I bring you – my backpack closet for the next five months. Traveling the world is a planning feat in itself. Packing to travel the world is a whole other challenge.
Nate and I traveled the world and lived in backpacks from May 2018 through May 2019 (367 days, 25 countries, 70+ cities). We learned A LOT through that process and literally started planning our next packing decisions before we even arrived home. I am far more confident in my choices this time around.
This blog post is designed for two purposes –
1. Help those who want to travel the world, or travel long term (where you’re living in a suitcase or backpack) choose quality, versatile products. And to give you a place to START the planning process.
2. For those who dig my style and trust my #influence, to shop some of my fav products. I am NOT working with any of these companies (I wish), but I did use some affiliate links (if you make a purchase via one of my links I earn a teeny tiny commission).
I’ve separated the wardrobe into sections, and YES, I include bras as well because you NEED versatile bras as well.
You can find my fav travel bags, purses, and luggage for function + style. Some photos are NOT the actual items linked. Strictly for image creation. But all ACTUAL items are linked if the item or something similar is available.
My goal with this round (2020) was to NOT sacrifice my style for function. In 2018-2019 I went ALL function and missed having my style. So yes, we’re bringing the hoop earrings and pointy toed nude flats this round. The world truly is not ready for me.
Let’s dive into the packing:
North Face Thermoball Hoodie [had to go in store for this color]
Patagonia Frozen Range 3 in 1 Parka in Sage Khaki
Forever 21 hi-low racer-back dress [got for $12 six years ago – dress it up or down, swimsuit coverup, throw a belt around the waist. So good]
Asos Native Youth Volume Maxi Smock Dress in Stripe [if out of stock, they’ll show similar dresses]
Great for a modest option and multi-seasonal
Essex Lane Eleanor Loafer in light brown leather. Only flat you’ll ever need.
Hiking/running shoe – Norvan LD GTX Women’s Shoe (wanted a waterproof shoe but NOT a hiking boot)
Rigcage Straight Ankle Jeans – washed black (not currently available, but similar styles are).
Mountain Hardware AP Scrambler Pant
Fabletics – Trinity High Waisted in Black (thicker and more compressive than power hold + warmer).
Not pictured (added late) P’tula Stealth Edition Leggings in 23″ (LOVE THESE)
I love me some leggings. All the colors, all the patterns, all the mesh. BUT with traveling and using capsule wardrobes, simple and versatile is really best. So I went for two pairs of black leggings that can be worn hiking, working out, with a tee and jean jacket, or with sweaters and rain boots. ALSO, one must consider durability. Mesh does not travel and wash well for long periods of time. I found this out the hard way in round one. I went through TEN pairs of leggings via trial and error last round. The conclusion aggressively pointed to plain, black, comfortable leggings. Go figure.
Nike 2 in 1 black shorts – I also have the grey on grey but trying to only bring one.
Columbia (have had these for four years. They’re a godsend and Columbia does not make these anymore but might have something similar. I will cry the day these give out).
H&M Mock Neck Wool Knit Sweater (not exact, but closest I could find, and H&M has tons of great sweaters)
Aerie Sunday Soft Quarter Zip – grey (may not be available but Aerie sweatshirts are amazing). Just needed something cozy to throw on, wear every day.
Aerie Ribbed Long Sleeve – I LOVE this top. A solid basic long sleeve is a staple and can be worn during EVERY season. Winning.
GapFit Breathe Long Sleeve Hi-Low tunic – white (not currently available – not pictured above, white long sleeve taking its place)
Patagonia Capiline Midnight Crew Base Layer (not for style, but for function – therefore not pictured)
Aerie Oversized Boyfriend Tee (available colors and graphics change often – the black I have is currently not available)
Fabletics S/S Crew Neck Camo Tee – Great with leggings, jeans or for a workout. Imagine it under a jean jacket. Just so good.
Late addition found at Walmart for $7.88 in the kids section…my new fav Lion King “Hakuna Matata” (see photo of packed tops).
Aerie Boyfriend denim button-up
Classic Lightweight flannel [mens, from an REI garage sale. Elbows have holes in them and I freaking love it].
Victoria’s Secret Sport – no longer available – had for 5-6 years now
Reebok – (might be phased out, but I found them for years at Dicks for $10) – white
Tunic from Target ages ago
Black flowy crop – got wholesale
See packed photos.
Aerie Swim – I live in Aerie swim suits. I love their high waisted bottoms and structured bandeau + scoop neck tops. Actually bringing two swimsuits from Aerie. The blue one in the packing photos is discontinued.
It is important for me to have bras that can be worn with multiple cuts of shirts, and as a sports bra or normal bra.
Here are my favs for a good price. All three have a deep back, front, and straps that can become cross or racer back, which is ideal for me.
GapFit Seamless Low Support Plunge Bra – I have real small tatas so this is fine for me. PERHAPS if you’re larger than a C cup this would not work as a sports bra.
Athleta Renewal Bra – This was my saving grace last time around the world. I wore this thing to its death. It IS durable. But I basically wore it EVERYDAY for a year. So…it’s worn out.
Other than that, I like Old Navy sports bras. I don’t need much.
Peak Design Everyday Messenger – Nate uses and LOVES this bag for his electronics, books, headphones etc.
Peak Design Everyday Backpack – I used this 2018-2019, largely because the drone took up so much space. But since droning is illegal most places and ours was confiscated in Morocco…I didn’t need space for it this time.
Kamrette Avana shoulder/crossbody bag – this bag is HIGH QUALITY, customer service was amazing and it works as a classy everyday purse (it’s large) or a laptop/camera/planner bag. Perfect for travel – has shoulder strap + shorter, hand/shoulder option. Very affordable in comparison to other stylish camera/electronic bags.
Osprey Farpoint/Fairview 65 L Roller Backpack – We had backpacking backpacks last year. The updated version with a rolling options is THE BEST for versatility. This also had more compartments, which was important for me this time around.
Osprey Packing Cubes – I used two large for clothing, and a medium for underwear/bras and swimsuits.
Osprey Ultra Lite Stuff Pack – Our old Osprey packs had a day pack attached. So we got these little guys just in case we need something for day hikes and whatnot.
Osprey Straight Jacket Compression Sack 20L – This is what my sweaters, 3-in-1 parka and other winter items go in. It’s UH-Mazing.
(above) This is EVERYTHING packed into my two bags.
(above) Breakdown of the “electronics” bag (Kamrette Avana bag) – laptop, planner, notebooks, hard drive, camera, lens, podcast mic, noise canceling headphones, and appropriate cords and chargers. In the top photo, you can see the Avana bag zipped up.
(above) Main pack outer pocket – Praises for having more than one gaping pocket in this Osprey backpack. My treasured denim jacket fits perfect in the outer pocket.
(above) Mesh zip compartments – flats (or sandals which I was wearing during this shoot) in one pouch, socks in the other. My shortie socks have not arrived yet.
(above) Main pack top pouch – Vivobarefoot Primus Lite shoes + a dress. Perfect for stuffing anything that will fit, really.
(above) Main Osprey Pack – Above, you can see my main pack completely packed on the left, and everything from the MAIN COMPARTMENT on the right. Mesh pouches and top pouch are shown previously.
In the main area (which I will break down shortly), we have make up, toiletries, brush, undergarments and swimsuits, tops, bottoms, a dress, rain boots, trail runners, jackets, sweaters and accessories like a scarf and hat…its all inside the Osprey packing cubes and compression bag. Magical, I know.
(above) Medium packing cube – underwear and bras (not shown) and swimsuits. Hand for size reference.
(above) Large packing cube grey – Pants and leggings.
(above) Large packing cube teal– Tops & shorts (tanks, t-shirts, long sleeves, and button ups).
(above) Inside the 20L compression sack – This is like Mary Poppins, I know. But it is real life. Patagonia 3-in-1 Frozen Parka, Northface Themoball (packed into it’s hood), sweaters Underarmour sweatpants, and beanie.
(above) Aaaaaand my accessories. Because I like to feel classy. Yes, hoops are classy.
That’s what’s coming with me around the world for a second time!
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I'm an adventurous introvert from Vancouver, Washington who lives on sleep + "me time." I'm a lover of lifting weights, dinosaurs, real talk and traveling with my husband. I am here to help you move better, lift more, bust the myths of the fitness industry, and inspire you to love the process.
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