Packing List for 4 Months of Travel

It’s a rite of passage for all travel bloggers to post their packing list on their blog prior to taking off on their extended adventure around the world, so even if I won’t be doing an actual Round the World trip, I thought I’d chime in with my own four-month travel packing list!

I spent all day today packing, deliberating, unpacking, and repacking, schlepping my beluga whale of a backpack around my coffee table living room in between each packing session.  My 60L Deuter Act Lite backpack, which did act surprisingly light at the REI store when the outdoor expert stuffed it with 20-lb “weighted” cushions, is down to 20lbs, yet somehow still feels 5 lbs heavier than it should be. Either I can’t seem to grasp the art of distributing weight correctly in a backpack or those weights at the store are rigged (i.e., just pillows)! Anyway, unless I want to part with my (full-size) deodorant, which I keep reading on the internet is hard to find in China, my back will just have to endure for now.

So What’s In The Whale?



  • 1 pair of athletic pants
  • 1 pair of convertible hiking pants
  • 1 pair of waterproof (rain) pants
  • 4 pairs of undies
  • 4 pairs of socks
  • 2 bras
  • 1 thermal undershirt
  • 1 pair of thermal underpants
  • 1 thin fleece sweater
  • 1 rainbow/Snoopy t-shirt (gotta have a happy shirt!) :)
  • 1 quick-dry short-sleeved top
  • 2 quick-dry long-sleeved tops
  • 1 athletic tank top
  • Lightweight foldable rain poncho
  • Goretex rain jacket
  • 2 bandanas
  • 1 pair of shower shoes


  • Facial wash (travel size)
  • Sunscreen moisturizer (full size)
  • Salicylic acid product (full size)
  • 100% Vaseline (travel size)
  • SPF 30 sunscreen (travel size)
  • Hand sanitizer (travel size)
  • Body lotion (travel size)
  • 2 in 1 Shampoo + Conditioner (travel size)
  • Body wash
  • Deodorant (full-size)
  • Shaving gel (travel size)
  • Razor + 3 cartridges
  • 100 yd floss
  • Feminine pads/tampons
  • cotton pads/balls
  • 2 pocket packs of tissues
  • 1 large microfiber towel
  • 1 microfiber hand towel
  • Hair bands/barrettes
  • 2 chapsticks
  • 100% DEET insect repellent
  • 25% DEET  insect repellent
  • Antibacterial wipes
  • 1 extra large roll of toilet paper (flattened)

Medical supplies

  • Ipuprofen
  • Tylenol
  • Pepto Bismol
  • Immodium (anti-diarrheal)
  • Ciprofloxacin (for traveler’s diarrhea)
  • Doxycycline  (malaria medication)
  • Amoxicillin antibiotics
  • Insect bite gel
  • First Aid Kit: band-aids, gauze pads, antiseptic, bandage tape


  • Large backpack raincover
  • 1 pillowcase
  • Emergency water filter system
  • Needles and extra strong thread
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Ear plugs
  • Pocket-sized Swiss army knife
  • Nail trimmer
  • Rubber bands
  • 2 drain plugs (small and medium size)
  • 1 combination lock (for hostel lockers)
  • Camera lens cleanser/cloth
  • Camera manual
  • Ziploc bags
  • 2 large trash bags

Because I’m carrying my camera gear and netbook computer with me, I’m also bringing a smaller backpack.

What’s In the Small Backpack?


  • 10.1″ Netbook in a Netbook sleeve
  • Netbook charger
  • Wireless optical mobile mouse
  • 4-port USB travel hub
  • 500 GB portable hard drive
  • Old Sony Cybershot camera in portable pouch
  • 2 Sony memory sticks
  • Battery charger + 2 extra rechargeable batteries
  • USB cord for Sony camera
  • 2 travel adapter plugs (Asia & China)
  • 4GB USB flashdrive
  • Canon Rebel T2i camera (wrapped inside a winter hat)
  • Tamron 17-50mm lens with hood (affixed to camera)
  • Canon 55-250mm zoom lens
  • Canon camera battery charger
  • 1 gradual density filter
  • 120 GB iPod/earbuds
  • iPod computer charger
  • Portable digital voice recorder (to record everything right as I see it/think because my short-term memory is faulty)


  • Small backpack raincover
  • Highlighter, pens, Sharpie
  • Small journal
  • Small notebook (to record expenses)
  • A few index cards
  • 1 small combination lock
  • 1 lens (glasses) cleaning cloth
  • Odor neutralizing spray (travel size)
  • Mandarin phrasebook
  • Southwest China Lonely Planet guide book
  • 1 small paperback
  • Travel information (boarding passes, hostel confirmation, tentative China itinerary, travel insurance, US flight itinerary outbound/inbound, debit/credit card providers phone numbers, other phone numbers)


  • Microfiber handtowel
  • 1 pocket pack of tissues
  • 100 yd floss
  • Toothbrush
  • Travel size toothpaste
  • Facial wash (travel size)
  • A tin of Nivea creme (travel size)
  • Pantiliners
  • 1 eye pencil
  • 1 lip pencil
  • 1 lipstick
  • 1 hairbrush


  • Nasal decongestant
  • Saline nasal spray (travel size)
  • Ipuprofen
  • Pepto Bismol

What’s That On Your Waist?

Money Belt (Hopefully you can’t see it)

  • Passport
  • ATM cards
  • Credit card

Also on my waist: small pedometer (to count my daily steps, which should now be more than my daily amount of 2000)!

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8 Responses to “Packing List for 4 Months of Travel”

  1. Dave April 17, 2011 at 11:47 pm #

    pretty comprehensive. what does all that weight? i see your big pack weighs 20 lbs, but what about the combined weight? anyway, all very exciting!

  2. Helena April 18, 2011 at 11:58 pm #

    So much stuff in two bags! You are very organized! All the best, safe travels!

  3. Cinthia April 19, 2011 at 5:23 am #

    Dave and Helena – Thank you! The small bag weighs about 8lbs, so with the large one, I’m carrying around 28 lbs. I imagine I’ll toss items as I go along (e.g., warm clothing), and some of my full-size toiletries will get lighter as I use them. I’m getting used to the weight, though; it’s really not so bad anymore!

  4. Paula April 19, 2011 at 10:53 pm #

    Your packing list is fantastic (it will be a good guide for me) and I look forward to reading about your travels!

  5. Cinthia April 20, 2011 at 7:11 am #

    Paula — Thank you so much! You should write about your experiences abroad, too. I’d love to hear all about it!! This is so exciting.

  6. Melva April 21, 2011 at 8:38 am #

    You have more then enough stuff….lol.
    You have now headed off and in China…WOW!! I’m super excited now, let the fun begin :) I heard China is beautiful so enjoy and post pics please (smiling).

  7. Dadafara Jean-Jacques July 10, 2011 at 1:29 pm #

    Bonjour Cinthia! C’est votre famille à Madagascar. Nous sommes très contents que tu es en Asie pour visiter le monde. Est-ce possible de continuer votre trajet chez nous à Nosy Be Hell ville Madagascar? N’oublier pas votre famille à Madagascar.Nous prions ensemble que notre Seigneur Jesus Christ vous protège pendant votre déplacement. J’espère que tu as une nouvelle expereience avec Dieu durant votre vacance. Que Dieu vous benisse;
    Voici un verset Biblique pour toi :”Beni soi l’homme qui fait confiance à l’Eternel et qui place son espérance en Lui! Il ressemble à un arbre planté près de l’eau et qui étend ses racines vers le cours d’eau: il ne s’aperçoit pas de la venue de la chaleur et son feullage reste vert. Lors d’une année de sécheresse. Il ne redoute rien et il ne cesse pas de porte du fruit” (Jer 17: 7,8)

    • Cinthia July 10, 2011 at 10:44 pm #

      Bonjour Jean-Jacques! Quel plaisir de recevoir ton petit mot! Merci pour ton message chaleureux. Malheureusement l’Asie est bien loin de Madagascar et mon budget ne me permet rien d’autre que de rentre aux Etats-Unis une fois que mon voyage en Asie se termine. La prochaine fois peut etre! Je pense a vous tous et ne vous oublie pas. J’espere que vous allez tous bien. Grosses bises a tout le monde!