Female backpacker arriving in train station, Salzburg, Austria. Photo: Getty images


What to pack for a round the world trip

Published November 1st, 2016

Holy guacamole, we’re goin’ round the world! We’re going to see things we’ve never seen before and do things we’ve only ever dreamed of! True, but hold your horses because first there’s a serious note about packing to discuss. You know that person you sometimes see in the airport in tears because they’re so exhausted and stressed from carrying a too-heavy bag halfway around the world?

You don’t want to be that person. Ignore your intuition to take an outfit for every damn occasion and avoid that frustrating airport breakdown – read this little list of what to pack as a #globetrotter while looking chic and feeling sweet.

Side note: We’ve got Black Market Round The World flights from just $1699*. So if you’re a full-time student or under 26, you’ll save & have more to spend on the fun stuff. And with up to 15% off* tours worldwide with Geckos, Intrepid & Contiki you can live like a local every step of the way.

A tri-climate coat

Expensive sure, but this is the one investment you will not regret, ever. Rainy but steamy? Wear the outer layer by itself. Cold but dry? Slip on the inner feather down layer. Bloody cold, and wet, and windy all at once? Wear the whole damn thing and you’ll never complain again. Invest, I tell you, you’ll never be cold, wet, or miserable about the weather again.


A photo posted by Scott_Kranz (@scott_kranz) on

A solid pair of shoes

I’m not talking glam knee high heeled boots here ladies. I’m talking decent waterproof, comfortable boots or sneakers for both dudes and girls. The kind that you can hike up a mountain in, wear with a pair of jeans and pair with pretty much anything to pull off chic travel style. Just look at any travel bloggers’ Instagram and you’ll see what I mean – Converse or lace up leathers, whatever your style.


A photo posted by Emilie Ristevski (@helloemilie) on


From winter in Berlin to steaming heat in Hong Kong, going round the world means dressing for anything. The first mistake travellers often make is packing too much. No you probably don’t need that pair of red stilettos for boating in the Greek Islands (you’re likely not allowed to wear them on board anyway), nor do you really want three heavy jumpers, even if you are going to Canada in December. The truth is, when travelling around the world, sure you want to look good, but you’re probably the only one who will notice you’ve been wearing the same 5 outfits for two months straight. On that note, quality is key – keep reading.


A photo posted by BrookeHil (@brookecarriehil) on

Quality clothing

As with the winter coat investment, this applies to all clothing. When you’re going to be wearing the same t-shirts everyday for a year, they’ve got to be good or you’ll be shopping at each stop. Go for materials like cotton, denim and cashmere for comfort and durability. Silk is not wise. Nor is anything that needs ironing.

Wheel free luggage

I’m telling you once and once only, do NOT take a suitcase around the globe. You’ll be cursing it when climbing stairs to your B&B in Positano, lugging it block after block in Lower Manhattan peak hour, and across a stoney field to your hostel in northern Norway. Backpack all the way baby.


A photo posted by Errin Casano (@errincasa) on

A small amount of toiletries

Yes you need the essentials, but don’t take huge amounts of them. After being on the road even for a few weeks your toiletries bag can get a bit icky. Throw in a leak or two of shampoo and it’s just yuck. There’s no going back from there. So pack small and replenish along the way. Same goes for things like shoelaces. Unless you’re going to Antarctica, there will be someone somewhere selling shoelaces and shampoo, promise.


A photo posted by Jason Tran (@jasontran.quil) on

An electronic stash of your important stuff

Don’t take copies of your documents. Chances are if your stuff gets stolen, it all gets stolen. So scan your important documents, like passports and credit cards, and have them available via email or an online storage server. And protect it with a ‘very strong’ password, please.


A photo posted by Josh Denison (@joshden) on

A decent camera (and external hard drive)

Photos are your memories. Depending on how into snapping away you are, your smartphone may well take good enough photos. If not, DSLR’s are reasonably cheap these days too. Regardless of how you capture your travels though, be sure to back up your photos regularly. Take an external hard drive to save your photos to if you’re privy to using one, but if not back them up to an online storage hub like Dropbox. Most hostels have free WiFi and computers you can use, so even if you’re travelling without a computer, you can back up your photos– safe in the knowledge they will be there when you return home.


A photo posted by Haidee Lorenz (@haidee_lorenz) on

Bonus tip: books

I’m not a fan of e-readers. If you are, that’s great, I’m sure it’s super handy having one thing that’s light and easy to carry with thousands of reads on it. But if, like me, you’re not, don’t take one. IMO it’s one less thing to have to worry about. And the smell of musty book pages is so vintage amiright?

Now how's this for an insane flight price: Black Market Round The World flights from just $1699* plus up to 15% off* tours worldwide with Geckos, Intrepid & Contiki. 

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Vicki Fletcher

An Australian travel writer and photographer, Vicki loves road trips down unknown tracks, following locals to the best food in town and spending long afternoons people watching in city squares. She's obsessed with colours, stops to admire flowers and dreams of one day restoring a chateau in France. Her top travel tip: always look up. Follow her on Instagram @vickijanefletcher.