After visiting 85 countries over the last 4 years, it’s safe to say I’ve mastered the art of packing.

I get a lot of questions about how to pack for trips, or what I bring with me on a long journey away from home.  So, I thought I’d lay out all my strategies for you in this blog post!

No matter which trip I am packing for, I always bring 1 big backpack and 1 small backpack. I’ve gone through 4 big backpacks in the last 4 years, and I have finally found the perfect one for me — The Osprey 46L Backpack.

My Osprey backpack is for clothes only, while the small one is for everything important that I own.  I will explain in detail below.

Also, please note that both my bags weigh less than 25 pounds (12 kg) together, and I haven’t checked a bag on any flight in several years.

What’s in my bag?

Below, you’ll find out every single item that I carry with me when I travel.

1. INSIDE MY BIG BACKPACK

All Clothing:
– 8 short-sleeve shirts (4 dry-fit solid color shirts, 4 V-necks that I wear for going out)
– 1 long-sleeve shirt
– 3 pairs of shorts (1 khaki shorts, 1 blue shorts, and 1 comfortable basketball shorts)
– 1 pairs of black jeans
– 6 pairs of ExOfficio underwear (dry-fit, reusable and smellproof)
– 4 pairs of Darn Tough socks (dry fit, reusable, keeps you warm in winter and cool in summer)
– 2 pairs of shoes (1 cheap sandals, 1 everyday Nike gym shoes)
– 1 light rain jacket
– 1 light hoodie
– 1 swimsuit
– 1 belt
– 1 hat
– 1 microfiber small towel

I also carry 3 mini bags inside my Osprey bag – a medicine bag, a dopp kit, and a zip lock bag with all my backup electronics chargers.

Inside my Medicine Bag:
– Tylenol
– Claritin
– Ibuprofuen
– Z pack
– Pepto Bismol
– Immodium
– Emergen C
– Neosporin

*I bring a lot of extra medicine to prepare for any sickness, because I really try to avoid seeing doctors abroad*

Inside my Dopp Kit (Toiletries):
– toothbrush/toothpaste
– razor
– mini shaving cream
– tweezers
– deodorant
– chapstick
– lotion
– Aquaphor
– laundry detergent (for hand washing)
– pen-sized electric buzzer to trim my beard

**I buy soap and shampoo in the location wherever I am traveling. It’s much easier this way, and these things costs only a few dollars everywhere in the world.**

Inside my backup Electronics bag:
– extra phone charge
– extra GoPro charger
– extra batteries
– extra headphones
– backup iphone (5S)

Other things in my big Osprey Bag:
– selfie stick
– mini combination zipper locks for security
– backup US cash (usually $500) in different places
– backup debit card
– 6 2X2 passport photos
– 3 copies of my passport
Eagle Creek packing cubes (for arranging dirty clothes)

2. INSIDE MY SMALL BACKPACK

Electronics/ Blogging Accessories:
– Macbook Pro 13 inch, mouse and mouse pad
– GoPro Hero 4+
– USB Flashdrive
– Portable iPhone Charger
– 1 Terabyte External Hardrive to backup my computer
– 1 pairs of standard Apple headphones

Other things in my small backpack:
– Passport
– 1 pair of sunglasses
– 1 watch
– paper and pen
– book(s)
– gum/mints, snacks
– 1 mini combination lock

This what I look like with both bags on my body, and this is exactly how I look as I wander through foreign airports and cities.

Additional Notes:

I know that some of you will think that I’m insane for only bringing 6 pairs of underwear and 5 pairs of socks.  But the truth is, those are the easiest items to hand wash in the sink and hang over your bed to dry overnight.  Buy yourself a tiny container of laundry detergent soap and use it to wash these things when needed.

I try to do a full load of laundry once a week, and I’ve never had an issue finding a washing machine (usually inside my Air Bnb apartment or at a laundromat).  In the rare situation where I can’t find a washing machine, I will hand wash clothes in the bathtub or sink (I carry a small container of detergent with me).

When my clothes are getting dirty, I start to organize my backpack with a clean and dirty area. I use these awesome light-weight packing cubes (luggage separators) that I bought at REI which really helps.

Another reason why I pack so light is because I always end up buying cool things that I see along the way. I am a huge hoarder when it comes to traveling, as I have over 12 different collections of souvenirs and things that I grab from every country I visit.

Also, for safety, I keep everything in my bag locked at all times with mini locks that require a 3-digit combination code to unlock. I don’t trust anyone.

And that explains everything that I bring with me on trips!  How does my packing differ from yours? Comment below!

Drew Binsky

A graduate from The University of Wisconsin-Madison, Drew Binsky has visited 120+ Countries since 2012.He first caught the travel bug while studying abroad in Prague, then taught English in Korea, and now he's on a mission to visit every country on earth.Follow his journey on Facebook & Instagram @drewbinsky 🙂

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13 thoughts on “What’s in my Bag? A Complete List

  1. I blog frequently and I genuinely appreciate your content.
    The article has really peaked my interest. I will take a note of your blog and keep checking for new information about once a week.

  2. Do you carry around both bags as you explore cities at all times? Or do you leave one bag at hotel/air b&b? I’m talking even hikes, long hour walks, etc.

  3. For women, make sure every item of clothing you bring can be worn with every other item. This way you can have several combos and not get bored. Invest in travel type clothing, light weight and easy dry, including under ware. I always do laundry in my room and bring detergent packages. Don’t forget to bring a flat rubber sink stopper! Never had a problem having laundry done as well. I put out what I plan to take at least a week before and continually reevaluate usefulness. I eliminate throughout the week and try to remember less is more. I bring a collapsible duffle to use incase I pick up items along the way. Upon return I put clothing and less valuable stuff in the duffle and check it in. I pack with an ofsprey bag carry on size with wheels and one backpack. Less is more.

  4. It’ll be my first time traveling solo (just domestic) for more than a week next week in three different cities here in the PH and I thank you for these tips. 🙂

  5. Im one of those guys who continuously overpacks..lol.
    Fantastic article, some great advice, I will definately take it on board..
    Thanks ?

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