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What’s In My Bag? Long Term Travel Essentials + Blogger’s Packing List


Modified: December 27, 2023

by Genni Cornelius



When embarking on a long-term travel adventure, whether it’s a backpacking trip around the world or an extended stay in a foreign country, packing the right essentials can make all the difference. As a seasoned traveler and travel blogger, I have honed my packing skills and learned what items are absolutely essential for a comfortable and enjoyable journey.


In this article, I will share with you my comprehensive long-term travel packing list. From the right backpack or luggage to the must-have travel documents, electronics, clothing, and toiletries, I have you covered. I’ll also share some health and safety essentials, snacks and water, money and banking tips, as well as entertainment and pass time options for those long travel days. Finally, I’ll touch on some miscellaneous items that you never thought you needed, but will be glad you packed.


Whether you’re a newbie traveler or a seasoned explorer, this packing guide will help ensure that you have everything you need for a smooth and comfortable journey. So, let’s dive in and discover the essential items to pack for your long-term adventure.


Backpack or Luggage

Choosing the right backpack or luggage is crucial for long-term travel. It needs to be durable, comfortable to carry, and spacious enough to hold all your belongings. Here are some essential factors to consider:

  1. Size: Opt for a backpack or luggage that meets the size requirements of airlines or fits comfortably in overhead compartments. Remember, the smaller, the better, as it will be easier to maneuver.
  2. Durability: Look for a backpack or luggage made of sturdy material, such as nylon or polyester, that can withstand rough handling and various weather conditions.
  3. Comfort: Choose a backpack with adjustable shoulder straps and a padded back for optimal comfort during long treks. If you prefer using a suitcase, go for one with extendable handles and wheels for smooth navigation.
  4. Organization: Look for a backpack or luggage with multiple compartments and pockets to keep your belongings organized. This makes it easier to access items without rummaging through everything.
  5. Security: Consider a backpack or luggage with added security features, such as lockable zippers or built-in combination locks, to keep your valuables safe.

Remember to pack light and prioritize the essentials. Choose quality over quantity to ensure that your backpack or luggage doesn’t become overly burdensome. It’s always a good idea to test out your chosen backpack or luggage before your trip to ensure that it meets your needs and preferences.


Travel Documents

When traveling long-term, having the necessary travel documents in order is vital. Here are the essential travel documents you should have on hand:

  1. Passport: Your passport is the most important document when traveling internationally. Ensure that it is valid for at least six months beyond your planned return date.
  2. Visas: Research the visa requirements for the countries you plan to visit and apply for them well in advance. Some visas can be obtained upon arrival, while others require pre-approval.
  3. Travel Insurance: Protect yourself by purchasing comprehensive travel insurance that covers medical emergencies, trip cancellations, and lost or stolen belongings.
  4. Driver’s License and International Driving Permit: If you plan on renting a car or scooter during your travels, make sure to bring your driver’s license from your home country and apply for an International Driving Permit.
  5. Health Certificates: Depending on your destination, you may need to provide proof of vaccination or carry certain health certificates, especially during the current global health situation. Check with your healthcare provider for the necessary vaccinations and documents.

Make copies of all your important travel documents and keep them separate from the originals. It’s also a good idea to have digital copies stored in the cloud or on a secure digital device. Share the copies with a trusted friend or family member in case of emergencies.


Remember to check the entry requirements, visa policies, and any travel advisories for your destination country before you depart. Having your travel documents in order will ensure a stress-free journey and avoid any unnecessary complications during your travels.



When packing for long-term travel, it’s important to consider the electronic items that will keep you connected, entertained, and organized throughout your journey. Here are some essential electronics to pack:

  1. Laptop or Tablet: A lightweight and portable laptop or tablet can be invaluable for staying connected, working remotely, or simply browsing the internet during your travels.
  2. Smartphone: Your smartphone is a multi-purpose device that can serve as your camera, communication tool, map, and more. Don’t forget to bring the necessary chargers and adapters.
  3. Camera: Capture the incredible moments of your journey with a digital camera or a high-quality smartphone camera. Don’t forget to pack extra memory cards and batteries.
  4. Portable Power Bank: Keep your electronic devices charged on the go with a reliable portable power bank. This is especially useful during long travel days or when outlets are scarce.
  5. Universal Adapter: Depending on your travel destinations, you may encounter different plug types. A universal adapter will ensure that you can charge your devices no matter where you are.
  6. E-Reader: If you’re an avid reader, consider packing an e-reader to save space and have access to hundreds of books at your fingertips.
  7. Headphones: Invest in a good pair of noise-canceling headphones to enjoy music, podcasts, or movies during your travels.

Remember to pack your electronics securely to prevent damage during transit. Place them in a padded case or wrap them in clothes for extra protection.


While electronics can greatly enhance your travel experience, it’s also important to find a balance. Don’t let technology consume your entire trip. Take time to disconnect and fully immerse yourself in the beauty of your surroundings.



Choosing the right clothing for long-term travel involves finding a balance between comfort, versatility, and suitability for different climates and cultural expectations. Here are some essential clothing items to consider:

  1. Layered Clothing: Pack clothing that can be easily layered to adapt to different weather conditions. This includes sweaters, cardigans, and lightweight jackets.
  2. Comfortable Shoes: Invest in a sturdy and comfortable pair of walking shoes or sneakers. This is essential for exploring new destinations and avoiding foot fatigue.
  3. Reusable Accessories: Opt for scarves, shawls, or hats that can be used to add style to your outfits and protect you from the sun or cold.
  4. Neutral-Colored Clothing: Packing neutral-colored clothing items allows for easier mix-and-match and reduces the need for frequent laundry.
  5. Swimwear: If you plan on visiting destinations with beaches or swimming opportunities, don’t forget to pack swimwear.
  6. Comfortable Sleepwear: A set of comfortable sleepwear will ensure a good night’s rest during your travels.
  7. Lightweight and Quick-Drying Fabrics: Choose clothing made of lightweight and quick-drying fabrics, such as cotton or synthetic blends, for easier care and versatility.

It’s important to research the cultural norms and dress codes of your destination countries to ensure that you pack appropriate clothing. Modest attire may be required in certain places, especially when visiting religious sites or conservative communities.


Remember to pack according to the season and climate of your destination. Consider the activities you plan to engage in and pack accordingly, whether it’s hiking gear, workout clothes, or formal attire for special occasions.


Lastly, don’t overpack. Traveling with a smaller selection of clothing items will not only lighten your load but also leave room for souvenirs and other necessities.



Packing the right toiletries is essential for maintaining hygiene and feeling fresh during your long-term travel. Here are some essential toiletries to consider:

  1. Travel-Sized Containers: Transfer your favorite shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and other liquids into travel-sized containers to save space and comply with airline regulations.
  2. Toothbrush and Toothpaste: Don’t forget to pack your toothbrush and toothpaste, or consider a travel-sized toothpaste for convenience.
  3. Deodorant: Stay fresh with a travel-sized deodorant or antiperspirant to combat odor during your travels.
  4. Face Cleanser and Moisturizer: Take care of your skin by packing a gentle face cleanser and moisturizer suitable for your skin type.
  5. Sunscreen: Protect your skin from harmful UV rays by packing a travel-sized sunscreen with a high SPF rating.
  6. Personal Medications: If you take any prescription medications, make sure to bring an ample supply with you. Also, carry a copy of your prescriptions for reference.
  7. Feminine Hygiene Products: Pack an adequate supply of menstrual products if needed or consider reusable options like menstrual cups or cloth pads.
  8. Razor and Shaving Cream: For those who prefer to shave, don’t forget to pack a razor and a travel-sized shaving cream or gel.
  9. First Aid Kit: Prepare a compact first aid kit containing band-aids, antiseptic ointment, pain relievers, and any necessary medication for travel-related ailments.

Remember to pack your toiletries in a leak-proof bag or toiletry organizer to prevent spills and keep everything organized. Consider purchasing toiletries at your destination to save space and comply with airline liquid restrictions.


Lastly, be mindful of the environmental impact of your toiletries. Opt for eco-friendly and biodegradable options whenever possible, such as shampoo bars, solid toothpaste, and refillable containers.


Health and Safety Essentials

Ensuring your health and safety is of utmost importance when embarking on a long-term travel adventure. Here are some essential items to prioritize:

  1. Travel Insurance: Protect yourself from unexpected medical expenses and emergencies abroad by purchasing comprehensive travel insurance.
  2. Prescription Medications: If you take any prescription medications, ensure you have an ample supply for the duration of your trip. Carry them in their original packaging, along with a copy of the prescription.
  3. Basic Medications: Pack a small supply of over-the-counter medications for common travel ailments such as pain relievers, anti-diarrheal medication, antihistamines, and motion sickness medication.
  4. Medical Kit: Put together a basic medical kit with items like adhesive bandages, sterile gauze, antiseptic wipes, tweezers, and scissors for minor injuries and first aid needs.
  5. Insect Repellent: Protect yourself from mosquito-borne diseases by packing a reliable insect repellent, especially if you’re traveling to tropical or mosquito-prone regions.
  6. Hand Sanitizer and Wet Wipes: Keep your hands clean when soap and water are not readily available by carrying hand sanitizer and wet wipes.
  7. Face Masks: In the current global health situation, having face masks on hand is crucial. Pack an ample supply of disposable or reusable face masks to ensure your safety and the safety of others.
  8. Emergency Contact Information: Carry a list of emergency contact numbers, including the nearest embassy or consulate, local emergency services, and your travel insurance provider.
  9. Travel Locks: Secure your belongings by using sturdy travel locks for your backpack, luggage, and hostel lockers.
  10. Travel Safety Apps: Download travel safety apps that provide information on local emergency services, safety tips, and alerts for your destination.

It’s important to research and understand the health risks and safety precautions specific to your destination. Visit a travel health clinic or consult with your healthcare provider prior to departure to ensure you have the necessary vaccinations and medications.


Remember, maintaining good hygiene practices, being mindful of your environment, and using common sense are also key factors in staying healthy and safe during your travels.


Snacks and Water

When embarking on a long-term travel journey, it’s important to stay nourished and hydrated along the way. Here are some essential tips for snacks and water:

  1. Reusable Water Bottle: Carry a reusable water bottle to stay hydrated throughout your travels. Look for one that is durable, leak-proof, and easy to refill.
  2. Water Purification Method: Consider carrying a water purification method, such as water purification tablets or a portable water filter, for instances when access to clean drinking water is limited or uncertain.
  3. Healthy Snacks: Pack a variety of healthy snacks, such as granola bars, nuts, dried fruit, or energy bars, that can provide sustained energy during long travel days.
  4. Local Snacks: Embrace the opportunity to try local snacks and street food as you explore different destinations. Be sure to choose vendors with good hygiene practices.
  5. Food Allergies and Dietary Restrictions: If you have any food allergies or dietary restrictions, research local cuisines and learn common ingredients to ensure you can find suitable snacks and meals while traveling.
  6. Portion Control: Be aware of portion sizes when snacking, as indulging too much can lead to unnecessary weight gain and discomfort during long travel days.
  7. Food Safety: Practice good food safety habits by washing your hands before eating and ensuring that perishable snacks are properly stored and kept at the appropriate temperature.
  8. Local Water and Street Food: Be cautious when consuming street food and drinking tap water in certain destinations. While immersing yourself in local cuisines is part of the travel experience, hygiene standards vary, so use your judgment.

Remember to research local customs and regulations regarding food and water before your trip. In some regions, it may be safer to avoid tap water altogether and rely on bottled or purified water.


Having snacks and water on hand will not only keep you energized, but also save you money when you’re in transit or exploring areas where food options may be limited.


Money and Banking

Managing your money and navigating the banking system is essential for a smooth long-term travel experience. Here are some tips to consider:

  1. Multiple Payment Methods: Carry multiple forms of payment, such as cash, credit cards, and debit cards, to ensure you have options in case some are not accepted or if you encounter any issues.
  2. Notify Your Bank: Prior to your departure, notify your bank and credit card providers of your travel plans to avoid any potential blocks or security concerns when using your cards abroad.
  3. ATM and Exchange Rates: Use ATMs to withdraw local currency as needed. Be aware of any fees or charges associated with international withdrawals and compare exchange rates to get the best value.
  4. Currency Conversion: Research the local currency of your destination and familiarize yourself with the current exchange rate to avoid being taken advantage of when exchanging money.
  5. Backup Funds: Carry a backup stash of cash, preferably in a different location, in case of emergencies or situations where your cards may not be accepted.
  6. Budgeting: Create a budget for your trip and track your expenses to ensure you stay within your financial means. This will help with long-term financial planning and prevent overspending.
  7. Money Belt or Secure Wallet: Invest in a money belt or a secure travel wallet to keep your cash, cards, and important documents safe while on the move.
  8. Local Customs: Be aware of local customs and tipping practices regarding payments to avoid any cultural misunderstandings or awkward situations.
  9. Travel Insurance Coverage: Familiarize yourself with the coverage and policies of your travel insurance regarding lost or stolen belongings, including money and valuables.
  10. Emergency Cash: Keep a small amount of emergency cash in a separate location or hidden within your belongings for unexpected situations where you may not have immediate access to ATMs or banks.

Stay vigilant with your transactions and be cautious when using ATMs or making card payments to protect yourself from potential fraud or theft.


By being prepared and mindful of your financial situation, you can focus on enjoying your journey without unnecessary worries or disruptions.


Entertainment and Pass Time

Long-term travel can involve plenty of downtime during transit or in-between adventures. To keep yourself entertained and make the most of your free time, here are some essential tips:

  1. Books and E-Readers: Pack a few of your favorite books or invest in an e-reader to have a wide selection of reading material at your fingertips.
  2. Podcasts and Audiobooks: Download podcasts or audiobooks to listen to during long flights, bus rides, or leisurely strolls through new destinations.
  3. Music and Podcasts: Create playlists of your favorite songs and podcasts to enjoy while exploring or relaxing in your accommodation.
  4. Language Learning Apps: Take advantage of your travel time to learn the language of your destination using language learning apps.
  5. Games and Puzzles: Bring along lightweight games or puzzles, such as a deck of cards or a portable chess set, for some fun and brain-teasing activities.
  6. Journaling: Document your travel experiences by keeping a journal. This not only serves as a creative outlet but also as a personal keepsake of your memorable journey.
  7. Photography and Videography: Capture moments and create lasting memories by engaging in photography or videography during your travels.
  8. Socializing and Meeting Locals: Engage with fellow travelers and locals to share stories, experiences, and recommendations. This social interaction can be both entertaining and educational.
  9. Exploring Local Culture: Immerse yourself in the local culture by attending cultural events, festivals, or performances. This is a great way to learn about the traditions and customs of your destination.
  10. Outdoor Activities: Take advantage of the natural beauty of your surroundings by engaging in outdoor activities like hiking, cycling, or snorkeling.

Remember to be present and embrace the moment during your travels. While entertainment and pass time activities are important, don’t forget to savor the beauty and uniqueness of each destination you visit.


Engaging in activities that align with your interests and passions will enhance your travel experience and make your journey all the more enjoyable.


Miscellaneous Items

When packing for long-term travel, there are always a few miscellaneous items that come in handy or make your journey more convenient. Here are some miscellaneous items to consider:

  1. Travel Adapter: A travel adapter allows you to charge your electronics and use your devices in different countries with varying plug types.
  2. Earplugs and Eye Mask: Whether it’s for a long flight or a noisy hostel dorm, earplugs and an eye mask can help you get a better night’s sleep and stay refreshed.
  3. Travel Towel: A compact and quick-drying travel towel is ideal for beach days, hostel stays, and unexpected situations where a towel might not be readily available.
  4. Laundry Kit: Pack a portable laundry kit with a travel-sized detergent and a clothesline for washing and drying your clothes when needed.
  5. Travel-Size Sewing Kit: A small sewing kit can come in handy for minor repairs or adjustments to your clothing or gear.
  6. Reusable Shopping Bag: A foldable and reusable shopping bag can be useful for grocery shopping, carrying souvenirs, or as an extra bag when you need more space.
  7. Travel Locks and Cable Locks: Secure your belongings and luggage by using travel locks for zippers and cable locks for added protection.
  8. Travel Pillow: A compact travel pillow can provide comfort and support during long flights or bus rides.
  9. Ziplock Bags: Pack a few ziplock bags in various sizes for organizing small items, storing toiletries, or keeping snacks fresh.
  10. Portable Charger: Ensure you never run out of battery on your electronic devices by carrying a portable charger or power bank.
  11. Extra Batteries and Memory Cards: If you’re using a digital camera or other battery-operated devices, pack extra batteries and memory cards to ensure you don’t miss out on capturing precious moments.

Remember, it’s important to pack light, so prioritize the items that will truly enhance your travel experience and make your journey more comfortable. Consider the specific needs and preferences of your destination and activities to determine which miscellaneous items are essential for you.


Being prepared with these miscellaneous items will help you stay organized, safe, and adaptable throughout your long-term travel adventure.



As you embark on your long-term travel adventure, packing the right essentials is crucial for a smooth and enjoyable journey. By carefully considering your backpack or luggage, travel documents, electronics, clothing, toiletries, health and safety essentials, snacks and water, money and banking, entertainment and pass time options, and miscellaneous items, you can ensure that you are well-prepared for the road ahead.


Remember to research the specific requirements and cultural norms of your destination to make informed decisions about what to pack. Packing light, prioritizing versatility, and considering the environmental impact of your choices are also important factors to keep in mind.


Long-term travel is a unique opportunity to explore new cultures, create unforgettable memories, and broaden your horizons. By packing the right essentials and being prepared, you can focus on immersing yourself in the beauty of each destination and making the most of every moment.


So, pack your bags, double-check your travel essentials, and get ready for an incredible journey filled with adventure, discovery, and wonderful experiences. Safe travels!