Some would be surprised to know that I am using the exact same bag as Jared, an Osprey Meridian 22. We researched a lot of bags and thought this was the best because it was carry-on size for most major airlines so we don’t have to check luggage. There are also wheels to use when in an urban area (I have not had to convert it to a backpack yet).
You will see that I have a lot more stuff than Jared, but somehow I fit it all into the same size bag. I like to have options, and I have been wearing everything I brought. I did ship back a few items from Italy that I found I was not wearing…regular jeans, Chaco sandals, and a black pashmina.
o Skinny jeans – J Brand
o Khaki pants that are convertible to shorts – North Face
o Khaki Capri pants – very old and I have no idea where I bought them
o Black yoga pants from Victoria secret – great for travel and pajamas
o Black harem pants (purchased in Italy for 10 euro)
o One pair of gray khaki shorts
o Long navy blue cotton dress
o Short tube top dress (great for beach and extremely hot weather) by LA Made
o Cotton gray skirt
o 2 wool icebreaker short-sleeve shirts
o 2 bamboo cotton shirts (one short sleeve, one long sleeve) by Avani
o 1 long sleeve Columbia button down shirt
o 1 white cotton tank top
o 1 gray Rese workout tank top
o 1 nice dressy shirt (tank top)
o 1 Gap hoodie
o 1 North Face shell for rain and wind
o 1 gray wool wrap sweater from Banana Republic
o Havianas flip flops
o Puma tennis shoes
o Tory Burch ballet flats
o Stylish Birkenstocks (purchased in Italy after my Chaco’s were bothering me)
o 1 set of pajamas – shorts and tank top (purchased in Italy when I realized I didn’t have pajamas and we had been staying in dorm rooms with other people in hostels)
o 2 bikinis
o 7 pair of underwear
o 2 bras, 1 sports bra
o 3 pair of socks
o Baseball cap, ski cap, and safari type hat
o 1 pashmina (a must for religious places, can also be used as a blanket or pillow while traveling)
o Quick dry camping towel
o Silk sleep sack
o Small purse for everyday (cross body)
o Extra bag – flip and tumble for the beach, groceries, etc
o LL bean toiletry bag with toiletries – yes, I did bring a couple of items of makeup in case I feel like getting pretty
o Extra bag of medications (prescription and over the counter) – I brought Prednisone and Cipro with me in case we needed antibiotics and were somewhere we couldn’t get them right away and the prednisone is for me because I get horrible reactions to bug bites. I also have emergency migraine medication with me including an injection
o Ray ban polarized sunglasses
o 2 combination locks
o Platypus ½ Liter water sleeve
o A variety of Ziploc bags (this is a must!)
o Sony W series mini notebook (has held up really well and has about a 7 hour battery life)
o Jared’s hand-me-down iPhone 3GS – I use this to read books, check email, etc.
o Canon PowerShot SD880IS – camera I bought Jared a couple of years ago and works great. We discussed buying a nice SLR and decided it was too much weight and bulk to carry and everyone we found traveling extensively with a nice camera, had it stolen or were targeted for a crime.
o Universal power adapters from The Container Store
I think Jared explained in his post that most of our clothes are quick drying which is essential because it seems no one abroad uses dryers. Two of my shirts are made from bamboo and two are wool which makes them all quick drying and anti-microbial (they don’t smell bad!).
I could probably get by with less stuff, but I like the fact that I do not have to wear the same thing every day and I am able to fit it all into my bag so it’s not a problem. I did consciously bring items that can all be interchanged fairly easily. Most of my clothes are khaki, navy, gray, white, black and all go together. One the other hand, I did make sure that I had some bright colored shirts and my one sweatshirt is a bright purple so it makes the wardrobe not as boring. Some guys would not understand this, but I think I would get depressed wearing the same clothes for a year if they were all drab colors. I also know that when I get tired of something, I can give it away or send it home especially because I enjoy taking part in the local fashion style of where ever we are at the time.
We had done some research on a packing list from another couples RTW trip blog. I took her list and then tweaked it to what I needed. I think a female has to be more strategic with packing especially because we plan to be in urban and rural areas. I need to look appropriate when walking into a church in Italy, into a club in Buenos Aires, on the beach in the Greek islands, and on safari!