The number 1 question our friends and family asked us when we were getting ready for 5 month Euro-moto trip was how do we pack and what will we bring? I will start by saying I am far from a fashionista… so if you are into high fashion and cannot travel without a pair of heels and full jewelry box, then this is not the place for you to get advice.
For everyone else, here are my suggestions.
What We Packed for 5 Months, 3 Seasons, and About 10 Countries
• Exofficio Storm Logic Coats – They can be layered underneath, and/or on top of. Inside you find a number of pockets (passport, cell phone, wallet just to name a few), and they roll up inside a pocket on the lower backside to create an awesome travel pillow.
• Eddie Bauer self packing raincoats.
• I always bring gloves and end up buying a hat, the opposite for Daryl.
Bottoms – Comfortable & Flexible from Casual to Dressy:
No jeans! They are heavy, tough to wash on the road, and get stinky quick.
• I packed 2 pairs of pants, both by Columbia. 1 hiking pair, 1 slack style. I look for pants with discreet zipper front pockets that fit my passport and are water repellent.
• Daryl selected 2 pairs of Eddie Bauer Travelex pants. They also have a discreet zipper pocket and are water repellent, and 1 pair Columbia hiking pants that convert to shorts.
Dresses & Skirts:
•2 Dresses – Columbia’s Marakesh Maven dress is my favorite – I have in three colors and decided on the black one for this trip. It is UV protective and has pockets. The other dress is a no-name synthetic blend.
•1 Black cotton-synthetic blend skirt by Patagonia.
•Daryl opted to not bring a dress or skirt on this trip.
•We each selected four or five shirts that coordinated with all bottoms.
•For me: a t-shirt, Eddie Bauer dressy tank shirt, a long sleeve Cuddleduds layering shirt, light merino wool sweater (bit the dust week 3!) and a blouse.
•For him: 2 shirts with long sleeves he can roll up, 1 short sleeve, and 2 t-shirts. His button down shirts are all Eddie Bauer Travelex.
•Cardigan: I admit that I have a cardy problem so I decided on a heavier Exofficio one and 2 light weight 3/4 sleeve no-name ones. We all have our weaknesses, sweaters are mine. Daryl selected a cotton-synthetic blend sweater and a microfleece.
• We always travel with lounge pants and a t-shirt.
Socks and Undies:
I am realistic about how many pairs of each I need. I like to go four days before needing to wash them.
• 5 pairs of each (plus a pair of black leggings and no-see-um socks for me). All Smartwool socks and Exofficio undies. The undies dry super fast and are very light.
• For me: second bra, sports bra, black leggings, and no-see-um socks.
• For him: running shorts and boxer style speedo.
This is always difficult. How do I know how my feet are going to feel in a month? The best part is that you don’t, which means you give yourself the green light to buy a fantastic pair of leather shoes in Italy!
• Clarks Originals: we both have them in suede and LOVE them because they are great for walking but can be dressed up and they fold into themselves almost flat. I have the Faraway Field Oxford and Daryl has the Desert Ankle Boot.
• Causaul & Beach: I have a pair of Keen Sienna Canvas machine washable mary janes, Daryl has a pair of machine washable Sanucks. I also packed a pair of Born leather shoes which just would not break in so I left them along the way somewhere.
• Hiking shoes: we always travel with hikers because a. we enjoy trekking, b. you can go for a run in them, and c. there are days when your feet just ache from traveling!
3 oz. is more than enough! If you don’t believe me, put your favorites in 3 oz. tubes now and see how long it takes you to go through. You can pretty much purchase anything anywhere (ok, remote places maybe not, but where ever you are flying to in order to get to where you are going…) so I keep it simple.
Few things I always pack are:
• Detergent, face wash, lotion, and sunblock (my skin is super sensitive and holds me over until I can find a local product that will work).
• Enough toothpaste to get us through a few days.
• Makeup: I bring the bare minimum.
• Dry eye/allergy eye drops.
First Aide & Vitamins:
As with toiletries, I only bring enough to hold me over until I can find at my destination if I need it. My first aide/med pack contains 2 or 3 doses of the following:
• Benadryl, gas-x (I always take 2 as soon as I board a flight), Dramamine, Sudafed, cold & sinus, Pepto Bismol (tabs), Tylenol (travel pack), and Alieve.
• Vitamins – I take a variety daily so those I tend to bring a bit of. For the 5 month trip I packed about 1 months worth.
• The obvious – cell phones and chargers, laptop, charger, mouse, kindle, external battery, plug adapters for destinations (tip – if your laptop plug is 3 prong, make sure you get an adapter that takes 3 prong!), headphones, and gps (if traveling by moto like us or car – phones can be unreliable and costly to use as gps when traveling internationally). Our favorite item currently is the Anker 2nd Gen Astro 3 portable charger – when fully loaded we get about 4 full charges on our cell phones from it!
• Clorox wipes, wet ones, hand sanitizer, pashmina, eye mask, ear plugs, neoprene wine bottle tube, and phrase book(s) (though with T-mobile now obsolete as I always have data and access to google translate). For this trip we added travel fly fishing gear and a hammock as well as a small pack of vision therapy supplies I use regularly.
What I bring depends on where we go and for how long.
• I always have a Plano 3540 Waterproof Stowaway container filled with charcoals, graphite pencils, and erasers (the waterproof seal is key to keep the charcoal dusts and pieces from slipping out), a small masonite board, blue painters tape, moleskin notebook, and some sheets of various papers.
For this trip I added:
• Winsor Newton Artists’ Watercolor Sets – Artists’ Field Box Set, 4 brushes, a Sennelier Pastel Half Stick Set, and Caran d’Ache Classic Neocolor II Water-Soluble Crayons.
We also have moto safety gear (helmets, gloves, coats, pants, boots). That is pretty much all we have with us. And yes, what we wore for departure was selected from the above… not additional articles. If you are interested in added any of these items to your own collections, please follow the links. When you purchase from the links on my site, it helps support me!
Is there anything you bring that you know you can’t eliminate? Or is there anything I should add to my list? Please share!
July 20, 2015 update: over the past 6 weeks we have mailed home or left behind many things to lighten our load including: hammock, exofficio coats, hats, gloves, scarves, shirts, pants, skirt, clarks and worn out socks. we have each picked up sandals, and I purchased a summer skirt and new dress. We are down to about 3 or 4 outfits each, running clothes and swimwear!