Packing List – 1 Year of Travel

Packing for a year on the road took several rounds of narrowing down. I read blogs, watched tutorials, asked for advice from family, and narrowed it down again and again. If there is one piece of advice you take away from this post let it be this, pack less, way less! More items from home means less space for that unique dress in Bali or that scarf in Jordan that’s unlike anything you could get back home. You can always replace items that wear through from love or are a casualty to a rocky boat ride (malls exist everywhere).

Start with a good bag. I recommend a backpack, they make it easy to walk around cobbled streets and offer extra security when walking around crowded areas. If you think you may be walking around with your pack make sure you have straps that can rest on your hips to distribute weight (get yourself fitted for this type of pack). Reminder small packs mean less weight, go as small as you can. Our backpacks are 45 liters – the Patagonia Headway (these are not intended for more than 2 miles of walking)

Patagonia backpack ajourneylife

Organization is key to stress free travel. Consider buying compressive bags (we love our Eagle Creek Compression Cubes). These help keep similar items together and make grabbing an outfit and toiletries as easy as pulling them out of your drawer. I have one for tops, bottoms, underwear, toilettes, makeup, and shower items. It sounds like a lot, but trust me you will be thanking me later.

Don’t overbuy. Chances are you already have the perfect pieces for your journey. In all of my narrowing I kept going back to the pieces that I love the most, the items I always feel good in. Purchasing new pieces is expensive and likely distract you from the reason you are hitting the road in the first place. Simplicity and joy will be found no matter what you are wearing, I promise.

packing ajourneylife


  • 2 – Long sleeves (cotton)
  • 2 – Warm layer (sweater or sweatshirt)
  • 1 – Button down (great for layering)
  • 2 – Short sleeves
  • 2 – Workout tops (can double as sleepwear)
  • 5 – Tanks (cotton- good for layering or hot weather)
  • 1 – Dressy tank

Outer wear

  • 1 – Rain jacket
  • 1 – Dressy jacket
  • 1 – Down vest


  • 1 – Pair of workout shorts
  • 1 – Pair of quick dry lululemon leggings
  • 3 – Shorts
  • 2 – Pairs of jeans (black and blue)
  • 2 – Sleep bottoms (short and long)


  • 1 – Dress


  • 1 – Athletic (also can double up sports bras)
  • 1 – Casual


  • 2 – Bras
  • 10 – Pairs of underwear
  • 2 – Low support sport bras (great for swim tops!)
  • 3 -High support sport bras
  • 5 – Pairs athletic socks
  • 1 – Wool socks


  • 1 – Waterproof sandals (Chaco Flip Ecotread)
  • 1 – Dress sandals
  • 1 – Tennis shoes
  • 1 – Slippers



  • Dramamine
  • Ibuprofen
  • Pepto Bismol
  • Imodium

(from travel doctor):

  • Antibiotic (Azithromycin)
  • Malaria pills (Atovaquone)
  • Nausea pills (Ondansetron)
  • Diarrhea (Ciproflozacin)

First-aid kit

  • Band-aids (miscellaneous sizes)
  • Gauze
  • Anti-septic hand wipe
  • Anti-biotic cream
  • Hydrocortizone

Travel documents

  • Passports
  • Extra passport photos
  • Vaccination cards (Tdap, yellow fever, hepatitis, oral typhoid)

Leave Behind

(leave with others incase needed in the future)

  • Photo copies of all travel documents, credit card information, receipts of purchases
  • Set up family/friends with Venmo
  • Beloved pets (our puppies are being spoiled by Grandpa and Grandma Tilley)

There it is, my complete list of everything on my back (for weather from snow to swim), all fitting into my 45 liter pack! Some items have already been replaced or tossed due to good use. Sometimes purchasing a sweater for the cool nights in Japan and leaving it for someone else to enjoy is a fun way to mix in a new piece for a bit. Remember though that the road less traveled will be much easier to discover when you have less in tow.