How to Pack Light & Smart for a Round the World

September 4, 2016

Travelling is one of the most exciting things we can possibly do. What’s not so exciting is the packing process…

Packing is definitely one of the most challenging things when preparing to your trip. Combined with the fact that you are probably spending a long period of time with a little part of your wardrobe/life on your backpack, it’s a pretty stressful job to get everything together without forgetting all the essentials.

Depending on where, when and how you are travelling your needs will be (obviously) different. But generally, there are a few tips all backpackers can make good use of.

Travelling light is one of the main goals when you are carrying a bulk backpack on your shoulders, so making smart combinations and keeping things simple is the best practice. We managed to pack everything we needed in an 11kg travel pack each + day pack.

Buy clothing that can be used in various occasions, are easy to pack, sleek and small and can be matched easily with other pieces of clothes. Another good tip is to pick a colour scheme for your ‘wardrobe’ so you can match each piece easily and quickly. Without wasting too much time and being as practical as possible.
Some of these garments have to be thought out and specifically bought. We researched some of those and found really good options.

We looked for the ones that were: a) good price; b) good quality & c) versatile.

Here are some of the key garments we found that ticked all the boxes and we loved.

Patagonia Torrent Shell Jacket

Patagonia Jacket

Packable (into the side pocket), light and wind/rain proof, this jacket was our perfect pick as we are not travelling to cold weather countries but need some option in case things get colder or we find ourselves in a rainy season.

UNIQLO Denim Jogger Pants
Denim Joggers

These pants are one of  the most versatile types of jeans I’ve seen. Besides from being denim (and denim is always a classic), they are also more comfortable that your regular pair of jeans. A little ‘baggier’ than the common fit, this denim pair makes it for almost all occasions and uses up less space in your backpack than its regular counterpart.

UNIQLO Heattech

UNIQLO Heattech

This shirt right there: thin, light, keeps you warm, avoids bad odours and you can find in many sizes, colours and models. The Heattech technology made by UNIQLO is great if you are travelling and need to stay warm but doesn’t have much spare space as it’s super small and compact.

Havaianas Espadrille

One shoe, all occasions type of thing. This super comfortable pair of Havaianas is one of our favourite pieces. Apart from practicality, they are light, washable and utter comfortable. Go from day to night with no hassles. A very casual pair of shoes that can take you anywhere!

So here is what we are taking:



  • 5 T-shirts/tops
  • 2 long-sleeved shirt
  • 1 lightweight wind/waterproof jacket (Patagonia)
  • 2 shorts
  • 1 pair of loose pants
  • 1 pair of leggings (they are great for long walks, exercise, flying, etc)
  • 1 pair of jeans
  • 1 skirt
  • 2 dresses
  • 5 pieces of underwear
  • 2 bras (2 tan/1 black)
  • 3 pairs of socks
  • 1 pair of thongs (flip-flops/sandals)
  • 1 pair of comfortable, everyday shoes (Havaianas)
  • 1 pair of sneakers


  • Scarves (1 plain/1 pattern)
  • Headbands
  • Necklaces, rings and bracelets*

Basic Toiletries:

  • Microfibre towel
  • Hair brush
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Floss
  • Moisturiser
  • Deodorant
  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Menstrual cup (if you are not sure what is this, check it out here)
  • Razor (for quick repairs)
  • Tweezers
  • Prescription drugs (pill, pain-killers, anti-histaminic)**
  • Hair pins/Hair ties


  • Blush
  • Mascara
  • Lip Balm
  • Lipstick
  • Kajal Pencil



  • 5 T-shirts
  • 1 long-sleeved shirts
  • 1 lightweight wind/waterproof jacket
  • 5 shorts
  • 1 pair of jeans
  • 7 pieces of underwear
  • 3 pairs of socks
  • 1 pair of thongs (flip-flops/sandals)
  • 1 pair of comfortable, everyday shoes
  • 1 pair of sneakers/training shoes


  • Scarf
  • Belts

Basic Toiletries:

  • Small dry towel
  • Hair brush
  • toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Floss
  • Deodorant
  • Shampoo
  • Razor
  • Prescription drugs (pill, pain-killers, anti-histaminic)**

*Remember: don’t take expensive jewellery items. High risk of losing or having it stolen.
**Double check that you are taking a prescription to all your drugs as it may be necessary when entering other countries, plus check if the drugs are not illegal in other countries too. It may be an extra hassle.


  • MacBook+ charger
  • Phone + charger
  • Universal plug adapter
  • Camera
  • Camera charger/spare battery
  • Spare SD Cards/External HD
  • Book
  • Travel Diary
  • Pens
  • Sunglasses
  • Prescription glasses/contact lenses
  • Tissues
  • Spare change of clothes
  • Basic toiletries
  • Wallet
  • Passports & Documents
  • Hat or cap

This is our packing list for our year travelling around the world.

Packing is highly personal and finding your ideal list may take some time to perfect. Ensure you’ve got your priorities defined and with that in mind, start planning and packing!

Is there anything you would or wouldn’t take with you? Let us know in the comments and share with us your favourite travelling items.

Larissa & Jean

About us

Jean & Larissa
A couple of Brazilians traveling the world on the budget for 1 year. Check what we’ve been up to and how we’ve been doing it…

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