Our RTW Packing List

The old me- a 65L pack for a 1 month trip!

So what do  you pack for an Indefinite Travel Adventure?

I have no idea, I’ve never been on one before. So why read on? Because I’ve made plenty of packing mistakes in my ten or more years of traveling on shorter journeys, and I am hell-bent on not repeating them this time.

I have a rule, or rather a phrase that sets my mind at ease: They do have shops in other countries! That means if we forget something we can pick it up en-route, and if we decide to detour via Antarctica (in our dreams!), we will not freeze to death.

The Backpacks

Now you may remember my post, Excess Baggage, in which I announced (in true drama-queen fashion, as though the world was waiting with bated breath as to the type of pack Sarah had chosen) we had decided to travel with teeny 40L packs.

Now the professional long-term traveler my scoff, “Are you kidding me dude, I don’t bother with anything over thirty-five,” but for us, 40L of space to stuff our lives into is quite a challenge.

One that we have risen to! At least we have so far, 13 days out from our departure.

We picked up our packs in the Kathmandu boxing day sale (not the Nepalese city, but the Australian camping slash travel gear store of the same name), at less than half price:$349, reduced to $129 each. Bargain.

The requirement was that they be light weight, and have a zip that allows it to open up , instead of one of those tube-type ones where you always pack the thing you need right down the bottom, and have to expel everything else from the pack in order  to access it.

The Technology

Sony E-book readers: Seems like the whole world has gone kindle mad, which is probably why we have gone Sony mad. Tyrhone is somewhat of a non-conformist, and rarely goes for the popular choice when it comes to gadgets. (When I met him, he proudly donned an i River mp3 player proclaiming adamantly that it was far superior to the popular iPod, and still does).

He has the new model equipped with a case with in-built light, whilst I have his hand-me-down older model that I can’t find a case for as they don’t make them anymore.

My Baby- The Toshiba Ultra-book Z830.



She’s oh so light at a weeny 1.1kg and a very skinny 10mm thick, and has a back-lit keyboard that I actually find very useful when typing in low light.

Tyrhone knows the technical side of things, and assures me she will rise to any challenges an amatuer writer/blogger/photographer/film maker like me can throw at her.

I had a hp net book that I was considering taking with me, but it’s no contest when it comes to weight, battery life, speed and function. I’m giving my old net book to my 2 -year-old niece in the hope that she will learn how to Skype…

Tyrhone is packing an Asus U31S, which though very powerful is quite jealous of his slimmer, cuter cousin. But as a digital artist and graphic designer, he needs the extra oomph for running Photoshop and other design programmes.

And we’re carrying a Western Digital My Passport 500GB hard drive with some movies and series (who wouldn’t want to watch Keeping Up With The Kardashians on a Cambodian island paradise, I ask you?), and to store our travel photos and films.

Say “cheeeeeese!”

Tyrhone’s brother Brendan has very generously given us his old DSLR, a Nikon D200. We ummed and aahed about whether to get one or not, considering the weight, the size and of course the cost. Not ones to look a gift horse in the mouth, we are now the proud owners of a DSLR camera with a brand new lens. Look out world, we’re shooting! She’s a little heavy, but we’re hoping she’s worth it (can somebody tell me why I’m calling everything she?).

We also purchased a new Canon Powershot SX230HS point and shoot. She (why stop now?) takes full HD video, which I am really psyched about, and has a 14x zoom.

We are taking our iPhones (we do conform on some things) as we have managed to cancel our contracts, but had to pay out a bit for the handsets. Tyrhone will just have to wait till his meets an unfortunate end until he can get his hands on the Samsung he so desires. His disdain for all things Apple, as though they are part of some conspiracy to quite simply PISS HIM OFF is worsening. Please, someone get him a windows phone, pronto!


It protects us from the elements, the vital membrane shielding us from all manner of ghastly natural phenomenon: sun, rain, bugs, man-eating rats. Well maybe not them.


I’m packing:

  • 4 pairs of light weight, quick drying underwear (obviously I’ll be doing a lot of rinsing)
  • 1 pr Light weight, quick drying trousers, which fold to 3/4
  • 1 lightweight, quick drying black tank top
  • 2 light weight, (you see a pattern emerging?) quick drying T-shirts, in white and blue
  • 1 Polar fleece, (yep you guessed it, light weight, quick drying)
  • 1 waterproof jacket, that folds up into its pocket
  • 1 pair of shorts (LWQD)
  • 1 cotton kaftan-like Indian style top, to keep the sun off
  • 1 pair bikinis
  • 2-3 sundresses, depending how strict I decide to be
  • 6 pairs of socks, quick drying of course
  • 3 bras

Tyrhone basically has the male version of all that, minus the dresses, bikinis, bras and kaftan. Oh and he has boy knickers.

I’m hoping not to look like a traveling fashion victim, but fear it’s unavoidable.


We both have a pair of runners that we’re hoping will cover us for the odd hike aswell.  Tyrhone lives in nothing but his Asics trainers 365 days a year (except on days when I make him wear ‘dress up shoes’, i.e weddings), so he has nothing to worry about. I, however, am leaving my hiking boots behind as they are too big and heavy, so I’m hoping my Nike Trail runners which are supposedly water ‘resistant’ and seem to have excellent grip, will do the trick for the odd hike.

If we decide to do some serious trekking, I’ll re-evaluate (or beg my Mum to send me my trusty Salomon boots).

As for flip-flops/sandals, the jury is still out. But we will each have one pair, once we decide on the best course of action. I am looking into a brand called ‘fit flops’, which are supposedly very comfortable to walk in for medium distances, though I haven’t tried them on yet.


Other Stuff

International adapter x 2

Clothes line with suction plugs

2x Travel towels (the feel of which makes my skin crawl, but it’s unavoidable)


LED torches (and possibly headlamps)

Day packs (light weight, foldable)

























Tote bag (that folds into almost nothing)

Small wallet/purse with shoulder strap for me

Waterproof wallet for Tyrhone

Water bottles

A Hammock (thoughtful birthday present from my friend Kelly)

A Sarong

Luggage locks


2x silk sleeping liners

Mosquito Repellent

Basic medical and first aid gear

And of course toiletries, but I think I’ve divulged enough now, don’t you?

So, that’s our life for the next few years, washing our undies in the shower and hoping they do what they say on the pack… We figure instead of packing for all weather extremes, we will cover ourselves for SE Asia, and if we venture somewhere cold, we will buy some warmer gear then.

We decided against traveling with sleeping bags, due to their weight and bulk, and the fact that we probably wont need them for a while.

We are thinking about purchasing a mosquito net, but we’re not sure whether or not we will need it, or if most places in SE Asia will already have them. Any advice?

Thoughts, suggestions, tips? All feedback gratefully appreciated!!!!











Our RTW Packing List — 21 Comments

  1. No suggestions, but I’m bookmarking this for 2013 when we (hopefully) depart. I am curious as to how those ladies who are more (ahem) well endowed deal with the bra situation. I’ve looked at these quick-drying bras and they look like they offer ZERO support.

    • Hi Carmel, yes I agree, I think I am taking regular bras for this reason, and I am not what you would call well endowed!!!! It’s important to feel comfortable and supported :) I’m excited for your trip, and can assure you all the anticipation does actually lead somewhere- I just realized this morning that we are actually doing this!!!!

  2. I don’t carry a mosqito net. Usually insect repellent does the trick. In India I bought Mosquito coils and burned them in the room. They’re dirt cheap there and work wonders.
    I wouldn’t worry about washing clothes by hand in SE Asia. In Cambodia it costs $1 for a kilo of clothes. In Thailand I paid between 20 and 50 baht. At those low prices I figured that it wasn’t worth scrubbing anything by hand.
    13 days and all ready to go: impressive!

    • Hi Mike, thanks for the great tips! That’s so true about laundry in Asia, I’m glad we won’t have any problems getting clothes washed. For some reason I thought those mosquito coils were toxic, which is why we have avoided burning them inside so far. But if you assure me I won’t die in my sleep, I’ll take your word for it :)

  3. Hey Sarah
    Awesome blog, Cath and I both love reading it. Can’t wait to see the pics you guys get.

    I’m getting excited for you both just reading this all.

    PS: It’s a ‘Nikon’ D200 😉

    • Hi Brendan! Oops, thanks so much for that, it’s amazing how many times you can proof read something and not pick up the most obvious mistakes, I must have Toshiba on the brain…
      Thank you so much for the camera, we are so excited to learn how to use it and take some great shots, though don’t expect us to be up to your professional standard!!! :)

      • It’s my pleasure! I had that one as spare, and Tyrhone said you were keen on a DSLR, shazam!
        I dunno, if you take photos as well as you write, you’ll easily give me a run for my money. Have fun with it, best way to learn.
        Spoke to Tyrhone this morning too, your comments won’t allows posts from some browsers, so he’s going to look at it, I reckon once that’s sorted you’ll start getting a heap more followers commenting.

  4. Oh sar bear! I just love reading your blog, makes me giggle and I also had a little tear. Am sitting with sim, kellie and Ben and sharing bits of this blog with them and we’re all having a laugh. I truly admire your packing list! It’ll be great point of reference if I ever work up the courage to do something this adventurous. Love you to bits darling girl, will give you a call within the week. Xxx

    • Courage?! Camping in Africa? Teaching in Dubai? YOU have inspired me sweety!! Love you so much Ambs, and than you so much for reading! I hope we can meet up somewhere cool one day, lots and lots of love, talk soon XXX

  5. Sarah! I am also bookmarking this list. Also, you are brave… your bag is so small. Mine is going to be a 65L bag for sure… I can’t help myself.

  6. I’d watch out for that clothesline with suction cups. They are the creation of the devil. The suction cups don’t seem to work. Good luck on the trip.

  7. I am so excited for you Sarah! This is a great post – it’s so helpful to compare packing lists with other travellers. The clothes line is a genius idea! I’m very impressed by how little you are taking. I just bought a 40l myself so will be following your lead… it will be great to see how it works out for you before I head off. I’d love to see photos when you’ve got it all packed as well :)

    • Hi Hannah, hoping to make a ‘packing’ video of how it all fits in, and hoping we will get the time to do it, though it’s defintely not on our side at the moment… But I thrive on a deadline, so we’ll see how we go! Glad your going 40, though I’m mourning a few of my pretty clothes at the moment… I’ll just have to be ruthless!!!

  8. Hey Sar
    I hope this signs me up!! How frikkin exciting… You know you’re getting close when you’re packing. I admire you guys so much for doing this and I can’t wait to read all about your adventures!
    Love you long time

    • Hi Eggy! If you subscibed to updates (on the side bar, or sometimes when you make a comment you can tick a box), then you’re all signed up! If you subscribed to the’comments’ then you will recieve annoying emails everytime someone comments on this post, which you probably don’t want. :) You can unsubscribe from the comments if that is the case :) Great to see you and your gorgeous little man yesterday, thanks for popping in, and for your beautiful card. Lots of love, Sarah xxx

  9. Everywhere I stayed in Bangladesh had Mosquito Nets already. They weren’t always up, but you just had to ask for them. Admittedly, I didn’t do hostels, but in a hotel, even a cheap one, you should be fine. I would suggest caution with the coils, just like leaving a candle burning at night, it can be dangerous- like full on house fire dangerous.

    • Thanks Renee!! Running form a burning building is not high on my list of things to do, so thanks for the word of caution. I’m still in two minds, hoping we can pick one up whilst we’re away if we feel the need, as we haven’t purchaced one yet, and time is running out (plus, I cannot face another trip to the traveling/outdoors shop!!). Cheers for your comments :)

  10. Hi Sarah,
    I love this post…we are heading off tonight to start our India trip. We only have two weeks therefore spending our time only in the South. I must say, not having travelled much i’m really nervous and excited…all the uncertainty of what awaits when i hop off the flight in Kochi, and i am looking forward to more than anything, what my reaction will be. I have always dreamed of going to India and i cannot wait to see what she has in store for me…..this is my level of risk at the moment….travel to India and my Social Work degree. I think what you are doing is so inspiring and you have AMAZING writing talent….i have just subscribed to your blog….and look forward to being inspired by you and following my dreams of graduating as a social worker…..safe travelling xoxo Hristina
    p.s. We are going for two weeks and i have a 60litre back back?????? seriously what was i thinking!

    • Hi Hristina, I’m so excited for you!!!! You and Andy are going to have the BEST time, and I’m sending you all my love for an awesome journey. We stayed at the Fort Inn in Fort Cochin, and received awesome hospitatlity there, though I’m sure you have it all sorted! What you are doing is amazing, there are so many people who would never travel to a crazy country like India, and I know you will be all the more inspired to continue your study after your trip. All the best to you both, and I’d love to hear about your trip upon your return. Please drop me an email when you get some time.
      Lots of Love, Sarah x