Downsized packing list for long term travels

I’ve decided to downsize from a 65L bag to a 25L… This will be the lightest I’ve ever carried… and I’m beginning to think I’m a bit nuts!! But I’ve always liked a challenge 🙂 So, why I have I downsized? The main reason is that I did my back in from swinging my 20kg backpack on my back last year. I also want to fit my bag on the ‘chicken buses’ with me in Central America, instead of sticking the bag on the roof.

So, the thing I hate doing the most, and what I’ve lost sleep over; deciding what the hell to pack, and how I’m going to fit it all in… and this is the result, my final packing list.


  • Kindle 6 (the smaller, cheaper one)
  • iphone 4 (with head phones, leads, my running arm strap)
  • Camera (plus leads and SD memory cards)
  • LED touch (my Dad brought for me)
  • USB 32GB


  • Brooks trainers/sneakers (I’m running a half marathon in LA, and a full in Eugene – so running gear is a must)
  • Tevas (Mum & Dad brought me for a Christmas present)
  • North Face trekking shoes (brought these in Peru, I’m sure they don’t have much life left in them)
  • Thongs (flip flops to all you non-aussies)
  • Flat shoes (…admittedly I probably have one too many pairs of shoes, but to be fair, I own about 300 pairs, so cutting it down to 5 is pretty bloody good going lol)


  • 1x Sarong (blanket, spare towel, scarf and for extra privacy in those dorm rooms)
  • 1x North Face water proof jacket
  • 1x Zip off pants/shorts
  • 3x singlets, various colours
  • 2x leggings
  • 1x bikini
  • 1x Scarf
  • 2x lightweight dresses (need something to wear in Vegas)
  • 1x long sleeved top
  • 1x Jeans (the debatable travel item – heavy and bulky, however, warm, practical, and goes with everything… can even wear out to the pub, and not look like a daggy backpacker)
  • 1x tights (good for warmth and dressy for pubs etc.)
  • 2x tops (lightweight)
  • 2x shorts (running shorts and denim shorts)
  • 1x hat
  • 2x cardie (one woolie one, one thin one)
  • 2x thick pairs of socks; 5 normal pairs of socks
  • 11x undies
  • 4x bras; 2x running bras
  • 1x headband
  • Micro fiber towel

First aid kit:

  • Needles and thread
  • Malaria tablets (left over from my Amazon trip)
  • ibuprofen
  • ibuprofen cream (mainly for my runs)
  • antiseptic cream
  • Paracetamol
  • Gastrolites (I would never travel without these)
  • Antihistamines (again, would never travel without these)
  • Antihistamine cream
  • Bandages and bandaids (plasters for my British readers)
  • Tape (medical and electric tape)
  • Chlorine dioxtablets (for purifying water)


  • Hair brush (really wanted one of those cheap fold away ones with the mirror, but never got around to buying one)
  • Make up bag; nail polish – I really missed this last time I went traveling, mascara, eye shadow, blush, eye liner
  • Face wipes (a God send when you’re camping in the middle of nowhere and haven’t had a shower for a few days)
  • DEET (stored in plastic zip lock bags in a separate compartment to my other things)
  • Toothbrush & holder
  • Toothpaste & floss
  • Small shampoo and conditioner
  • Body butter (at high altitude your skin really does dry out)
  • lip balm
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Lucas Paw Paw (No Aussie girl travels without)
  • Body wash
  • Sun screen
  • Razor
  • Tweezers
  • Swiss army knife (I’ve put this in my toiletries bag, that’s the only reason I’ve included it in this section lol)
  • Pocket mirror
  • Lighter
  • Moon cup
  • 2x Pocket soap
  • 2x earrings
  • Hair ties

Other random bits and pieces:

  • Compression bag (Michael kindly gave me)
  • Pocket Spanish dictionary (for when I get to Mexico)
  • 2x books which my best mate Faye gave to me
  • pack of playing cards
  • hammock with mozzie net
  • Plastic zip locked bags
  • prescription glasses
  • Plug adaptor (my multi adaptor fried itself in Argentina)
  • Washing bag
  • Cotton carrier bag
  • Ear plugs
  • Eye mask
  • Note book & pens
  • Money belt
  • small handbag
  • Passports (UK & Aussie)
  • Purse & a number of different credit cards, debit cards and cash cards
  • Water proof bag
  • Multi sink plug
  • Washing line
  • Clips for hang things off my bag
  • A guardian angel my cousin brought me when I left the UK last year, before my 5 month trip around South America
  • Padlocks
  • Snacks for the first budget flight, and an empty plastic bottle to fill up for the flight
  • Photocopies of passports


I had my doubts, but they actually work quite well. This bag contains about 80% of my clothes.
Compression bag – I had my doubts, but they actually work quite well. This bag contains about 80% of my clothes.

The sad thing about my packing list – most the clothes I’ve packed are the same clothes I took around South America with me… I recall myself getting excited for being able to wear different clothes when I got back to Perth, however now I’m resorting back to my old, tatted clothes.

Some how I managed to squeeze it all in … with a few pairs of shoes hanging off my hand luggage 🙂

My downsized backpack and handluggage

I plan on getting rid of a few things and ditching my hand luggage bag by the time I get to Central America… the aim is to have only one bag, which I can fit on the ‘chicken buses,’ under my seat, in Central America, but we shall see how I go 🙂

So, all set and ready to go!!!

About Cycle Trekkers

Life is awesome - make the most of it, while you can! I love to travel, keep active, meet new people and challenge myself. I have a background in environmental management and tourism and hope to one day open my own eco-tourism/ hostel business. I'm currently on a world cycle tour - 15,500km and still rolling! Join our journey and check out where in the world we are cycling at We're also starting a new project, called Beerycycle Touring. Beercycle Touring is about cycling around the world to discover cycle friendly breweries and find tasty local beers. We'll share our findings on the web and hope you will do the same, so we can grow a beercycling community. Become a beercyclist at Safe travels!
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