’t buy a cheap one of these.
  • Transcend 3TB external hard drive. To back up laptop and store high res photos. Again don’t buy a cheap one of these as they fail.
  • Moleskin classic notebook for writing my “morning pages” and making notes.
  • JBL clip, portable Bluetooth speaker for a party and music anywhere you decide.

Miscellaneous

  • A sleeping bag liner that you can use on trains and in hostels that don’t supply bedding.
  • A quick drying and compact travel towel. Some accommodation supply towels but this is useful when they don’t.
  • Thule rolling duffel bag. There are pros and cons between this type of bag and a backpack. This bag is the best for everything except stairs, (to get to a third floor room or in a train station), then a backpack is better. Just ensure that if you go the backpack route that you have easy access to your stuff (i.e. NOT one that has a large single compartment and loads from the top)
  • A large lightweight laundry bag.
  • Ona Brixton messenger bag. this bag is my hand luggage and city day bag. Not cheap but it doesn’t look too touristy when you carry it around a city, has space for my laptop, iPadipad and also designed to take a DSLR camera.
  • Sea to Summit waterproof day bag. This is the one thing I didn’t have when I left home and would never travel without again. 100% waterproof and compact to travel with this bag can be used for a day trip, hike or overnight bike trip.

Apps and websites:

  • www.rome2rio.com a great site that gives you the options available to get from any place to any other place. Sounds silly but I’ve used it a lot when I wasn’t sure to fly, catch a bus or take the ferry.
  • www.maps.google.com this is amazing to get around. (A trick if you’ve not got 3G you can choose a route and load the navigation in a wifi zone and the navigation will work with voice prompts till you get to your destination, just don’t get lost or go off route as it requires wifi / cellular data to recalculate your route)
  • Couchsurfing a great place to find local people to stay with for free. I met many amazing people who showed me their cities for free. If you’re not planning to travel why not host someone travelling to your city!
  • Airbnb – a great place to find decent accommodation while on the road. They also have a great app.
  • Hostelworld: the best online resource to find a youth hostel.
  • Booking.com – not the cheapest but a very large range of hotel and guest house type accommodation
  • Trip advisor – an app and online resource to find things to do in every city on earth, museums, restaurants and things to do. They also have accommodation and flight bookings on the app (although I don’t use it for that).
  • Work away. Hands down one of the best sites to find places to work, volunteer and connect with other travellers.
  • House carers: There are a few of these types of matching sites between people looking for housesitters and those looking to find places to stay for free. I’ve registered and used House Carers before, and it’s a great way to find accommodation that you don’t have to pay for.
  • Trip It – an iPhone app that stores all your flight, accommodation and car rental booking info. I use this all the time and it’s amazing. I’ve not yet needed the paid version of the app.
  • Skyscanner: there are a few of these type sites to find cheap airfares across all airlines. I use Skyscanner (always in “incognito mode”) as I’ve heard that flight price changes if you keep looking for a similar flight. Incognito makes the site think that you’re a new user each time. I then find the cheapest flight and book it with the airline directly and not through Skyscanner.

Do you have any other suggestions of travel items or resources that you think should be on this list or have a travel packing question, submit  in the comments section below.