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Round the World Packing List for long term travel in 2024

Round the World Packing List for long term travel in 2024

Are you looking for the best Round the World Travel packing list? In this guide we round up all your travel essentials for a rtw trip whether you are visiting Europe, South America, SouthEast Asia and more! 

We were very lucky to have complete a round the world trip as a family and one of the keys we found for successful long term travel is packing light. On any rtw trip you will obviously find that there is a lot of moving around. And there is nothing worse than constantly changing location with lots of bags. 

In this guide we will teach you how to pack light for a round the world trip, ensuring you have all your travel essentials and always have the right clothes to wear no matter the destination. . 

Round the World Packing List

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Essentials for Long Term Travel

Woman with a backpack boarding a train

Round the World Packing List for long term travel

First thing to pack are of course the essentials that you need to start your travels. 

Passport

You won’t be going anywhere without this. We also recommend having hard and digital copies of your passport with you in case you need them for identification, in case you need to submit your passport at an embassy for a visa or in case of loss. 

Documentation

After your passport you will also need all other relevant documentation such as: 

  • travel insurance 
  • vaccination certificates – we needed to show our Yellow Fever certificate at immigration in South fArica for instance.
  • Visas – if any are required for your destinations 
  • Covid Paperwork –  check before travel if there are still PCR, lateral flow or vaccination requirements at your destination. 
  • Prescriptions  – for any prescribed medication or pain relief you are traveling with.
  • International Drivers License – if you are planning to rent cars on your trip. 

Credit Cards / Cash

We recommend traveling with a couple of different payment methods. In some places you will need cash but for all other times we recommend you paying with credit cards as you are more protected and can earn air miles while you travel. 

Travel First Aid Kit

No one wants to use a first aid kit on their travels but it is something that anyone should pack for their long term travel.

Medication

This should include anything you regularly take and some over the counter pain medication, reams etc. Just be sure you check that you don’t have anything that is banned in any country you are traveling to. 

Medication we had included paracetamol / Tylenol, anti – diarrhoea medication, children’s medicine i.e. calpol, and and anti-malarials for Africa. 

Packing Cubes

One of the things I found when we did our big trip is that it can be difficult to keep your clothes organised for different people and between clean and dirty. One way we organised our luggage and clothing was by using packing cubes. We color coded them per person and had a dirty laundry bag in our pack too which really did help us stary organised.  

Clothes to add to your round the world packing list

folded clothes flat lay

RTW Packing List clothing

Now usually when we pack for travel we plan our outfits meticulously for the weather we are expecting at hour destination. However when you are doing long term travel you are likely to see all sorts of weather and seasons.

Also, if we are only going for a week’s vacation there is no way I am doing laundry. However for long term travel you really have no choice. But to reduce the amount of laundry you need to do we recommend trying to pack a capsule wardrobe so that everything you have can be mixed and matched easily. 

Obviously if you plan your itinerary to stick to one climate you can obviously leave some of the heavier weight items off the list. Or if you want to reduce the amount of clothing you are taking you could purchase some of the cold weather items on your travel. 

We recommend donating any unwanted clothing as you change climates or seasons to local charities to be sure to reduce waste. Alternatively if you are doing warm climates then cold climates, or vice versa, you could pack one bag for the first climate and then send it home and donate and replenish your wardrobe on your travel. 

When I packed my clothes for long term travel I packed the following: 

7 Pieces of Underwear

This way I only had to do laundry once a week. 

Bras

I took 2 bras with me. One nude colored so I could wear this with any colored top and also a sports bra for more active days on our itinerary.

7 Pairs of Socks 

This was a mix of sneaker socks and ankle legnth socks 

3 Pairs of Hiking Socks 

On our round the world trip we went lots of destination where we were doing lots of hiking in both warm and cold weather (we went to New Zealand, Iceland, and many national parks). Therefore we needed to have a good supply of hiking socks on top of regular socks so we didn’t get blisters on our travels. 

PJs

I packed one piece of nightwear per person for the trip. I recommend packing a medium weight pair of  pjs so you can use them in hot or cold weather destinations. 

Swimwear

Our swimwear got lots of use on our trip. From hotel pools, to beautiful beaches in Bora Bora and at the Blue Lagoon in Iceland. This 100% was an essential on our trip. 

1 microfiber fleece

A Microfiber fleece is perhaps the most versatile top layer for travel. It is thin so won’t take up too much room in your backpack but is a very warm layer. 

Also microfibre fleeces are very quick to dry so if you get wet our on a hike it will dry very quickly. 

Waterproof jacket

We encountered a lot of rain on our travels especially in Iceland and New Zealand. We recommend having a good quality waterproof jacket with you for these days. If you can get a packaway one this will take up far less room in your case. 

Thermals 

Only necessary if you are traveling to cold destinations where there may be freezing temperatures. We used ours when we walked the great wall of china and in Iceland. 

We like merino wool ones as they are small to pack but also wick away sweat and smells which means you can usually wear them a couple of times without the need for washing. 

5 short sleeve t shirts

I find t shirts the most useful item on any packing list They are easy to layer and match with trousers, shorts or skirts. 

We recommend packing plain t shirts in staple colors, think lots of black, white, navy and greys. These are much easier to use as part of a capsule wardrobe. You could also a tank top to the list however we find them less versatile than short sleeve tees.

2 long sleeve t shirts / shirts or blouses

Now depending on what you are planning to do on your travels will depend whether you need a smart button down shirt or just some long sleeve t shirts. But having something with a longer length sleeve will definitely come in useful if you visit places with strict dress codes or in cooler places. 

1 Pair of Jeans 

Jeans are another staple of all my packing lists. I like to pick jeans in a darker color and that are more fitted as these will fit in no matter the destination. 

1 pair of black pants 

Another essential for me and an item that is a great day to night transition piece whereever you ar ein the world. 

1 pair of walking trousers

We did lots of outdoor activities on our rtw trip so we absolutely needed proper walking trousers. We recommend buying a convertible pair of walking trousers that turn into shorts so you can walk in rain, snow or sun and also have a pair of shorts with you for beach locations too!

1 hoodie

A useful daytime layer. 

1 sweater

This is probably one of the more optional items on this list. If you don’t plan on going to any nicer restaurants in cold weather destinations you can probably leave this off your list.

1 Dress 

I recommend packing the most versatile dress you can so it works in the maximum number of locations. I packed a black dress for our rtw trip as it was easy to accessorize but also layer depending on the temperature. 

2 hats

I had a straw hat for warm weather destinations and a beanie for cold weather places. These didn’t take up much room in my case so I was happy to pack them buy you could also buy these at your destination as they will be readily available in most plcaces. 

Gloves 

Again only really needed if you plan on going to a cold weather destination but can be picked up as you travel too. 

1 Pashmina

I never go anywhere without a pashmina. That is because it is a useful layering item but also can be used to make outfits conservative in places such as Dubai and at mosques for instance. 

Best Shoes for RTW Trip

Shoes can be one of the most challenging things to pack for long term travel as they are bulky. We stuck to 3 pairs of shoes when we traveled:

We packed: 

Hiking Boots

We used these for hiking in national parks and also as our boots in cold weather destinations. 

Sneakers

Perhaps the most verstatile shoe on any packing list. They are perfect for cities, countryside, beach destinations and even some less intense hikes. 

Sandals or Flip Flops

Depending on the activities you plan to do when you are visiting warm weather destinations will depend if you need hiking sandals or just flip flops for beaches to your round the world packing list. 

We packed sandals and grabbed flip flops at beaches if we needed them.

Electronics for long term travel

We tried to limit the amount of electronics we traveled with as they are expensive to replace if stolen or broken, and the aim of our long term travel was to get away from screens. And as we were not being digital nomads, we didn’t need  to worry about work so our list was limited. However if you are being a digital nomad you may need to add more electronics to your list. 

Laptop

As we weren’t working or homeschooling on our trip we found one laptop between us was more than sufficient. However if you are digital nomads or doing homeschooling you may need one per person.  

Phone (Unlocked) 

We took an unlocked phone each. We wanted to make sure we could get local sims for cheap phone calls as we travelled. 

Camera (optional)

I took my big DSLR camera with me however if you have a top of the range iphone for instance you may be happy to have your photos on this. Just be sure to have a way of backing up your photos as you travel. 

Universal Travel Adaptor

This way we could charge our electronics no matter what local plug was used. EPICKA Universal Travel Adapter One International Wall Charger AC Plug Adaptor with 5.6A Smart Power and 3.0A USB Type-C for USA EU UK AUS (TA-105, Grey) when we travel. 

5G Router

We used this for staying connected in places where wifi was limited. 

Power Pack 

We used our phone a lot especially in the cities for navigation, tickets and taking photos. On more than one occasion we found our battery draining quickly so having a travel power pack with you as definitely an essential. 

Toiletries and Hygiene Products

When we started our trip we packed all our toiletries and then replenished as and when we needed them on our travels. Some toiletries that you may want to consider packing include:

  • Shampoo and Conditioner – shampoo bars are easier to pack that liquid shampoo in our opinion. 
  • Bar of Soap – easier to pack than liquid shower gel
  • Toothpaste and brush 
  • Deordorant 
  • Shaving Equipment
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect Repellant
  • Period Products
  • Hair Brush and Bands

Misc Essentials for your Long-Term Packing List 

And finally in this section we will list all the miscellaneous essentials we used on our long term travel.

Laundry Essentials 

For us this included: 

  • some handwash for places where there wasn’t a proper laundry facility 
  • a travel clothes line – very useful for drying clothes if your accommodation doesn’t have a dryer.

Crossbody Bag / Travel Wallet

Pickpockets are a risk wherever you are traveling. We recommend using a crossbody travel bag with plenty of zips or a travel wallet to keep your cash and cards sage while you travel.

Reusable Water Bottle

We bougha. collapsible reusable water bottle with us on our trip. It doesn’t take up much space but also saves you lots of money on water as you travel. 

Card Games 

We love playing cards when we travel. We took a regular pack of cards and one other card game. Some of our favorites are 

  • Monopoly Deal 
  • Uno and
  • Taco, Cat, Goat, Cheese, Pizza

Compact Travel Umbrella

This is something we recommend buyig a better quality version of. A lot of travel umbrellas turn inside out easily in wind. For this reason we recommend packing the original Repel compact travel umbrella.  

Sunglasses 

Important for keeping your eyes safe while traveling. 

Earplugs (optional)

I personally am a very deep sleeper so this wasn’t something I ever used. However my husband sleeps lightly. Therefore for him earplugs are very much an essential. 

And there you have it our ultimate round the world packing list for long term travellers. We hope you have found this useful but if you have any questions then drop us a comment below and we will do our best to answer.