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Packing List

Round-the-World Trip Packing List

When you set off for the first time on a long several-month trip, you’re afraid of forgetting something. You start to confuse items that’ll be extremely useful with gadgets you’ll simply never use. You’re under the impression that if you don’t have a particular item of clothing or some specific gear, then you’ll have trouble finding it on the other side of the world. In this article, based on feedback from hundreds of keen travellers, we’ll tell you what you’ll find really useful and give you advice on how to optimise the weight of your bag.

Our survey

Between 3rd and 6th May 2018, we carried out a big survey amongst 592 world travellers, in which we asked them all about the items they took travelling. Learn more about our methodology

We’ll refer to it regularly throughout this article.

Decathlon products

In this article, the products listed largely refer to brands from Decathlon shops: Quechua, Forklaz, Olaian, and so on…

Decathlon shops are extremely popular in Europe. There’s a huge range of products for travellers and outdoor sports.

And that’s why we chose to refer to their products, as we’re lucky enough to live right next to their largest shop in the world. This meant that we could go directly into the shop with our little scales and weigh each item that you might take on a big “round-the-world” (RTW) style trip. Therefore, you’ll have an idea of the weight of each item, which’ll be particularly useful for you when you easily want to estimate the total weight of your bag.

When we couldn’t find a product at Decathlon, we took an example from Amazon.

However, although Decathlon products have a good reputation for a rather attractive quality-to-price ratio, that doesn’t mean that you have to buy all your equipment from them, especially if you prefer ultra-high-performance gear.

There aren’t as many Decathlon shops in the United Kingdom and Australia, and they haven’t even been opened yet in the United States or New Zealand. If there isn’t a Decathlon near you, you can always go through their UK e-shopping website,, as they deliver worldwide.

The perfect gear doesn't exist

It’s impossible to make a packing list that’s suitable for all travellers. Your gear depends on the way you travel:

  • How important is the weight of your bag to you?
  • What climates will you face and in what order?
  • Are you worried about your appearance / clothing?
  • Are you going to camp? If so, how often?
  • What means of transport will you use: plane, bus, train, car, bike, boat…?
  • Do you want to take high-quality photos / videos and / or write a blog?
  • What activities are you going to do: trekking, biking, diving…?
  • Do you like to be prepared for every eventuality, or do you welcome the unexpected?

Why is it better to travel light?

According to our survey, the average weight of a bag (including an extra bag) is the same for women and men: 33 lbs (15 kg) (38.6 lbs (17.5 kg) for those who travel with kids). This is way too much.

When we asked them what they’d change if they did it again, most responded: “Don’t overpack to begin with”. Many had to send some of their gear home by post during their trip to help lighten the load. What’s more, those who set off on another long-term trip almost always have a lighter pack than their first time.

Giant backpack

We don’t all have the same idea of the word “light”

15 – 20 % rule

The weight of the bag is normally proportional to the weight of the person carrying it. It’s often said that it shouldn’t exceed 15 to 20 % of the weight of the person carrying it, and yet, this ratio is used for simple hikes but not for several month-long backpacking trips. Many RTW travellers (especially women who are, on average, lighter) therefore carry a bag that’s too heavy.

So make sure you really respect this maximum ratio for all of your kit (big bag + small bag). Kids can also carry a small bag, but it shouldn’t exceed 10 to 15 % of their weight.

Prep your bag as if you were going for two weeks. It might seem strange to have so few things when setting off, but after a few days you won’t even realise that you’re often dressed the same way. You’ll be able to get your clothes cheaply anywhere in the world or wash them yourself in a sink.

Cons of a bag that’s too heavy

Travelling with a bag that’s too heavy can have a big impact on your trip:

  • You’ll get tired quickly. Walking in the sun with a 33 lbs (15 kg) bag is no picnic. You’ll often be tempted to take the first accommodation you find, rather than walking with your bag on your back to find another cheaper one. It’ll also be difficult for you to run after a bus if you’re late.
  • You’ll get in the way. On the bus, there isn’t always a baggage hold. When there is one, it’s sometimes full when you get there. You might also be afraid of having it stolen from you at stops. In these situations, you’ll annoy everyone by taking an oversized bag inside. A large big will also prevent you from taking motorcycle taxis.
  • You’ll waste time. You’ll have to repack your bag each time you change places. The bigger it is, the longer it takes. When you have to wait for a bus, it’s nice to be able to go for a walk. If your bag is too big, you’ll waste this time standing at the bus station.
  • You’ll be more stressed. You won’t feel safe walking around cities because you’ll attract stares. The bigger your bag, the more weighed down and clumsy you look. A big bag also gives the impression of containing more valuable things. Your stress will have an impact on your relationship with the locals in the countries you’ll visit.
  • You’ll spend more money. First, when you buy your gear, but then also when you’ll have to put your bag in the hold in low-cost airlines, whereas a light bag can go in the cabin.

See our article on travelling with an ultra-light backpack

Our advice to optimise your gear

The 3-layer technique for clothes

The 3-layer technique for clothes

  • Make a list of items that you want to take.
  • Set yourself a goal weight and take out what isn’t essential until you reach the set weight.
  • Pay particular attention to the heaviest items: tent, sleeping bag, hiking boots, jacket, trousers, laptop, tablet and camera.
  • Don’t take anything, “just in case”. If you have any doubts about an object, don’t take it, even if it means buying it along the way if necessary.
  • For each item on your list, ask yourself if there’s a lighter alternative.
  • Don’t go to a shop until your list is finished so you don’t get tempted by non-essential items.
  • Don’t buy a main bag that’s too big (around 50 L is enough). Nature abhors a vacuum. If you buy a big bag, you’ll be tempted to fill it up.
  • Don’t plan clothes for a week. You’ll be able to wash your underwear and T-shirts regularly with a bit of washing powder or a suitable soap.
  • Dress like an onion, layer up when it’s cold. For example: T-shirt + fleece + light down jacket + waterproof jacket.
  • If you start your trip in tropical countries, don’t stuff your bag with warm clothing. Buy them once you get to the cold place.
  • Opt for multi-use gear, for example: clothes which can be worn in the city and when hiking or a smartphone that can replace several accessories.
  • Plan colours that match so you can wear any clothes together.
  • Choose clothes that dry quickly (avoid cotton) so you can do laundry often.
  • Don’t just take an item because someone gave it to you or because it was expensive.
  • Make economies of scale if you’re travelling in a group. For example, only take one camera for two people.
  • Only take camping gear if you plan on using it a lot, if not, buy it or hire it out there.
  • Don’t listen to your loved ones who’ll want you to take an entire pharmacy.
  • Don’t forget items linked to your hobbies (photo lens for a photographer, instrument for a musician).
  • Save some space in your bag for extra items (food, presents, souvenirs).
  • Set off with equipment in good condition, as it’ll wear out a lot during the trip.

We’re not going to give you the list of equipment that we took on our RTW trip as, in hindsight, we also packed way too many things.

We analysed the results of our survey and drew from our personal experience to compile a list of recommended equipment. As we can’t make a list that’s adapted to each and every traveller, ours is aimed at the most common type of RTW traveller. It’ll suit you if:

  • You want, as much as possible, to reduce the weight of your backpack.
  • You’re going to both hot and cold regions.
  • You’re happy to wear the same thing pretty much all the time.
  • You’re only going to camp every now and then and are happy to rent camping gear.
  • You’re mainly travelling on public transport: plane, bus, train, and so on.
  • You want to take good quality photos, but not professional ones.
  • You want to keep a simple blog so that your close ones can follow you.
  • You’re going to do a few long-distance hikes, some at altitude.
  • You don’t feel the need to walk around with a full medicine cabinet.

Of course, our list isn’t to be taken at face value. The needs and wants of each traveller are different. It’s more of a starting point from which you can remove or add items.

We weighed each item on our list ourselves. Our recommended equipment weight comes in at a total of 24.5 lbs (11.1 kg) for men and 21.8 lbs (9.9 kg) for women. If you take off the weight of the clothes that you’ll be wearing, you end up with a bag that weighs between 17.6 and 22 lbs (8 and 10 kg). The colder it’ll be, the more clothes you’ll wear and therefore your bag will be lighter.

Download our list of recommended equipment for women

Download our list of recommended equipment for men


Almost all RTW travellers carry their gear in a backpack, which is much more convenient to transport than a suitcase. Generally speaking, they take a big, main backpack that they leave in their accommodation between each long journey and a secondary bag for walking around during the day.

Main backpack

The popular Deuter Aircontact backpack

The popular Deuter Aircontact backpack

The most important criteria to consider when choosing your main backpack are:

  • Empty weight: your backpack is one of the heaviest items in your equipment. The empty weight of backpacks drastically varies and can even double. So, go for a light model.
  • Volume: don’t take a bulky bag as it’ll always be a nuisance when you’re on the go and it’ll tempt you to pack too many things. We advise you to choose a model that’s between 45 and 60 litres.
  • Opening system: during a long trip, your backpack will be your only wardrobe and you’ll spend a lot of time rummaging through it. Therefore, it’s better to have a large opening on the front of your bag, or even a large compartment that opens completely, like a suitcase.
  • Carrying comfort: you’ll spend several hours walking around with your bag on your shoulders. Therefore, it needs to have a rigid frame and a good waist belt, and be well ventilated and adjustable.
  • Durability: to last a several-month trip, your bag must be made of a durable material, have strong seams and good quality fastening systems (buckles and zips).

See our article on backpacks

Secondary bags

Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Dry Daypack

Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Dry Daypack

Your secondary backpack will be useful for strolling around town, going to the beach, taking short hikes and as carry-on luggage on planes and long-distance bus journeys.

We advise you to go for the lightest and the least bulky one possible so that you can easily slip it into your main backpack when you don’t need it. As a matter of fact, it’s not very practical to move around with a large bag on your back and a small one on your front.

There are ultra-compact models which, once folded, take up no more space than a key ring: at Sea to Summit (1.4 oz / 68 grams), Gonex (6.5 oz / 185 grams) or Quechua (1.7 oz / 48 grams).

Some big backpacks, like the Deuter Travellers or the Osprey Farpoint, are equipped with a small detachable backpack which zips onto the main bag. On others, like the Quechua Escape, the removable top lid can be turned into a shoulder bag. The advantage of this system is that you won’t need to put your small bag in your big bag or carry it in front when travelling.

Toiletry bag

Quechua Ultra-Light Toiletry Bag

Quechua Ultra-Light Toiletry Bag

A toiletry bag lets you put all your toiletries together and easily take them to the bathroom which won’t always be in your bedroom during the trip. Choose one that is lightweight and has a loop or a hook so you can hang it. You can also go without one by simply putting your toiletries in a zipped plastic bag.

See the toiletries section

Medication and first aid kit

You can put your medication and your first aid equipment in your toiletry bag or in a separate bag.

You can also buy a pre-packed first aid kit with plasters, bandages, scissors, etc. Another option is to put everything in your toiletry bag.

See the medication and first aid kit section

Backpack travel cover

Backpack travel cover Quechua

Quechua Backpack Travel Cover

It’s not unusual for your bag to get dirty on buses, tuk-tuks or on the tarmac at airports. You can protect it with a backpack travel cover.

However, it’s weight is far from minimal. Even mid-range travel backpacks are designed to withstand heavy backpacker use. Many models have an integrated rain cover which, even if it doesn’t cover the shoulder straps, already protects the rest of the bag pretty well. These rain covers are much lighter than the travel covers bought separately.

What’s more, does it really matter if your bag’s slightly dirty at the end of a RTW trip? And finally, a bag that looks brand new probably attracts more attention from thieves.

Travel covers are usually padlockable. Therefore, it’s a little harder for others to steal things from your bag or slip in an illegal product when crossing borders. Nonetheless, backpacks also often have padlockable zips.

Dry bag

A dry bag for watersports Seatosummit

A dry bag for watersports

A dry bag might be handy if you plan to go diving, kayaking, rafting or even if you take out a small boat.

It’ll protect your camera and important documents from the water.

Another advantage of this type of bag is that it floats thanks to the air trapped inside.

Travel wash bag

Some waterproof bags come with grippy lining, small scrubbing nodules inside and a valve to let the air out. These elements make it ideal for washing clothes.

This washing machine function isn’t essential, as in Asia, Latin America and Africa, it’s easy and cheap to get your laundry washed. However, it might be handy for doing small extra washes if you don’t pack many clothes, or if you spend a lot of time in wealthy countries or in extremely remote areas.

Scrubawash Travel wash bag

A travel wash bag

Internal storage bag

Quechua Waterproof Compression Bag

Quechua Waterproof Compression Bag

There are two solutions to choose from that can help you organise and / or protect your belongings inside your main bag:

  • Compression bags: compressions bags allow you to store your clothes by crushing them to the max. Therefore, they take up less space in the bag. There are several types available. Some have valves that let out air so you can compress them even more. There are also airtight and waterproof ones that protect against moisture. If you feel the need to use an airtight bag, your bag might be too full. When you use them on a day-to-day basis, you still take a little more time to pack your bag.
  • Storage bags: they’re just small bags. The most basic ones are made of really light cotton and close by pulling on a string. They allow you to compartmentalise your belongings and organise them properly to avoid having to rummage through your whole bag when you’re looking for something. They can be used, for example, as a dirty laundry bag or an underwear bag.

Camera bag

Amazon Basics Backpack for Cameras

Amazon Basics Backpack for Camera

If you’re taking a compact or mirrorless camera, a basic case is enough. If you’re going with a DSLR and several lenses, you might need a special bag.

There are some with a detachable photo compartment, which is an extra security feature. We don’t recommend shoulder bags as they’re too bulky for a long trip.

Table of recommended bags

Bags Percentage of travellers who took this item Our example Weight Price
Main backpack 98 % Women’s Forclaz 50 L Travel Backpack
Men’s Forclaz 50 L Travel Backpack
5.1 lbs (2.3 kg) $95 (£70)
Secondary bag 95 % Forclaz Compact Waterproof 20 L Travel Backpack 5.4 oz (154 g) $16 (£12)
Toiletry bag 75 % Forclaz Ultra Light and Compact Toiletry Bag 1.5 oz (43 g) $14 (£10)

Table of optional bags

Item Percentage of travellers who took this item Our example Weight Price
Medication / First aid kit 70% Forclaz First-Aid Kit 100 41 Pieces 7.1 oz (200 g) $18 (£13)
Travel cover 20% Forclaz Plane Travel Cover 40 – 90 L 21.1 oz (598 g) $27 (£20)
Dry bag 19% Itiwit Dry Bag 30 L 15.9 oz (450 g) $24 (£18)
Compression bag 16% Forclaz Compression Bag 25 L 7.1 oz (200 g) $24 (£18)
Storage bag 16% Forclaz Kit of 3 Storage Bags 7.8 oz (220 g) $14 (£10)
Wash bag 14% Scrubba Wash Bag 4.8 oz (136 g) $57 (£42)
Camera bag 14% Amazon Basics Backpack for SLR Cameras 31.4 oz (889 g) $49 (£36)


Top: outer layer

On average, RTW travellers take two top outer layers: a warm jacket or a down jacket + a waterproof jacket or a poncho. There are also waterproof jackets with removable down jackets (2-in-1).

Waterproof jacket (hardshell)

Quechua waterproof jacket

Quechua waterproof jacket

During a RTW trip, you’ll probably face some heavy rain, for example, during the monsoon season in Asia. So, most RTW travellers take a jacket to protect themselves from the rain.

Your waterproof jacket won’t heat you up, which is welcome in hot countries. If you plan on crossing cold areas, you can put it on over a fleece and a synthetic or merino T-shirt. So this is the famous three-layer system that’s also known as dressing like an onion.

There’s a huge range of waterproof jackets: from basic windbreakers to technical mountaineering jackets.

It’s important that your jacket is light and breathable enough so that it doesn’t turn into a sauna when it’s hot.

Poncho / Rain cape

Arpenaz Poncho

Arpenaz Poncho

Ponchos have a hole that you slip your head through, whereas capes are put on the shoulders and hang in front.

Basic, non-breathable models only cost a few dollars / pounds. You can put them over your backpack to protect it. What’s more, as they’re long, they also protect the upper legs.

But ponchos and rain capes have several drawbacks. They tend to fly away the second that there’s a bit of wind. They’re not easy to put on, they restrict movement and they easily snag on bushes or branches. Finally, the cheaper models are completely waterproof, which means that they quickly turn into a sauna as soon as you start to sweat.

In view of all these drawbacks, we advise you to use a waterproof jacket and your backpack’s rain cover instead. If it doesn’t already have one, you can buy one separately.

Warm jacket (softshell)

Quechua Softshell Jacket

Quechua Softshell Jacket

Warm jackets are often water repellent, but they won’t keep you dry in the event of prolonged rain. On the other hand, they’ll protect you from the cold and the wind.

Warm jackets can be worn directly over your T-shirt or over a thin fleece. They normally have a fitted cut and are made from stretch fabric, which accommodates movement.

They’re useful if you mainly do physical activities like hiking or biking, in cold weather, but not too humid.

Ultra-light down jacket

Uniqlo Ultra-Light Down Jacket

Uniqlo Ultra-Light Down Jacket

An ultra-light down jacket can be a comfortable alternative to a warm jacket. There are ones with or without sleeves and with or without a hood. The ones with sleeves and a hood will be warmer, but also a little heavier.

Down has an amazing warmth-to-weight ratio and compresses easily. On the other hand, it absorbs moisture and loses its insulating quality if it gets wet. Moreover, it requires a delicate wash, without spinning or machine drying.

The down performance depends on four criteria:

  • Type of down: goose down is generally better than duck down.
  • Down-to-feather ratio: so that the down keeps its loft factor, it always contains a certain percentage of feathers. For example, 80:20 means that the lining is made up of 80% down and 20% feathers. The higher the down percentage, the better the performance.
  • Loft factor: it’s measured in cu in (cubic inches). It can go from around 550 to 900 cu in. The higher the figure, the more carefully the down has been chosen and therefore the higher the quality.
  • Compartmentalisation: to prevent the down from building up in certain areas, down jackets are compartmentalised. The more compartments there are, the more the padding stays in place and therefore the better the down jacket performs.

Top: middle layer

On average, RTW travellers take one top middle layer.


Quechua Fleece

Quechua Fleece

Fleece fabric is warm, comfortable and light. It’s breathable and dries quickly. However, it doesn’t protect against wind nor rain.

The thicker the fleece, the warmer it is, but less breathable. Fleece jackets can be sorted into three categories according to their weight: thin (100 g / m²), medium (200 g / m²), thick (300 g / m²).

Not everyone is a fan of the look of baggy fleeces, but nowadays there are fitted fleeces, with or without hoods, that look neater.

There are also stretch fleeces, a little more expensive than the others, but which offer greater freedom of movement.

The zip can be ¼ or full. A full zip is a bit more expensive, but allows for more ventilation and is easier to put on.


With a fleece, some RTW travellers feel like they’re dressed as hikers and therefore prefer the look of a sweatshirt. However, it doesn’t offer the same performance as a fleece. It’s not as warm and it doesn’t dry as quickly.

If you plan on staying in warm areas, a sweatshirt may do the job. More than half of RTW travellers only take one top (fleece, sweatshirt or sweater). For weight reasons, we advise you not to take a fleece and a sweatshirt.


A thick wool sweater is warmer than a sweatshirt. However, it’s heavier than a fleece and dries less quickly. A light sweater allows you to have a slightly dressier outfit, but avoid taking several top middle layers to limit the weight of your bag.

Top: base layer

On average, RTW travellers take six top base layers.

T-shirts / Vest tops

Forclaz Techwool T-shirt

Forclaz Techwool T-shirt

Take at least one long-sleeved T-shirt to protect yourself from mosquitoes in the evening.

We advise you to take merino wool T-shirts.

The only downside to merino wool T-shirts is their price: at least $20 (£15) for a short-sleeved T-shirt and $23 (£17) for a long-sleeved T-shirt and even more for 100% merino. However, this material has so many advantages that we think it’s worth it:

  • Smell: merino wool is naturally antibacterial. It’s pretty amazing when you wear it for the first time. Even after using it for three days, a merino T-shirt barely smells at all. When travelling, this is a really big advantage, in comparison to synthetic T-shirts which smell bad very quickly.
  • Warmth: a merino T-shirt is much warmer than a cotton T-shirt and is usually warmer than a synthetic T-shirt. This is really handy in cold areas or during treks at altitude. The performance depends on the weight of the wool, usually from 150 to 250 g / m².
  • Breathability: merino absorbs moisture and transfers it to the outside whilst keeping your body warm.
  • Drying: merino dries a little slower than synthetic material, but a lot faster than cotton.
  • Comfort: you might think that a wool T-shirt is itchy, but this isn’t the case at all. Merino wool fibres are much finer than those of classic wool, which makes merino T-shirts very pleasant to wear.

Polo shirt

Sometimes, even when travelling, you want to be a little more dressy. Some travellers therefore take one or several polo shirts. However, remember that you won’t be able to iron them.


A shirt is more airy than a T-shirt, it’ll protect your arms from the sun and keep you cooler than a long-sleeved T-shirt. It’ll come in handy in the evening in areas where there are lots of mosquitoes, as you can roll down the sleeves.

You can go for a linen T-shirt, which is nice and breezy when it’s hot, even if it creases more easily in your backpack.

A shirt can have a dual purpose: directly on the skin when it’s hot or over a T-shirt or a vest top when it’s cooler.

For women, having a loose-fitting, long-sleeved shirt hides your body shape, which makes it relatively versatile in more conservative countries.


On average, RTW travellers take four bottom items of clothing.


Zip-off trousers

Zip-off trousers reduce the weight of your bag

If you plan on doing hikes at altitude, opt for hiking trousers. They’re light, hard-wearing and dry quickly. Unlike jeans, they don’t cling to your skin and don’t hinder your movements when you walk.

There are zip-off hiking trousers that turn into shorts. Not everyone is a fan of the style, but they’re really handy for reducing the weight of your backpack, as you can then pack one less item of clothing.

Jeans and chinos are heavier and dry more slowly than hiking trousers. However, many travellers take a pair as they don’t want to be dressed like a hiker all the time.

In countries where it’s frowned upon to show your legs, you can also buy lightweight canvas trousers that’ll keep you cooler than jeans or hiking trousers.


If you travel in hot countries, you’ll probably spend most of your time in shorts. You don’t necessarily need to buy some especially for your RTW trip, the ones you have in the back of your wardrobe will surely do the trick.

Tights / Leggings

They can be worn with a skirt, dress, shorts, tunic, long shirt or underneath trousers if it’s cold. They don’t hamper movement and are therefore well-suited to hiking.


A skirt is nice to wear when it’s hot. A long skirt is a good option in countries where it’s frowned upon to show your legs or for visiting temples, as they’re cooler than trousers.

Some skirts can be pulled up to the chest and then become beach dresses.


A dress is nice to wear when it’s hot. It can replace shorts and a T-shirt / vest top.

Like a long skirt, a long dress is a good solution in countries where it’s frowned upon to show your legs or for visiting temples, as they’re cooler than trousers.

And what’s more, even when you’re travelling, you might want to wear a more stylish outfit for going out.

With a maxi dress and just a few key items, it’s easy to get a ton of different looks.

One Dress 10 Styles

10 Ways to style a maxi dress

Credit: brit+co


Sports bra / Bra

Take the models you feel most comfortable in. You can take sports bras for physical activities.

Knickers / Pants / Tangas / Thongs / Underpants / Boxers

Just take the models you feel good in, even when it’s hot.


During your RTW trip, you’ll spend a lot of time in flip-flops, so don’t pack too many socks.

Compression socks

If you have circulation problems, your legs and feet tend to be heavy and swollen on long plane journeys, you can also take compression socks.

They apply constant pressure to your foot, your calf and your leg, which helps maintain and increase blood flow by pressing on superficial veins. In this way, you’ll reduce the risk of thrombosis.


Flip-flops or sandals are really useful in hot countries. They’ll probably be the pair you’ll use the most during your trip.

If you intend on doing hikes, you’ll also need a suitable pair of shoes. High walking shoes provide good support but are heavy and not recommended for prolonged use as they weaken the ankle muscles. Lighter, low walking shoes or trail shoes are just right for a RTW trip. There are also hiking sandals that may be adequate for day hikes in hot areas.

On average, RTW travellers take two or three pairs of shoes. We advise you, if possible, to limit yourself to two pairs.

From our point of view, the best combination is:

  • Flip-flops (or sandals)
  • Trail shoes (or low walking shoes)
  • + potentially a pair of sandals (or a pair of light canvas trainers)

See our article on shoes

Salomon XA Pro 3D Trail Shoes

Salomon XA Pro 3D Trail Shoes

Havaianas Flip-Flops

Havaianas Flip-Flops



Unless you’re just doing a RTW trip through the Arctic Circle, a swimsuit will come in really handy.

Woolly hat

If you plan on going through cold areas, you can take a hat. However, if you don’t go through these areas at the start of your trip, you’ll easily be able to buy a cheap one out there. This will save you from having to carry it throughout your trip.


A cap will be really useful to protect you from the sun in hot countries.


A hat has the advantage of better protecting your ears and neck from the sun. After all, it’s a matter of aesthetic taste.


It helps protect your nose and mouth from dust. You can also wear it on your head to protect yourself from the sun.


It can protect you from dust and the sun. It can also cover your head or shoulders in countries or places where it’s frowned upon to leave them exposed. Rolled into a ball, it can also be used as a pillow. A sarong can also serve as a headscarf.

Scarf / Neckwarmer

Just like the woolly hat, they’re useful in cold areas, but you’ll be able to buy them locally if you start in warm areas.


Useful to protect your hands in cold areas, but you can also buy them out there.

UV protection T-shirt

This type of synthetic material T-shirt is specially designed to be worn in water. It’s really useful for snorkelling. It’ll prevent you from getting sunburn on your back and keep you warm. It can also be worn under a wetsuit.

Recommended clothes tables

Item of clothing Percentage of travellers who took this item of clothing Our example Recommended quantity Unit weight
Women: size M
Men: size L
Unit price
Waterproof jacket with removable down jacket Forclaz Women’s Waterproof 3-In-1 Jacket
Forclaz Men’s Waterproof 3-In-1 Jacket
1 W: 2.3 lbs (1.03 kg)
M: 2.6 lbs (1.2 kg)
$122 (£90)
Fleece 72% Women’s Quechua Hiking Fleece MH950
Men’s Quechua Walking Fleece
1 W: 10.5 oz (299 g)
M: 12.3 oz (350 g)
$47 (£35)
Short-sleeved merino T-shirt 19% Women’s Forclaz Short-Sleeved Merino T-Shirt
Men’s Forclaz Short-Sleeved Merino T-Shirt
1 W: 4.2 oz (120 g)
M: 5.2 oz (148 g)
$27 (£20)
Long-sleeved merino T-shirt 38% Women’s Forclaz Long-Sleeved Merino T-Shirt
Men’s Forclaz Long-Sleeved Merino T-Shirt
1 W: 4.6 oz (130 g)
M: 6.5 oz (184 g)
$34 (£25)
Zip-off trousers 38% Women’s Forclaz Travel Trousers
Men’s Forclaz Travel Trousers
1 W: 15.2 oz (432 g)
M: 25 oz (710 g)
W: $41 (£30)
M: $54 (£40)
Jeans / chinos 67% Women’s Levi’s 711 Jeans
Men’s Levi’s 511 Jeans
1 W: 19.4 oz (550 g)
M: 22.2 oz (630 g)
W: $91 (£67)
M: $103 (£76)
Shorts 83% of women
100% of men
Forclaz Women’s Trekking Shorts 100
Forclaz Men’s Trekking Shorts 100
1 W: 10.6 oz (300 g)
M: 19 oz (540 g)
W: $27 (£20)
M: $34 (£25)
Knickers / pants / tangas / thongs / underpants / boxers 100% Kalenji Breathable Briefs
Kalenji Breathable Boxers
4 W: 0.7 oz (21 g)
M: 1.4 oz (40 g)
$7 (£5)
Sports bra / bra 100% of women
Cotton socks 91% Artengo High Socks RS 500 3-Pack 3 2.4 oz (67 g) $8 (£6)
Hiking socks 52% Solognac Full-Length Warm Woollen Socks 900 1 5.3 oz (150 g) $18 (£13)
Flip-flops 83% of women
79% of men
Women’s Olaian Flip-Flops 190
Men’s Olaian Flip-Flops 120
1 W: 6.7 oz (190 g)
M: 12.7 oz (360 g)
W: $8 (£6)
M: $4 (£3)
Trail shoes 25% of women
33% of men
Women’s Evadcit MT2 Trail Shoes
Men’s Evadict MT2 Trail Shoes
1 W: 9.5 oz / foot (270 g)
M: 10.9 oz / foot (310 g)
$95 (£70)
Hat 53% Forclaz Travel Cap 500 1 3.1 oz (88 g) $11 (£8)
Swimsuit 95% Women’s Olaian Triangle Top & Briefs
Men’s Olaian Boardshorts
1 W: 4.2 oz (120 g)
M: 5.6 oz (160 g)
W: $9 (£7)
M: $7 (£5)

Optional clothes table

Item of clothing Percentage of travellers who took this item of clothing Our example Unit weight
Women: size M
Men: size L
Unit price
Short-sleeved cotton T-shirt 82% Women’s Quechua Hiking T-Shirt NH500
Men’s Quechua Hiking T-Shirt NH500
W: 4.6 oz (130 g)
M: 5.1 oz (145 g)
W: $16 (£12)
M: $14(£10)
Waterproof jacket (hardshell) 80% Women’s Forclaz Waterproof Jacket MT500
Men’s Forclaz Waterproof Jacket MT500
W: 16.6 oz (470 g)
M: 18.7 oz (530 g)
$163 (£120)
Warm jacket (softshell) 31% Women’s Forclaz Softshell Jacket
Men’s Forclaz Softshell Jacket
W: 18.9 oz (535 g)
M: 21.2 oz (600 g)
$61 (£45)
Ultralight down jacket 36% Women’s Forclaz Down Jacket MT100
Men’s Forclaz Down Jacket MT100
W: 9.7 oz (275 g)
M: 10.2 oz (290 g)
$68 (£50)
Poncho / Rain cape 20% Quechua Hiking Rain Poncho 75 L 19.8 oz (560 g) $54 (£40)
Sweatshirt 38% Women’s Domyos Fitness Hoodie
Men’s Doymos Fitness Hoodie
W: 13.1 oz (370 g)
M: 19 oz (540 g)
W: $18 (£13)
M: $12 (£9)
Sweater 28% Women’s Quechua Hiking Pullover NH100
Men’s Quechua Walking Pullover
W: 5.9 oz (167 g)
M: 6.7 oz (190 g)
$8 (£6)
Synthetic short-sleeved T-shirt / vest top 52% Women’s Short-Sleeved Synthetic T-Shirt
Men’s Short-Sleeved Synthetic T-Shirt
3.9 oz (110 g) W: $7 (£5)
M: $4 (£3)
Long-sleeved cotton T-shirt 42% Women’s Nyamba Long-Sleeved Cotton T-Shirt
Men’s Domyos Long-Sleeved Cotton T-Shirt
W: 5.3 oz (150 g)
M: 7.1 oz (200 g)
W: $8 (£6)
M: $5 (£4)
Long-sleeved synthetic T-shirt 24% Women’s Quechua Long-Sleeved Walking T-Shirt
Men’s Quechua Synthetic Long-Sleeved T-Shirt
W: 5.8 oz (164 g)
M: 5.2 oz (147 g)
W: $20 (£15)
M: $34 (£25)
Polo shirt 17% of men Women’s Forclaz Merino Wool T-Shirt
Men’s Forclaz Merino Wool Polo Shirt
W: 4.2 oz (120 g)
M: 5.8 oz (165 g)
$41 (£30)
Shirt 26% of women
53% of men
Women’s Forclaz Long-Sleeved Shirt
Men’s Forclaz Long-Sleeved Shirt
W: 8.1 oz (230 g)
M: 12.3 oz (350 g)
W: $34 (£25)
M: $41 (£30)
Skirt 22% of women Macabi Skirt 7.1 oz (200 g) $85 (£63)
Dress 52% of women Patagonia Magnolia Spring Dress 7.1 oz (201 g) $85 (£63)
Hiking trousers (non-zippable) 53% Women’s Forclaz Trekking Trousers MT500
Men’s Forclaz Trekking Trousers MT500
W: 13.1 oz (370 g)
M: 14.5 oz (410 g)
$41 (£30)
Tights / Leggings 60% of women
17% of men
Women’s Inovik Merino Wool Base Layer Bottoms
Men’s Forclaz Merino Base Layer Tights
W: 5.6 oz (160 g)
M: 6.7 oz (191 g)
$47 (£35)
Compression socks 13% Aptonia Compression Socks 1.8 oz (50 g) $16 (£12)
Light canvas shoes 38% of women
28% of men
Women’s Newfeel Soft 140 Shoes
Men’s Newfeel Soft 140 Shoes
W: 5.1 oz (150 g)
M: 6.5 oz (185 g)
$20 (£15)
Sandals 50% of women
18% of men
Women’s Leather Quechua Sandals
Men’s Quechua Leather Sandals
W: 8.1 oz (230 g)
M: 10.1 oz (286 g)
W: $47 (£35)
M: $34 (£25)
Running shoes 26% of women
26% of men
Women’s Kiprun KN500 Running Shoes
Men’s Kiprun Fast 2 Running Shoes
W: 6.9 oz (197 g)
M: 8.4 oz (238 g)
$95 (£70)
Water shoes 14% of women
9% of men
Subea Aquashoes 120 W: 9.9 oz (280 g)
M: 13.1 oz (370 g)
$14 (£10)
Low hiking boots 34% of women
39% of men
Women’s Quechua Mountain Waterproof Shoes MH500
Men’s Quechua Waterproof Walking Shoes
W: 12.6 oz / shoe (356 g)
M: 15.7 oz / shoes (445 g)
W: (£40)
M: (£60)
High hiking boots 27% of women
16% of men
Women’s Forclaz High Top Shoe
Men’s Forclaz High Top Shoe
W: 17.7 oz / shoe (502 g)
M: 17.8 oz / shoe (506 g)
$95 (£70)
Headscarf 53% of women
14% of men
Forclaz Desert Scarf 3.4 oz (95 g) $14 (£10)
Scarf 56% Forclaz Multi-Position Merino Scarf 0.7 oz (20 g) $16 (£12)
Bandana 12% Unisex Bandana 1 oz (27 g) $3 (£2)
Gloves 52% Forclaz Fleece Gloves 1.8 oz (50 g) $9 (£7)
Woolly hat 50% Wed’Ze Hat 3.5 oz (100 g) $8 (£6)
UV protection T-shirt 12% Women’s Olaian Anti UV T-Shirt 500
Men’s Olaian UV-Protection T-Shirt 500
W: 7.8 oz (220 g)
M: 8.5 oz (240 g)
W: $18 (£13)
M: $9 (£7)
Pyjamas / Nightshirt 5% Women’s Pyjama Set 15.2 oz (430 g) $20 (£15)

Sleeping equipment

Sleeping bag

Forclaz Sleeping Bag

Forclaz Sleeping Bag MT900 10°C

Choosing whether to take a sleeping bag or not will greatly affect the weight of your backpack, as it’s one of the heaviest items.

You can take one if you’re starting your trip in cold areas and / or if you want to use it to keep yourself warm on buses where the air-con is often on full blast.

You can also buy one when you get to a cold area or occasionally rent one when you go on treks.

See our article on sleeping bags

Sleeping bag liner (silk sheet)

Quechua silk sheet

Quechua silk sheet

Whether you take a sleeping bag or not, a sleeping bag liner is particularly handy when travelling. It can be used in hot countries, when hotel sheets aren’t clean. If you use it as a liner in your sleeping bag, you won’t have to wash your sleeping bag so often, and it also adds extra thermal comfort.

It’s better to avoid cotton – too heavy, not very warm and dries slowly. Synthetic is lighter, warmer and dries quickly, but it’s less comfortable and gets smelly quickly. A silk sheet is really the best in every way, but it’s more expensive.


Sea to Summit ultralight self-inflating mattress

Sea to Summit ultralight self-inflating mattress

If you intend to sleep outside, you’ll need a mattress to sleep comfortably and insulate you from the ground.

Foam mattresses are cheap, sturdy, waterproof, light and quick to set up, but they’re uncomfortable and bulky.

Self-inflating mattresses are space-saving, comfortable, insulating and quick to set up, but they’re more expensive, a bit heavier and more fragile.


MSR Hubba Hubba Tent

MSR Hubba Hubba Tent

Take a tent if you plan on camping-out regularly, especially if you’re travelling by bike or hitch-hiking. Camping will allow you to be closer to nature and make huge savings on accommodation.

However, even a lightweight tent will significantly weigh down your pack. In “poor” countries, camping sites as we know them in Europe barely exist. If you intend on camping in countries where accommodation is expensive, such as Australia, New Zealand, the United States or Canada, you can also buy a tent when you get there, to avoid the hassle of carrying it for the whole trip.


Quechua hammock

Quechua hammock

A hammock is much less bulky than a tent and there are “ultralight” ones made from parachute fabric. This Sea to Summit hammock weighs just 5.5 oz (155 g).

Not being in contact with the ground can be a real advantage in places where there are lots of little beasts or where the ground is really rocky.

But, a hammock also has its drawbacks. It doesn’t protect you from the wind and you need trees to be able to hang it. To protect you from the rain, you’ll need to cover it with a tarp. Similarly, to protect you from mosquitoes, you’ll need to cover it with a mosquito net. Also, unless you have your bag kept in a safe place or you’re travelling really light, you’ll be forced to leave your bag next to your hammock when you sleep. Therefore, you run the risk of it being stolen.

Hammock’s are Francois’ favourite accessory. He mainly uses it to take a nap in tropical countries and to sleep on the deck of passenger boats in Asia and Latin America.


Forclaz Tarp 900

Forclaz Tarp 900

Tarp (short for tarpaulin) is a stretched synthetic canvas that protects you from wind and rain. It’s mainly used by experienced hikers looking for a lighter alternative to a tent. They attach it to their trekking poles.

It’s cheaper and lighter than a tent and protects you in several ways: when you sleep on the ground, when you’re in your hammock, when you make a fire.

On the other hand, it’s more difficult to use than a tent and it won’t insulate you from the ground nor the surroundings. You’ll be less protected from cold, wind, humidity and insects.

Little accessories to help you sleep well

cylindrical earplugs

The best earplugs are cylindrical


Loud music on buses, dorm neighbours who like to party until way too late at night, bunking buddies who snore too much… In short, there are plenty of opportunities to use earplugs.

Cushion / Inflatable pillow

If you have trouble sleeping on transport, there are inflatable pillows or cushions that wrap around your neck. However, you can equally stuff the inside of a sweater with clothes and tie its sleeves to close the bottom opening. This’ll give you a soft and spongy cushion.

Sleep mask

If you can’t sleep unless it’s completely dark, you should take a mask to cover your eyes.

Table of recommended sleeping equipment

Item Percentage of travellers who took this item Our example Weight Price
Sleeping bag liner 72% Forclaz Silk Sleeping Bag Cover 3.9 oz (110 g) $47 (£35)
Earplugs 69% Moldex Earplugs 0.6 oz (18 g) $7 (£5)

Table of optional sleeping equipment

Item Percentage of travellers who took this item Our example Weight Price
Sleeping bag 63% Forclaz Trekking Sleeping Bag MT900 10°C 24.7 oz (700 g) $135 (£100)
Sleep mask 43% Forclaz Travel Sleep Mask 0.7 oz (20 g) $8 (£6)
Inflatable pillow 27% Forclaz Inflatable Travel Pillow 2.8 oz (80 g) $9 (£7)
Mattress 25% Forclaz Inflatable Trekking Mattress MT500 18 oz (510 g) $54 (£40)
Tent 25% Forclaz Self-Standing Tent 45.9 oz (1300 g) $176 (£130)
Hammock 11% Quechua Hammock 19 oz (540 g) $20 (£15)
Tarp 3% Forclaz Trekking Tarp 17.3 oz (490 g) $68 (£50)

Electronic equipment


An Iphone 8

An iPhone

A phone will be very useful for receiving code texts / OTPs (one-time passwords) from your bank when you pay, for example, for plane tickets online. If you buy local sim cards, you’ll also have a number to call each other if you’re travelling in a group or to communicate with people you meet along the way.

When connected to wifi or 3/4/5G, your smartphone has loads of functions: calling, chatting, listening to music, looking up maps, finding out information on your next destination and accommodation, buying plane, bus or train tickets, posting your adventures on Facebook, Instagram, following your budget, calculating exchange rates…

Possible accessories:

  • Charger
  • Protective phone case
  • Waterproof bag
  • Headphones
  • Aux cable (for listening to music together)
  • Mini speaker
  • Memory cards
  • Selfie stick
  • Microlens (for photos)
  • Mini tripod (for photos)


Taking a camera isn’t essential, as smartphones nowadays take pretty good photos. However, they still don’t have the same quality as a good camera.

Each type of device has its pros and cons. Choose a relatively light one that meets your needs:

  • A compact camera, if you want to minimise the weight and not bother with adjustments.
  • A single-lens reflex camera (SLR), if you already have good photography skills and weight isn’t a priority for you.
  • A hybrid camera, if having a light and discrete device matters to you, but you also want to make your own adjustments and take high-quality photos.

We don’t advise taking a bridge camera for a RTW trip as they’re heavy and generally take average-quality photos.

See our article on cameras

Sony Cybershot compact camera

Sony Cybershot Compact

Possible accessories:

  • Lenses (if you use a reflex or hybrid camera)
  • Films (if you use a film camera)
  • Filters
  • Travel case
  • Charger
  • Memory cards
  • Spare battery
  • Cleaning kit
  • Tripod
  • Remote control
  • Waterproof case for diving
  • Diving filter


The famous mini GoPro camera

The famous mini GoPro camera

A camcorder can be cool to film your adventures. Go for a waterproof and shockproof action film camera like a GoPro.

Possible accessories:

  • Charger
  • Travel case
  • Memory cards
  • Spare battery
  • Clips
  • Stick
  • Float
  • Waterproof case for diving
  • Diving filter
  • Drone


RTW travellers often think twice about taking a laptop. It can be handy for storing and editing your photos and videos and for writing your articles if you have a blog. On the other hand, it significantly increases the weight of your bag.

Possible accessories:

  • Charger
  • Travel case
  • External hard drive / SSD
  • USB key
  • Mini keyboard
  • Mouse
  • USB port hub
  • Memory card reader
  • Headphones
  • Mini speaker
Macbook Air Laptop

Macbook Air


A tablet takes up less space and is usually cheaper than a laptop.

However, it has less memory, is more complicated to use to manage photos and videos, and the touchscreen isn’t that practical for entering long texts.

Possible accessories:

The same for a laptop.

MP3 / MP4 player

Nowadays, most travellers listen to music on their smartphone. So an MP3 / MP4 isn’t that useful, but it still has the advantage of having a much longer battery life than that of a smartphone.


An e-book can help you reduce the weight of your equipment. It saves you from carrying books that are often pretty heavy. You can also buy electronic travel guides, but sometimes it’s a little confusing when you can’t flick through them in hard copy.

Possible accessories:

  • Charger
  • Protective case

GPS / GPS watch

If you plan on hiking without a guide or getting around on your own on foot, by bike or in your vehicle, you can take a GPS. It could be a vehicle GPS, a small hiking GPS or a hiking watch that has a GPS function. However, a smartphone with a map app that’s accessible offline can also do the job nicely.

Other electronic accessories

Universal adapter

Electrical sockets vary from one country to another. To avoid the hassle of buying a new adapter each time you go to a new country, we advise you to take a universal adapter.

Electrical multi-socket plug

It isn’t essential, but it can be handy if you travel with lots of electronic devices. In fact, there probably won’t be enough sockets to charge them all at the same time in your room.

Plug-in mosquito repellent

It can be pretty useful in mosquito-infested areas, but during a long trip it’ll run out after several weeks and it’ll be difficult to find refills.

External battery pack

When travelling, you won’t always have access to an electrical socket, especially on transport. A battery lets you charge your devices without using a socket. Be careful, as some can be pretty heavy.

Batteries or rechargeable batteries + charger

These days, most electronic devices come with their own battery. Therefore, fewer and fewer travellers need to take batteries.

Solar charger

A solar charger performs the same function as an external battery pack, but allows you to be even more independent, as you won’t need to pre-charge it on an electrical socket.


While it allows you to take amazing videos from the sky, it significantly increases the weight of your luggage.

Table of recommended electronic equipment

Item Percentage of travellers who took this item Our example Weight Price
Phone 94% iPhone 12 Mini 4.7 oz (133 g) $784 (£579)
Phone charging cable 94% RAMPOW iPhone Charger Cable 0.4 oz (10 g) $14 (£10)
Phone case 90% JETech Case 0.7 oz (21 g) $8 (£6)
Headphones 79% Apple EarPods 1.45 oz (41 g) $23 (£17)
Camera 73% Sony RX100 III 7.5 oz (213 g) $244 (£180)
Camera charging cable 73% Micro USB Cable 2.1 oz (59 g) $11 (£8)
Camera case 73% Sony Soft Carry Case 3.2 oz (91 g) $24 (£18)
Memory card 69% SanDisk Memory Card 64 GB + SD Adapter 0.2 oz (5 g) $12 (£9)
Universal adaptor 77% LYSLEDa Universal Travel Adaptor with 2 USB Ports 3.5 oz (100 g) $22 (£16)

Table of optional electronic equipment

Item Percentage of travellers who took this item Our example Weight Price
Smartphone gear
Mini tripod 15% GorillaPod Tripod 6.9 oz (195 g) $68 (£50)
Selfie stick 10% Gritin Selfie Stick 6.7 oz (190 g) $16 (£12)
Waterproof case YOSH Waterproof Phone Case 3 oz (82 g) $11 (£8)
Mini lenses Selvim 3-in-1 Phone Lens 4.2 oz (120 g) $22 (£16)
Camera gear
Spare battery 50% 2 Enegon Replacement Batteries + Charger 2.7 oz (77 g) $27 (£20)
Lenses 23% Canon EF 50mm 1.8 STM Lens 5.6 oz (160 g) $188 (£139)
Cleaning kit 14% Camkix Professional Camera Cleaning Kit 8.5 oz (240 g) $14 (£10)
Filter(s) 11% Hoya Polarising Filter 1.7 oz (50 g) $34 (£25)
Tripod 4% Amazon Basics Tripod 2.9 lbs (1.3 kg) $33 (£24)
Waterproof case 1% Sony Underwater Housing 23.3 oz (660 g) $434 (£320)
Spare film 2% Kodak Ultramax Film 3-Pack 14.1 oz (400 g) $44 (£33)
Remote control Amazon Basics Wireless Remote Control 0.5 oz (14 g) $9 (£7)
Video camera gear
Video camera 40% GoPro HERO 5.2 oz (147 g) $464 (£343)
Waterproof case 17% FitStill 60M Waterproof Case 3.5 oz (100 g) $22 (£16)
Travel case Amazon Basics GoPro Carrying Case 8.6 oz (245 g) $15 (£11)
Spare battery FlyHi 2-Pack Battery and Rapid 3-Channel Charger 2.8 oz (80 g) $31 (£23)
Accessories YHTSPORT GoPro Accessories 14 oz (400 g) $19 (£14)
Filter(s) YALLSAME Diving Filter for GoPro 1.1 oz (30 g) $26 (£19)
Computer gear
Laptop 48% MacBook Air 2.8 lbs (1.25 kg) $1226 (£907)
Charger 48% MacBook Air Charger 7 oz (198 g) $23 (£17)
Travel case 48% Amazon Basics Laptop Sleeve 7.5 oz (212 g) $14 (£10
USB key 56% SanDisk Ultra 128GB Flash Drive 0.8 oz (23 g) $18 (£13)
External hard drive 40% Samsung T5 500GB External Drive 3.5 oz (100 g) $95 (£70)
USB port hub 2% Anker 4-Port USB Hub 1.1 oz (30 g) $18 (£13)
Mouse Bloomley Wireless Mouse 3.9 oz (110 g) $15 (£11)
Tablet gear
Tablet 35% iPad Air 16.2 oz (458 g) $743 (£549)
Charger 35% RAMPOW Lightning Charger Cable 0.4 oz (10 g) $14 (£10)
Travel case 35% JETech Case 7.1 oz (200 g) $20 (£15)
Memory card reader 9% Transcend Multifunctional Card Reader 0.6 oz (18 g) $14 (£10)
Keyboard 1% Logitech Case with Detachable Keyboard 20.2 oz (574 g) $203 (£150)
E-reader gear
E-reader 33% Kindle 6.1 oz (174 g) $95 (£70)
Travel case 33% Kindle Fabric Cover 5.3 oz (150g) $34 (£25)
Other electronic equipment
USB charger 94% Revakin 3-Port Multi USB Plus Adapter 1.8 oz (50 g) $9 (£7)
External battery 49% Anker 20,000mAh 20W Power Bank 12.2 oz (346 g) $68 (£50)
Electrical multi-socket plug 28% Multi Wall Socket with 2 USB Ports 4.6 oz (130 g) $19 (£14)
Mini speaker 19% JBL Clip 2 Waterproof Wireless Speaker 6.5 oz (184 g) $61 (£45)
Batteries 17% Energizer 4-Pack AA Batteries 4.6 oz (130 g) $8 (£6)
Headphone splitters / AUX? 14% Syncwire Aux Cable 0.8 oz (23 g) $8 (£6)
Solar charger 13% Solar Charger 26,800mAh Power Bank 16.6 oz (470 g) $42 (£31)
Mp3 / Mp4 player 11% AGPTEK IX8 Waterproof Mp3 1.1 oz (30 g) $53 (£39)
Rechargeable batteries 6% Duracell Rechargeable Batteries 3.9 oz (110 g) $12 (£9)
Battery charger 6% Amazon Basics Battery Charger 4 oz (113 g) $19 (£14)
GPS 6% Garmin eTrex Touch 35 Portable GPS 10.6 oz (300 g) $219 (£162)
Plug-in mosquito repellent 5% Zero In Knockdown Mosquito Killer 4.2 oz (120 g) $14 (£10)
Drone 3% DJI Mavic Pro Drone 25.6 oz (726 g) $676 (£500)
Door stopper alarm 1% Mengshen 3-Pack Safety Wedge 3.4 oz (97 g) $20 (£15)



The number of accessories that can be taken on a trip is almost endless. Here’s the list of the main items taken by RTW travellers. Be careful, as in this part, you’ll find lots of gadgets which ultimately aren’t that useful for a RTW trip.

Table of recommended accessories

Item Percentage of travellers who took this object Our example Weight Price
To protect your eyes, especially at altitude Sunglasses 95% Quechua Sunglasses 0.8 oz (22 g) $14 (£10)
To protect your glasses in your backpack Glasses case Quechua Glasses Case 2.1 oz (60 g) $7 (£5)
To quickly note down information without having to get out your smartphone Pen 94% Bic Ballpoint Pens 0.7 oz (20 g) $1 (£1)
To quickly note down information without having to get out your smartphone Notebook 83% Moleskine Classic Noteboook 4.8 oz (137 g) $14 (£10)
To read at night in a tent and in dorms and to walk in unlit places Head torch 83% Battery Head Torch 3 oz (85 g) $7 (£5)
To close lockers in hostels, zips on your bag or your tent Padlocks 80% Forclaz TSA-Coded Padlock 2.7 oz (76 g) $11 (£8)
To open bottles, tins, to screw... Knife 71% Huntsman Swiss Knife 2.6 oz (74 g) $34 (£25)
To light a fire, a candle, a gas stove, a cigarette... Lighter 68% Bic Lighters 2.1 oz (60 g) $8 (£6)
To avoid having to buy dozens of expensive water bottles that won't be recycled in most poor countries UV water purifier 64% Steripen Water Purifier 4.8 oz (136 g) $103 (£76)
To keep your important documents and electronic devices dry Ziplock bags 60% Tidyz Freezer Bags 0.4 oz (10 g) $4 (£3)
Much lighter than a normal towel Microfibre towel 58% Nabaiji Microfibre Towel L 5.6 oz (160 g) $9 (£7)
If you're really scared of pickpockets, you can instead go for a travel money belt Wallet / purse 50% AmazonBasics RFID Wallet 2.1 oz (59 g) $15 (£11)

Table of optional accessories

Item Percentage of travellers who took this item Our example Weight Price
Flask / can / CamelBak 71% Forclaz Trekking Water Pouch 2L 3.7 oz (105 g) $16 (£12)
Sewing kit 65% Travel Sewing Kit 1.8 oz (50 g) $4 (£3)
Avoid valuable jewellery. For women travelling alone, wearing a ring on your finger means that you can that your husband will be joining you. Jewellery 60%
Small water bottle 55% Aptonia Water Bottle 17.6 oz (500 g) $1 (£1)
Washing line 55% Quechua Camping Washing Line 1.4 oz (40 g) $5 (£4)
Cards / games 52% Tarot Game 78 Cards 6 oz (170 g) $12 (£9)
Tissues 52% Kleenex Ultra Soft 0.8 oz (24 g) $5 (£4)
Definitely don't take a guide for every country you're going to visit. You'll easily find them out there. You can also buy them in PDF or e-reader format. Travel guide 48% Lonely Planet South America 30 oz (850 g) $19 (£14)
Bum bag 47% Forclaz RFID Bum Bag 4 oz (112 g) $14 (£10)
Reading glasses + case 47% Specsavers Reading Glasses + Case Depends on style Depends on style
Watch 38% Swatch Unisex Watch 0.8 oz (23 g) $79 (£58)
Book 33% Latitude Zero by Mike Horn 7.1 oz (200 g) $16 (£12)
Can be used as a towel, for visiting temples and for covering up in the evening. Sarong 28% Toskatok Sarong 5.3 oz (150 g) $8 (£6)
House keys 27% 1.8 oz (50 g)
Carabiners 27% Simond Non-Locking Carabiner 1.4 oz (40 g) $7 (£5)
You don't need to take one. In places where it's necessary, the beds in your accommodation will almost always be equipped with one. Mosquito net 24% Forclaz 1-Person Mosquito Net 6.7 oz (190 g) $24 (£18)
Snorkelling mask 22% Subea Sea Diving Mask 6.7 oz (190 g) $31 (£23)
Snorkel 19% Subra Snorkelling Mask 4.2 oz (120 g) $12 (£9)
Compass 18% Geonaute Compass 4.2 oz (120 g) $14 (£10)
Camping stove 18% Forclaz Gas Stove MT500 3 oz (85 g) $41 (£30)
Gas cartridge 18% Forclaz Gas Cartridge 13.9 oz (394 g) $7 (£5)
Cooking set 18% Quechua Camping Cook Set 13.4 oz (380 g) $14 (£10)
Chain / lock / anti-theft device 17% Forclaz TSA Spiral Cable Padlock 2.6 oz (73 g) $14 (£10)
Tape 17% B’Twin Tape 2.1 oz (60 g) $7 (£5)
Contact lenses + case + product 14% Specsavers Contact Lenses Depends on type Depends on type
Tupperware 13% Lock & Lock 1L Container 6.7 oz (190 g) $8 (£6)
Universal sink plug 13% Bacox Sink Plug 2.5 oz (70 g) $5 (£4)
Straps 13% Forclaz 2-Pack Tightening Straps 2.5 oz (70 g) $5 (£4)
Binoculars 12% Quechua Binoculars 11. 7 oz (333 g) $54 (£40)
Mini dictionary 12% Oxford Spanish Mini Dictionary 6.6 oz (186 g) $7 (£5)
Guy ropes, cords 10% Quechua 2 Guy Ropes and 4 Guy Lines 9.2 oz (260 g) $7 (£5)
Foreign language instruction book 7% Collins Complete Spanish 19.4 oz (550 g) $15 (£11)
Urination device 7% SHEWEE Resuable Pee Funnel 0.4 oz (10 g) $7 (£5)
Musical instrument 6% Huawind Ukulele 17.3 oz (490 g) $54 (£40)
Flippers 6% Subea Snorkelling Fins 32.8 oz (930 g) $26 (£19)
Portable shower 4% Sea to Summit Camping Solar Shower 4.2 oz (120 g) $27 (£20)
Alarm clock 4% NOKLEAD Digital Travel Alarm Clock 3.4 oz (96 g) $18 (£13)
Emergency rations 4% Seven OceanS Emergency Food Rations 17.6 oz (500 g) $12 (£9)
Umbrella 2% Totes Mini Umbrella 7.8 oz (222 g) $35 (£26)
Scuba diving computer 2% Mares Puck Pro Scuba Diving Computer 4.1 oz (115 g) £243 (£180)
Heating pad 2% Wed’Ze Body Warmers X10 1.8 oz (50 g) $11 (£8)
Belt 1% Kipsta Foldable Hanger 5.3 oz (150 g) $3 (£2)
Hiking poles 1% Newfeel P700 Nordic Walking Pole 10.6 oz (300 g) $68 (£50)

Toiletry bag

Contents of toiletry bag

We don’t really think about it, but a toiletry bag can represent a significant part of the weight of your gear, especially for women. Choose an all-purpose bar soap that’s lighter than the bottles (shower gel, shampoo, etc.) it’s replacing, and make sure it can fit in your hand luggage.

Table of recommended toiletries

Item Percentage of women who took this item Percentage of women who took this item Average weight
Toothbrush 98% 95% 0.7 oz (20 g)
Toothpaste 97% 94% 3.5 oz (100 g)
Sun cream 93% 78% 8.5 oz (240 g)
Tweezers 85% 43% 0.7 oz (20 g)
Mosquito repellent 82% 66% 4.6 oz (130 g)
Bobbles 82% 8% 0.4 oz (10 g)
Deodorant / alum stone 80% 61% 3.5 oz (100 g)
Nail clippers 78% 67% 1.8 oz (50 g)
Lip balm 77% 42% 0.4 oz (10 g)
Dr Bronner's soap washes the body, hair and even teeth. It can also be used as a deodorant or for washing clothes. What's more, as it's in a bar, it can easily be carried in your hand luggage on planes. Bar soap 72% 65% 4.9 oz (140 g)
Razor 72% 50% 2.8 oz (80 g)
Hairbrush 65% 15% 3.5 oz (100 g)
Cotton buds 61% 53% 0.7 oz (20 g)
Tampons 41% 0% 7.1 oz (200 g)

Table of optional toiletries

Item Percentage of women who took this item Percentage of women who took this item Average weight
Shampoo 60% 31% 9.5 oz (270 g)
Moisturiser 60% 25% 8.8 oz (250 g)
Compact mirror 49% 14% 3.5 oz (100 g)
Toilet paper 43% 44% 2.8 oz (80 g)
Mascara 42% 0% 1.4 oz (40 g)
Comb 38% 26% 2.8 oz (80 g)
Baby wipes 37% 27% 4.6 oz (130 g)
Nail file 37% 8% 0.4 oz (10 g)
Condoms 36% 42% 3.5 oz (100 g)
Disposable sanitary pads 35% 0% 7.1 oz (200 g)
Hair clips 34% 0% 1.8 oz (50 g)
Menstrual cup 32% 0% 0.7 oz (20 g)
Essential oils 29% 15% 3.5 oz (100 g)
Anti-bacterial soap 28% 16% 4.2 oz (120 g)
Electric epilator 27% 0% 14 oz (400 g)
Cotton pads 26% 6% 2.1 oz (60 g)
Mosquito repellent for clothes 25% 14% 4.9 oz (140 g)
Dental floss 25% 13% 0.7 oz (20 g)
Eyeliner 25% 0% 0.7 oz (20 g)
Shower gel 23% 24% 9.2 oz (260 g)
Nail scissors 22% 15% 5.3 oz (150 g)
Shampoo bar 21% 22% 2.1 oz (60 g)
Lipstick 20% 0% 0.4 oz (10 g)
Makeup remover 19% 0% 8.1 oz (230 g)
Travel bottles for travelling by plane 17% 19% 2.1 oz (60 g)
Conditioner 17% 4% 8.1 oz (230 g)
After-sun lotion 16% 18% 3.5 oz (100 g)
Coconut oil 15% 3% 3.5 oz (100 g)
Razor blades 14% 22% 1.8 oz (50 g)
Soap holder 12% 13% 1.4 oz (40 g)
Aloe vera 11% 3% 4.6 oz (130 g)
Nail polish 11% 0% 0.7 oz (20 g)
Washcloth 9% 8% 1.1 oz (30 g)
Earpick 9% 7% 0.4 oz (10 g)
Wax strips 7% 0% 4.6 oz (130 g)
Nail brush 6% 0% 4. 6 oz (130 g)
Reusable cotton pads 6% 0% 1.8 oz (50 g)
Nail polish remover 6% 0% 4.2 oz (120 g)
Electric razor 5% 20% 14.1 oz (400 g)
Eyeshadow 5% 0% 3.5 oz (100 g)
Beard trimmer 4% 20% 10.6 oz (300 g)
Hair gel / wax 4% 8% 5.3 oz (150 g)
Interdental brush 4% 3% 2.1 oz (60 g)
Shaving cream 3% 13% 8.5 oz (240 g)
Reusable sanitary pads 2% 0% 4.6 oz (130 g)
Makeup removal glove 2% 0% 1.1 oz (30 g)

Medication and first aid kit

Pharmacy Kit

In our opinion, it isn’t necessary to lug around a medicine kit that’ll cover all the injuries and illnesses that might happen to you during your trip. The vast majority of health problems are travellers’ diarrhoea and fever. So you have to take something to treat them. For the rest, self-medication isn’t recommended. It’s often better to go and see a doctor or call your travel insurance doctor. You’ll always find a pharmacy where you can buy the necessary medication.

Table of recommended pharmacy products

Function Percentage of travellers who took this product Active ingredient Most common brand
Painkiller 87% Paracetamol Panadol
Plasters 85%
Gastric cytoprotection 84% Disomectite Smecta
Antidiarrhoeal 84% Loperamide Immodium

Table of optional medicine

Function Percentage of travellers who took this product Active ingredient Most common brand
Anti-inflammatory 64% Ibuprofen or Niflumic acid Brufen or Nurofen
Antiseptic 62% Chlorhexidine Dettol or Savlon
Broad-spectrum antibiotic 50% Amoxicillin Amox-Clav
Water purification tablets 49% Silver ions Micropur
Intestinal antiseptic 49% Nifuroxazide Ercefuryl
Oral antibiotic 49% Norfloxacin or Azithromycin Noroxin or Chibroxin
Antiemetic (for vomiting) 46% Metopimazine Nortrip, Vogalen or Vogalene
Saline solution 45%
Antispasmodic 44% Phloroglucinol + Trimethylphloroglucinol Mebeverine or Colofac
Antihistamine (for itching) 44% Betamethasone + Dexchlorpheniramine Piriton, Zirtek or Benadryl
Antimalarial 44% Atovaquone + Proguanil Malarone
Tiger Balm 39% Menthol + Camphor + Clove + Cajuput + Peppermint + Cinammon Tiger Balm
Contraceptive pill 36% of women
Antimigraine 32% Eletriptan Relpax
Essential oils 31%
Eyewash 23%
Antibiotic for UTIs 19% Ofloxacin Floxin
Healing cream 18% Eucerin
Cream for burns 17% Trolamine + Paraffin wax Vaseline
Tablets for altitude sickness 17% Acetazolamide Diamox
Antibacterial cream 16% Fusidic acid or Mupirocin Fucidin or Bactroban
Bronchodilator 12% Salbutamol Ventolin
Ear drops 9% Lidocaine hydrochloride + Phenazone Otigo
Cream for bruises Arnica Arnica
Topical steroids (for itching) Betamethasone (derived from Cortisone) Celestone
Burn gel Silver sulfadiazine Silvadine
Antifungal Econazole Spectazole
Tablets for travel sickness Dimenhydrinate + Caffine Kwells or Dramamine
Oral rehydration salts

Tableau du matériel de secours facultatif

Gear Percentage of travellers who took this product
Compresses 61%
Scissors 56%
Blister plasters 48%
Adhesive dressings 46%
Survival blanket 41%
Adhesive tape 38%
Safety pins 32%
Thermometer 31%
Hygiene gloves 13%
Aspivenin pump 11%
Bite Relief Click-It 11%
Tick tweezers 4%


Documents for travelling

To reduce the number of documents and keep a copy of the ones you take with you, scan as many as you can and put them on a cloud such as Google Drive or Dropbox. If you need to print them on the road (for example, for visas), you’ll easily find an internet cafe that has a printer anywhere in the world.

Table of recommended documents

Document Percentage of travellers who took this document
Passport 100%
Bank cards 100%
International Certificate of Vaccination 78%
Cash 74%
ID photos 73%
International driving license 73%

Table of optional documents

Document Percentage of travellers who took this document
Photocopies of important documents 70%
Travel insurance / assistance certificates 65%
Printed plane tickets 58%
ID card 49%
Prescriptions 40%
Passport cover 39%
Piece of paper with emergency numbers 36%
Medication leaflets 34%
Blood group card 34%
Diving certificate 22%
Geographic map 9%
International hostel card 9%
Logbook 9%
Student card 7%
Medical fitness certificate 5%
Family record book 5%
Children’s health records 4%
Bank solvency certificate 2%
Social security card 1%
Employment certificate 1%

Kid's gear

Kid's accessories and toys

If you’re travelling with kids, the gear that you take for them will vary a lot depending on their age, that’s why we haven’t put a recommended equipment list in this section.

Gear Percentage of travellers who took this gear
Pencils / pens 86%
Sketchbook / notebook 74%
Cuddly toy 67%
Toys 65%
Pyjamas 65%
Books / textbooks 63%
Rubber ring 30%
Baby wipes 28%
Bath / beach toys 21%
Baby carrier 16%
Cotton pads 16%
Cutlery 14%
Baby grows 12%
Nappies 12%
Dummy 12%
Night light 9%
Baby soap 9%
Buggy 9%
Nappy rash cream 7%
Mineral water 7%
Bottle 7%
Baby pop-up tent 7%
Baby nasal aspirator 7%
Bib 7%
Sleepsacks 7%
Plate 5%
Lotion 5%
Baby monitor 5%
Nomad baby booster 5%
Cup / tumbler 2%
Travel cot 2%
Powdered milk 2%