We've been on the road since 2009 and have developed the ultimate travel packing list filled with new gadgets and hottest travel gear on the market.
If you are lost at what you should carry, follow along with this travel packing list, and you'll be prepared for any situation without having to cart along a ton of suitcases.
Dave and Deb's Ultimate Travel Packing List
While many people travel with carry-on luggage only, we all feel that it is next to impossible when you are going on an extended trip.
Especially if you are going to put some adventure into your travels and if you are going to hop around the globe through different climates and situations.
See our Video: 13 Travel Essentials for Packing
When going on an around the world journey or an extended backpacking you'll need a lot of different travel gear including hiking boots, travel gear for warm and cold weather, and you'll appreciate some of the comforts of home. So, here is a comprehensive travel packing list we bring with us on the road.
Travel Gear for your Packing List
Pro Tip: Pack clothes that can be easily mixed and matched. We use all complimentary colours so all items can be worn with each other. I can mix and match shirts and skirts and look like I'm wearing a different outfit each day.
- We've switched from backpacks to rolling duffels and are fans.
- Deb carries a bag that crosses over her shoulder so it secure.
- Deb prefers a rolling carryon (all-wheel drive) to pack electronics and cameras
Pro Tip: When checking in at the airport, take your computers out of your carry-on bag and put them in a collapsable tote bag (we fold it in the front pocket of our carry-on. That way if you are asked to weigh your luggage, it will be light. Computers are heavy. We then use our tote to store heavier travel gear and what we'll need accessible for a flight like headphones, Advil, tissue or and eye mask.
Read: 7 Tips for Stress Free Travel - here you will find a travel packing list of what we take in our care package on the plane.
- is one of our favourite packing organizational items we've recently added to our travel gear list. It is essentially a stuff sac with several different compartments that compresses everything down.
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- Since we tend to carry bulky items like our lightweight down jackets and fleece sweaters, the compression cubes are perfect for making bulky items smaller.
- We used to pack everything in ziplock freezer bags, but we have since graduated to lightweight nylon packing cubes.
-This is an excellent kit where we can pack everything on our toiletries travel packing list in one place place. There are several compartments, and dividers allowing us to separate items and it hangs it on the back of a door and everything is safe and organized.
- These packable daypacks pack into their pocket and are lightweight taking up little space in your luggage, but expand to a good size to carry enough gear for an overnight trek or trip.
Packing List for Him and Her...
It can be difficult summarizing a packing list for two people. We originally thought we'd just include one person, but then we realized that we both pack our bags a little different, so we thought we'd break things down into two columns where we pack different items like clothes.
We used to dress more backpacker like and a little bit like bums. But when we mix our travels between Europe, South East Asia, South America and North America, we like to look smart in cities and have function for treks in the jungle.
Dave's Travel Clothes
(2) These are versatile pants that rarely need to be washed are odor resistant and can be worn on the trail or in the city.
(2) - Used for paddle boarding, the beach and bumming around.
(1) - breathable, lightweight and great for a night out or for hiking in extreme hot sun.
(4) - I mostly wear technical, quick dry t-shirts. 1 black and 3 in brighter colours like blue and orange.
(1) - I've added cotton pants to my packing list to lounge around the hotel room and to wear to a beach bar. They're lightweight and look great.
Deb's Travel Clothes
(1) This versatile skirt can change into a dress. Lightweight skirts take up very little room so I pack an extra all the time.
(1) - A little bright dress is great for the beach, sightseeing or going out at night.
(1) - I love my Mesh Sandal pants in Khaki because I can roll them up or wear them down. They can be dressed up or down and are lightweight.
- (2) I have one pair of board shorts that I can wear if we go surfing, paddle boarding or anything else in the water, and one nice pair of Bermuda shorts to walk around town or the resort.
- (2) I love the Royal Robbins brand for fashion and function.
(4) - There are stylish women's T-shirts that are lightweight and can be dressed up or down
Travel Clothes We Both Pack
There are many items on our packing list that we both include, so here's a quick rundown of similar items we pack in our bags.
(2 Each) We like convertable pants because when trekking, we can start off on a cold morning with long pants and then unzip and change to shorts. We take two becuase on multiday treks, we like to have a change. Warm and dry at night after a sweaty day outdoors.
- You'd be surprised how often I trek or hike in long sleeves. With today's microfibre materials, long sleeves wick away moisture, protect from the sun and keep the mosquitoes from biting.
(1 Each) - We only need one pair of hiking shorts because our convertable pants double as hiking shorts.
- We both use lightweight merino zip up sweaters. You'll hear it from us again and again, but layering when traveling is key.
- We wear merino wool hiking socks in our boots, even in hot weather. They wick away moisture, they don't smell and your feet are cushioned and comfortable. You can buy different weights for different climates.
- for those times when you need a pair of socks to walk around town or go for a run.
(4-6)- Quick drying, odor resistant and lightweight. We both love ExOffcio's line of underwear because we can pack less.
- We are flip flop (jandal, thongs) fans and wear them everywhere. I can even wear them out at night with a cute skirt. Get a nice pair, don't cheap out and you can wear them and still look presentable.
Adventure Travel Gear
When packing for a specific adventure we do have very different travel gear. But the items below are staple items that we pack in our bags for all types of travel.
- Make sure you have a weatherproof outer shell. Layering is very important for adventure travel. You may be in a hot climate when you start a trek, but if you go to elevation, you'll need protection. This is one of our most important items for weather, rain, wind and layering for warmth.
- We have found this jacket useful from Africa, to New Zealand, Europe and Beyond. We never leave home without a very light down jacket. It can be used for cold nights, as a pillow, and on the plane.
- We've been whitewater kayaking in the summer and wore merino wool base layers under our dry suits, we've trekked to the top of mountains with a base layer and we even sleep in our long johns. Light and easy to pack.
- Seriously, these are the best sunglasses we've ever used. We can switch out the lenses easily to use in all different lighting conditions and they are very durable.
Read why at: The Only Adventure Sunglasses You'll ever need.
- Lightweight, waterproof, midlevel - We learned the hard way when Dave sprained his angle to wear properly supported hiking shoes that go above the ankle. When you are trekking in mountains or jungles, good shoes are recommended for support and to keep your ankles from being scuffed.
- this is truly something everyone should carry when traveling. You'll find that you are open to new opportunities and even if you aren't adventurous, you may go on a trek, need it on a train or bus or power may go out. Bring a Headlamp
- A filtered water bottle means you always have fresh clean water, it's better for the environment than always buying plastic bottles and you will stay hydrated.
- A dry bag is really needed when doing most travels. Naturally it works best for adventure but it has helped us out during rainy season in Africa and during water festivals like Songkran in Thailand or Holi in India. Get the lightweight ones.
- when kayaking or hiking, it's important to keep the harsh sun off your face. On water especially a hat protects against heat stroke and sunburn. Pack a hat with some sort of peak at the front for shade and we love the caps that come with a built in LED light for night time photography or adventures
- We both carry 2 buffs each. They work great for keeping sun off your neck, sand out of your nose and for keeping your hair out of your eyes. There's a reason Survivor gives everyone a buff at the beginning of the show, buffs can be used for many things.
Electronics Packing List
You probably won't need all of these electronics, but we are running a travel blog. Plus Dave is a photographer and we create a lot of videos, so this is a quick list of some suggested gear that you can pick and choose what works for you.
To view a complete list see: Electronics Packing List.
Mac Book Pro
- (3) - 2 hardrives are for Dave's photography and backups. 1 hardrive is for Deb's videos.
= You spend a lot of money on your electronics, don't let a power surge ruin them. A surge protector not only protects your electronics from power surges, it charges several things at once with 3 outlets and 2 USB ports.
Besides the usual toiletries that you'd use like antiperspirant, shampoo and prescription medication, here are a few staple items that you should have on your toiletries packing list.
Click the link - For a complete list of our first aid kit for long term travel
- Moleskin is better than a bandaid when it comes to blisters. It doesn't matter how broken in your hiking boots are, if you are doing a lot of trekking, or even walking around the city, you are bound to get blisters or a raw spot on your foot.
- this medicated powder is great for all occasions. Hot humid weather, backcountry trekking or those times when you are just sticky and uncomfortable, Gold Bond comes to the rescue. We haven't left home without it for more than a decade.