The RTW Packing List to Help You Get Up and Go!

Packing for a trip around the world is one of the most difficult parts of pre-planning. Thankfully, this RTW packing list should be of some help! I spent months of planning, ordering, buying & returning to make sure I have everything I need.  But I still always end up frantically contemplating everything just the night before take off.  There are la couple of factors that make packing for a life of constant travel especially hard.

One is climate.  We are in all types of climates, from winter in Eastern Europe to spring and summer in Southeast Asia.  Clothing that is diverse and lightweight is a must.  Second is the time period and length. Things like toothpaste, shampoo, and deodorant can be picked up along the way, but what about more personalized items?

I have mole eyes and need contacts or prescription glasses to see. Therefore, I have packed the maximum my insurance allowed – a year in half’s supply of contacts.  My face lotion and wash is dermatologist recommended in the U.S. but how can I find that abroad?  Special things like that really add up room and weight in my pack.

I’ve spent months and even years trying to perfect this RTW packing list. I am still constantly redoing it as I continue to travel. But as a basis here it goes!

The Ultimate RTW Packing List to Help You Get Up and Go!

RTW Packing List: Clothes


  • Patagonia Down Sweater Womens Jacket: I believe this jacket will last forever. It’s heavy duty, and packs up really small. Great for any RTW trip because you never know when you will be cold! It’s the perfect warm down jacket.
  • A packable rain jacket is an absolute must when traveling for obvious reasons. It has saved me from getting an unwanted cold more times than I thought it would. Carhartt Women’s Lonoke Hat: Unless you’re only going somewhere in the summer months, travel with a light weight hat. Trust me. Scarf Carhartt gloves Sunglasses


  • Under Armour Women’s Legging: I always travel with black leggings because they go with just about anything and are super comfy. These Under Armour ones keep me warm in even the dead of winter.
  • prAna Women’s Sage Convertible: These are the best pants for hiking. They are waterproof, and I can usually wear them for two weeks without washing. Drawstring Beach Pants Athletic shorts: For comfortable warm nights.
  • Cargo shorts: Perfect for those African Safaris!

Okay I really love yoga pants and leggings, they are extremely comfortable, light, and pack up tight.  The great thing about the drawstring pants is that if paired with the right top can look very stylish or they can be worn casually wandering around the beach or city. 


  • Patagonia Fjord Flannel Shirt: Even though Patagucci is expensive, I absolutely think it is worth the money. Their products last so long and are very durable.
  • 4x Uniqlo camis
  • 3x athletic tanks
  • 2x athletic short sleeved tops
  • 1x nude chambray shirt
  • 1x polyester pullover
  • 1x knee length dress


  • 7 x Underwear
  • 5 x Sports Bras
  • 1 x Regular Bra
  • 7 x Socks

I usually only wear sports bras, and they are usually Champion Brand. These things hold my tata’s up well, and I usually reverse them for optimal wear! 11 x underwear 2x Danish Endurance Compression Socks: These socks are sweat-resistant and have extra padding. Great for summer! 2 x Danish Endurance Merino Wool Socks: A must for our long hikes in the cold weather. 6 x ankle socks


  • Merrell Women’s Moab Waterproof Hiking Shoe: I first traveled with regular athletic shoes, but then determined I needed something more heavy duty and suitable for hiking. I love the Merrell Moab shoes, always get waterproof hiking shoes though, it can get wet very easily in the mountains.
  • Merrell Women’s Azura Strap Sandal
  • Rainbow high arch leather flip flop: If there is only ONE product I stand by – it’s Rainbow sandals. I usually replace them every four years.
  • Foldable flats: Easy to pack up and look great for nights out.


pack for a RTW trip

My toiletries are always the number one problem in my pack for a RTW Packing List .  I don’t consider myself high maintenance, but I need and will not give up conditioner, face wash and lotion, body lotion, shaving, and mascara. Therefore, my toiletry bag is always bigger than everything else combined.  I have only pictured a 3 month supply of contacts because I do not want to take up the entire photo with contacts!

  • 5x razors
  • 1x box of Q-tips
  • 1x bottle of contact solution, case, and eyeglasses
  • 1x toothbrush and toothpaste
  • 1x Cerave face wash and face lotion
  • Lush Solid Shampoo: Takes up little space, and who doesn’t love LUSH?
  • 1x Ozone Layer Deodorant: I’m terrified of cancer, so I like to use all-natural deodorant when I can. This has become my favorite.
  • 1x small conditioner
  • 1x eye mask
  • 1x travel towel: Packs up small and dries fast. Perfect!
  • 2x small hair brushes
  • 2x small body lotions
  • 1x nail clippers and polish
  • 1x small bottle of perfume
  • 1x Lucas Papaw Ointment
  • Numerous hair ties, clips, and bobby pins
  • Bronzer, powder, eyeliner, cosmetic brush, eyelash curler and mascara

First Aid

RTW Packing List: Health

Better to be safe than sorry! I have the most basic first aid kit in case something happens to go wrong!

  • 2 month supply of Doxycycline (for Malaria & Infections)
  • 2 month supply of Malarone (for Malaria)
  • 1 month supply of Amoxicillin (for Infections)
  • Benedryl, Sudafed and IB Profen
  • Antibiotic ointment and burn cream
  • Calamine cream
  • 4-way nasal spray, Mucinex, and Alka-Seltzer
  • Tiger Balm and China Gel

A RTW Packing List Overview of Gear & Electronics 

RTW Packing List: Electronics

  • Macbook Pro 13 inch: I don’t know where I would be without my Macbook. It helps me keep this site running! Check out other great travel laptops!
  • Kindle Keyboard: I prefer paper books, but those can get so heavy! So it’s always nice just to have a Kindle loaded with plenty of books.
  • Unlocked iPhone
  • Canon EOS Rebel w/ Canon Telephoto lens: Both Cameron and I travel with Canon cameras, and I seriously need to upgrade my camera soon. Having this gear kinda sucks because they are heavy, but we are really into our travel photography.
    The MacBook and Canon take up a majority of the room and weight in my daypack, which is extremely frustrating. On the other hand, these are two pieces of gear that are needed for our travels and blog. 

Not Pictured in the main packing photo

  • Macbook charger
  • 3x iPhone chargers
  • 1 x Little Sun: We love our Little Sun! This weather resistant solar powered light has given us light in even the most remote of places.
  • 1 x Scrubba: Washing our clothes is single handily the number one nuisance of traveling. That’s why we don’t travel without the Scrubba. A pocket-size washing machine you can take anywhere.
  • 1x Universal power adaptor
  • 1x Cutting knife: Always a good idea to have a knife. This has come in handy more than a handful of times from cutting fruit to cutting ropes while hiking.
  • 1 x  Passport Wallet: Essential to keep your passport and credit cards safe and secure when traveling.
  • 1x Lifestraw GO waterbottle: One of the best and most useful things I pack. This water bottle filters out 99% of harmful bacteria. I also love the fact that for each product you buy, Lifestraw will deliver a straw to schools in need.
  • 1 x LifeStraw Personal

And now let us add in the packing cubes…

pack for a RTW trip

This is the first time I have tried out packing cubes and I must say they have really helped with organization and compression.  I tried a number of different brands, but the Eagle Creek Pack-It seems to be the most durable.  All Patagonia down jackets fold into their pockets (top left), greatly reducing space and making the jacket extremely versatile.

Where this all goes…
RTW Packing List: One Year Packing List

CamelBak Hydration Pack and the REI Venus 70L Pack.

I love these products because Camelbak and REI both have an awesome warranty on all their gear and completely stand behind all their products. I have had tears and rips in both products in which I simply called, sent in my backpack, and was sent a new or repaired pack within a week! Still have more questions about backpacks?

About Natasha

Natasha is the co-founder of The World Pursuit. She is an expert in travel, budgeting, and finding unique experiences. She loves to be outside, hiking in the mountains, playing in the snow on her snowboard, and biking. She has been traveling for over 10 years experiencing unique cultures, new food, and meeting fantastic people. She strives to make travel planning and traveling easier for all. Her advice about international travel, outdoor sports, and African safari has been featured on Lonely Planet, Business Insider, Fodor’s, and Reader’s Digest.

Learn more about Natasha Alden on The World Pursuit About Us Page.

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