"What do you pack for a year long trip around the world?" This is one of the questions I get asked the most when people learn I’m traveling for a year. Packing can be an overwhelming part of the journey, however, I’m going to break it down for you simply. In general, I recommend traveling to locations while they are above 65F or 18C. The reason for this is to make packing easier and lighter. Plus, a year of warm weather is wonderful!
You should bring one checked bag, one carry on bag, and one personal item. Make sure you keep in mind the accepted airline sizes of luggage when selecting baggage for your trip.
In general, you will be safe for all airlines if your carry on bag is no larger than 55 cm x 35 cm x 22cm, and your checked bag is no larger than 158cm with all sides combined. This is a great luggage set for a good price.
The maximum weight for a checked bag is normally 23kg or 50 pounds but can be 32kg or 70 pounds if you have a higher ticket class. Carry on bags generally can’t be more than 10kg or 20 pounds.
For shoes, I recommend bringing:
For clothing, you should bring the following:
- 4 long sleeve shirts
- 4 sweaters
- 4 short sleeve dress shirts
- 7 t-shirts for sleeping, working out, or casual wear
- 4 shorts (including bathing suits and shorts for casual wear)
- 4 long pants (including working out, quick dry, and jeans for going out)
- 7 pairs of underwear
- 7 pairs of socks
- 3 jackets (including rain jacket and down jacket)
To make it easier to get a visual of what I packed for my round-the-world trip, I created a video where I show you EXACTLY what I brought. This worked for me. You could definitely pack less, but I like to have options.
Also, please consider subscribing to my channel!
- One large purse to fit camera - My favorite brand for this is ONA bags.
- One small purse that can be used for many occasions - I use this.
- 4 jackets (including a rain jacket and a cold weather jacket)
- 5 long sleeve shirts (including sweaters)
- 8 short sleeve shirts or tank tops (for sleeping or day wear)
- 3 workout shirts
- A scarf
- 2 hats (one for the beach and one for colder weather)
- 6 bottoms (including skirts and shorts for warmer weather)
- 4 long pants (including yoga pants, jeans, and sleepwear)
- 5 pairs of socks
- 2 Sports bras
- 2 regular bras
- 12 pairs of underwear
- 3 bathing suits
Optional (I brought these but they aren't essential):
- 4 Rompers
- 6 Dresses (including a gown in case I need to go to a fancy event)
I also recommend bringing a first aid kit (this one is FANTASTIC). Though local medicine is normally good, it’s best to already have what you need when you’re sick. For example, I got sick in the middle of the night in Peru and all the stores were closed. Luckily, I had what I needed in my first aid kit. It’s a safe choice to have a first aid kit, even if you don’t end up using it.
Check out the video below for a visual on what to bring. I also go over makeup and toiletries here.
In your first aid kit, you should have:
- Gauze pads
- Band aids
- Alcohol pads
- tape and a wrap
- Neosporin (antibiotic ointment)
- Cortizone (anti-itch cream)
- Mucinex (an expectorant)
- Allergy medicine
- Cold medicine
- Pepto-Bismol (Upset Stomach Relief)
- Ibuprofen (pain, fever, and inflammation medicine)
- Sudafed (nasal/sinus decongestant)
- Imodium (Anti-diarrhea medicine)
- Dramamine (Motion sickness)
- Optional: UTI medicine
Lastly, you’ll need copies of important travel information. You should have printed copies of these in your luggage, but also have digital versions of them. A smart thing to do is upload copies of your important documents into a protected google drive and then give important people in your life access to that drive.
For example, I have copies of the following important documents:
- Identification Card
- Travel insurance policy
- Social security card
- International drivers license
- Flight confirmations
- Airbnb confirmations
- Personal check
I gave special permission to access the drive to my parents. That way, if I am stranded somewhere or need help, they have all of the information they would need to get help to me.
Another great part of this is that you can download the google drive app on your phone and access these files whenever you need them or if you forget one of them. For example, once I forgot my passport for a weekend trip I was taking and needed it to check into a hotel. Since I had a copy of the passport on my google drive, the hotel would allow me to check in if I sent them a copy for their files. Having a google drive with all of my essential documents has been a lifesaver more than once and I recommend you do it too!