Packing List 2023

Updated April 2023. This is our packing list for trips less than 6 months outside of Europe since we usually travel by car or motorhome in Europe. We keep a very small storage locker at our home base in the Czech Republic where we store winter clothing, books, camping gear etc.

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Bags and Backpacks

Betsey Johnson 20 Inch Carry On
Most of my luggage decisions come down to the fact that I have sad, weak shoulders and I don’t like carrying heavy bags. I also hate waiting for checked bags or worrying about them getting lost. After over 10 years of travel, the three of us have settled on this system: each of us carries a 20-inch carry-on suitcase and a daypack or another bag that is small enough to count as a “personal item” on most airlines. This is usually possible if I only need warm weather clothing but sometimes I get stuck carrying around a jacket that is too hot to wear and won’t fit in my suitcase.
Godzilla backpack
This is Young Nomad’s new backpack. It can hold all of his clothes, a tablet, a small camera, and a sketchbook. It is not big enough to hold his school supplies and the amount of camera gear he is accumulating so he has a 20 inch carry on as well. This bag is small enough to be counted as a personal item, even on budget airlines like Spirit.
Helikon-Tex Bushcraft Satchel
This is sometimes my laptop bag. Measuring 30 x 32 x 17.5 cm (11.81 x 12.6 x 6.89 inches) it meets the limits on most airlines for a “personal item”.

Tech Gear

  • Laptop – (Ariadne) 11.6-inch laptop – I buy cheap laptops because I don’t like babysitting expensive equipment. I don’t play games or edit videos so I don’t need anything better at the moment. I keep all my files on a USB stick or in the cloud so I wouldn’t be too stressed if the laptop got stolen.
  • Laptop – (Micheal) 15 inch Lenovo Thinkpad
  • Ebook reader – currently a Kindle Fire. This is shared between me and Young Nomad.
  • iPad mini (Young Nomad)
  • Huawei P30 (Ariadne) in an Otterbox case
  • iPhone

Camera Gear

Ariadne – I started with a DSLR but downgraded to an Olympus E-PL5 Mirrorless because I thought that I would use a smaller camera more. It is terrible in low light and I missed having a viewfinder. Now I just use my Huawei P30.

Young Nomad – GoPro Hero

Other camera related things:

  • selfie stick
  • waterproof pouch for phone

Clothing and Accessories

You don’t want fashion advice from me. My idea of clothes shopping is to buy a 10 euro sundress from the same outdoor market where I buy my vegetables. I only have a few pieces of advice on travel clothing.

  • If you are going to be spending a lot of time in very hot countries, consider packing a few items made of linen. Linen trousers are 1000% better than jeans in hot weather.
  • A thin, merino wool sweater will keep you warm on chilly evenings and air-conditioned buses. It will also dry much faster than any other material.
  • Skechers Mary Jane Flats are the most comfortable pair of walking shoes that I have ever owned.
  • Long-sleeved rashguards and swim shorts are better than bikinis because they protect you from sunburn and jellyfish, at least on your arms and chest.
  • Clever Travel Companion makes clothing with hidden pockets and you can never have enough pockets.


For short trips, I keep my toiletries in these 2 oz Gotoob travel bottles. I’ve never had one leak yet.

  • Dr. Bronner’s Baby-Mild Castile Liquid Soap
  • tooth powder and toothbrush and floss.
  • comb and brush, razor, nail clippers, tweezers
  • glasses and case
  • La Roche-Posay Anthelios 45 Ultra Light Sunscreen – Very light, non-greasy, and works under makeup.
  • Mad Hippie vitamin c serum
  • BB powder and lip balm – I rarely wear much makeup.

Health and Safety

Adventure Medical Kits Ultralight First Aid Kit I have an older version of this kit but any small first aid kit will work. Just take out the stuff that you know you won’t use and add a small amount of the medications you might use.

These are the extras I add to my kit: thermometer, tea tree oil, allergy medicine.

Many travel bloggers will tell you that you don’t need a money belt. Those lucky individuals have never had the misfortune to have their bag snatched and then spent 2 months trying to replace all their documents in a foreign country.

Lewis N. Clark RFID Blocking Money Belt Travel Pouch This is slightly thicker than the one Eagle Creek used to make because of the RFID blocking material. Better than an ugly and awkward money belt. You can use a big safety pin to pin it to the waist of a skirt if you don’t wear a belt.
Pacsafe Coversafe Travel Bra Pouch This is brilliant. You can attach it to your bra or the side of your underwear. Will hold at least 5 cards and your hotel key. Very soft material. This sentence is here because I can’t get my images to line up correctly and I don’t have time to fix it right now.

Household Gear

Because we travel for several months at a time, it is often convenient to carry some extra items that a normal traveller may not need.
Small travel kettle dual voltage. You can buy one of these from Amazon or in an airport. Allows you to make instant coffee or noodles in a hotel room.

Stainless steel mug, the kind sold for camping. Allows you to drink instant coffee, eat cereal, etc. Can be used to boil water over a small, backpacking, canister stove. Some people think this is a waste of space but I use mine every single day for instant coffee.

Sea to Summit Tek Towel Large 24″ x 48″

Bamboo Cutlery 2 spoons, 2 forks, and 1 butter knife. If you don’t at least carry a spoon, how are you going to be able to eat yogurt or cereal? Bring a spoon. It doesn’t take up that much space. You might also want a butter knife to make sandwiches.

Plate or bowl for eating takeout or making sandwiches. If you are staying in a hotel and want to buy some yummy curry from a street food vendor (usually sold in a plastic bag in SE Asia), how are you going to eat it without a plate or bowl? This collapsible, silicone plate from Sea to Summit solves that problem nicely.

Cocoon travel blanket, made of made of 72 % merino wool and 28 % silk. I hate being too hot or too cold. Some hotels don’t provide a top sheet, only a duvet which is too hot in the summer. This packs up very small and is also useful to have on planes or air-conditioned buses. You can probably find something similar in a camping store. Micheal has the Cocoon CoolMax Blanket.

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