We love to travel light: light luggage and a light mind.

Our aim is to be able to pack within 5 minutes and most of all, to always carry our luggage with us in any means of transport.
Apart from the weight issue, you can save a considerable amount of time, as you skip the queues for checking your luggage at airports.

After we gave away 18 bags of clothes from our already modest wardrobes to charity, we learnt a big lesson to keep only the necessary stuff and to not collect and store any clutter.

If you wonder how a modest wardrobe with 18 bags of clothes looks, try to spread just your winter garments all over your couch and you will get an idea.

It was a challenge to decide what and how to pack for a trip with no termination, but when we realised that we could wash clothes in a hotel room, street laundry or even buy what we needed on the road, the packing process became that much easier.

And what did we feel after compressing our life into two backpacks? A huuuge relief!

Packing list for travelling light

Our backpacks ready to go.

So, here is our packing list.

Luggage

Essential stuff

  • 2x Passport
  • 2x Travel Insurance
  • Cash
  • Debit cards
  • Credit cards
  • 22 x spare passport photos
  • Photocopies of passports
  • 2x Vaccination card (What vaccinations do you need?)
  • ID cards
  • Bank reader

Electronics

Photography

Packing list for travelling light.

Our travelling stuff.

Clothes – Gianni

Clothes – Ivana

Toiletries

Medicals

  • Aspirin
  • Black Coal for diarrhoea
  • Plasters
  • Iron pills
  • Bandage

Miscellaneous

Here are other interesting packing lists you might want to check:

Best Backpacking Gear from A Backpacker’s Tale

Packing lists from Travel Fashion Girl

Travel Freak’s Travel Gear

Never Ending Voyage Packing List

This is all what we packed in our hand luggage. What are your habits when packing for longer trip? What is absolutely necessary to bring with you?

24 Responses

  1. Greg Goodman

    Great list for aspiring travelers! Personally, I’ve gotten my pack WAY down from when I started backpacking in 2006 with a 10,000 liter pack. But I still manage to have 10kg of clothes, toiletries and scuba goggles… along with my 13kg of electronics. It’s a real killer on the back, but I really don’t see how I can do less. The camera stuff alone is about 7kg with lenses, body, gear and tripod. Alas!

    Reply
    • Gianni

      Hi Greg, thanks for commenting. We have reduced a lot our clothes, we have only a couple of changes, if we need some clothes then we buy on the road. As regarding the gears I have always tried to keep the minimum weight possible. We use DX cameras with only 3 lenses with us and in the future we might switch to mirrorless full frame. Laptops are Mac Air so weight reduced to a minimum. Great blog you have. :)

      Reply
  2. Eric

    I was traveling last year with a huge 70l bag. Now on the road with only 25L (http://www.amazon.de/Tatonka-Rucksack-Tivano-alpine-1530/dp/B004GHNET2) + a 10L Decathlon bag. This later contains a700g sleeping bag (more convenient for CS) and 1.5kg camera gear, or my daily stuffs.
    One major point to travel light is obviously to go in warm places, and don’t bring warm clothes, that we all do here!
    A second point about photography is to get rid of the heavy DSLR and their lenses. I recommend the µ4/3 system (check especially the Olympus OM5 and their new M1, but quite expensive), the best compromise between quality and size. Or even with DSLR, depending what you like to shoot, a standard zoom can easily get replaced by one or 2 light prime lenses. I have 4 lenses and a body for less than 1,3kg (or 900g without the tele). The main issue with these systems is however the poor batteries so you need to carry 2 extra…
    Enjoy your travels!

    Reply
    • Gianni

      Hi Eric, nice to hear from you. Yes, you are right, packing light is good for warm climates, that’s why we have chosen to travel first to South-East Asia. I have also 1,3 kg for my camera gears. I am following the developing of the full frame mirrorless, those cameras will be really travel friendly. :)

      Reply
  3. Shama Kern

    The decision about the cameras is always a big one. I am forever on the lookout for the best camera with the most features in the smallest package. For me that means it has to be easy to always have the camera with me which rules out pretty much all DSLRs. I know that’s a compromise, but if I cannot stick the camera in a belt pouch which I can carry easily all day long, I won’t take it along. My latest choice is the Nikon P7700 which takes good pictures, good video, has 7X zoom, most DSLR controls and a flip screen. The biggest thing is it does fit into my belt pouch. It’s not up to the standard of a full size DSLR, and you cannot exchange lenses, but my motto is the best camera is the one which you always have with you.

    Luckily technology is gradually getting where cameras are getting more compact all the time. So this decision will become easier for us every year since there will be smaller and more powerful models coming out.

    I agree with you that the clothes are the least important thing when you pack. You can always buy them cheaply on the road. The tech items is where we have to plan well. Macbook Air is a great machine, my only issue is that if you want to do any video editing on the road, this is really difficult with this small screen. If you mostly stick to photography, then this should be no problem.

    Reply
    • Gianni

      The Nikon P7700 is a great camera also. We are thinking to buy smaller cameras at some point without compromising on image quality. I guess the 2014 will bring lot of new interesting models especially after Sony recently launched the A7r. As regarding the Macbook Air, we just love it :)

      Reply
    • Ivana

      Thanks, Charlotte, we are really happy with the stuff we are carrying and also we wish to reduce it a bit in the future :)
      Happy travels!

      Reply
  4. Serena Star Leonard

    We have been travelling about 29 months, but the only time we have lightened our bags is in Central America, where we didn’t need shoes or clothes. We make films so we carry all manner of gear including tripods, bounce/shade boards etc. on top of that we carry a snorkel and mask each for diving, shoes for hiking/training and it starts to build up! We have just accepted that for our work and interests there is a certain amount of gear that we must have :)

    Reply
    • Ivana Greslikova

      I can hear you, Serena, we had a big dilemma which gears to pack and there have been some moments when we miss warmer clothes, but otherwise, we’ve been able to survive :) On the flip side, you can train with your gears for longer and tougher expeditions :) Happy travels guys!

      Reply
  5. Kerry (goodtrippers)

    Great list – well done! I love using multi-purpose products to keep the packing list short – things like lavender essential oil is great for insect bites or to help you get to sleep (which is sometimes tricky on your travels).

    Reply
    • Ivana Greslikova

      Thanks for the tip, Kerry. For the insect bites and mild headaches is great to use a tiger balm that you can buy in Asia easily. Happy travels!

      Reply
  6. Kluk

    Oh wow, I really wish the Kids had read this before packing to come to South East Asia. Watching them unpack and try to then repack each time we move on would be hilarious except that the joke is on me as I actually have to travel in the suitcase. Sardines have it easy!
    Boy even brought a scarf with him to South East Asia that he hasn’t used for over 10 years just because he said it had ‘sentimental value’ and didn’t know what else to do with it. All I can say is that it certainly smells sentimental.
    Thanks for such a useful guide, all the same. I will do my best to get the Kids to read it to understand where they’ve gone wrong.
    Kluk

    Reply
    • Ivana Greslikova

      Hi Kluk, thanks a lot for commenting! It took me some time to say “bye” to all sentimental objects and my favourite scarfs, too 😀
      We’re very happy to carry only 10kg each, however, it happened a few times we needed some warmer clothes that hadn’t fit into our backpacks. It’s all about balancing and finding the right destinations, too. Happy travels and cheers to all your family :)

      Reply
  7. Izzy

    Wow you guys really know how to pack light! I always end up packing too many clothes and then not wearing half of them anyway. Next time i’m going to take a leaf out of your book and only pack a few clothes. Plus then I will have room to buy more if I see something i love!

    Reply
    • Ivana Greslikova

      Thanks for stopping by, Izzy :) Yup, that’s smart, you can always buy whatever you need and like on the road! Happy & light travels 😉
      Ivana

      Reply
  8. Mike Orobona

    My rule of thumb has always been pack, then remove half the stuff because you won’t need it. I can’t remember who first gave me that advice, but I find it works more often than not.

    Reply
    • Ivana Greslikova

      Great tip, Mike! Not applicable for us, I’m afraid. We downsized to maximum and sold/gave away everything we own. What we carry it’s all what we have :)

      Reply
  9. Felicity

    Thanks for sharing your list! We’re making our own at the moment and packaging in a couple of weeks. Can I ask why you’re taking 4X 1Tb hard drives? I was just planning to edit as I go and upload to Google Drive/ Dropbox as I feel it’s safer than a hard drive that can be lost/ damaged. What are your thoughts?

    Reply
    • Ivana Greslikova

      Hi Felicity,

      Now we actually carry 4x2Tb. I know, it looks too much, but what we have in our backpacks, that’s all what we have. Our luggage is our house basically :)
      We’re on the road full time and we have no physical home, apartment, or flat. We had to upgrade the size because we shoot in raw, so the files are too big to upload to Cloud or Dropbox for us, unfortunately. We also do lots of videos, which are big in size, too. Moreover, it takes time for us to edit photos and videos for the articles, we don’t blog every day (lots of other blog related things to complete during the day), so that’s why we need to store them somewhere before working on them.
      Well, yes, it’s risky to carry them everywhere we go, but we have a backup drives with us, so hopefully all will be fine :) Cheers and happy packing!

      Reply
  10. Kasia Sanchez

    Guys, impressive list. We’re also travelling light whenever we can but as we love camping our backpacks are always quite heavy. Anyhow just out of curiosity, I was wondering, how about rainproof or windproof jackets? Ivana how do you manage wothout face cream or sun block? Safe travels!

    Reply
    • Ivana Greslikova

      Hi Kasia! We just upgraded our packing stuff and got some softshell rain and wind proof jackets, and ditched the old jumpers. They are light weight, and we usually wear them at the airport or just tie them to the side of the backpacks. Need to update the list on the blog :)
      When in Asia, I usually don’t use any facial cream since the climate is so humid that skin hydrates itself 😀 And for the sunblock I use only coconut oil that I buy in Asia. No chemicals, smells nice and does its job :)

      Reply

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