In spending the past few months seriously planning for our 16-month around-the-world journey, there was one thing we knew–our New York City gear wasn’t going to cut it in the wild. We had to start hunting for clothes with tons of different uses for multitude of occasions and then even tougher…having that year’s worth of clothes fit in one backpack.

rtw couple's packing listThe Backpack
After trying on a nearly a dozen packs nearly that many times, I went with the Gregory Deva 60 Liter pack and Mike got the Gregory Boltoro 65. Our lives for the next 500 days will all be contained within these canvas shells and be strapped to our backs wherever we go–and with that in mind, we had to start paring down quick.

RTW Packing, sleep sackThe Staples
Though I’m usually the luxury design type, the only way to pull of a 500-night hotel tab is to keep the accommodations on the budget side. To deal with less than 5-star places (okay 2) we needed to start shopping for new necessities like Microfiber Dry Lite towels (super quick drying anti-microbial towels) Sleep Sack sheets (cocoon-like bedding, modeled above), Pac Safes (a chain net that goes over your backpack), and SteriPens (a water purifier that uses ultra-violet rays), to make a hostel stay a little more luxurious.

RTW men's packing listClothing—The Final Cut
Mike’s List

2 boardshorts
2 short-sleeve button downs
1 long-sleeve button down
4 cotton T-shirts
2 moisture wicking T-shirts
1 pair long johns
2 pair khaki pants
1 pair jeans
1 rain jacket
1 fleece
5 pair socks
5 pair anti-microbial underpants
1 pair gloves
1 bucket hat
1 ball cap
1 beanie
1 pair flip flops
1 pair hiking boots
1 pair walking/semi-dress shoes
1 First Aid Kit
Toiletries

women's rtw packing listAnne’s List
3 Pair pants (yoga pants, skinny jeans, linen pants)
1 Pair leggings
1 Pair shorts
1 Skort
1  Long skirt
1 Sun dress
1 Black American Apparel 100 ways dress
4 Tank tops (2 sports and 2 cotton tops)
6 T-shirts
2 Long-sleeve shirts
1 Cardigan
1 Pair long johns
8 Pair anti-microbial undies
4 Bras (2 sports, 2 regular)
6 Pair socks
1 Pair hiking boots
1  Pair Crocs flats (they double as dress shoes and rain shoes!)
1 Pair fancy flip flops
1 Pair Vans
1 Fleece
1 Rain jacket
2 Hats (one beanie, one bucket)
Toiletries
Medicines (Cipro for tummy, Malarone for Malaria, Amox Clav for respiratory, Pepto Bismol, Alleve for everything else)

RTW electronics listElectronics
This is a whole other animal that Mike my digital media strategist husband should address but the short version (and this is still long and kind of embarrassing):
Toshiba Portege Laptop (the PC answer to MacBook Air)
iPad
iPhone
Old Blackberry for Sim Cards
One Sim Card (this amazing SIM card that works across countries)
2 iPods

After staying up all night packing not only our backpacks but our entire house for the 16-months abroad, we are geared up and read to take the world by storm!

  • http://twitter.com/LuyanziTours LuyanziTours

    Amaizing! Just the thought of thinking and thinking of what to carry and what to leave out would have made me go nuts! as for the gadgets, I wonder how it will work out with different types of socket extensions in different countries. 

    Bon Voyage as we await Brazil photos (:

    • http://HoneyTrek.com/ Mike Howard – HoneyTrek.com

      Sorry for the late reply guys, man life has been nuts. yeah we are trimming down at every stop, trying to get to the ultimate backpack….right now its a bit heavy. one converter has been working perfectly so far….along with a surge protector :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=289409704428617 Passport and a Toothbrush on Facebook

    I’m simply addicted to reading packing lists haha! We still have 5 months left until departure so am very excited for your pre-departure adrenaline! Safe travels!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=137775936298821 Mike & Anne’s – HoneyTrek.com on Facebook

    totally, we have much more to share on the “Getting ready” part. and now that we are on the road we are finding out what we dont need that we have, and what we wish we had (that is back at home). lol

  • http://twitter.com/sallykohn Sally Kohn

    Completely awesome — love that you’re sharing this so that the rest of us who might dream of such a trip, but likely will never do it, can pretend that we’re thinking about what to pack, too.  Awesome!

    • http://HoneyTrek.com/ Mike Howard – HoneyTrek.com

      lol….yeah we realize it is a big step, but it is one that is totally do-able for the majority of americans, it just takes a few years of saving up, then a big leap of faith, and the realization that life is too short to not live your dreams into reality.

  • http://twitter.com/cafenueve cafe 9

    Loving your trip so far, I am so jealous would love to take a trip like yours.

    • http://HoneyTrek.com/ Mike Howard – HoneyTrek.com

      thanks so much!

  • http://www.facebook.com/lara.barron Lara Barron

    wow this is so incredibly amazing! How did you guys prepare for this in terms of costs? did u buy all the flights beforehand or are u paying as you go?

    • http://HoneyTrek.com/ Mike Howard – HoneyTrek.com

      Lara, thanks for asking…we happy to share all our experiences and costs and anything we can to help others set up their own HoneyTrek or long term travel.

      flights, we only booked the first flight from USA to brazil, the rest is mostly local transport (the best way to meet local people, and eat local food) and buses (much cheaper than flying). Occasionally we score a good deal on a flight, but we mostly do overland.

      with regards to cost, that is a whole blog (not blog post, but entire blog) on its own. But here are the high level points. I have been saving form something sick (meaning amazing, and out of this world) for over 6 years now. And when we decided to do a 12-month RTW honeymoon, we started saving even more for the year after we got married. 

      We have budgeted (and are fairly close to hitting) $100USD per day (for the two of us), and that includes everything….flights (as infrequent as we can handle), food (lots of local food, buying from market and cooking when available), drinks (trying not to drink like on “holiday” as that is a big expense), lodging (lots of backpacker joints and B&Bs), excursions, etc. Some countries we are over that budget (Brazil and South Africa come to mind), and other times we are WELL below that budget (Bolivia, Lesotho, Tanzania, etc).

      In the end, living on the road will be cheaper than living in NYC for us, and having someone in our apartment paying our mortgage while we travel is an amazing stream of income.

      That answer suffice? Ask anything else you want.

      • http://www.facebook.com/lara.barron Lara Barron

        Thanks for the reply – and for sharing so much. It truely is an inspiration to travel further than your backyard. I’m all for people getting out of their comfort zones and discovering that there is more to life.
        I am from South Africa, and it is incredibly expensive to travel out of the country, especially to places like Europe and the US (hence me asking how you are doing this).

        I wish you both all the best on your adventure together – makes up for a lifetime of memories and experiences! Keep safe & enjoy!

        • http://HoneyTrek.com/ Mike Howard – HoneyTrek.com

          thanks Lara. I would start with some of your amazing neighbors like Mozambique, Zambia, Lesotho, Zimbabwe….such amazing things there…and if you ride local transport, and eat local food, you can do it with a friend for around $60 a day (and that is for the both of you, so $30 a person). just do not fly, that burns your budget big time :)

  • http://twitter.com/crazyintherain Anna Kate

    I LOVE that last photo of you guys with your backpacks and empty house! I love the anticipation before a trip!! Also, mad props to you guys for taking that huge first step to leave the familiar and start traveling!!

    • http://HoneyTrek.com/ Mike Howard – HoneyTrek.com

      thanks kiddo, it was our first trip longer than 10-days together. i can still remember that day, our floor FULL of gear at 3am, packing for the 6am cab departure to JFK….oh the thrill. we still get that thrill every day going to a new city and its AWESOME. thanks for the mad props….YOU ROCK.

    • http://HoneyTrek.com/ Mike Howard – HoneyTrek.com

      I can still feel that excitement when I look at that photo. And ya know the crazy part….even after being on the road for 520 days we still feel a similar excitement with each new day ahead of us. The world is AWESOME!
      -Mike
      http://Twitter.com/HoneyTrek

  • http://www.facebook.com/paige.tyler.7 Paige Tyler

    Congrats on the fabulous journey! Glad to have found your blog. I am preparing for a career break across Europe this Spring. Interested in the One SIM card – how has that worked out? Other tips for communicating with friends/family? And anything you wish you had packed (or packed more of) or anything you felt was a waste of space and should have been left behind?

    • http://HoneyTrek.com/ Mike Howard – HoneyTrek.com

      Paige….thanks for connecting up with us here (we are also on FB with more recent tips/photos http:/Facebook.com/HoneyTrek). With regards to One SIM Card, we love it. it sits in our phone all the time, and is so great it gets coverage in nearly EVERY single country we visit (save for Japan since their network is so antiquated). then if we are going to make a bunch of calls we buy a local sim card, but it is SO nice knowing that we have a sim even as we cross the border. and it auto recharges, and 100% of your incoming calls and SMSs are free (and family can call you from skype or they can SMS you from the OneSimCard website). highly recommended. as far what we would have packed more of….hmmm….nothing really, as most everything you can get on the road. we should have packed a second steri pen….they are SO amazing. you must get one. waste of space….i would say….hmmm….we packed a bit to many clothes, and all the little cords and do-dads i brought which we havent touched yet. including all this medicine and med kits…but i guess they are good to have just in case :) – where in Europe?

  • Emma b

    Good advice. My husband and I are starting our journey in August this year and am trying to sort what to take. Great website x