Long Term Packing Guide
For me, there was nothing more exciting than booking my one way ticket to Morocco, and planning my stops after that. Traveling for more than a month was a dream come true, but packing was hard work. So if you have bought your ticket, and ready to pack your bag, I hope this helps to give you an outline of what you will be needing.
Just some things to remember:
- Look up the weather averages for the locations you will be going to! This will make it easier to narrow down the items that are going into your bag
- Make a list! Even writing this post, a list was needed.
- Pack according to yourself. E.g.Like if you don't wear sundresses ever, don't pack them.
- Don't forget that it is easy to buy some things, so leave room to bring things back.
Choosing your luggage: Rolling Luggage v. Backpack
This is really about how you are traveling and the places are you going to. Are you going to want to roll your luggage on a dirt road? Is there space where you are staying to have a suitcase that doesn't fold easily? Pick what works best for you.
My carry on bag was very important to me. Since most of my travel from place to place was alone, I wanted something that was comfortable and safe. I made the investment with the Tumi backpack and loved it. It has so many pockets and compartments, a sleeve for a small laptop, and going handsfree through the airport made traveling so much easier.
Who What Wear
This can be extremely frustrating, especially when the weather is unpredictable. I linked a lot of basic colors, but feel free to add in any color, pattern or detail that you would want to bring. the power of layering can be a trick when you need to consolidate for temperature differences.
- 4-5 Basic T-shirts
- 4 Tank tops
- 2 Long Sleeve Shirts
- 2-3 Pairs of Jeans
- 2-3 Pairs of Leggings
- 2-3 Jean Shorts
- 2-3 Versatile sweaters
- 3-4 Dresses/Skirts
- 1-2 Bathing Suits
- Bras/Underwear/Sports bras
- Leather Jacket, Denim Jacket, or Peacoat
The key to long-term packing is to understand that you will need to be doing laundry. If you want to pack less, it will be about once a week or a little more. If you aren't going through as many regions, of course don't bring what doesn't seem necessary. If you can nix the wool coat, go for it. On the other hand if you won't need shorts, but need some extra warmth, pack gloves, a hat, etc.
For more ideas on styling check out some of my traveling style board.
Shoes to me, might have been the most difficult part of packing. They can be heavy, they take up space, and if you never wear a pair, you end up dragging them along with you.
- Sneakers - If you plan on doing any working out, you might want to bring a pair of running shoes. If not a casual pair of comfy sneakers are the way to go
- Booties- A pair of booties are timeless, in a neutral color like black or brown will go with every outfit. Make sure you can walk in them! They can even have a small heel and they are perfect to go out.
- Heels- I personally brought heels because I knew in some situations I was going to need them. If you are sure you aren't going to need them or don't wear them to go out normally, save the space for something else. But the best advice I can give when picking out the shoe that no matter the height of the heel, use a wedge or a block heel. There are a lot of cities with cobble stone streets and hills, where your stilettos will get ruined.
- Sandals- A pair of comfortable and versatile sandals will be key in warm places. They can be dressed up and down, and let your feet breathe if the weather is too hot. As for flip-flops, you can throw a pair in your bag and they don't take up too much space, or buy an inexpensive pair anywhere you go.
- Flats- If it isn't too warm out, flats are a great shoe to have with you, pick a comfy pair or a ballet, loafer or slide that can be dressed either up or down.
Bags & More
My go to bag whenever I travel will always be a cross body bag. Every other bag is just an extra. One of my favorite travel bags has been the vegan leather cross body bag below. The bag comes in so many colors but I picked a subtle pop of color for the colder months. If you are carrying around a camera or want a little bit more space, keep that in mind. If you have a room for a second bag, pick a neutral color, or something a little smaller for night-time.
- Scarves- Are everything, they are a layering piece, a pop of color, a design and can instantly elevate any outfit. If you are in warmer weather, think light scarves where you can have fun with patterns. If you are making some travels stop through colder regions, a cashmere or wool scarf will be a lifesaver for colder days.
- Jewelry- Statement necklaces, earrings and bracelets can be fun to make an outfit different. Simple chains and earrings are great for the day-time.
- Sunglasses - Bring a versatile pair or two, you will be spending most of your days outside and they will be needed.
- Skin Care - Serum, moisturizer, toner, eye cream, and whatever else you need. Write down your skincare routine, and figure out the series of what you.
- Makeup- This is all up to you, but I would bring the basics, with an option for one night time look.
- Hair Products- If you are particular about your hair products, move some of your shampoo/conditioner/styling products into a clear travel container. As for styling tools, most places will have a hair dryer. If you can live without styling products, I highly suggest you do.
- This is an easy compact curling iron, you don't have to plug it in and it works pretty well.
- If you want to carry a larger tool with you, be sure that it is dual voltage, or you will be left with a tool that won't work.
- Travel Adapter - First and foremost, we all are consistently charging a few items and you don't want to be left without a way to plug something in.
- External Battery- When you are traveling or wandering for a long period of time, an extra battery that you can charge as you go is so important.
- Skyroam Mobile Hotspot - Not every place you go will have the best WiFi service you need. I used it as my service instead of changing my SIM card or using a mobile plan from my service provider.
- Camera - This one is self explanatory. Use your phone or another camera to capture as many moments as you want!
- Gorilla Pod- Some of my favorite trip photos were using the gorilla pod. If you are a solo traveler or want group photos, the gorilla pod is a great tripod to wrap around a pole and get the perfect angle. Depending on the camera you are using, get one that can withstand more weight.
- Kindle- As much as I love a paper book, the amount of books I can carry in the lightweight device is ideal when you want to be traveling light.
- Laptop - This is very personal and may depend where you are staying. If you want to completely detach, or worried about where to safely store it, by all means don't bring it. But if you want or need to bring it, I know I did.
- Packing Cubes - These are a lifesaver and now I can't imagine packing without them. It is the best way to stay organized when you are living out of a suitcase.
- Natural Silk Pillowcase - Having your own pillowcase can make you feel at home, but also is great to protect your skin and hair when traveling.