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Chicago, IL, USA

(Next: The Philippines)

[UPDATED] Packing List for a Year Around the World

[UPDATED] Packing List for a Year Around the World

**I wrote a packing list for a year around the work back in October 2016 when I started my trip but after traveling to 17 countries in 5 different continents for a year, I have a better understanding of what I should have packed and what I should have left home**


Travel Backpacks

Make sure you do your research and get a good backpack that will fit your nicely and not hurt since you'll be carrying a lot of weight around. I went through 2 backpacks before finally being happy with my Ariel 55L. Go to REI to try a few one, take them home, go on a short camping trip and test it out. You can always return or exchange for another one, they're really good about that. I would advise against getting a bag too big or too small so aim for a bag between 40 - 55L. 



  • 2 Workout tanks  
  • 2 Sleeping tshirts
  • 2  V-necks
  • 5 Tanks/nicer tops (only needed 2 nicer tops)
  • Solid color tanks to wear with everything
  • 1 Long sleeve
  • 1 Long sleeve base layer
  • 2 Dresses (I donated the maxi dress because it was too hot to wear in many places and pretty heavy to carry around) 
  • 1 Romper


  • 1 Capri yoga pants
  • 1 Long yoga pants (I sent this home after New Zealand and before SE Asia)
  • 1 Fleece leggings (I sent this home after New Zealand and before SE Asia)
  • 1 Black jeans (I only wore these in Europe then sent them back home after)
  • 3 Shorts (I bought a ton more in Asia - much needed for South America and SE Asia)
  • Skirts (e.g. jean skirts but could be heavy, cotton flowy skirts, etc.)


  • 1 Cardigan (don't need)
  • 1 Fleece jacket (I sent this home after New Zealand and before SE Asia)
  • 1 Waterproof shell jacket (a necessity for SE Asia since it rains all the time)
  • 1 Jean jacket (don't need - made my bag really heavy and isn't as versatile)
  • 1 Scarf (or sarong to double as a blanket on transportation and beach cover up)


  • 5 Pair of socks
  • 7 Undies
  • 2 Bras (I barely wore a regular bra so 1 would have been fine) 
  • 3 Sports bras (1-2 was probably enough)
  • 2 Bathing suits
  • BRALETTES (I basically lived in bralettes because they're so comfy and I have small enough boobs for it to be fine)

Like I mentioned, since I will be going to mostly warm destinations, I have ditched my thick coats for more LAYERS, LAYERS, LAYERS. It makes more sense to bring items of clothes that are versatile, can be worn during the hot and used as layers for the cold. You can also buy things on the way if you need especially if they get worn out or you get tired of them or ship those big items back that you'll no longer need. Especially in SE Asia, a lot of items can be bought for really cheap. Since traveling for a year is different than a few weeks where I'm packing every destination in back to back, there will be more downtime during the year to do laundry. So the biggest mistake is overpacking! 


  • 1 Running shoes
  • 1 Birkenstocks 
  • 1 Shower flip flops
  • 1 Nicer sandals (I ended up sending these home because I used my Birks for every occasion)
  • Hiking boots (I bought a cheap pair in South America because I was doing a ton of hiking)



  • Sony Alpha 6000
  • 3 different lenses (I lost a lens and sent a lens home so ended up with only 1 at the end of my trip)
    • Wide, zoom, prime
  • Memory card
  • Charger 
  • 2 Extra batteries (SO CRUCIAL)
  • Remote (must for solo traveling)
  • Travel Tripod (I should've bought a lighter, cheaper tripod)


  • GoPro Hero 4
  • Memory card + reader
  • Charger
  • 1 Extra battery
  • Chest strap
  • GoPro stick




  • I condensed my makeup bag to only take things I really needed 
    • I will let go of contouring this year
    • I'm only going to wear make-up on special occasions - living the Alicia Keys lifestyle
  • Bought extra foundation, mascara, and eye-liner since these are the things I'll use most (I only wore foundation on rare, special occasion so didn't need to buy another one. I would recommend a tinted CC creme like Smashbox Camera Ready CC Creme)
  • Keep it to only 1 bag if possible! 


  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Face Wash (I didn't use - only used face wipes)
  • Makeup Wipes
  • Floss
  • Face cream/serums/toners/moisturizers (Only need a moisturizer with SPF)
  • Sunblock
  • Q-Tips
  • Contact lenses
  • Glasses
  • Bobby pins
  • Hair ties
  • 2 Travel shampoo
  • 2 Travel conditioner
  • 1 Body wash
  • 1 Hand Sanitizer

First-Aid Kit

  • Advil
  • Tums
  • Band Aids
  • Neosporin
  • Lysol wipes
  • Bug repellent


  • Inflatable Travel pillow
  • Organizing sacks
  • 1 Floppy hat
  • 1 Baseball cap
  • 1 Hydroflask water bottle (I sent this home because it was really heavy and a lot of places didn't have drinkable tap water so buying bottled water was the only option)
  • Reusable cable ties for wires (This was so essential to keeping everything organized)
  • Notebook
  • Pens
  • Running armband (I tried to run regularly but failed because it was too hot and humid in many countries) 
  • Locks (get a minimum of 2 - one for the dorm locker and one for your backpack)

Important Things

  • Passport
  • Drivers License
  • Wallet 
    • Cash (hidden in different places)
    • Cards (with 0 Int'l transaction fees)
      • Credit card: Chase Sapphire Reserve 
      • Debit card: Charles Schwab
        • You can withdraw cash from any ATM worldwide without worrying about fees. They will reimburse you for every ATM/Int'l fee. 
  • Photocopies of important documents
  • Cheap cash / coin wallet (so you don't have to be sad if it gets stolen)  



What to do in Koh Phangan, Thailand (besides the Full Moon Party)

What to do in Koh Phangan, Thailand (besides the Full Moon Party)

What to do in Pai, Thailand

What to do in Pai, Thailand