When planning for this trip, I really enjoyed reading posts about what things people doing RTW trips decided to bring with them, so I wanted to share my own list for those interested as well.
My selections are based mostly around the following:
- Most-weather appropriate. Although we’re planning on visiting mostly warm climates, being comfortable in 50F/10C weather is important.
- Fits in a carry-on. We want to minimize our time in airports and the likelihood of lost luggage.
- Multi-day wear for most clothes. We won’t always have easy access to washer/dryers, and doing laundry in the sink is a pain (though we’ll still do it). For this reason I’ve preferred things that are quick-drying and reusable without washing.
- Good looking and not overtly outdoors-y or sporty. I like minimal, unbranded stuff a lot.
The best advice I read in preparation was “You’ll bring as much stuff as your pack will allow” and with that in mind I specifically chose a bag on the smaller side of things (34L). I haven’t yet regretted it.
The links are mostly referral links, since I’m currently unemployed. Thanks for your support.
My only real bag. I love this bag. Everything mentioned below fits in this bag, all at once (except for the stuff I wear, like the Cons), which is kind of insane. This bag, while on the “heavier” side of travel bags, has an extremely minimal exterior (no dangling straps, yay!) and a very feature-packed interior. It has no waist straps, which initially turned me off, but I realized because of the small size and weight (~10kg fully loaded) it doesn’t matter too much. It’s smaller than the carry-on limit for basically all airlines and I’ve had no problem fitting it anywhere. There’s a 40L version, which has the same width and length, but is a little taller, if that’s your thing. The thing I like most about it is the internal top pockets, which make grabbing small items (cables, headphones, etc) super easy, even blind.
I use this for all my toiletries. Like the GR2 bag, it is indestructible. It has nice little pockets on the inside to keep my stuff in place when I open it, and it’s long enough to hold a toothbrush.
I really only use the biggest one for all my clothes. It fits perfectly in the base of my bag, and I like that it has double zippers – it makes it easier to close when tightly packed.
I use this as my day bag when I need to carry more that just a sweater or jacket. Like everything else, it’s super light and packs into almost nothing. Looks cool (read: non-touristy) too. I use this way more than I initially thought I would – great value given the price!
These are the best. They’re comfortable, dry quickly, and don’t smell for days. Although the logo decal peels off pretty quickly, they have been holding up as well as I heard and hoped they would.
I should have brought more (than one) of these. They’re ultra comfortable, super light, and quick drying. Which is good because they do get smelly kinda quickly and require frequent washing. That said, it’s a really great base layer under wool shirts that would otherwise be a bit too itchy. One note: They’re very thin, so don’t plan on wearing them solo, unless you’re okay with the visible-nips look.
Good Basic. Doesn’t get smelly, strong, dries fast, looks good, not overly sporty or brand-heavy, and about $20 cheaper than other wool t-shirts. I like the cut a little more than the Outlier shirt – I wear a large and it’s quite trim. A little on the itchy side but not annoying.
On the more expensive side ($98!) but totally amazing. Much softer than other wool t-shirts, enough to wear without anything underneath, thick enough to be warm but still breathable and easy. I don’t love their thick crew-neck design but it’s not a deal breaker. Sadly mine got a small hole in the side shortly after receiving it, but hopefully it stays small.
I came out with these and some Smartwool socks. Although pretty similar, I prefer the Darn Toughs. They still feel brand new and I’ve been wearing them for almost a month and have washed them at least 5 times. Wool socks are significantly better than cotton socks, I’m not sure why I haven’t always just worn these.
Love this jacket. It packs into its own pocket and is very lightweight. I got it in bright pylon orange because – hey – why not be as visible as possible in the rain. Marmot has another rain jacket that’s even lighter (Essance, I believe), but it was a little steep at $350. Since it’s totally windproof, I’ve ended up wearing this jacket a lot more than I thought I would, and it’s been totally worthwhile.
This is my “warmth” jacket. It also packs into its own pocket and is ultra light. I can wear it on its own or under the rain jacket for extra warmth. I love it for the breast pocket which is super useful for receipts, cash, or a quick spot to hold my phone. (It’s big enough it hold a 6 Plus!) My only complaint is that some of the down has been leaking out already and it’s only 2 months old. Hopefully that curtails itself.
You’ll notice both jackets are from Marmot. I tend to really like their stuff – it’s a bit more expensive than Northface or other outdoor brands but the fits are nice (they tend to be a little longer which is great for tall guys like me) and the designs are a little sharper.
Other Clothes and Accessories
I wanted to be able to workout and run while traveling so I’ve brought along a set of Nike Dri-Fit socks, shirt, and shorts. I haven’t been running or working out as much as I had hoped (story of my life) but it’s still been very useful to have a complete extra set of clothes just in case, like when I want to wash all my other clothes.
I bought these as as soon as they came out to replace my Levi’s Commuter shorts that I started out with. The Levi’s were good but were a little heavy weight for travel and took forever to dry. These double as swim trunks and include an internal drawstring which is rad. A little stretchy too, so very comfortable.
I thought it was important to bring at least 1 dress shirt for nice dinners, consulate interviews and the like. I choose the Wool & Prince one after seeing it on Tynan’s list and I haven’t been disappointed. It’s obviously wool, like everything else, so it doesn’t crease too much. I went with the dark grey and love the fit.
Every day wear. They held up well for the first month but the thing about jeans is that they take forever to dry. That said, they are durable as hell and comfortable enough to wear every day. I like Naked and Famous because a) they’re selvedge demin tends to be cheaper than a lot of the super expensive Japanese stuff, and b) they’re made in Canada. Mine were starting to fall apart a bit (a few loose threads in the leg hole and on the leather patch) but Maja patched them up for me ’cause she’s the best.
Unfortunately, I made the mistake of buying these too late to exchange (they didn’t have any longs in stock for the longest time) and they turned out to be a bit too small. I’ve brought them with me anyways, both because they are small and light enough, and because as planned, I’ve been losing weight on the trip, and will likely fit into them more comfortably very soon. Hopefully around the same time as I blow out my Naked and Famous jeans, and I can swap one for the other.
While a little sporty for me, a long sleeve t-shirt is super helpful to have for layering when it’s a bit cold but not cold enough for the down jacket. This one was relatively cheap and is holding up well.
This came from the Wirecutter’s recommended travel items list and I’m super glad I brought it. I wash clothes a lot (at least once a week) and having something to hang them on instead of just chairs or tables is extremely useful.
Best shoes. Super comfortable, stylish enough to fit in everywhere, durable, inexpensive. I hope to wear one pair the whole trip, but we’ll see how far I can take them.
Great travel running shoes because they’re super lightweight and have very little upper structure. The Flyknit fabric upper can be flattened almost completely so they pack into my bag very neatly, and then I can still have running shoes! The stretchy upper also means that I can slip them on and off quickly if I just need to run out of the house on a quick errand or something.
These are great because they’re a little thicker and more durable than regular flip flops, and they come in real sizes, not just S/M/L. Comfy strap too.
MacBook (2015) (Not pictured)
This isn’t really mine – it’s Maja’s. But I do have the pleasure of carrying it for her and getting to use it quite often. We share it, and that’s worked out pretty well, partially because I’ve also brought…
This doesn’t need too much explanation – it’s great to have an extra ultra light and small computer to browse/email/write/etc while the real laptop is in use. It’s also nice to watch Netflix/Twitch. The smart cover is absolutely necessary for this.
This power pack is a little heavy but has capacity for 4 full iPhone charges, which is pretty amazing. (Or 1 iPad and 2 iPhones, etc.) It also has 2 USB ports which is handy when traveling with a partner. It’s a little overkill though – Next time I have the chance I’ll probably pick up something smaller, probably the the PowerCore 10000.
MFi certified and way hardier than Apple’s (somewhat fragile) cables, having one long and one short is the way to go. Every time I see someone hunched over so that they can use their phone while it’s tethered to an outlet I cry a little inside – it doesn’t have to be that way!
These are great for airplane travel. Good sound, and the plugs block out cabin noise super well. I don’t generally like in-ear headphones (I hate sticking stuff in my ears, and the foam tips can get gross after many uses), but I got these because they are so tiny and easy to carry. That said…
I bought these in Buenos Aires because I was tired of having to put in earplugs every time I wanted to listen to music. They’re super comfortable and sound totally great. Probably the most comfortable headphones I’ve ever worn. I plan to keep the B&O plugs for plane rides though. It’ll be sort of ridiculous that I travel with 2 sets of headphones, but oh well. I don’t love the flat cable these come with, but luckily it seems to be replaceable, and I’ll swap it out with something I like more in the near future.
The iPhone 6S Plus has the best camera, so it’s the one I’ve brought with me.
I usually can’t do iPhone cases for more than a month, but so far this Incipio one is sticking pretty well. It’s thin enough to not be distracting and gives my iPhone some much needed grip and protection. It’s also super cheap, and way more durable than the Apple iPhone cases, which generally fall apart after a month.
That’s it! Believe it or not all that stuff fits in my bag and it’s just around 10kg, plus the clothes I happen to wear to the airport (Usually the jeans, since they are the heaviest).
I plan to keep this post updated as I add or remove things from my pack, but hopefully that won’t happen to often. Changes will be noted below this line.