RTW Trip Packing List: What To Pack

RTW Trip Packing List: What To Pack | www.rtwgirl.com

Packing for my round the world trip was pretty tough. I wanted to make sure that I had everything that I needed before I left. I had read a lot of other travel bloggers’ sites and tried to see what they packed. I looked at theirs and then created my own RTW trip packing list but had in mind my personality, my lifestyle, where I was going and created my own list in Excel (yes I’m a nerd).

Round The World Trip Packing List | www.rtwgirl.com

I was worried about being able to find things on the road and trying not spending money when I didn’t have to. Packing for several months on the road can be very overwhelming. By the time I left, I just threw my hands up in the air knowing I did the best I could. Just remember that you can always buy things on the road. Yes, things can be a bit more be expensive but sometimes you’ll find better or more unique things on the road.

I’ve written posts in the past about individual items that I have brought along but I have decided to compile it into one big list here. This list will change with updated links or if I’ve forgotten things so come back or feel free to comment with any questions.

*Please note that this is what worked for me. I don’t think everything will work for everyone but these are just suggestions of what I thought was beneficial for my RTW trip. 

My RTW Trip Packing List: 

Rolling Luggage

I didn’t use a backpack for my round the world trip. I traveled for a year and a half, through different seasons and chose to go with a rolling suitcase. If I were to go on another long-term trip I would still bring a rolling bag but perhaps only go with a carry-on and just buy things on the road. For the first half of my trip, I thought that I needed a convertible bag. You hear/read about so many people saying you can’t wheel luggage around Europe’s cobbled roads or through Asia’s village. FARCE! I still rolled my suitcase on some dirt roads in Asia. While it wasn’t fun in some instances, it’s not impossible. And the times when people were trudging up a hill with their heavy backpacks, I was rolling. I chose to go with a rolling suitcase because I have a bad back. I originally bought a Victorinox rolling suitcase that converted(now discontinued). I think I converted once on my entire RTW trip. I do like the bag because it has a zipper to extend the size when I have over packed. I also liked its ergonomic handle.

I didn’t use the Victorinox suitcase for the second half of my trip because I didn’t need it to convert and I had an Oakley bag that was a bit lighter, giving me more weight for my belongings.

Oakley Bag RTW Trip Packing List | www.rtwgirl.com

Small Backpack For Carry On

I used a small backpack by Northface as my carry on. It carried all of my documents and valuables like my DSLR, my laptop,  chargers, etc. I liked using this as a carry on because the stringent airport agents for budget airlines didn’t think much of it when I checked in because it looks small.

Northface Surge RTW Packing | www.rtwgirl.com

Packing Cubes

I can’t go on enough about packing cubes. I use them all the time now, even for a weekend away. I organized cubes by tops, bottoms, socks, and underwear. I love them because everything is within reach and easy to find whether in a backpack or a suitcase. I had ones by Rick Steeves but the mesh got caught on things and ripped. I recommend these ones by Eagle Creek or Dsptch.com.

packing cubes for RTW Travel | www.rtwgirl.com

Hanging Toiletry Kit

It’s good to pack a hanging toiletry kit because when you travel, you never know how much counter space you’ll have. I won’t go with any other kind now. I’d bring this into the dorm bathrooms and showers even. I bought mine from Target. It was cheap and still awesome years later.

hanging toiletry kit RTW Trip Packing | www.rtwgirl.com

If you can’t find the one at Target, this one by Eagle Creek is also good!

Universal Plug Converter

Sounds obvious but it’s good to have plug converters before you get to your destination. I like all in ones (multi-country) like this one by Lewis N Clark.

Universal Travel Adapter

Monster Power Strip

I can’t go on about how this is so great for travel. I don’t how many times there were never enough outlets at hotels, hostels, or guest houses while traveling overseas or domestically. This is necessary because I carry so much gear like a laptop, camera, iPhone, iPod, etc.

Monster Outlet To Go

Headlamp/Head Torch

Don’t laugh! Bring a head torch instead of a flashlight. I love this thing a lot! Great for hands-free light when walking in the dark or reading on overnight trains or in a dorm room with others.

Petzl Headlamp for RTW Trip

Silk Sleeping Bag

This was recommended by many travelers to protect yourself from bed bugs and keep you warm or cool. I bought mine at Mountain Equipment Coop (like REI) in Canada but this one from Amazon would work as well.

Silk Sleeping Bag RTW | www.rtwgirl.com

Media Pouch

For all you travelers who carry a lot of tech stuff, it’s good to be organized. I didn’t lose a cord or a charger when I had this because everything had a home and it was like a mental checklist when I was leaving for the next place. Kangaroom, the brand I took on my RTW no longer makes them, so I have replaced mine with Dsptch’s cord case.

Dsptch cord case | www.rtwgirl.com


Great for bad hair days and protecting your head from the sun. I took along a Supreme 5 panel.

Supreme 5 panel | www.rtwgirl.com

Noise Canceling Headphones

I traveled with Urban Ears headphones but then was gifted these sexy leather headphones by Molami. So I gave my Urban Ears headphones to a friend at a hostel and used these for the rest of my trip. It’s vital to be able to block out crying babies, honking bus drivers in Vietnam, or chatty hostel dorm mates who come in drunk late at night.

molami stylish headphones

Eye Mask

I bought these Missoni ones at Target. Sometimes airlines give them out on overnight flights. Here is one by Flight 001!

Eye Mask for RTW Travel

Camera Strap

I know this sounds silly but why attract thieves? It’s like you’re yelling out, “Helloooooo check out my Canon!!” I usually carry a tote bag and if often shields my camera so if I have a basic strap, it doesn’t attract more attention. This one is by Dsptch.

Dsptch Camera Strap for Travel

Packable Duffle Bag

Pack a packable duffel bag. This is handy if you leave your luggage at a hostel or with friends or family for a few days and go off to explore different places. If you’re a shopaholic it’s handy when you need somewhere to pack all the things you’re bringing home. A packable duffel takes no space and is super handy! I bought this bag in Melbourne at Kathmandu but Herschel also makes them.

Packable Duffle Katmandhu

Zip Loc Bags

Bring a bunch of Ziploc bags in different sizes. We all need the quart sized bag for our toiletries in security but I also pack bigger toiletries in them so they don’t spill or leak. I love the big freezer bags for packing up wet swimwear when you have to dash off from the beach to a new destination. I use small snack bags for keeping jewelry untangled.

Travel Tip

Pocket Tissue

You never know when your nose will run or when you get to a toilet that doesn’t have any tissue. It’s good to have these on hand. Seriously.

Pocket Tissue for Travel

Hand Sanitizer

So vital when you’re traveling.

hand sanitizer for Travel

Wet Wipes

I can’t say how helpful it is to have these even if you have hand sanitizer and pocket tissue especially after eating street food!

wet ones RTW Packing

Lip Balm With SunScreen

I always need to apply lip balm. My lips chap easily and I like a lip balm with sunscreen. Your lips can get burned too! I use this men’s lip balm by Jack Black.

jack black lip balm travel


I brought a combo lock but these are handy for people who forget their combos. It’s easier to remember a word. Great for locking up things in hostel lockers or anywhere else you need a lock.

Padlock for RTW Trip

Duct Tape

I learned this handy tip from other blogs. I wrapped duct tape around a pen. You don’t need much but sometimes things rip or fall apart and you need a temporary solution. I did end up needing some and this was just the right amount instead of a whole roll.

Travel Detergent Packs

I washed things in the sink sometimes when I couldn’t get to a laundry or I needed something asap. These are super handy.

travel detergent

Pocket Knife

I always packed a pocket knife in check-in bag. I often needed a bottle opener, a knife, etc when I was out and about. I love Leatherman. Just remember to always put it back in your check-in bag or if you’re not checking in, don’t bring it!!

Leatherman RTW Trip Packing | www.rtwgirl.com


I packed a packable towel for my RTW but now I pack a sarong when I travel anywhere. I didn’t like the idea of paying for towels in some hostels so I bought a quick dry towel. Even the large ones aren’t very big. A sarong is multipurpose. It can be used as a towel, a scarf, a beach blanket, a skirt, you name it. Best thing ever and so lightweight.

Pack A Sarong

Passport Wallet

LeSportsac Triple Zip is what I carried my passport on my RTW. It’s great because you can fit coins and currency in the zip compartments. I stored a pen in there too for going through customs.

If you want a less feminine or leather wallet, Bellroy makes a great one. They were nice enough to send me their passport wallet to try out. I wrote about it here.

Bellroy Travel Wallet

Reusable Tote Bag

I also pack a Baggu reusable bag. It’s great to tote dirty laundry to the laundromat, carry wet clothes back from the beach or for when you’re going to buy groceries at the market. I also wrote about my love for Baggu bags here.

Baggu for Travel

Eye-Fi Memory Card

I love my Eye-Fi SD memory cards. These are perfect for travelers. They automatically upload photos to your computer or to services like Flickr.

Eyefi For Travel Bloggers

Reusable Containers

Reusable containers to store shampoos, etc. It’s often cheaper to buy bigger sized items than to buy trial or travel sized items. I’d often buy with a friend and share product or leave for the next person at a hostel or at my friends. Top up and you’re off.

Muji Container RTW Trip Packing | www.rtwgirl.com



Round The World Trip Packing List | www.rtwgirl.com

Do you have any questions or tips you want to share? Do you have a RTW trip packing list?

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