One of the most frequently asked questions I get, is “What do you take when you are traveling the world for a year?” My short answer is that you pack about the same as you would for a week. Of course, there are a few other considerations that must be made such as medication, climate, and safety. We are just beginning to embark on our world trip, and have read many well-written blogs with packing lists and advice, but here is what we have started out with and how we packed it:
The packing really began a year ago! I read various travel blogs and packing lists and started to collect things that we thought we might need. We went to the Tilley end of year sale last summer and purchased a few quick dry pieces of clothing for Clay and I. A week or so before the trip, I began to lay out everything we thought we might need in the basement. I put it in little bins to keep it organized and categorized each of them. As the departure date drew closer we would look at what was in each bin and see if we could eliminate anything.
Our goal was for each person to have a day pack. We didn’t want those giant 60 L packs because we felt they would be difficult to manage (there was no way the boys could carry them!) and we certainly wouldn’t want to be walking around with them on a daily basis. So, we each have a day pack but we tucked the boys’ day packs inside a roller backpack so that they wouldn’t have to carry them through airports, trains, and such. We also had a small duffle that we really liked. It had wheels, was slim and easy to maneuver. We decide to purchase another, even smaller one to put in extra items that we would need.
The first 2 bins were filled with the clothes we would be wearing on the plane:
- long pants,
- long sleeved shirts,
- hiking shoes
Then we had a bin for each of us with the clothes we would be taking:
- 3-5 t-shirts each
- 2 long sleeve shirts
- 1 long pants (in addition to those we are wearing on plane)
- 3-5 shorts
- 5 underwear
- 5 socks
- 1 thermal underwear
- 1 flip flops (for showers)
- 1 hiking sandals
- swim suit
The next bin had sun and rain gear:
- sun hats
- rain jackets
The clothes were the easy part! It’s all of the other bits and pieces that really add up. We had:
Eye Wear: extra glasses for Caleb and I; contact solution; disposable contacts (12 month supply)
Gifts: some Canada pencils, Canada pins to hand out if we need some Canadian gifts for kids
School and Games: a couple of notebooks for the boys to do their math work; some cards and a puzzle; writing implements (pen, pencil, eraser, ruler, scissors, tape)
Health: malaria medication, travel medical kit, mosquito repellant for clothes and skin, sunscreen, Motrin, antibiotics
Electronics: 3 iphones, 2 iPad minis, 1 MacBook Air, headphones, chargers, hard drive, and bunch of other chords that Clay says we need!
Safety: whistles on lanyards, money belt, locks for suitcases,ear plugs, sleep masks
Warm Gear: gloves, warm hats
Toiletries: toothbrushes and toothpaste, small makeup kit, travel shampoo, travel contact solution, hair clips (3), brush and comb, deodorant, razor, soap, Diva cup
Other Bits: swim goggles, clothesline, Sporks, Swiss Army knife, 2 travel towels, 4 sleep sacks, laundry detergent
The final result: yes, it all fit into our backpacks and 2 roller duffels! Yahoo!
Wow! Packing for just 3 weeks in Tanzania almost put me over the edge! I can’t imagine packing for a whole year away…
This sounds less than how much I pack to go to the cottage for a week!!! Can’t wait to hear about more of your adventures!!!
We miss you already!!
Wow! Barbara, if I am ever blessed to take a trip like this, I will be consulting with you on packing tips! Impressive!