The best things to pack for long-term travel

December 07, 2017

Are you planning to travel long-term? Maybe you’ve saved up a tidy sum and you’re planning to stay on the road until your money runs out or you work remotely and you’d like to travel indefinitely? This is an incredible opportunity and you’ll have some amazing adventures on your trip.

But it can be difficult to know just what to pack as you prepare to leave everything else behind. You can only carry so much with you, and you’ll quickly discover that lighter is better- both when you’re taking low-cost airlines and when you’re walking with a backpack on your back.

Here are the best things to pack for long-term travel:


Smart Clothes

Any clothes you need can generally be found on the road. Although you’ll often find that some Asian countries have much smaller sizing than you may be used to. However, there’s no question that you’ll want to leave with enough clothes to keep you going for at least a week between washes. If you’re going to be spending six months in the sun before heading somewhere cooler, it doesn’t make sense to pack winter clothes- it’s a much better idea to buy them at your eventual destination.

You will need a nice going-out outfit, along with some casual clothes like dresses, sarongs, or a kimono. While on the road, try to choose sustainable fashion so you can support local workers instead of contributing to the poor quality of life many factory workers face.


If you’re working on the road, you’ll need a reliable laptop. In many countries, brands like Apple are much more expensive, and they may not have actual Apple stores. If you have a Mac, it’s a good idea to check that everything is working well before your trip. You’ll also want to bring a smartphone loaded with travel apps, and an e-reader for those long flights or bus trips.

A First-Aid Kit

Almost anything you’ll need can be found in most pharmacies around the world, although the brand name may be slightly different (or in another language). If you do get sick though, the last thing you’ll want to do is use Google translate or mime what you need at a pharmacy. Stock up on the basics like antibiotic creams, bandages, Tylenol, malaria medication, birth control, water purification tablets, antihistamines, and medicine in the event you have an upset stomach.


You’re unlikely to need hard copies of any documents while you’re on the road, but you may want to take a copy of your passport and keep it separated from your other travel documents. You’ll also often need passport photos for visas around the world, so get a few of these done before you leave to avoid last-minute stress. Any important bank information or numbers should be backed up on Google Drive or Evernote so you can access them from anywhere.