Packing List for Women Traveling the World on a Budget

Packing sucks.

Packing for international travel sucks more.

How much do I bring? Do I worry about unexpected weather? What if there's some once-in-a-lifetime fancy event I need to attend?! What if I rip a giant hole in the butt of my only pants (looking at you, Warren)?!

The first year of our travels will be in fairly warm climates (never below 50F / 10C and mostly around 80F / 27C). Therefore, we don't need much for the winter.

My proportions are pretty normal, so I don't need special clothes. My feet are awful but insoles help.

Still, how to pack?!

My first attempt at packing went something like this

We started sorting through our crap using Spartan Traveler's amazing packing list after five years of traveling.

We then decided to stay under 15lb per person, so we never have to pay for baggage on airplanes.

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Some good takeaways and tips:

  1. Don't buy fancy travel stuff if you already have something. Buy the perfect one when it needs replacing.
  2. Laundry isn't that bad if you do it every day. Hand washing means that you don't need a full load, either.
  3. People actually do live just fine in the rest of the world -- you can get basics when you get there.
  4. You're already a weirdo in another country. Who cares if your clothes are silly? Who are you trying to impress? For this reason. I left all makeup and jewelry back home (or in the trash, or sold for gold). I brought clothes I like, not clothes that are fashionable.

So, here's my packing list as of September 2017. We are traveling together, so if you want to see it all, take a look at Warren's Packing List for Men, which also has some of our shared stuff. I got all the toiletries, he has heavier tech. He's also more clever, so it's probably more fun to read his posts!

Finally, before I begin, I encourage you to please use our links below if you are going to buy something -- we get a cut sometimes and you get a verified Cool Thing!

For the ladies:

Not pictured: old iPhone

Following Warren's lead, I'll start from the top right and go column by column.
  • Jansport Ultrabreak backpack
  • Neck pillow (good for the trans-Pacific flight, but probably getting tossed)
  • Ugly but useful redneck baseball hat (thanks to my stepdad! This hat was too nerdy for a man in his 60s.)
  • My only handbag, the Travel Money Belt with RFID Blocking by Simply4Travel (with added Wyoming eclipse sticker)
  • Toiletries:
  • Misc:
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Ultrathon insect repellant
  • Sunbum sunscreen - Great stuff! very strong and gentle on your skin. We buy more sunscreen when we get places, but it's good to have some when you arrive.
  • LUSH shampoo bar and tin. These things are amazing because they take the water weigh out of shampoo, plus they can't explode mid-flight all over your only pair of pants.
  • Medical stuff (Neosporin, Tums, ibuprofen, bandages, some leftover cold medicine)
  • Toothbrushes, toothpaste, and floss
  • Shoes:
    • Ultrasoft leather perforated flats
    • Naot Dorith cork-sole gladiator sandals (I LOVE THESE and they are my third pair. I love them so much that my mother bought some and mother-in-law bought a similar pair of Naots!)
    • New Balance running shoes

  • Sports bra and 2x regular bras (although I will trash one soon)
  • 2x bathing suits
  • Sleep tank and pants
  • Scarf for modesty
  • Handkerchief
  • Shocking useful Travel towel
  • Reusable water bottle (most airports have refill stations now, and large bottled water is always cheaper than small bottles)

  • 6x underwear
  • 2x Smartwool PhD cycling ultra-lightweight socks (I love these socks and wish I had always owned them)
  • Bottoms:
    • Workout pants and shorts (may trash the shorts)
    • Silky pants
    • Amazingly comfortable and flattering prAna Makenna board shorts:
  • Tops:
    • Athletic long sleeve and short sleeve shirt
    • 4x t-shirts (one or two will be trashed soon)
  • Leopard lightweight raincoat
  • Microsoft Surface 2 (and cord) which you can buy refurbished for a great deal -- super light weight and gets the job done!
  • USB reading light (plugs into our Anker batteries which Warren carries)
  • Bose QuietComfort 20 noise cancelling headphones (a godsend on airplanes):
  • Sunglasses
  • MVMT watch
  • IPhone charger and converter

  • galaxxxy Manga hoodie from Tokyo
  • 2x canvas bags
  • Misc paperwork (some covered in my considerations post) and extra plastic bags
  • Jumbo Wrappa beeswax reusable food wrap to protect the environment, and our fruit :)


Pretty well, actually! Here's my travel outfit and all of my gear, with water bottle and hoodie in hand:
So hot right now

So, could you cut life down to 15lb?

(Check out Warren's packing list too)


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