Arguably the single most important aspect of intelligent traveling is the issue of what to pack. This, more than anything else, will determine the extent of your luggage, the weight of your load, and the state of your happiness. Your top priority, then, should be the acquisition, personalization, and use of a good packing list. “What to pack” is far too important to make up as you go along! onebag.com
Packing is always a major challenge for travelers so I want to share the list of what I pack to give you a starting point on what to pack for your own trip.
First, the short answer to what you should pack: as little as possible.
I try to take only the essentials and if I really need something, I buy it. It’s not that hard to find medicine, clothes, or an umbrella overseas. I also try to stick to the same climate wherever I go to avoid carrying lots of different clothes. I don’t want to be lugging sweaters for my next destination around Thailand!
The more I travel, the more I realize I don’t need a lot of stuff. Everything I own fits into one bag and I never think “man, if I only I had X!”
Pack light and life will be good.
But the long answer to “Matt, what should I pack?” is my suggested packing list below:
1 dress shirt for when I go out to a respectable place in the evening
1 pair of jeans (Heavy and not easily dried, but I like them. A good alternative are khaki pants.)
1 pair of shorts
1 bathing suit
1 long-sleeve T-shirt
1 pair of flip-flops
1 pair of sneakers
8 pairs of socks (I always end up losing half.)
1 pair of black dress socks
1 pair of dress shoes (Heavy to carry, but when I visit friends, we go somewhere not sneaker-friendly)
7 pairs of boxer shorts (I’m not a briefs guy!)
1 tube of toothpaste
1 package of dental floss
1 small bottle of shampoo
1 small bottle of shower gel
Hair gel (So I can keep the fro down between haircuts)
SMALL MEDICAL KIT (Safety is important!!!)
Hand sanitizer (Germs = sick = bad holiday!)
GEAR (for those blogging, taking video, or anything else)
Universal charger/adapter (This applies to everyone)
A key or combination lock (safety first)
Zip-lock bags (keeps things from leaking or exploding)
Plastic bags (great for laundry)
ADDENDUM FOR FEMALE TRAVELERS:
I’m not a woman so I don’t know what a woman wears but a lovely reader (who is a woman) sent over this list for you:
2 pairs of stretchy jeans (they wash and dry easily as the material is thin and can roll up into capris or shorts if it’s hot)
1 pair of leggings (if it’s cold they can go under your jeans otherwise with a dress or shirt)
2 short sleeve tops or t-shirts
2 spaghetti tops
1 light cardigan
1 dry shampoo spray & talc powder (keeps long hair grease free in-between washes)
Hair bands & hair clips
Feminine hygiene products (You can opt to buy there too, but I prefer not to count on it and most people have their preferred products)
As you can see, there isn’t a lot I travel with. Everything I own fits into one backpack.
I’ve found that the above list leaves me wanting for nothing and if something does come up (like if I stay somewhere that’s cold), I simply buy what I need on the road–light jackets and sweaters can be found anywhere.
I’m sure many of you will read this and say “But what about X” or “You really don’t need Y”. While that works for you, this list works for me. If you are doing a lot of hiking, you’ll need lighter pants not jeans. Or maybe you never plan to go somewhere nice so you can ditch the “nice” clothes.
Or maybe you’re camping and you need camping gear. Tailor your list to suit your travels.
Great Video for The Short Trip Day Hiker on what to pack!