My Ultimate Carry On Packing List

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Below is my packing list of everything I brought with me for my long term trip abroad.

And I mean EVERYTHING.

These are also all the items I had with me for 1 month in New Zealand, 2 months in Australia, and what I will have with me for the rest of the year while I travel around Asia. My entire carry-on with all my stuff weighs ~10 kilos (or 22 pounds) and is a 46 Liter bag that fits the standards for the majority of carry-on size limits for airlines.

I also have a smaller backpack that carries my everyday essentials as well as my laptop. This is my first time traveling with my laptop, and I HATE IT. 😂 But I knew I would need it for blogging and work, so… what can you do? I highly suggest leaving your laptop behind if you don’t need it for a trip.

Whether you are traveling for a week, a month, or a year, it IS possible to do so with just a carry-on! This packing list will help you get a general idea of what to bring regarding clothes, shoes, accessories, toiletries and any other items you might not have considered.

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The Backpack:

I went with the Osprey Porter 46 for my trip abroad.

Up until January 2019, I had used my Tortuga Set Out carry-on bag for all my trips (pictured in the first photo of this post), but a few days before I left the US, I decided to switch over to the Osprey Porter 46. I ALMOST went with a bag that had wheels as an option, but I just know those will do me no good once I’m in Asia, so I resisted.

So, why did I make the switch? Simply put, the Osprey Porter has better structure and the bag holds up nicely on its own due to its side panels that strap together whereas the Tortuga Set Out bag is a bit… saggy. If that makes sense.

However, the Tortuga Set Out has more comfortable hip belts (with pockets!!), better organized pockets on the inside, AND a water bottle pocket on the side of the bag. There are big pros and small cons to each, but they are BOTH great carry-on bags.

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Clothes:

  • 7 light tank tops all in grey/black
  • 3 short-sleeved shirts
  • 1 plaid long sleeve shirt
  • 1 off-the-shoulder “nice” top
  • 2 lightweight dresses
  • 1 romper/playsuit
  • 4 pairs of shorts (1 blue denim, 1 black cotton, 2 for exercise)
  • 2 pairs of leggings (1 for day wear, 1 for exercising)
  • 1 pair of black jeans
  • 1 pair of harem pants
  • 1 fleece jacket
  • 1 rain jacket

Shoes:

1 pair of Nike running shoes
1 pair of Chacos walking sandals
1 pair of “nice” sandals (not pictured since I bought them later on)
1 pair of flip flops

Accessories:

10 pairs of underwear
3 pairs of socks
2 sports bras (that double as crop tops)
2 bathing suits
1 cap (I originally brought 2 which was unnecessary)
2 pairs of sunglasses

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Toiletries:

(All of this can be bought while abroad)

  • Shampoo/conditioner
  • Soap or body wash
  • Tooth brush / tooth paste / floss
  • Razors / shaving cream
  • Deodorant
  • Sunscreen
  • Dry Shampoo
  • Chapstick
  • Face wash / day cream / night cream
  • Face wipes
  • Hair ties
  • Tweezers / nail clippers
  • Quick-dry towel
  • Lunette cup

Makeup:

  • Stila black liquid eyeliner
  • Roller Lash Mascara
  • Sephora eyelash curler
  • NARS blush/bronzer combo
  • Anastasia dipbrow pomade in dark brown
  • IT Cosmetics CC Cream
  • Maybelline “Nude Nuance” lipstick
  • Rimmel London 045 “Epic” lipliner
  • Angled brush
  • Beauty Blender
  • Laura Mercier translucent loose setting powder
  • Urban Decay All-Nighter setting spray
  • Smashbox photo finish foundation primer

Electronics:

  • Laptop & charger
  • Phone charger (get a 6ft cord & thank me later)
  • GoPro & charger
  • External battery charger (great for long bus/plane rides)
  • Power adapter

Misc:

  • Passport + visa (if applicable)
  • Another form of ID (like your drivers license)
  • Copies of your passport + visa + IDs
  • A small backpack for day trips
  • Cross-body purse
  • 2 small locks for hostel lockers
  • Mosquito spray
  • Waist pack (to hold my phone when I go jogging)
  • Paper bag for dirty clothes
  • Packing cube for all main clothes

What I Keep in my Day Bag:

  • Fan
  • Eyedrops
  • Cash
  • Pen
  • Snacks
  • Sunscreen
  • Phone
  • Headphones
  • Chapstick
  • Battery charger
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Backpacker life

There you have it!

Everything you see above comes out to about 15 kilos altogether (or 33 pounds) and is consistently changing as my solo travel journey continues. I have ditched a couple tops I was never wearing, lost my rain jacket and had to buy a new one, bought a nice “going out” top, jeans, and cheap sandals along the way, and even sent a couple things back home.

I’ve realized that no matter how prepared you think you are before leaving for a big trip, unexpected things can happen, and you just have to adjust accordingly. The trick is to remember that anything you may need can be purchased while abroad, so it’s not that big of a deal! Also, don’t pack anything you may have a deep emotional attachment to just in case it gets lost or left behind. You’ll save yourself a lot of stress.

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What’s part of your packing list that you never leave home without?

Did I forget anything?

Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

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