Series: Planning a world trip

The packing list for your world trip – this is what you really need as a backpacker

You are going on a trip around the world? Congratulations on this decision. In our series "Planning a World Trip" you will learn everything about how to prepare your world trip best. In part 3: The packing list. What belongs in your backpack and what can you leave at home?

Here you can read part 1 “Route Planning” and part 2 “Preparations at home” of our series Planning a World Trip.

If you search for packing lists in connection with world trip on the Internet, you will find tons of sites on how to pack and what to take with you.  It seems all travel bloggers have their own philosophy and preferences – but they all agree on one thing: never take too much with you.

The world trip packing list of Tatonka

There are many things you really need on a world trip. Apart from the obvious stuff like clothes, toothbrush and shampoo, we have listed our must-have items for every backpacker here:

  • Comfortable travel pillow for accommodations with too high/low pillows
  • Jogging pants and hooded sweater for long-distance coaches and flights
  • Flip-flops made of plastic for shared bath rooms
  • Flashlight or even headlamp for dark nights and caves
  • Light rain jacket and fleece for different layers of warm clothing
  • Ear plugs and sleeping mask for undisturbed sleep wherever you are
  • Charger with multiple USB plugs and power bank for power in every situation

Is there anything else missing? Then let us know on Facebook or Instagram.

Reducing weight - the mantra of all experienced backpackers

Especially as a beginner, you may find it difficult to decide what you really need on your trip. It would also be very annoying if you forgot something important at home. So let's start with the following tip: There is nothing you can't buy abroad. Wherever you travel, you probably won't be the first (and only) traveler - shops have long since adapted to the needs of forgetful backpackers in almost all regions of the world.

A proven rule of thumb to pack is to take what you need in the first 14 days. The rest, as well as laundries, can be found along the way.

Travelling in different climate zones - packing for all occasions?

If you are travelling around the world, you will most likely not always be in the same climate zone. Of course, sun, summer and beach are what Middle Europeans’ travel dreams are made of - but also the Himalayas, New Zealand and Patagonia have a lot to offer.

Special equipment such as winter jackets and boots, which you only need for a short period, can be bought or borrowed locally. In this way you don't have to carry your winter gear around the globe. If you have bought something you can either pass it on to another backpacker or local, or send it home.

Camping equipment - yes or no?

Some of the most popular things that backpackers carry around the world without using regularly are sleeping bags, tents and hiking boots. If you are not a keen hiker or plan to spend most of your journey in the tent - leave it at home. Most hiking tours for tourists can also be mastered with light trekking shoes or even sneakers and camping in many popular backpacker countries is rather exhausting than joyful (mosquitoes, heat, wild animals,...).

In countries where camping is popular and saves money (New Zealand, Australia, Canada, USA), you can either buy camping equipment locally or purchase it from other backpackers who leave the country. Good hiking boots can also be found there without any problems. Smart money savers choose to have their outdoor equipment sent from home and send it back later.

Guide book: Print vs. digital

Guide books are practical, but heavy as bricks and often outdated. Minimalists therefore prefer digital editions for e-readers or obtain all the information from the Internet. If you favour a printed edition, there are bookshelves in many hostels where you will always find guide books relevant to the region. This principle work like this - you leave your book there and take a new one with you.

If you are still looking for the perfect backpack, you can get some inspiration here.

Here you can read part 1 “Route Planning” and part 2 “Preparations at home” of our series Planning a World Trip.