Packing list for smart travelers

traveler packing list

I love all sorts of check lists. Packing is way easier with a check list and you can be sure not to forget anything. You know that feeling… on the way to airport you drive yourself crazy… “Did I forget something? Yes I did… Sure I did…” Don’t worry. You did not. Well, with this list you won’t.

Tip: Print out the check list and take it with you. Then check it everytime you think you forgot something. Believe me, you don’t want to worry about things you might have forgotten. Instead, you should be looking forward to your vacation. Enjoy it!

Ultimate pack list?

There is no such a thing! A pack list depends on so many factors such as destination, type of travel, how long you travel, planed activities, gender. The list below is designed mostly for warm & long-distance destinations. Also, the list is pretty much influenced by a touch of a woman.

I must admit my personal pack list is lighter than the one below but here I wanted to include everything I could think of which could be useful in different occasions. Feel free to add or remove anything you want depending on your occasion.

I share only products I use myself and am happy with.
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Backpack: I travel with Osprey Sojourn 80 Liter or 60 Liter. It is a convertible wheeled pack. I call it “3in1 Awesomeness“. Backpack-Trolley-Suitcase. I mostly use it as trolley (why carry it on my back if I can pull it) and use it as backpack if the roads are too rough for the wheels. It opens from top like a suitcase so that organising and finding stuff in it is way easier than a regular backpack.

Luggage Lock: Complementary to this bag I use a Cable Luggage
. Don’t use it for the flights! Well, I suppose you don’t put anything valuable in it but it makes your luggage even more interesting to break in. Use the lock in hotels, trains, bus trips, etc.

backpack / day pack  and/or a handbag which is safe from pickpockets. The embedded steel web inside the bag and the splash-guard strap of Pacsafe’s bags keep your valuables safe from pickpockets. These bags are perfect to take to the plane as hand luggage and then use it for hiking tours, city trips, beach, etc. They are big enough to store a 13″ macbook, camera, lens, headphones and all that.

Safe for the hotel room: Pacsafe 12L is the best way to keep your valuables and gadgets safe, if there is no safe around, this thing is life safer.


Waterproof Dry Bag  and lightweight waterproof bags became very handy when you go kayaking, snorkelling, diving, stand up paddling, or even hiking in sand dunes. Waterproof means also dust proof.

flip flops

Clothes & Shoes & Accessories

The magic is to choose items which can be combined easily with each other.


The golden rule is choosing multi-functional and easily combinable items.

  • Trousers (jeans, cargo pants, etc.)
  • Fleece jacket
  • Long-sleeve
  • Comfortable baggy harem boho yoga pants (must have for any type of travel)
  • Shorts
  • T-Shirts
  • Tank Tops
  • Underpants & Bra & Socks
  • Swimwear
  • Sarong (which can be used as scarf, towel, to cover shoulders when visiting temples, etc.)


  • Hiking shoes (to save space I either pack hiking shoes or sneakers depending on my plans)
  • Sneakers (Skechers are very light and the memory foam make long walking days more comfortable)
  • Havaianas Espadrilles (comfortable and chick, I love these!)

  • Birkenstock Sandals – a US American traveller even asked me indeed where I have these most comfortable looking sandals from. Here you are!
  • Betula Flip Flops are life safers as they have a thicker sole than other usual flip-flops.


For Activities


If I plan to snorkel every second day then I definitely take my own gear instead of using gear used by thousands of other people. I take Open Heel Fins combined with Water Shoes. If you don’t have enough space bring at least your own Mask and Snorkel.snorkeling gear gopro

Safari and Bird watching

Binoculars are pretty cool for Safari and wildlife observation. During the safari in Kenya I used Nikon Sportlite. It was very handy, it is small, compact and light.

Camera Gear

GoPro & Accessories

  • GoPro Hero4 Black has everything you need. 4K video, super slow motion capture, time-lapse videos, night photo and lapse, superview, built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity for the GoPro App (free download), waterproof to 40meters. So as you can see, it has everything you need indeed!

        • GoPro Dual Battery Charger which also includes an extra battery. Go and get it if you don’t want to regret that you didn’t have an extra battery when you see that huge shark!
        • GoPro Selfie Stick is of course a must have. No more words needed.
  • Red Filter is must have if you’re filming underwater, for blue water colour correction.
  • GoPro Floating Pole is better for snorkelling or diving. As it floats it makes it easier to find it in case you drop it in water.

Mirrorless Digital Camera

  • Sony Alpha a6000 Mirrorless is perfect if you want to make good pictures but don’t want to carry a heavy camera around all day long.
  • E-Mount Lens: I have the 16-50mm as prime lens (which is included as kit lens) and Sony 55-210mm as zoom lens.

Waterproof Camcorder

          • This Waterproof Camcorder
            is the one used before I got the GoPro and I’m still using it if need see what I film. It is a very good camera and goes till 10 meters deep.

Other Travel Gadgets

  • iPhone & charger for obvious reasons.
  • Beats headphones (best gift I received in the last years) are absolutely indispensable for my travels. It keeps the sound in and noise out and in the aircraft you don’t hear this unstoppable noise anymore and can sleep with the smoothest music you have on your phone. And thanks to the tri-fold design it fits to a small carrying case. Just perfect. I love my red headphones.
  • E-book reader like Kindle and charger (the battery lasts for a week though). I have the Kindle paperwhite and can carry countless books in one gadget and the best thing is, I don’t need any additional light for reading anymore. So I don’t need to be the annoying person anymore who turns on the light in the aircraft while everyone else around wants to sleep.
  • MacBook

Cosmetics & Hygiene

For cosmetics you can take mini travel sizes which is mostly enough for the first 2 weeks. If you need more, I’m sure you’ll find it there in your destination, unless you are camping in wilderness far far away from civilisation.

Also depending on type of your accommodation, you will not need many things from the list below. Obviously in every hotel room you’ll have soap.

I put all that stuff in a Hanging Toiletry Bag so that you can have it all in one place and can make it accessible easily anywhere you are. Yes, even when you are camping.

  • Biodegradable Sunscreen & After-Sun
  • Deodorant, Parfume
  • Shower gel & Shampoo & Conditioner
  • Hair brush & Hair ties
  • Toothbrush & Toothpaste & Dental floss
  • Make-up & remover
  • Washing gel & Wet wipes & Moisturising Cream for face
  • Nail clipper & Tweezers & Small Scissors
  • Mini pack Instant Hand Sanitizer – I have these in my hand bag all the time. If you need to pee in the middle of nowhere, you’ll at least can clean your hands after that.
  • Disinfectant Spray Travel Size
  • Q-tips
  • Mini Swing set
  • Nail polish & remover
  • Tampons
  • Shaving kit
  • Braun Silk-Epil Wet and Dry Cordless Epilator
  • Wax strips
  • Contact lenses
  • Condoms
  • Microfiber Travel Towels are super light, small and dries in a second.
  • Accessories (your favourite bracelets, earnings, rings, etc.)
  • Plastic bags for trash, dirty clothes, etc. (there is no reason to leave your trash in the nature)

For Healthy Travel

Try not to take chemical medicines as long as you can. If there is an alternative try to treat it with natural elements. Just as an example, if you have a sour throat there is nothing better than a hot ginger tea with honey.

Decide for yourself if it is worth packing so much medicament, for “just in case”. If you’re sick you’ll need to go to doctor anyways. And there will be a pharmacy where you can buy simple pain killers, etc. So is it really necessary to buy medicament in advance and carry them all the way? If you say yes, here is a list of medicament you should consider taking when you’re travelling.

  • Medicine you take regularly (contraceptive pills, allergies, etc.)
  • (if needed) Antimalarial medication
  • Tablets against Diarrhea (Loperamide,  electrolytic solution)
  • Tablets against Constipation
  • Pain killers & against fever (Paracetamol / Ibuprofen)
  • Drops for sore throat
  • Tablets against flu
  • Nasal spray
  • Tablets against travel sickness
  • Cooling gel for feet (best treatment for feet after a long day)
  • First aid kit including Ointment for scars, Fever thermometer, Disinfection spray, Scissors, Band-Aid, Blister band-aid. BUT here again, think twice if you really need a first aid kit. Mostly nothing happens and if it happens, you’ll be faster in a clinic than you think of your first aid kit.

Check the recommended vaccinations for your destination and get those you need.

Read next: Which travel vaccinations do you need?

For some diseases there is no vaccination so it is all in your hands to protect yourself. For example for diseases like Malaria and Dengue Fever the best is to prevent mosquito bites.


Care Pack for the flight

Put all liquids in a transparent bag due to security regulations.

  • Sleep mask
  • Ear plugs 
  • Travel Pillow is useful in long-distance flights.
  • Travel size toothbrush and tooth paste
  • Wet wipes & Moisturising cream
  • Pain killers
  • Plenty of Water (yes they serve it but this way I don’t need to wait and don’t need to annoy the staff all the time)
  • Nutritious snacks such as hazelnut
  • Travel size Deet Insect Repellent (after landing till you get your luggage)

Papers and Money

Don’t forget to upload the copies to cloud!

paper documents passport

  • Passport and ID
  • Carte Jaune / Yellow Card (international certification of vaccination)
  • Flight tickets
  • Hotel booking confirmation
  • Travel insurance
  • Emergency telephone numbers & addresses
  • Cash money
  • Credit card(s)

lonely planet travel guides

Travel guides

Lonely Planet Guide Books – I love them! Best guidebook for individual travellers and backpackers as they have tons of useful information for local transports, alternative routes, etc. In any way it is always a good read, not only for touristic tips but also for the history and culture of the destination. For me the fun starts already while planing my trip and making notes. You can buy them also in e-book format.

Pack for a Purpose

Last but not least there is something everyone should consider while travelling. Help the people in your destination! One of the most convenient ways is to pack stuff you can donate there. Don’t say you don’t have enough space. Everyone packs always more than needed. So just think twice if you really need that item in your hands. No? Perfect. I’m sure you can have minimum 2-3kg extra space in your luggage.

So if you have managed to make a little bit free space, then go now to the website of Pack for Purpose and check your destination and choose one of the listed projects you like to support. Check the list of needed items pack accordingly. When you’re in your destination, go and deliver your little package which brings endless hope to many people on this earth.

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traveler packing list

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8 Comments on “Packing list for smart travelers”

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