One of the first things people ask us when we tell them we are going on a trip around the world is, “How are you going to pack?” We were wondering the same thing. So, we did lots of research and talked to a lot of people who have traveled on long journeys. First, we had to decide how we wanted to travel. Pretty much immediately I ruled out back-packing. That just isn’t the type of trip I wanted to have–I have no interest in carrying all of my belongings with me at all times. That being said, we know we will have to carry our bags and we don’t want to be burdened with large amounts of luggage. So, the final decision is that we will each pack one carry-on roll aboard suitcase, and one regular sized backpack. So, we figured out what our bags would be, the next thing we had to figure out is what to put in them.
We know we won’t have reliable access to laundry, so we anticipate washing a lot of clothes in the sink. Don’t get me wrong, we can certainly wear clothes that are dirty, but undershirts, underwear and socks really need washing regularly. Plus, we are going to be in Southeast Asia in August so I’m sure we’ll be sweating a lot and we will really want clean clothes. We did a lot of research and what we learned is we should take half as many clothes as we think we need. That is so tough! We are going to be in both cold and hot weather, and we need the flexibility to be casual but also look nice upon occasion. I don’t want to travel the world looking like a total slob.
So, below is a list of clothes I’ve decided to pack (obviously there are other things besides clothes, but we can discuss that in a later post). Keep in mind that this is a list for me, not Phil. We are still workiing on him, but naturally he is much less excited about the clothes than I am.
- 4 bottoms (1 pair pants, 1 capris, 1pants which convert to shorts, 1 shorts–both pants can convert to capris if needed)
- 2 short sleeved t-shirts
- 1 long sleeved t-shirt
- 2 long sleeve button up shirts
- 1 black dress
- 2 camisoles
- 1 pair running pants which can double as long johns
- 4 pairs underwear
- 4 pairs socks
- 1 warm pull-over
- 1 pair flip flops (especially for shared bathrooms)
- 1 pair trekking sandals
- 1 pair sneakers
I am still deciding about bras, I will update this post when I do. As for the clothes listed above, it is important for you to know that they are all lightweight, wrinkle-free, moisture wicking, and quick drying. We went to Paragon Sports in Union Square (www.paragonsports.com, 867 Broadway, New York, NY 10003) to try some things on and get an idea of fit and style. I found I liked the clothing from ExOfficio and also Patagonia. We bought a few things at Paragon and the awesome thing is that for every $100 you spend, they give you a $10 gift card to use at the store. These clothes are definitely expensive, so this is a slight consolation. After leaving Paragon, I went home and bought the remainder of my clothes at ExOfficio’s website (www.exofficio.com). I’ll admit that I had to take a deep breath to spend this much on clothes (around $700 all told) but I did read lots of reviews and figured I’d be wearing only these clothes for months, so spending some money is worth it. I imagine I will be sick of them by the end of the trip, but for now, I can’t wait to suit up and begin!