Packing/Planning Travel Tips

Packing Update

April 27, 2016

So as you might imagine, I’m SICK OF EVERYTHING I HAVE TO WEAR AND I CAN’T STAND IT. My traveling wardrobe has actually changed quite a bit from when I started my journey back in September. I’ve lost things, tossed things, picked up new items either out of necessity or just plain desire, and I’ve mailed a few pieces home along with some souvenirs (the fact that my packages from Hoi An and Luang Prabang made it to Monticello, Indiana after months on a slow boat is incomprehensible to me, but I’m mighty glad it worked out).

Thankfully when I met up with my parents in Costa Rica (more on that soon), my mom brought me a few new items from my closet at home and relieved me of things I considered burning. Here are my new treasures (some of which I may leave here in CR):

Wide-brim hat (sadly I can’t travel with this)

But the three things I LIVE in are the

NOTE: All of these specific items are either sold out or are old from many, many seasons ago, but I tried to include links to similar things.

After 7+ months on the road I’ve reevaluated my recommended packing list, but let me first impart/reinforce some tips:

Under pack – I can’t say it enough. You’ll buy stuff along the way and usually for WAY cheaper than you can get it back home. And you pretty much wear the same items over and over (jean shorts + black tank = my uniform).



Take neutrals – Not only are neutrals easier to mix and match, I find that I am actually less sick of my plainer items. What can I say – I love black.

Materials matter – I packed the cutest black dress that had a little pattern and was super flattering… and I wore it maybe twice. It was cotton and when shoved in my bag it became impossibly wrinkled. I didn’t look cute anymore… I looked homeless. I’m all about jersey, knit and cotton/stretch clothing now and pretty much shun everything else.

If I were to do it all over again (and hopefully I will), here are the things I would pack:

  1. Black, white, grey tanks
  2. Black, white, grey T-shirts
  3. One nicer top (I’ve got a specific white short sleeve button up in mind)
  4. Beige knit tank (I saw this on someone and now I’m lusting after it)
  5. Jean shorts
  6. Plain colored cloth shorts
  7. Dark jeans (depending on the weather)
  8. Leggings
  9. Solid colored maxi skirt
  10. Solid colored midi skirt (optional)
  11. Flowy maxi dress
  12. One short easy dress
  13. Chambray long sleeve shirt (I lost mine in Chiang Mai!)
  14. Long sleeve T
  15. Light sweater (had to pick this up in Vietnam)
  16. Light flowy pants
  17. Workout shorts
  18. Bras (sports, regular, strapless)
  19. Underwear
  20. Three bathing suits (one sporty bikini, one sexy bikini, one one-piece)
  21. Athletic shoes
  22. Sandals
  23. Socks
  24. PJs (essential in mixed dorms)

This is still probably over-doing it, but you want mostly casual/comfortable stuff, a few things to “dress up” in, and despite my promise to “follow the sun” I found myself in cold weather a few times, cursing the amount of sundresses I had brought and my serious lack of anything warm. Happy packing!

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