Round-the-World Travel: What to Pack

This is a Hipmunk guest post from Jodi Ettenberg, a former lawyer who is traveling (and eating!) her way around the world, one country at a time. Her views and opinions are hers alone and do not represent Hipmunk. You can follow Jodi on her Legal Nomads blog.

This is Part 2 of my 3 part crash course for round-the-world travel. If you missed it, Part 1 highlighted some things to think about as you start to plan your travels. This part is about the thing most people dread (myself included): packing. 

A Few Packing Tips for Your Travels

1) Round out your First Aid Kit. A first aid kit is a must. While people made fun of me for carrying it at all times, the travelers who did fall/break something/tear their calf open while jumping off a boat were among the supporters. 

Lots of packing and repacking during these last few years:


2) Waterproof your Electronics. I use Ultra-Sil nylon dry bags to keep my electronics dry and dust-free. If you’ll be headed to the islands or will be on water, I’d recommend a sturdier, more waterproof bag like Dry Pak bag.

3) Get a Point It Dictionary: People often write to ask how I get by in places where I don’t speak the language. This Point-It Dictionary is a big help. From a homestay in Siberia to ordering food in China (by pointing to my meat of choice in the book) to entertaining kids in Burma, this dictionary comes with me no matter what.

4) Duct Tape: For everything from taping up ripped window screens (Jodi 1; mosquitos 0), to rips in my pack to a cut that won’t close, I don’t leave home without it. You shouldn’t either.

5) Safety Whistle: I recently wrote a post about how my safety whistle saved me on three separate occasions in Asia. It’s a small piece of plastic, but when you need it, you need it. Highly recommended. You can pick one up from Amazon or at your local outdoor store.

6) Headlamp: I’ve used my headlamp in a staggeringly broad cross-section of situations, from cave spelunking to reading in a tent to navigating my way to the bathroom in a hostel at 4am. I use a Petzl Tikka Plus headlamp and it has stayed intact over 3 years of travel.

Teeming mass of baby bats: viewable with my trusty headlamp.


Any packing tips to share? Leave them in the comments! Check back tomorrow for the final post in this series, staying calm and positive on the road.


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