How to pack for a year-long RTW trip (for women)

What is a travel blog without its packing inventory post? Alas, here we are.

For this trip, Mike and I decided we didn’t want to check in any baggage if we didn’t have to. We wanted backpacks instead of wheeled bags or suitcases for easy movement, and we didn’t want a pack that was too heavy for our small frames. We also wanted to share certain items to lighten each other’s load. I’m writing this at the first destination of our trip, so this list is subject to change.

  1. Packs
  2. Clothes
  3. Toiletries
  4. Electronics
  5. First Aid Kit
  6. Important Documents
  7. Extras

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Aside from my main pack I have a purse that doubles as my “day pack”, as well a small pouch that I use as a hip wallet or to hold stuff when I go for a run. We left right around the Back to School season, so I was able to get some cheap pencil cases to use for various items. My list of packs:

  • Deuter Futura Pro SL 34L – my main pack
  • Franco Sarto purse – daypack and purse that I got at Ross
  • Amphipod Runner’s Belt – hip wallet
  • eBags Packing cubes – used primarily for my clothing: small for my tops, medium for my bottoms
  • Small Jersey Drawstring Stuff Sack – got this from an old bedding set, use it to hold underwear and socks
  • Johnson & Johnson First Aid kit pack
  • Mesh pencil cases – one large for electronic chargers, two small for sleep case and makeup brushes
  • Medium Compression Sack – collapsible, used for dirty or wet clothes
  • Toiletry bag


Figuring out what clothes to pack was a challenging experience for me for a couple of reasons: my regular pre-trip wardrobe consisted mainly of unflattering t-shirts, and I pretty much suck at dressing myself in general anyway. After spending many months researching, subscribing to travel blogs, and using Pinterest as a style board, I finally decided on the wardrobe below:

Complete RTW wardrobe
  • One pair of athletic shoes
  • One pair of flip-flops, brown
  • One pair of comfy walking sandals – to use around town, and dressy enough for a night out
  • 6 ExOfficio bikini underwear in black – quick dry and 100% awesome
  • 3 Bras: one beige, padded, convertible straps; one pink, convertible straps; one grey sports bra
  • One two-piece swimsuit
  • One Camisole – beige
  • 3 pairs of regular cotton no-show socks
  • Blazer – Black, to dress up an outfit and to keep warm stylishly
  • Cardigan – Beige, as a light sweater for those moderately chilly days
  • Waterproof Jacket with Hood – Black, very light and durable for those cold, rainy days
  • One Grey Maxi Dress – can be casual or nice with accessories, doubles as a skirt
  • One Black Jersey Bandeau Convertible Dress – can be formal, or used as a casual or nice skirt.
  • One pair of jeans – in the debate over whether or not to bring jeans, I decided to opt for clothes I’m comfortable in and wear normally
  • One pair of Black Travel pants – boot-cut pants cinches into Capri pants, quick dry, good for both trekking and going out.
  • One pair of Capri length leggings- for running, yoga, and everyday wear
  • One pair of navy blue shorts – casual for the warmer climates.
  • One long scarf – doubles as a sarong, shawl, and general cover-up
  • One brown belt
  • One straw fedora style hat


I keep all my toiletries in a case, including makeup and liquids.


War Paint


Packed in GoToob bottles


First aid kit

First Aid Kit

Important documents

  • Passport
  • Yellow Fever Immunization Certification
  • Extra copies of passport photos
  • Travel insurance information


Typing this all out makes it seem like I have a lot of stuff, but it’s really not all that much when you see it fit all in the bag. In case you missed it, here’s a video showing how everything fit:

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