Travel Packing List: Do You Carry These Things?

By Mark Wiens 16 Comments
Here's what I bring with me when I travel!
Here’s what I bring with me when I travel!

I’ve seen a lot of travelers carrying around GIGANTIC backpacks, and honestly, it just looks painful.

Now I’m not a super minimalist or a crazy lightweight traveler (if you actually need and USE all those things in that huge backpack, that’s totally fine), but instead I’m an advocate of traveling comfortable, and for me comfortable does mean pretty light.

The main problem is that many travelers that carry around those huge backpacks, carry a lot of unnecessary things – things they don’t even really need or barely ever use.

Travel packing list - the essentials guide!
Travel packing list – the essentials guide!

Before we go over my personal travel packing list, I’d like you to think about a few things:

You can buy things as you travel. As I mentioned in the video (below), nearly everything you could need is available in the country you’ll be visiting. I have yet to visit a country where they don’t sell t-shirts or toothpaste.

Limit your amount of clothes and toiletries. I’ve seen many travelers that include way too many clothes and toiletries on their travel packing list. Ask yourself, “do I really need 8 shirts and 6 bottles of cream?”

Consider the size of your backpack. It’s an odd phenomena, but whatever size your backpack is, you’ll likely fill it up. The solution is to use a smaller, more manageable backpack. I use a North Face Big Shot (more in depth suggestions below).

To be honest with you, I would pack this same list if I was going on a 1 week trip or on a 1 year trip.

One last thing, this travel packing list reflects warm weather locations, if I was going to travel to a colder destination, I’d definitely add some layers and a heavy coat. Also, I apologize that this list is male oriented (and I have no experience packing as a female!), but if you are a female, you can use these same principles.

This is a guide, adapt it to your unique personal needs. Watch the video below and then take a look at the written list.

Note: If you can’t see the video, watch my travel packing list here.



Of course, if you’re taking certain prescription drugs, bring them too.


Traveling with electronics has tradeoffs. To be honest, if I didn’t blog, or make food videos, I would probably not carry a laptop and instead just carry an iPad or smart phone. However, since I work while I travel, I need a full laptop. It’s heavy, big, and gives me extra responsibility, but it’s something I need.

Important Documents

Optional Accessories (Yes, I pack these things)

Travel packing list
My current backpack is The North Face Big Shot Daypack

Travel Backpack / Luggage

The North Face Big Shot Daypack – Great backpack, in my opinion it’s a perfect size, and it has a nice place to store a laptop – the reason I prefer it now over the Osprey Talon 44.

Lowepro Passport Sling Camera Bag – I absolutely love this camera bag. It fits a DSLR camera perfectly, and also includes some extra space where I often keep a bottle of water, a book, maps, and other things I need quick and easy access to. I’d highly recommend it.

Hope this packing list helps, but remember, being comfortable (whatever that means to you) is the best way to travel!

*Many of the links in this article are affiliate links, meaning if you should purchase anything, I will get a small commission. That being said, these really are the things I recommend and personally use.