The first thing everyone wants to know...

How To Pack for an around-the-world Family Adventure

How are you going to pack for a trip around the world? 

It’s probably the first question over 90% of the people we share our story with ask. There are many different opinions on what makes sense, even within our family, we all have a different idea. Obviously, the less we bring, the more mobile we are, and the easier it will be to move from place to place: a smaller rental car, less to lug on and off of trains, in and out of airports and taxi, etc.

Fewer clothes though also means more laundry, and maybe not leaving the house with everything we may need. The thing is, we aren’t going anywhere so remote that we will be cut off from the world. Most of our itinerary has been planned so that we follow the spring, summer & early fall. Warmer weather = fewer clothes. If we run into a few cold days or want to go trekking through glaciers, we can pick up some boots and a jacket. If we get tired of our clothing, we can trade some items out along the way. 

We will prepare a bag at home for the more extreme destinations, and when the time comes to visit those places, use luggage free and have the bag shipped to us. (Antarctica Expedition, Safari in Kenya, etc)

 With the help of our packing cubes and some youtube tutorials on how to roll and fold the clothing to fit the max in each available space, we will begin our trip with two carry-on size roller bags and one regular full size roller bag. Dad will split his clothes and share space in each of the girls carry-on sized rollers. Mom can have her own regular size suitcase.  We will each then have our own backpacks for electronics and carry-on items.

The Packing Lists

After several hours of research and planning, our initial packing list is below.
Once on the road, I’m sure we’ll find some things we never touch and others we’ll need to pick up.

When we get to that point we’ll do an update comparing “What we thought we’d need before leaving home” to “What we really needed”… Only way to know for sure is to just go for it and see what happens… 

The items we list are those we have researched and chosen to purchase for our journey. Should you decide the same items would work for you, as Amazon Associates, we do earn from qualifying purchases made using the links below

The Girls

Angela's Clothes

2 Pajamas
6 t-shirts
3 Long Sleeve t’s
3 Shorts
6 Pairs of Socks
6 Underwear
3 Capri style pants
2 Dresses
2 Skorts
2 Bathing Suits
3 Pants
1 Sweatshirt
1 Sweater
1 Light Jacket
1 Pair Flip Flop
1 Pair Dress Shoes
1 Pair Tennis Shoes


Dad's Clothes

6 T-shirts
3 Polo Style Short Sleeve Shirts
2 Long Sleeve T’s
3 Shorts
2 Dress & 4 Hiking Socks
6 Boxers
1 Button Down Dress Shirt
1 Pair Dress Pants
1 Long Sleeve Hiking Shirt
1 Belt
2 Pairs Active Travel Pants
1 Pair Hiking Pants
1 Bathing Suit

1 Lightweight Waterproof Jacket
1 Sweatshirt
1 Pair Black Dress Shoes
1 Pair Sandals
1 Pair Hiking Shoes 


Mom's bag.

4 tennis skorts
3 running pants
4 sports bras
4 athletic tanks
2 business casual shirts 
4 long sleeve athletic shirts
1 long sleeve t-shirt
1 long sleeve work shirt
1 long sleeve Exificio Shirt
1 pair of safari pants
6 pairs of socks including
1 non-slip pair for warm feet indoors
(1) black and (1) white bra with removable straps
9 quick dry underwear 
1 pair of jeans
1 pair of black pants
1 pair of dressy leggings
1 dress
1 dressy jumper
1 dressy sweater
3 sweaters for layering
2 bathing suits
1 skin for sun protection
Pants and shirt for sleeping in cold weather 


Washing sheets  
Natrapel wipes and spray
Medications (malaria and cipro)
chewable tylenol and Claritin Jr.
doTerra Essential oils purchased from Julie Dobinski (Breathe, Onguard, Eucalyptus, Digest Zen)
Shampoo and conditioner 
Clorox wipes 

School Supplies & Miscellaneous

Composition notebooks for AMAZING “Passport Project” compliments of Mrs. Elwell
2 Math Workbooks
2 Language Arts Workbooks
Handwriting Workbook

Walkie Talkies

Packing Cubes

It is amazing how much more can fit in a suitcase when organized. I was never a believer in packing cubes until I gave them a try last winter on a winter ski trip to Switzerland. Those who ski know that packing for a ski trip usually entails extra baggage for the bulky items. 
By utilizing packing cubes though, I was able to pack for a week in the mountains in a single carry-on sized roller bag; active wear for the days &  business clothes for a weeks worth of evening events. (And no, I didn’t wear the same clothes everyday)

The cubes help keep everything organized. 

Dress shirts in one, active ski clothes in another, a small one with the change of clothes for the backpack.
Grouping the items prevent the usual digging through the bag to find a shirt, instead you only have to find the right cube. When arriving at a hotel, you can drop the cube into a drawer or shelf in a closet, open it up, and you are ready to go.

There are so many brands of packing cubes available at a wide range of prices. Already owning a flat eBag toiletry kit that is a favorite, I purchased a set of eBags cubes first and then a set these from Travel Wise. Aside from the  eBags cubes being twice the price when it was time to purchase, I couldn’t really tell a difference in quality, so we’ve purchased four sets of the Travel Wise cubes – a different color for each of us.

Our Backpacks

Our trip is not intended to be a backpacking trip around the world. However, on travel and touring days, we will use our backpacks often. We chose to go with a backpack with a maximum size of 30L. Keeping the bags in the dimensions we selected and under 30L in volume, allows them to be stored overhead on most small aircraft, bus, or trains and small enough to fit under the seat in front of us. They will be big enough to carry our electronic gear through the airports on travel days, and then small enough to use as a day packs as we explore local destinations. 

Angela V & Emily's


Northface  Pivoter  (27L) Angela
Swiss Gear Daypack (18L) Emily

These bags are both comfortable and sized small enough  so that we can’t overload and make them too heavy. Each has a laptop sleeve at least one or two additional compartments to stash things in. Emily’s has the ability to slide over the handles of the roller bag, which will be convenient when she’s had enough carrying.

What’s Inside the Bag?

(1) Small HP Laptop for Each Girl
(1) Kindle Each
School Workbook
 (1) BUBM Cord Organizer
Mom & Dad’s Old iPhones
Travel Pillow
One Day’s Change of Clothes
Bathing Suit
Light Jacket

Dad's Backpack

Peak Design
Everyday 30L Backpack

This is a great backpack for all the electronics and photography gear, and I love that it isn’t labeled with a brand name that screams “Photography Equipment” It fits conveniently in plane, bus or train overhead bins, or under the seat. With all the zippers, it’s very functional and easy to access any of the gear without tearing the bag apart.

What’s Inside the Bag?
(View our separate post on Electronics)

(1) Laptop Computer
Camera & Lenses
Wireless Hotspot
Power Adapter
BUBM Cord Organizer

One Day’s Change of Clothes
Bathing Suit
Light Jacket

Mom's Backpack

Osprey Porter 30L Backpack

The Osprey Porter is another nice  all-around bag. Comfortable for mom to carry without getting too heavy. Plenty of dedicated storage pockets for travel documents, Laptop, pens, phones, hand sanitizer wipes , medicines, snacks and all the other little knick knacks mom carries with us on trips.  

What’s Inside the bag?

(1)  Laptop
BUBM Cord Organizer
Power Adapter
iPhone Charge Cords
One Day’s Change of Clothes
Bathing Suit
Light Jacket

For a detailed listing of electronics, take a look at our post, "Electronics, Gear, & Gadgets"

3 Responses

  1. Wow! Great detailed preparation guide! I see a book or books in the making!

    Also, enjoyed reading Vlog1, reading the girls account of their favorite activities and of, course the photos & videos!
    Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thank you,

      Hoping to get some fun aerial videos with the drone. Haven’t had much opportunity to fly in Australia when we’ve been in cities or National Parks where they aren’t allowed. Hopefully we’ll be able to get it up in the air a bit more when we are in New Zealand!

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