Packing for LONG trips

Travel Forums General Talk Packing for LONG trips

Page
Last Post
1. Posted by JetlagWarriors (Budding Member 19 posts) 2w Star this if you like it!

My girlfriend and I are currently 3 weeks into a one year long trip! We are just realizing we brought WAY too much stuff. (Why did I bring 2 bathing suits??) We have eliminated a bunch and now we are down to 2 full size travelers backpacks (Osprey, you know the ones), and 2 carry on bags. I was wondering if this is still too much. Keep in mind we are documenting our journey with vlogs on Youtube so we have a bunch of electronics. For the sake of time, I don't really want to write a list of everything we have brought. I was just wondering if anyone has a rough idea of how much we should have packed, or maybe even some simple tips to reduce our bag size. We will be flying again in a week or so, so then I will let you guys know our total weight.
Thanks!

2. Posted by AndyF (Moderator 1377 posts) 2w 1 Star this if you like it!

Just the carry-ons, mate! Anything else is madness. :)

3. Posted by road to roam (Full Member 47 posts) 2w 1 Star this if you like it!

The old saying goes "bring twice as much money and half as much clothing" and that is usually a good rule to follow. Good used clothing can be picked up along the way in many countries at markets and second hand clothing shops. It may not be the flashiest performance gear you'd find at home, but the clothes are in good repair and are ALWAYS inexpensive.

It is easy to bring too many toiletries, lotions and potions - bringing some makes sense but we tend to buy what we need when you are on the road. If you leave that tub of hair gel at home you'll find you either forgot you've ever used it OR you'll buy some as you travel.

A good fleece or long sleeve top or jacket is crucial. They can act as pillows for long bus rides. Denim is hard to recommend, for it is way too bulky and and takes ages to dry.

Your pack should simply be something you can put on and take off with little effort. You should be able to run a bit with it on without fear of toppling over. We both travel with a 36 liter pack and that is often small enough to carry onto planes, which saves time, money and the anguish of losing it. Boarding buses with a bag that size means it can sometimes go under the seat or in the bin above the seat. We are both small (less than 5.5 feet) so we sometimes sit on short bus rides with our packs on our laps. Again this eliminates people handling/damaging/losing/pilfering your gear.

Having said all this, we still find we often carry around stuff we never use and wish we'd left at home.

Try compression bags and packing cubes if you haven't already.

4. Posted by Beausoleil (Travel Guru 940 posts) 2w 2 Star this if you like it!

Anything that can do double duty is useful. I take aloe vera gel and use it for sunburn, hair gel, moisturizer, etc. It even serves as a makeup remover. Sweat pants make great pajamas. Black sneakers (athletic shoes) make a great substitute for dress shoes if you ever need them. Tee shirts can be dressed up or down if you're a woman. They can be a beach cover-up or a blouse with a nice scarf and slacks. A sport coat paired with matching slacks doubles as a suit if you ever need one and the sport coat can substitute as a wind breaker. Just be sure it's washable.

Do you need all the electronics? Take just what you need and just the chargers you need. That stuff can be heavy and takes up space. If you have a smart phone, you don't need a tablet, etc. We put all our reservations on our phone and I can even load blog entries on my phone. If you have a carrier that works nearly everyplace, you won't even have to deal with multiple SIM cards.

Many pools require a speedo-type suit for men and that packs down easily. Can your gal friend take a tiny bikini? That would take next to no room. Those baggy shorts-type men's swim suits waste space and many places won't allow them anyway.

Avoid heavy materials except for one decent cold-weather coat if you travel to northern realms. Plan on lots of light layers.

We never take more than a week of clothing. Laundry is easy enough to do nearly anyplace. And you can buy things you need along the way and discard things along the way.

Enjoy your travels.

5. Posted by AndyF (Moderator 1377 posts) 2w Star this if you like it!

Quoting Beausoleil

Those baggy shorts-type men's swim suits waste space and many places won't allow them anyway.

This isn't something I've come across; any idea what the thinking behind it is?

6. Posted by Beausoleil (Travel Guru 940 posts) 2w 1 Star this if you like it!

Quoting AndyF

Quoting Beausoleil

Those baggy shorts-type men's swim suits waste space and many places won't allow them anyway.

This isn't something I've come across; any idea what the thinking behind it is?

I have no idea Andy, but my husband refuses to wear them so we just don't swim in those places. It has usually been in France or Italy and when we've asked, they say something about hygiene. We never could figure it out but they are adamant. It's a rule . . . Many rules don't make a lot of sense. ;)

7. Posted by road to roam (Full Member 47 posts) 2w Star this if you like it!

Quoting Beausoleil

Anything that can do double duty is useful. I take aloe vera gel and use it for sunburn, hair gel, moisturizer, etc. It even serves as a makeup remover. Sweat pants make great pajamas.

Good advice and good elaboration on double duty items.

Quoting Beausoleil

Laundry is easy enough to do nearly anyplace.

Also good advice! We've used laundromats, both self serve and full serve, in Mexico and Central America. If you are on a budget, try washing clothes in the sink. A plastic bag works well to stop the sink and you can add a bit of powdered detergent - let the clothes soak for a bit. Or you can bring the dirty clothes into the shower - extreme tips, I know. Often, your clothes will dry overnight in certain climates if you hang them properly.

8. Posted by greatgrandmaR (Travel Guru 881 posts) 2w Star this if you like it!

I met some women on a train once who each had only a large handbag (pocketbook). And I myself once after traveling for 36 hours straight went into the train bathroom and washed my dress out, and dried it the best I could with paper towels and then put it on wet and went and stood in the corridor until it was dry.

Personally, I do not take any make-up (so no need for make-up remover) or hair of beauty care products. A good quality sunscreen would be about it. And a hat. Also no jewelry. Good shoes are a must. Dawn dish soap works pretty well for almost anything and can be used in salt water.

I prefer to wear dresses, so for a 6 week trip, I have taken 3 nylon dresses (dark color), one fleece, a raincoat, a hat, a pair of lightweight trousers a pair of shoes (other than the ones I was wearing), two blouses and some underwear. I was traveling in the summer so I didn't need a warm coat. If I had needed one, I think I might buy one on the spot as the local clothing is more suitable for the local climate. You might consider second hand stores for this. And you will be sick of the clothes you have now anyway at some point, so it will be good to buy new ones.

[ Edit: Edited on 02-Feb-2019, at 17:44 by greatgrandmaR ]

9. Posted by JetlagWarriors (Budding Member 19 posts) 2w Star this if you like it!

Some great advice here.

One thing I am realizing : we have brought WAY too much stuff. Clothes galore. Toiletries galore. Combined we have 7 books with us.

We have done one big purge, and I am realizing we need another, larger one.

O man!!

Ivana (my girlfriend) is not going to like giving away a ton of clothes. But it really is a must. Thanks for the info guys, really some great advice in here.

More info in a few days as we decide what to toss.

10. Posted by AndyF (Moderator 1377 posts) 2w 1 Star this if you like it!

Mail them home in a parcel?