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8 Things You SHOULD Pack for Long-Term Travel

8 things you should consider packing for long-term travel.

Less is more when it comes to travel, but there are a few things that come in incredibly handy when you're traveling long-term; these are the items I (almost) never leave home without.

Please note, this list is supplementary to the The 7 Things You MUST Pack for Long-Term Travel - there is some overlap, and it assumes you're already packing the basics like your phone, headphones, laptop (if necessary), passport, clothes, etc.

Packable Day Pack

Packable backpacks are infinitely useful while traveling; for beach days, day trips, hikes, and grocery store runs, just to name a few; they can also be used for extra carrying capacity on travel days, organization within your main backpack, or as a dirty laundry bag if you need it. You'll be glad you have one.

I mention this one first, because packable backpacks my not be easy to find while traveling, so it's good to get one before you leave. The Sea-to-Summit Ultra-Sil Day Pack is the smallest (and most expensive) option, or you can opt for a 4Monster Lightweight Travel Backpack for a less expensive option that does the same thing.

a packable backpack

Portable Wash Basin or Wash Bag

Portable wash basins aren't the first thing that come to mind for most travelers, but if you travel long enough, you'll find yourself wishing you just had something for x, y or z - for example, you forgot to do laundry and just need to wash a few pairs of socks and underwear in the hostel sink; or you want to keep a six pack of beer cold and you need a small water-proof container for the ice, or your phone took a swim and you need a little bucket for rice - you won't always need it, but it comes in handy when you do.

a portable wash basin

A portable wash bag like Scrubba does the same thing - it's bulkier and more cumbersome to pack, but it has the added benefit of doubling as a vacuum/compression bag for packing; the choice is yours.

Washable Laundry Bag

A simple, useful add-on, washable laundry bags are nice for when you're going out for the day and just want to drop off your dirty clothes a 24-hour laundromat; they take up almost no space and there's really no reason not to bring one.

Sleep Mask and Ear Plugs

Bright hotel rooms, loud party hostels, shared dorm rooms, babies on planes - sleep masks and ear-plugs are a must-have for all travelers, for every trip, and for any length of time.

person sleeping with a sleep mask

International Travel Adapter

It perhaps goes without saying that an international travel adapter is useful for long-term travel, but this list wouldn't be complete without mentioning it; the only thing to note here is that you can buy one at any airport if you lose it or forget it, so don't worry about it.

Fast Chargers and Splitter Cables

A fast charger can be a lifesaver, literally - if you chronically forget to charge your phone - and having the ability to go from 0 to 100% in 30 minutes is a godsend; and it means you can leave that portable charger at home. Couple the fast charger with a 3-in-1 (or 6-in-1) splitter cable, and you can charge all your devices quickly and efficiently. Save weight, save space, save lives.

Burner Phone

Backup/burner phones are common among long-term travelers, they're easy to pack, inexpensive, and provide peace of mind anytime you're hesitant to bring your main phone; and I'm not just talking about sketchy cities or hostel bar crawls that have the potential to get out of hand - you can opt for your burner phone anytime your phone might be at risk; beach days, waterfall hikes, hot air balloon rides, ATVing - it's nice to not care if your phone accidently takes a swim.

And if you do take your main phone everywhere, it's nice to know you have a phone back at the hostel or hotel, if anything goes terribly wrong.

a phone in a bowl of rice

Padlock (for Hostel Lockers)

If you plan on staying in shared dorms, you'll want a padlock for the lockers. Any lock will work, but combination locks are ideal since you won't have to worry about losing the physical key while you're out and about.


Not everyone will pack the same and no two trips are the same, but these eight things are staples in the minimalist traveler's diet.

If you're wondering what's missing from this list, check out 16 Things You Should NEVER Pack for a list of commonly-packed but not always useful items.

And if you're interested in getting monthly travel tips and packing hacks in your inbox, check out our newsletter.

As always, happy travels.


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