What’s In My Bag

I’ve always had a motto with packing for any trip: If I can’t carry it 2 miles, I don’t bring it. When you’re going on an extended trip, no matter the destination, this rule certainly holds fast. You never know if your hostel is going to be a mile walk from the nearest bus station, or if the doorbell is broken at your host home in Italy and you’ll have to wander around for blocks trying to find wifi to make a call. Plus, budget airlines abroad have much stingier restrictions on carry-on and checked luggage weights, so the lighter your bag, the heavier your wallet. Here’s what went in my bag for my 5 week, 9 country adventure:


Osprey Kyte Women’s 46 litre pack 


I love this pack. The bag itself is featherlight, weighing in at just over 2 pounds. It has pockets everywhere, ideal for keeping everything organized regardless of it’s top-loading design. It’s extremely roomy inside, which meant a few extra inches for small souvenirs to bring back home, but the compression straps keep everything in place.

PRO TIP: To avoid having to check your bag on multi-leg flights (where its more likely to get lost) pack a thin tote bag inside folded up. Before you head to the airport, take out bulky items (camera, chargers, a few sweaters) and put them in the tote bag along with your tickets and wallet, then compress your pack into a smaller size using the compression straps. Now your pack will fit the dimensions for carry-on and you can claim your tote as your “personal item” (i.e. purse)

Now, the stuff inside:


  • 2 pairs of jeans (black and grey)
  • 3 thin sweaters
  • 1 heavy sweater
  • 3 t-shirts
  • 1 full set of long underwear (UnderArmour Cold Gear Baselayer)
  • 5 pairs of underwear
  • 5 pairs of socks
  • 1 button-down shirt
  • 1 fancy sleeveless top
  • 1 pair of pajama bottoms




  • iPhone (plus charging cables)
  • Kindle (plus charging cable)
  • Nikon D5100 DSLR
  • 50mm lens and 18-55mm lens
  • Extra camera battery
  • 8 10 GB SD cards
  • 1 32 GB SD card
  • 1 100 GB SD card
  • 1 1TB portable hard drive
  • Travel camera holster
  • Hard Drive/SD card case
  • Jackery Portable Charger
  • Universal outlet adapter (do not recommend, mine broke after the first two days)


  • Travel Journal (thanks to my good friend Jena!)
  • 5 luggage locks 
  • 1 cable bike lock
  • 1 combination lock (I love the MasterLock Speed Dial because it’s one handed and the combination is directional like a video game cheat code)
  • Passport
  • Wallet
  • Keychain
  • Self-inflating travel pillow (this is a lifesaver on long bus rides or overnight flights)
  • Mini umbrella

Additionally, there’s the two crucial layers that I wore all the time, my travel hoodie and my outer jacket.

Travel Hoodie

Forget money belts, they’re inconvenient and ugly. Purses are too easy of a target when out and about. This travel hoodie from ScottEVest was an absolute lifesaver. It kept all my most important documents, cash, and electronics right on my body, easily accessible to me but not to pickpockets.


The Chloe Hoodie from ScottEVest

Outer Jacket

Layering is key while traveling in the winter. I used my travel hoodie as the insulation layer, and then needed an additional layer that was lightly insulated, but most crucially waterproof but still breathable. I went with The North Face Luela jacket (the older version came in black)

Lastly, this chart from Travelholic is a great reference for what to pack. I added additional sweaters due to cold climates but largely based my packing off of this.

travel light

Happy Trails!

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