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How To Pack For A Year Of Travel

How To Pack For A Year Of Travel

You always hear about the distinction between travellers and tourists, we love to group each other into stereotypical categories. Dread locked hippies vs. power couples. Gear up for a year of travel and you’ll quickly notice the difference between the two. Packing brings out the best, and the crazy, especially when fitting your life into a backpack for 12 months. Tourist, just don’t do this.

It’s true. There is no specific or ideal way to pack your life into a bag. Rolling vs. Stuffing. Which is right for you? It’s one of the great debates right up there with coffee vs. tea. We’re a diverse group of adventure women, both methods save space; so we were left with a better idea to focus on what exactly should we pack?


To wheel or not to wheel. Answer? Go a hybrid backpack. They are amazing and perfect for long-term travel. Soft, well framed, wheeled backpacks which mostly come with a zip off daypack. The luxury of wheels is hard to sacrifice for the sake of your back muscles. However, when mosh-pitting onto a train in India with a wheeled bag you will be wishing your bag had backpack straps. An 80L Deuter will do you justice to escort you around the world, and they’re stylish. Be aware of security in backpacker hostels and on public transport – take extra padlocks, zip locks and bike chains.


In a world filled with Instagrams and Snapchat, technology on any long-term trip is highly recommended. Everyone has personal opinions about the use of technology on trips, but at after 12 months, with hundreds of experiences, it’s nice to scroll through a year of travel well documented. The smaller the technology the better, obviously a laptop is handy however if you’re taking your laptop do you also need your iPad? Keep it simple and downsize everything – iPhones can serve as a camera and computer. If you are a camera enthusiast (not a professional photographer), leave the huge DSLR at home and take a compact camera or even better, invest in a GoPro, which is perfect for adventurers. An external hard drive is also an excellent idea to store photos and movies for the road. Power packs are also a good idea for multi-day hikes. Adapters are critical however; you can buy/borrow these pretty much everywhere in the world.


A year is a long time stay in those elephant harem pants you bought in Thailand. The sombrero was cool in Mexico but in London it’s obsolete. Feeling good is synonymous with looking good and that means packing a little extra variety to spruce up that repetitive 365-day closet. It’s nice after a hike to put on some clean clothes. Here is a yearlong packing list for the girl who plans to ski, hike, swim, dance, drive and interact with the locals.

A Year Long Packing List For Women

  •  2 jeans, 1 harem pant, 1 exercise tights.  
  •  3 skirts - one is floaty and boho, the other denim and khaki 
  •  3 shorts - one denim, one black linen, one funky patterned. 
  •  2 long sleeve shirts, black.  
  •  4 singlets 
  • ​ 2x exercise bras and shirt. You don’t want to be wearing sweaty sports bras! 
  •  4 pairs of simmers 
  •  3 dresses, one plain black - knee length, one floral, one flowy tie dye 
  •  Thick turtle jumper 
  •  Kathmandu fleece 
  •  light weight black cotton cardigan 
  •  1x pair of thongs, one light black sandals, runners and converse 
  •  Denim jacket for everything and everywhere  
  •  Undies, bras, stockings, socks.  
  •  Rain coat

Sizable list you say? Have you tried packing cubes? When trips are cross climate it’s important to be prepared to layer, buy and leave clothes behind. Also clothing sensitivities are crucial when considering cultural differences. In Egypt for example, tight clothes are not as respectful as well as clothing in Jordan needs to be conservative, however tightness doesn’t matter. Do your research. Pack a travel clothesline and be prepared to wash your stuff (undies especially) or wear them inside out. Gross? Or brilliant? You decide.

At the end of the day, take what you want! Take your favourite cleanser; pack two scarves if it makes you happy. A sleeping bag never did go astray. However remember – unless you’re going into on a mountaineering expedition, where clothing needs to be specific for weather conditions, or if you’re away weeks on end in the wilderness, almost everything you need can be purchased around the World and in fact you will probably want to buy things as you go. And let’s admit it, embracing traveller’s fashion and embracing the stereotype of a dread locked hippie is half the fun of a woman on an adventure. The most important part of any 12-month travel, even if you forgot your whole packing list, is the memories and experiences.

Do you have some helpful tips and packing tricks you could add to the list? Add them to the comments below and share your packing suggestions.

Happy Travelling Ladies

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