There’s an undeniable allure to embarking on a long journey—a feeling of leaving everything behind for new horizons. Of course, you don’t want to abandon everything—so we’ve compiled the perfect packing list to help you strike the sweet spot between overpacking and underpacking.
Bring too much, and you’ll be weighed down by hefty bags that you have to drag between hotels. Underpack and you’ll spend your time on the road scrambling to find everyday essentials. Packing for a long-haul journey is a challenge that requires a different strategy than packing for a short vacation.
This customizable packing list for long trips will help you prepare for your next extended vacation.
On a long trip, you’ll likely be experiencing different climates (or even seasons), so packing versatile items that can be layered is a must. You’ll probably also be going for long stretches without access to laundry facilities, so choose wrinkle-resistant fabrics made from odor-preventing materials such as merino wool.
Pick neutral colors that can be mixed and matched to create many outfits from just a few pieces.
Depending on the weather at your destination, you’ll want to pack a mix of short-sleeved shirts, long-sleeve tops, and sweaters. Two or three of each type of item should be more than enough, and you can adjust based on the temperature (for example, three short-sleeved shirts, one long-sleeve shirt, and one lightweight sweater for a hot climate.)
Some of our favorite tops to pack for a long trip include:
- Outerknown Blanket Shirt: This heavyweight shirt is perfect for layering, as it can be worn open or buttoned up and is super soft and cozy.
- Mott & Bow Light Ribbed Sweater: The most warmth for the lightest weight, thanks to a cashmere and cotton blend.
- Icebreaker Cool-Lite Sphere II T-Shirt: This Merino wool t-shirt can be worn multiple times without starting to smell.
Jeans can be safely worn many times without washing, and they’re so versatile that you can wear them in most weather conditions and social situations. Wear one pair of stretchy jeans on the plane and pack a second lighter pair of pants in your suitcase for hot days.
The best pants to pack for a long trip are:
- Levi Totally Shaping Straight Leg Jeans: Ultra-stretchy jeans that move with you and don’t bag out after multiple wears.
- Tommy Bahama Wide Leg Linen Pants: Perfect for hot weather destinations where you want to be covered up.
- Spanx Jean-ish Leggings: Feel like leggings, look like pants.
Pack at least two pairs of shoes on long trips in case one pair gets wet or starts giving you blisters. We recommend bringing one pair of casual shoes that you can wear to workout in or walk around in, a pair of waterproof boots (for cold or damp destinations), and sandals for any beach or water adventures.
The best shoes to pack for a long trip are:
- Ariat Wexford Waterproof Chelsea Boots: These boots are stylish but fully waterproof, and the slip-on design makes airport security easy.
- Danner Logger Moc 917 GTX: For long trips that involve outdoor adventures, pack Danner’s Logger Moc boots. These versatile boots will work for both rugged trails and city streets. They’re completely waterproof and can shed snow and rain.
- Cariuma Knit Sneakers: A good pair of white sneakers fits any outfit.
- Tevas Original Universal Sandals: Great for the beach or walking around your hotel room, Tevas sandals are lightweight and easy to pack.
Pick chargers and electronics that serve multiple purposes to save space on a long trip.
Essential electronics to pack for a long trip are:
- Kindle Fire: The Kindle Fire can be used to read books, browse the internet, and stream entertainment.
- 3-in-1 Charge Cord: A fast charger saves time, and this one has three different cords so you can charge any type of electronic you bring.
- Anker Portable Charger: This slim backup battery can charge an iPhone to 50 percent in just 30 minutes.
- Bose QuietComfort Earbuds: Noise-cancelling earbuds will be handy on planes and in hotel rooms.
For a truly long trip, it will be best to replenish your toiletries on the road rather than carting around full-sized bottles of everything you need. To get started, pack travel-size versions of all the necessities, including:
- Flexpower Sunscreen: A scent-free sunscreen that doesn’t leave a white cast.
- Over-the-counter Medications: This variety pack includes travel-sized packets of Advil, Pepto, and other key medicines.
- Travel-size toothpaste: This multipack from Colgate is an economical option.
- Tracker Tag: The Samsung Galaxy SmartTag2 or Apple Air Tag can help you track any luggage you must check.
- Loop Earplugs: A good night’s sleep is essential if you’re traveling for a long time. Loop’s Earplugs can help block out any noise in a hotel or hostel.
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