I put too many things in my bag. The thought occurred to me as I dragged my small backpack, my laptop bag and my large backpack, about 20 kilos (or about 44lbs), on wheels through a train station in Paris. And down a cobble brick road. And on the stairs to subways and various accommodations along the way.
When we packed for our career break trip, we thought about everything we might need and put it in the bag. After the first two months, I dropped a few things along the way. After six months, I dropped even more items. What I was left with is what I am going to list below for my packing list so you don’t needlessly haul around things you may or may not need.
If you stick to one region or climate, then you can leave even more out of your list. We were hiking in various parts of the world that required heavier jackets and heavy hiking boots, that you wouldn’t necessarily need in Thailand or Nicaragua.
Our first six months included heavy travel and we were reluctant to do laundry every day (more undies, etc). You may get away with less, including toiletries, if you stay longer in one area like we did in our last six months.
I expect that everyone will have different priorities when it comes to packing for long term travel, so these are only suggestions based on our experience. Hopefully you will find the list helpful.
His packing list – for long-term travel
- 1 pair of thongs (i.e. flip-flops)
- 1 pair of Nike Free Trainers – lightweight trainers for walking and gym
- 1 pair black leather light dress shoes (for dining out with friends)
- 1 pair of Merrill hiking boots
- 1 pair of walking sandals (which I lost and haven’t replaced)
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