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Essential Items to Pack When Traveling the World

Are you preparing for a trip around the world? I was completely overwhelmed at first. How on earth do you decide what to take? Do you take a backpack or suitcase? I asked for recommendations on my stories, read a tonne of blogs and watched some YouTube videos . Here is a list of essential items that you should consider bring with you on your travels. This is my checklist with links to specific items bought.

Deciding what essential items to pack on your trip around the world. I’m
Wondering what I should pack on my trip around the world

Backpack or suitcase?

The age old argument. Well, it depends on a few things. Backpacks are more suitable for going to remote areas without paved roads, and you'll have to physically be able to carry heavy loads. Wheeled suitcases save you from carrying heavy items and save your back. After much research and deliberation, I decided to go with a suitcase. I envisage 98% of places I'll be visiting will have paved roads, so I would rather roll all my possessions in a suitcase rather than carrying it on my back.

What to pack when you're travelling the world


  • Packing cubes are an absolute game changer. It saves a lot of room in your suitcase and keeps things organised! You can also buy packing bags for backpacks. If you've never had packing cubes... get some.

  • Clothing - 10 days worth that can be mixed and matched, that are comfortable and breatheable. Less is more! Consider clothes that will keep you covered from sunburn.

  • 10 pairs of underpants

  • A few light layers for variable weather conditions

  • Swimsuits

  • A hat and sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun

  • A rain jacket or umbrella


  • Trainers

  • Sandals - I wanted comfortable Birkenstocks, consider getting the waterproof version (I ended up getting both)

  • Flipflops - I ordered podiatrist designed ergonomic ones that are less likely to break because they are made from one mould (so the straps won't tear off).


  • Toothbrush and toothpaste

  • Deodorant - I use a roll on as they last longer and take less space

  • Lip balm

  • Razor and/or other personal grooming items

  • Soap

  • Shampoo and conditioner bars - it's more concentrated and lighter than liquid versions, smaller, and more environmentally friendly. The one I bought linked:

  • Body Sunscreen - make sure you get UVA and UVB protection. I use Altruist, dermatologist approved!

  • Face Sunscreen - these are less likely to cause breakouts

Travel documents

  • Passport

  • Visa (if required for your destination)

  • Travel insurance documents

  • Any necessary vaccination records (e.g. Yellow Fever)


  • Phone and charger

  • Laptop and charger

  • Headphones / earphones - I am actually taking 2 pairs, one as a backup. I've been caught out before where one of my earphones bounced off my ears and onto some train tracks. Headphones at the airport were ££££ expensive.

  • Camera, spare batteries and charger

  • An Electronic bag organiser - life saver! All cables, batteries, etc. go in here.

  • A universal travel adapter with fast charging capabilities

  • A Hard Drive

  • Tripod - I decided to buy a smaller, more lightweight tripod than my usual, weighing in at 420g (my usual one is 1.4kg)

  • A power bank for all your devices - mine (below) has built in cables which means you don't have to pack cables in your bag when you go.

A small medical/sanitary bag

  • Painkillers - they are often expensive abroad so I have stocked up with loads as they're about 35p in England.

  • Rehydration salts

  • Bandages & Plasters

  • Any feminine / sanitary products

  • Alcohol hand wipes

  • Disinfectant

  • Hayfever tablets

  • Motion sickness tablets

  • Tummy upset medication - consider diarrhoea and constipation medication, I use charcoal tablets

Miscellaneous items to pack!

  • Back up cash and cards - I have a spare purse for back up cards, in case we lose ours/it gets stolen.

  • A fast drying towel

  • Air tags/GPS tracker for your luggage

  • Zip lock bags

  • A backpack / waterproof bag / tote bag

  • A water bottle

  • A travel pillow and/or blanket (for added comfort on long flights or bus rides)

  • Portable cutlery - you will often find you need this when you are on a 14h bus or somewhere remote.

  • Supplements - from my nutrition degree, I learnt how many supplements are marketed as beneficial, but often don't have any scientific data to support this, and sometimes, are the opposite and are actually harmful. However, there are several that I take, such as iron (important for women/people who menstruate) and probiotics. Probiotics helps maintain a healthy digestive tract.

  • Bum bags - now I kinda hate these, but I've been told that this is one way to keep your valuables super safe as they never leave your body.

That's all the essentials. Everything else you can buy when you're out and about! I hope this list of essential items helps you pack for your worldwide travel, safe travels!

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My name is Adriana Neptuna

I'm a full time travel writer, photographer and blogger.  I can't get enough of travelling and love sharing the best tips on your next destination so you can have the best time. I have an insatiable zest for life and I'm always walking around with a camera in hand.

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