What Items Should You Pack for a Round the World Trip?

If you are planning a long, meandering trip round the planet then sorting out your luggage is going to be one of the most important parts of the preparations.

I can still remember standing in front of a backpack that was fit to burst and wondering how to cram in all of the other stuff I thought I needed to take. Being away from home for a long time is a scary thought but that doesn’t mean that you need to try and take every single one of your possessions away with you. So what are the most important items to pack?

A Selection of Books?

If you love reading and are going to a county where English isn’t spoken then you might wonder how you are going to get some reading material. Books are wonderful for getting you through evenings in the hotel or waiting time in bus stations and airports. They can also make it a lot easier to feel comfortable with eating out alone. Thankfully, if you are going somewhere that is popular with backpackers you should find book exchanges in many hotels and restaurants. One of my smartest moves was to just take away a couple of cheap, thin books and then continually exchange them during the trip. This also lets you read other books that you wouldn’t otherwise have tried.

A Mosquito Net?

I carried a reasonably expensive mosquito net round the world with me. How many times did I use it? Once, and even then it wasn’t strictly necessary. Even cheap hotels will usually give you protection from mosquitoes in areas where it is necessary. If you are going to be camping or staying in the jungle then it could be more necessary.


A Travel Towel?

Not every hotel will give you a towel. Even those that do might give you a grungy one you would rather not touch. This makes a travel towel something well worth taking away. They come in small packages and once you use yours it will dry out really quickly. From personal experience they get smelly quite quickly but you can then wash it and it’ll be as good as new.

A Sleeping Bag?

I also carried a sleeping bag round the world without ever really needing to use it. It took up a huge amount of space at the bottom of my backpack and I ended up leaving it with a local charity near the end of my trip. Unless you are going camping you probably don’t need one of these bulky things. You can sometimes hire them for organised camping trips anyway.

A Flashlight?

One of the unexpectedly useful items you don’t want to leave at home is a flashlight. You might never use one of these at home but they are incredibly handy on a long trip. I first used mine on an overnight bus journey when my radio batteries fell on the floor of a darkened bus and started rolling about all over the place. I also put it to good use in the jungle, when reading in bed in hotels with poor lighting and during the power cuts I came across on my travels.

Tons of Clothes?

One of the most exciting things about spending a lot of time in other countries is the fact that you can buy and try out new clothes. I took away far too many clothes with me and ended up dumping some of them. A better idea would have been to spend less on clothes before the trip and then buy more cool stuff while travelling. If you go to Asia or Latin America then you will be spoiled for choice when it comes to nice, cheap clothes.

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