Packing Minimally

for a Trip Around the World

When it comes to traveling long-term, packing minimally is incredibly important. Besides the fact that it’ll make your life much simpler on the road, keeping a light backpack has multiple benefits. Read on to find out more!

11 min read

It keeps your back pain-free

This might seem a bit obvious, but most people don’t consider how much of a struggle it will be lugging around a heavy bag. I would know, I packed almost 30lbs worth of gear with me to Iceland. I was more concerned with fitting my Fuji camera, all of my lenses, my drone, and the rest of my electronics. Let me tell you, that bag had the density of a dying sun and it made for a much-needed trip to the Chiropractor (my dad) upon return.

The key is to look at your packed items critically. Ruthlessly cut out anything that isn’t an absolute necessity. You can see in my Test-Pack video, that, even though I was being minimal, my bag was still 7 pounds over the 15 lb limit I gave myself. It took some hard decisions (and a bowl of cereal for brain-food) to decide what to leave behind.

In this video, I go more in-depth on exactly what I’m packing and why

It will save you money

Checked bags are such a bummer. It costs a lot (sometimes $50!) just to have your important items be out of your control! Then you have to wait at the carousel and hope that they didn’t misplace your necessities in that super-short layover. Packing minimally and keeping your bag within the airline’s carry-on baggage allowances will keep that money in your pocket. Money that would be better spent buying gyros or pizza.

Want to know how much each airline charges for luggage? Click here for a comprehensive list of Airline Baggage Costs.

This was my bag before Iceland. My back aches just looking at this photo.

It keeps your belongings safe

This is my main reason for packing minimally. Some budget airlines in Europe and Asia have a strict 15lb/7kg limit for carry-on luggage. If your bag is over that limit, you have to check your bag. In my case, where I’ll be living with all of my belongings in one backpack, being separated from my belongings is unacceptable. You hear horror stories about luggage being delayed for a variety of reasons. That alone would be a massive setback, but what about if they lose my bag? There goes all of my everything.

Keeping track of what each airline’s restrictions are for carry-on luggage can be a hassle. Don’t worry, I’ve got you. Click here to see each major airline’s list of carry-on baggage allowances.

This is all I’m bringing. Pretty crazy to think about, right?

My packing list

Below is the packing list I used to get below 15lbs / 7 KG for my carry-on backpack. The list might seem like a lot, but it really packs down to nothing. Some of these items can get a bit pricey, but when you have only two shirts or one pair of pants in your bag, you want them to last. Keep the prices of quality products in mind when deciding how minimally you want to pack.

1 x Osprey Nebula 34L Backpack

1 x Tortuga Packable Daypack

2 x Icebreaker Wool Short Sleeve Shirts

1 x Craghoppers Long Sleeve Shirt

1 x Uniqlo Puff Jacket

4 x Saxx Underwear (1 worn on plane)

1 x Lululemon Shorts

1 x Lululemon Swim Trunks

1 x Lululemon ABC Pants

2 x Darn Tough Short Socks (1 worn on the plane)

1 x Darn Tough Long Socks

1 x Scrubba Wash Bag

1 x Allbirds Wool Shoes (worn on plane)

1 x Cheap Sandals

1 x iPad Pro 12.9″ w/Keyboard and Pencil

1 x Fujifilm X-T20 w/Batteries & Charger

1 x Fuji 23mm f1.4 Prime Lens

1 x Rode Video Micro Microphone

1 x DJI Osmo Action w/Batteries & Charger

1 x Micro Tripod

1 x Universal Travel Adapter

1 x Turkish Travel Towel

1 x Cord Management Organizer

1 x Power Bank

1 x Toiletry Bag

1 x Wahl Travel-Sized Trimmmer

1 x Sleep Mask

1 x Earplugs (6 in a pack)

1 x Broad-Spectrum Antibiotics

1 x Allergy Medication

1 x Pain Medication

1 x Anti-Diarrhea Medication

1 x Antibiotic Ointment

5 x Bandaids

8 x Hydration Salts

1 x Toothbrush

1 x Toothpaste

1 x Floss

1 x Deodorant

2 x Hair Gel (2 oz containers)

1 x Contact Case & Solution

2 x Extra Contact Lenses (6 per box)

1 x Glasses

1 x Nail Clippers

1 x Sawyer Water Bottle & Filter

1 x Copies of Important Documents

8 x Zip Ties

1 x Chromecast

That’s why packing minimally is essential for long-term travel!

Whether it be for the comfort for your back, saving money on checked bags, or keeping your belongings safe and by your side, minimal packing for long-term travel is always the best solution. What do you think? Comment below and let me know!