Travel Packing List – Your Complete Guide to a Smart Journey

We've been traveling steadily for six years and we've tried every packing item, new gadget and hottest travel gear on the market. From backpacks to carry-ons and finally settling into rolling duffels, we finally feel that we are qualified to give you a comprehensive travel packing list of travel gear you should take in your backpack or luggage.

packing list

Bags for your packing list


If you are lost at what you should carry, follow along with this travel packing list, and you'll be prepared for any situation without having to cart along a ton of suitcases. Are you ready to travel? Packing for travel can be a daunting experience. Especially if you are planning on a long trip around the world or at least more than a two-week vacation to the Caribbean.

Dave and Deb's Ultimate Travel Packing List

packing list tips for travel

While many people travel with carry-on luggage only, we all feel that it is next to impossible when you are going on an extended trip. Especially if you are going to put some adventure into your travels and if you are going to hop around the globe through different climates and situations. When going on an around the world journey or an extended backpacking trip through several countries, you can't just tie on a sarong and slip on some flipflops to hang out at the beach. You'll need a lot of different travel gear including hiking boots, travel gear for warm and cold weather, and you'll appreciate some of the comforts of home. So, here is a comprehensive packing list of the items we bring with us on the road. 

Travel Gear for your Packing List

Pro Tip: Pack clothes that can be easily mixed and matched. We use all complimentary colours so all items can be worn with each other. I can mix and match shirts and skirts and look like I'm wearing a different outfit each day. 

Travel Bags


TRAVELPRO ROLLING DUFFEL - We've switched from backpacks to rolling duffels and are fans. 

F-STOP LOKA CAMERA BAG - Dave carries a lot of camera Gear and loves this bag.

SHOULDER BAG - Deb carries a bag that crosses over her shoulder so it secure. 

CARRYON ROLLER - Deb prefers a rolling carryon (all-wheel drive) to pack electronics and cameras

Pro Tip: When checking in at the airport, take your computers out of your carry-on bag and put them in a collapsable tote bag (we fold it in the front pocket of our carry-on. That way if you are asked to weigh your luggage, it will be light. Computers are heavy. We then use our tote to store heavier travel gear and what we'll need accessible for a flight like headphones, Advil, tissue or and eye mask. 

Read: 7 Tips for Stress Free Travel - here you will find a travel packing list of what we take in our care package on the plane. 

Travel Organizers

GobiGear_1_Green_2_largeTHE HOBO ROLL FROM GOBI GEAR - The new and improved hoboroll is one of our favourite packing organizational items we've recently added to our travel gear list. It is essentially a stuff sac with several different compartments. We put socks in one compartment, underwear in another etc. then we pull the compression straps to make it as small as possible creating more space in our bags.

Note: ThePlanetD Readers Recieve 15% off the HoboRoll using Discount Code PLANETD15 at

COMPRESSION CUBES - Since we tend to carry bulky items like our lightweight down jackets and fleece sweaters, the compression cubes are perfect for making bulky items smaller. It gives us more space in our bags and is an excellent addition to your travel gear.


EAGLE CREEK PACKING CUBES - We used to pack everything in ziplock freezer bags. We swore by this, but we have since graduated to lightweight nylon packing cubes. They keep everything organized.


TOILETRY BAG - We used to carry everything in large ziplock bags or separate mesh bags, but since discovering the Eagle Creek PackIt Wallaby, our whole system has changes. This is an excellent kit where we can pack everything on our toiletries travel packing list in one place place. There are several compartments, and dividers allowing us to separate items like chapstick, antiperspirant and sunscreen. We hang it on the back of a door and everything is safe and organized.

Packable DayPack
- These packable daypacks are perfect for packing items you need for an overnight trek or day trip. They pack into their pocket and are lightweight taking up little space in your luggage, but expand to a good size to carry enough gear for an overnight trek or trip.

 Packing List for Him and Her...

 It can be difficult summarizing a packing list for two people. We originally thought we'd just include one person, but then we realized that we  both pack our bags a little different, so we thought we'd break things down into two columns where we pack different items like clothes. I think  this is a comprehensive enough list that anyone will be able to get some ideas from. 

 Travel Clothes

 We used to dress more backpacker like and a little bit like bums. But when we mix our travels between Europe, South East Asia, South America  and North America, we like to look smart in cities and have function for treks in the jungle. We now carry a little bit more than we used to, but  we love feeling good every step of the way. 

Read: Versatile Travel Style: We Finally Look Good 

Dave's Travel Clothes


 BluffWorks Pants (2) These are excellent pants that rarely need to be washed are odor resistant and can be worn on the trail or in the city. Dressed up or dressed down, they are very versatile pants. 

SURF SHORTS (2) - Used for paddle boarding, the beach and bumming around. 


LONG SLEEVED COLLARED SHIRT (1) - breathable, lightweight and great for a night out or for hiking in extreme hot sun. 

 T-SHIRTS (4) - I mostly wear technical, quick dry t-shirts. 1 black and 3 in brighter colours like blue and orange. 


Cotton Pants (1) - I've added cotton pants to my packing list to lounge around the hotel room and to wear to a beach bar. They're lightweight and look great. 


Deb's Travel Clothes

Convertable Skirt (1) This versatile skirt can change into a dress.  

Travel Skirt - I like having a catch all mid-length skirt that I can sightsee in or go out at night on the town. Lightweight skirts take up very little room so I pack an extra all the time. 


Sundress (1) - A little bright dress is great for the beach, sightseeing or going out at night. 

 Pants (1) - I love my Mesh Sandal pants in Khaki because I can roll them up or wear them down. They can be dressed up or down and are lightweight. 

 Shorts - (2) I have one pair of board shorts that I can wear if we go surfing, paddle boarding or anything else in the water, and one nice pair of Bermuda shorts to walk around town or the resort. 

Smart Shirts - (2) I love the Royal Robbins brand for fashion and function. 

 T-Shirts (4) - There are stylish women's T-shirts that are lightweight and can be dressed up or down

Travel Clothes We Both Pack

There are many items on our packing list that we both include, so here's a quick rundown of similar items we pack in our bags. 

CONVERTABLE TREKKING PANTS (2 Each) We like convertable pants because when trekking, we can start off on a cold morning with long pants and then unzip and change to shorts. We take two becuase on multiday treks, we like to have a change. Warm and dry at night after a sweaty day outdoors. 

Long Sleeved Trekking Shirt - You'd be surprised how often I trek or hike in long sleeves. With today's microfibre materials, long sleeves not only wick away moisture but protect you from the hot sun and are great for cooler morning hikes.  Plus long sleeves keep the mosquitoes from biting. 

HIKING SHORTS (1 Each) - We only need one pair of hiking shorts because our convertable pants double as hiking shorts. 


LIGHTWEIGHT SWEATER - We both use lightweight merino zip up sweaters. You'll hear it from us again and again, but layering when traveling is key. With a sweater, shell and our lightweight down jacket, we are prepared for any weather and we don't have a lot of extra weight. 


HIKING SOCKS - We wear merino wool hiking socks in our boots, even in hot weather. They wick away moisture, they don't smell and your feet are cushioned and comfortable. You can buy different weights for different climates. 



LIGHTWEIGHT SOCKS - for those times when you need a pair of socks to walk around town or go for a run. 


 ExOfficio Underwear (6)- Quick drying, odor resistant and lightweight. We both love ExOffcio's line of underwear because we can pack less. You could pack less, we just don't like to do laundry often. 


 Flip Flops - We are flip flop (jandal, thongs) fans and wear them everywhere. I can even wear them out at night with a cute skirt. We hate foot prisons so flip flops are the shoe choice for us on most occasions. Get a nice pair, don't cheap out and you can wear them and still look presentable. 


Adventure Travel Gear

 When packing for a specific adventure we do have very different travel gear. If we are going into the backcountry, we carry sleeping bags and tents, if we are climbing a mountain like to Mount Everest Base Camp, we have a completely separate packing list, but the items below are staple items that we pack in our bags for all types of travel. 

 Outer Shell Jacket - Make sure you have a weatherproof outer shell. Layering is very important for adventure travel. You'll be changing elevations when climbing mountains, we go everywhere from Thailand to Greenlands, so a weather proof jacket that can be layered over clothing is a must. 


 Lightweight Down Jacket - We have found this jacket useful from Africa, to New Zealand, Europe and Beyond. We never leave home without a very light down jacket. It can be used for cold nights, as a pillow and on the plane. It's always a part of our travel packing list and we highly recommend you get something similar too. 


 Base Layer - We've been whitewater kayaking in the summer and wore merino wool base layers under our dry suits, we've trekked to the top of mountains with a base layer and we even sleep in our long johns. Light and easy to pack. 


switch sunglasses

 Switch Sunglasses - Seriously, these are the best sunglasses we've ever used. We can switch out the lenses easily to use in all different lighting conditions and they are very durable.

Read why at: The Only Adventure Sunglasses You'll ever need.

 Hiking Boots - Lightweight, waterproof, midlevel - We learned the hard way when Dave sprained his angle to wear properly supported hiking shoes that go above the ankle. When you are trekking in mountains or jungles, good shoes are recommended for support and to keep your ankles from being scuffed. 


Headlamp - this is truly something everyone should carry when traveling. You'll find that you are open to new opportunities and even if you aren't adventurous, you may go on a trek, need it on a train or bus or power may go out. Bring a Headlamp

Filtered water Bottle - A filtered water bottle means you always have fresh clean water, it's better for the environment than always buying plastic bottles and you will stay hydrated. 


Dry Bag - A dry bag is really needed when doing most travels. Naturally it works best for adventure so that you can put your camera gear in a dry bag when kayaking or even on a motorboat, but it has helped us out during rainy season in Africa and during water festivals like Songkran in Thailand or Holi in India. A dry bag is a very important item to have on your packing list, you'll use it more than you think! 

Peak Hat - when kayaking or hiking, it's important to keep the harsh sun off your face. On water especially a hat protects against heat stroke and sunburn. Pack a hat with some sort of peak at the front for shade. A lightweight sports hat works best. 


Buffs - We both carry 2 buffs each. They work great for keeping sun off your neck, sand out of your nose and for keeping your hair out of your eyes. There's a reason Survivor gives everyone a buff at the beginning of the show, buffs can be used for many things. 


Electronics Packing List

You probably won't need all of these electronics, but we are running a travel blog. Plus Dave is a photographer and we create a lot of videos, so this is a quick list of some suggested gear that you can pick and choose what works for you.

To view a complete list see: Electronics Packing List.


Mac Book Pro

 2TB Hard Drives - (3) - 2 hardrives are for Dave's photography and backups. 1 hardrive is for Deb's videos.

 Belkin Mini Surge Protector = You spend a lot of money on your electronics, don't let a power surge ruin them. A surge protector not only protects your electronics from power surges, it charges several things at once with 3 outlets and 2 USB ports.

Suggested Toiletries

Besides the usual toiletries that you'd use like antiperspirant, shampoo and prescription medication, here are a few staple items that you should have on your toiletries packing list. 

Click the link - For a complete list of our first aid kit for long term travel

 moleskin - Moleskin is better than a bandaid when it comes to blisters. It doesn't matter how broken in your hiking boots are, if you are doing a lot of trekking, or even walking around the city, you are bound to get blisters or a raw spot on your foot. 

 Gold Bond - this medicated powder is great for all occasions. Hot humid weather, backcountry trekking or those times when you are just sticky and uncomfortable, Gold Bond comes to the rescue. We haven't left home without it for more than a decade. 

Photography Gear

Photography Gear requires an entire post unto itself. Lucky for you, we've written one...

Check out the Complete Travel Photography Gear Guide here!

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