The Packing Advice I’m Not Taking

The Packing Advice I’m Not Taking

I love advice. Giving it (I have always wanted to be Carrie Bradshaw, but that’s another story), receiving it—and recently, ignoring it.

As I obsess over what to bring on my Remote Year trip, I’ve been poring over articles about how to pack for a long-term trip. Pretty much across the board, everyone agrees that it's best to “Take less than you think you’ll need and you can always buy stuff along the way.” I’m sure this is excellent advice, but here's the thing: Everything on my packing list seems essential right now because I’m not on the trip yet.

I feel like the only way I’ll really know which items aren’t ideal for me is to start traveling. So, guess what? I’m probably going to over-pack and then ditch things along the way. And I’m totally OK with that. Later, when I’m all long-term travel savvy, I can write an article titled, “I should have listened to the people who told me to bring less.” I’ll tell you what I regretted bringing and why, and hopefully it will be helpful.

My first decision was which bag(s) to bring. Lots of people who travel full-time only bring carry-ons. I admire those people. When I leave for this trip in a couple of weeks, I will not be one of those people. I’m bringing one soft-sided checked bag (an older Eagle Creek model) plus a laptop bag that also has enough room for a weekend’s worth of clothes and toiletries (handy for side trips). I’ll also have an everyday cross-body purse and a very thin/packable bag I can bring on hikes or day trips.

To put this in perspective, my bags are slightly smaller than the ones my friend recently brought on her 9-day trip to Florida. So, I feel like I’m doing OK.

In terms of the mix of clothing, I’m bringing the types of things I wear most at home (I prefer skirts and dresses over pants and when I'm at home, I tend to wear PJs or loungewear). Plus, I like to have a few comfort items like a robe and slippers. I must say, I’m so happy when I have these on a trip.

Here’s my current packing list. I left out things like my passport, cash, etc.  



Jeans (2)

Leggings (2)

Dresses (4)

Skirts (3)

Tops that go with all of the skirts (6 – 8)

Sweaters (3)

Hoodies (2)

Blanket scarf (voted #1 best item to bring by one of the current female travelers on Remote Year)

Workout capris

Workout tops or tanks (2)

Long-sleeve shirts (2)

Underwear (8-10)

Regular bras (2 or 3)

Sports bra (1 or 2)

Socks (5)

Bathing suit

Lightweight puffy jacket

Lightweight rain jacket

Lightweight motorcycle jacket






Black boots

Water/hiking sandals  

Nice leather sandals


Black flats

Workout shoes




Swiss Army knife

Coffee grinder, cone and filters




Kindle + charger

Phone charger


Laptop charger

Battery pack


Battery case for phone

Backup phone

Plug converter

Ear plugs

Eye mask

Ziplock bags

Little notebook

Pens (2) 


Toiletries + Meds








Soap/body wash

Hair product

Face wash

Cold meds (Nyquil)

Emergenc C







Nail file

Mini scissors


Baby wipes

Laundry sheets (these)


Sink stopper

Stain remover

Tiger balm (for bugs)


I'm guessing there will be some last-minute changes and I'm quite sure I'll have a different list in six months. But for now, that's my answer to "How do you pack for a year?"




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