Smart packing for a world tour: Do’s and Don’ts

No matter how long you travel for, packing a bag is always one of the annoying parts of traveling. You always take too much or you forget something. Once you’re at your destination, you realize your clothes don’t match the weather conditions. When you plan to travel for a long time, packing a bag can be a real headache. You need clothes for a warm and  a cold weather, you don’t want your bag too heavy but at the same time you want to take your nice shirt or these two pairs of shoes “just in case”. There are hundreds of tutorial videos on Youtube with everyone having different recommendations. So, what should you do ?

Don’t listen to anyone and choose your bag wisely

Watching all these videos will give you a headache and you will end up watching cute raccoon videos or a tutorial on how to make sushi burger and your bag will still be empty.

First, you need to choose a bag. How to choose a bag ? It depends on your type of travel. You need to answer the following questions:

  • How long will you travel for ?
  • Will you change places often ?
  • Which kind of transportations are you going to use ?

Answering these questions will help you define the type of bag you need. From my side, I knew I will travel for at least six months, I will change places at least once a week or two weeks and I will use many different types of transportation. I needed my bag to be easy to carry. I invested in a hiking backpack even though I don’t plan to go hiking and camping. I chose this kind of bag because they are made to be easy to carry and they are supposed to be light.

Before my trip,  I didn’t plan much but buying a good bag was one of my priorities.

How did I choose my backpack ? I simply looked up on the Internet for the best backpack of 2016 and bought it. I ended up with a backpack from Osprey, the Atmos 50 AG.

Smart tip:  Better taking a small to medium size bag. Bigger the backpack is, the more you will take. Limit yourself to 50 liters.

I had anyway no idea of what backpack to take so I trusted the Web and the reviews. Of course, it was not the cheapest one but it doesn’t matter. Having a backpack that is comfortable to carry is the most important when you go on a long trip. At least, this is what I think. And so far, I am very satisfied with it.

You will throw half of your stuff along the way

At least, I did it. It was just too heavy to carry. Now my backpack is ten kilos and it is really ok to carry. Here are the clothes I have got for a world tour of at least six months:

  • One pair of jeans
  • One hiking pant
  • One yoga pant
  • One loose cotton pant
  • One horse riding pant
  • Two tee-shirts
  • Two tank top
  • Two shorts
  • One sweatshirt
  • Two light dresses
  • Five pairs of socks
  • Underwears for ten days
  • One pair of shoes
  • One hiking zip jacket
  • One warm, water-resistant jacket

Smart tip: Taking an extra pair of shoes is heavy that’s why I chose to have only one pair of shoes. I bought gore-tex shoes from Adidas. Those shoes are comfortable and polyvalent, you can wear them for city trips as well as for outdoor activities. The gore-tex technology keeps the feet dry and let the shoe breathing. Ok that is not very sexy but that’s the price to pay when you travel.

I also carry in my backpack:

  • A snorkeling mask
  • A medical bag
  • A beauty bag

I have another light backpack by Poler that I carry on the front. You need a second backpack anyway to go explore places. In this bag, I put my computer and my cables, my wallet, a notebook, my sunglasses. This bag is around three kilos.

What to take in the medical and beauty bag ?

The weight problem often comes from these two little bags. You know when your bag is almost done and you just need to put your beauty bag but you can’t make it fit anywhere because it is too big and after that your bag weighs five more kilos. Choosing what to take in these bags is strategical and can be the most difficult part.

Set your priorities and take the minimum with you. I am not a good example here I think. I could have less with me but that is important for me to take good care of my skin and my nails. In total, my beauty bag weighs probably around one or one and a half kilo. Regarding the medical bag I had to throw some of its content on the way. It is useless to have too much of medicaments, there are pharmacies everywhere and you won’t need the full pack of everything. Also, I took the smallest first aid kit I could find. Actually, I believe it is not useful to have that at the first place.

Smart tips:

  • No need to take extra products, you will find new ones on your way.
  • Don’t take shampoo or body soap, you have that in almost all types of accomodations.
  • If not, buy only a shampoo and wash both your hairs and your body with it.
  • Take half of the medical pills you bought before your trip, you won’t need a full pack of everything

Use smart mobile apps to do the job for you

As I said, packing a bag can give headaches. Two years ago, I thought I should create an app that helps you pack your bag. This app would tell you what to take depending on the dates of your trip, the weather forecast and the type of your trip (business, leisure, romantic, outdoor, etc.). You’ll be able to enter your clothes in the app by scanning the bar code and voilà ! You’ll have the list of what you need to take and you would simply have to put them in your bag and go enjoy your trip. What a great idea I had ! Of course, other people had the same idea. You can now get assisted by such apps like PackPointPacking Pro, Travel List, TripList, and others. Unfortunately, I never tried them mainly because my phone doesn’t support them. Yes, I do have a Microsoft phone…but Christmas is coming soon! Anyone ? So I can just recommend to play around with these apps and maybe you can tell me what you thought about them in the comments.

I hope this article was useful and that you have a better idea of how you should pack your bag. Now you can go watch raccoon videos.

Thank you for reading, take care.


4 thoughts on “Smart packing for a world tour: Do’s and Don’ts

  1. great tips! I’m actually looking for a backpack that also has room for camera equipment :/ it’s hard to find one. I usually have 2 backpacks now, one is for my DSLR and 1 extra lens (and all the accessories that comes with it) I don’t think i’m the only one with this problem though, I can’t really leave any Camera equipment at home since photography is a hobby of mine (more than a hobby) and soon I hope to get work done with it too. Thanks for sharing what to pack!!


  2. Thank you for your comment. I am actually not sure you can find a backpack that will carry your camera and accessories as well as your clothes. My boyfriend is carrying his DSLR camera, this laptop, 3 lenses in a backpack that is made for that. He carries it on the front when he has his main backpack on his back. He bought this backpack on Amazon for 99$ but I would not recommend it. The quality isn’t really good. He knows that Burton is offering backpacks for DSLR camera and laptop. He couldn’t find one in shops but you can order it I guess. I recommend you to have a look on their website or ask directly in an outdoor shop. All the best 🙂


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