Packing for Our World Tour

We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures that we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.
Jawaharlal Nehru

It’s hard enough taking the leap to turn the dream into reality, leaving daily routines and the people and animals you love for unknown adventures, let alone trying to figure out what to pack. Of course, there is a good deal of preparation outside of packing that needs to take place though that topic requires it’s own discussion. For now, I will focus on what we decided to pack for our 12 month +/- world tour. 


  • What is necessary?
    • We would literally have to carry everything we packed around on our backs.
  • Type of Travel?
    • We would need to stay within our budget and camp whenever and wherever possible. We would need to cook most of our own meals to save money. We would be doing a lot of hiking and outdoor activities. 
    • If you are more of a city dweller looking to explore the culture and art around the world, planning to eat out and to always stay in hotel/bnb rooms, then your list may look a bit different than ours.
  • Health Coverage?
    • Leaving our full-time jobs meant leaving our employer provided health insurance behind. Though healthy, we knew we needed “what if” coverage.

Travel Medical Insurance

After researching available insurance carriers we chose SafetyWing travel medical insurance. We were looking for an affordable option that included emergency medical and evacuation coverage. We also wanted to know we would be covered if we got homesick and needed to visit our friends and family back home for a little bit. Below are just some of the reasons SafetyWing was our top pick.

  • Affordable. $37/4 weeks!
  • For US citizens it covers up to 15 days worth of eligible expenses back home for every 3 month period (non-US it covers up to 30 days per 3 month period)
  • Overall maximum limit $250,000 with a $250 deductible per certificate period
  • No co-payments for emergency room or urgent care centers outside of the US
  • Includes travel delay and lost luggage coverage
  • Includes coverage for complications with pregnancy up to 26 weeks (just thought that was nice)
  • You can sign up yourself, your partner, your family, or even a group of friends or colleagues.
  • Parents can include one young child per adult (between the ages of 14 days-10 years) for free!

Please see the Description of Coverage for full details. To learn more and/or to get coverage for you next adventure…

Visit the SafetyWing website


  • Osprey Farpoint 55L
  • Deuter Transit 50L

We had both researched the best backpacks for our world travel plans. We had our 70+ liter packs we used regularly for hiking but wanted something smaller and more suitable for various modes of travel. We opted for 50-55L packs that each have smaller day packs that zip off completely which we find to be quite useful. We are able to use the smaller packs as our everyday bags for water, jackets, snacks, and to keep our valuables with us at all times.

His is an Osprey Farpoint 55L and mine a Deuter Transit 50L. The main compartment of both packs unzip fully allowing easy access to our strategically packed items. His Osprey day pack is a bit larger than my Deuter which fit his 14” Lenovo Thinkpad a bit nicer than mine fits my Chromebook. However, my Deuter main pack is slightly larger than the Osprey and has a main compartment and a sub-compartment separated by a zipper that serves as great place to pack the tent, my quilt, inflatable pillow, sleeping pad, first aid kit, and a few other odds and ends for camping.

Neither pack has a designated water bladder compartment or hole for a tube but I manage to utilize the top internal strap to keep my Camelbak 3L bladder in place well enough and I zip up around the tube and run it through various outer straps.

Another essential feature of both packs are the hideaway shoulder and waste pads/straps. It is great to be able to protect these essential straps when the bags are checked on planes or heaved on buses.


We both decided to bring laptops as we knew we were interested in blogging and each of us had some other “work” we were planning to do. They also come in handy for researching where we are heading next. We had bought a Kindle just before we left and I love it! I find I read so much more while traveling than I do at home.


  • Acer Chromebook 14
  • Kindle
  • Samsung S8


  • 14” Lenovo Thinkpad
  • Samsung S8
  • Nikon D5300 camera
  • GoPro (until donated to the bottom of a glacial lake in Norway…wawawa)

Cell Phone Service

We chose GoogleFi as our service provider as they have coverage in 170 countries world wide. So far the only countries where we did not get service were Namibia and Botswana where cell towers are scarce anyhow.

  • Free SMS
  • $10/GB and free data after 10GB
  • Voice calls $0.20/min so we try to make all calls when we have WiFi

Here’s a referral code to get a $20 credit when you join Google Fi! Redeem it at

Female Specific

As a lady, there are special considerations when packing for a year long world tour. Two items I would not leave home without are my Tinkle Belle and menstrual cup.

Alex had actually researched several brands of female stand-up peeing devices before gifting the Belle to me (by far the most useful gift ever). I have tried other brands before and was not impressed by the hard plastic and anti-gravity reservoir. I tested out my new buddy extensively before our trip and fell head-over-heels in love with it. There is something to be said about not having to pull my pants down or squat to pee.

The next essential is my menstrual cup. At the end of the summer the year before we left a female acquaintance suggested I try one. Not only is it perfect for traveling but for life in general. I no longer need to tote around boxes of tampons and I am cutting back on unnecessary waste. There are actually quite a few options out there. I have tried both the Lunacup and DivaCup and use them interchangeably.


Alex and I at the Austdalsbreen glacier in Jostedal, Norway.

We have functional clothing. We are not trying to impress anyone but the mountains, sun, and water we come across. That said high quality outdoor clothing these days usually has a timeless simplicity that enables you to wear it in the hills or in the city.



  • 2 pairs of hiking pants
    • Boot-cut prAna 
    • Straight-leg Columbia which double as my dress up pants
  • Athletic skort
    • I love these! I wear mine (neutral grey color) to run/play sports in and also as a nice simple skirt with a tank or T-shirt
  • Lightweight long skirt
    • Ultimately bought to wear in middle-eastern countries with a head scarf but happy to have it when walking around cities or when we go out to dinner on occasion
  • Showers Pass rain pants


  • 2 pairs of hiking pants. Both prAna. 
    • Slim fit which double as his dress up pants
    • Boot-cut
  • REI shorts
  • Billabong submersible shorts that can be worn as a dry or swimming short
  • REI rain pants



  • 3 Icebreaker T-shirts
    • Merino wool blend, fast-drying, odor-resistant 
    • one is a tighter fit and all black that I can wear to dress up a little
  • 2 quick dry tank tops (really only need 1)
  • Quick dry lightweight long sleeve T (started out with 2)
  • Mid-weight long sleeve T 
  • North Face zip up mid-weight performance hoodie
  • Under Armour lightweight puff vest
  • Marmot 3-in-one waterproof jacket
  • Patagonia dress with built-in bra
  • Swim suit 


  • 2 short sleeve Icebreaker T’s (1 crew, 1 V-neck)
  • Sleeveless Icebreaker tank
  • Kuiu long sleeve merino wool shirt
  • ExOfficio long sleeve button up with Insect Shield
  • Patagonia polyester vest
  • Columbia packable rain jacket
  • Kuiu Rubicon mid-weight water-resistant jacket



  • 5 pairs of Farm to Feet socks (Only need 3 pair as they rinse well and dry fast)
  • 7 pairs of ExOfficio undies 
    • 5 are Sports Mesh
    • 2 are seamless
  • Thermal outfit that doubles as pj’s on chilly nights
    • Under Armour cold gear long sleeve shirt
    •  Nike quick dry pants


  • 3 pairs ExOfficio Give N’ Go boxer briefs
  • Uniqlo thermal underwear (bottoms only)



  • Scarf
    • can be worn on the head to be modest or stylish and also around neck
  • Ball cap style hat
    • visor for sun protection and covers up unruly hair
  • Cloche style wool hat for those cooler days
  • Buff
    • great for absorbing sweat on strenuous hikes and also covering unruly hair


  • Buff with Insect Shield
  • Insect Shield ventilated brimmed hat
  • Hanna-Hats flat cap
  • Yellow beanie



  • North Face Ultra FastPack III trail running shoes (Gore Tex option)
    • lightweight and mid-high for ankle support
  • Teva Terra FI 5 (bought in Norway to replace my Keens that came apart after 2 years)
  • Reef flip flops


  • Salomon XA Pro 3D trail running shoes
  • Chacos sandals
  • Billabong flip flops

Camping/Hiking Essentials 


  • 3L Camelbak
  • Reusable stainless steel water bottle 
    • I added a koozie to mine so I could put tea and coffee in it
  • Headlamp
  • Madera Outdoors inflatable sleeping pad (replaced 4 months in due to mold and a slow leak with a local Portugese self-inflating model with foam)
  • Madera Outdoors inflatable pillow
  • Sierra Designs quilt good down to 20 degrees Fahrenheit 
    • I regret not getting the one rated for 0 degrees Fahrenheit as I tend to sleep cold
  • Silk bed liner 
    • comes in handy if we are hiking and stay in huts or at some hostels if they don’t have linens
  • Head bug net 
    • I have not used once 


  • 3L collapsible water carrier (soft)
  • 2L collapsible water bottle (plastic)
  • Reusable stainless steel water bottle
  • Headlamp
  • Silk bed liner 
  • Head bug net 
  • Enlightened Equipment Enigma 30 degree Fahrenheit
  • Sea-to-Summit inflatable backpacking pillow
  • Big Agnes AirCore 72x20x3.25” inflatable air mattress (replaced 4 months in due to leak and mold with a local Portugese air mattress)
  • Dutchware Gear half-zipped hammock with 5′ tree straps & whoopie slings


  • MSR 2-person tent complete with ground cover and rainfly 
  • 2 Sawyer Squeeze filters
  • Snow Peak 900ml pot with pan lid
  • Rast aluminum pan (bought in norway)
  • 2 titanium sporks
  • Knife
  • CampinGaz Easy Click stove (bought in South Africa)
  • A second camping stove (we only found screw in fuel canisters in Norway and bought this stove at a Biltema while there)
  • 50’ Paracord
  • Various carabiners and other clips
  • Bike cable and lock (for securing our packs to anything)
  • Various packing and compression cubes and stuff sack
  • Reusable canvas grocery bag
  • Beeswax food wrap
  • First Aid Kit!


  • Eye lotion
  • Face lotion
  • Mascara
  • Tooth brush
  • Toothpaste
  • Tweezers
  • Nail trimmers
  • Dental floss
  • Face wash
  • Hair conditioner
  • Occasionally some shampoo (trying to get off the stuff)
  • Bare Minerals powder
    • only use on occasion if we go out with other people and I know they will all be looking dapper
  • Hand sanitizer

Sporting Goods

Me & my hoop. Jostedal, Norway. By Alex Cortellesi
  • Volleyball (deflated while traveling) w/ pump
  • Frisbee disc
  • Hoop (hula hoop)
    • A great anywhere workout!
    • I didn’t bring one initially but saw one next to a backpackers in South Africa and could not resist.
    • I definitely recommend a more flexible and/or travel hoop as I had to cut this one in half to fit it in my bag and haven’t found an appropriate size fitting for one side (basically poor planning on my part as a hoop apparently is an essential item for me).

I hope you find this helpful or at least interesting! Feel free to reach out with any questions. If you currently are or have done any long term traveling and have suggestions that I have not listed please comment. We would love suggestions!

2 thoughts on “Packing for Our World Tour

  1. Great information! Not planning a world tour, but the lists will be really helpful for longer hiking/camping trips. Any downside to using a quilt versus a sleeping bag?


    1. Well, with my first air mattress I realized that I stayed cooler at night since I didn’t have fabric under me since the quilt essentially covers on top and on the sides which you can tuck in a bit. Once I switched to an air mattress that also had foam I felt much warmer. I think I should have also bought a quilt rated down to 0°F. Though you can’t beat the reduction in weight your carrying!


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