Traveler's Packing List

This packing list was created from by list of my possessions on 15 March '81 which I wrote down in my hotel in India after being on the road for over 2 years traveling thru the South Pacific, Australia, New Zealand and Asia.

This list is suitable for traveling in a warm climate - it does not include enough clothes for winter weather.

1Swiss Army KnifeThis is my most useful possession to take traveling. I prefer the "New Tinker" model.
1Money PurseCoin purse size to carry a small amount of money for easy access. You want something smaller than a wallet that you can carry a modest amount of local currency in so that you don't have to go into your money belt in public.
1CombGiven my hair, I don't need a brush - maybe you don't either.
1Money Belt containingI prefer a money pouch that hangs down inside my pants leg from my belt. You may prefer a traditional under-the-clothes money belt of even a pouch to hang around your neck. Whatever you decide, you must have a method of carrying your valuables on your person, under your clothes.
Cash in local currencyApproximately 1 to 2 weeks worth.
Airline tickets
Train tickets
Youth Hostel cardNot just for "youths"! These are the preferred places to stay in Australia and new Zealand.
Student ID cardIf you are a student, get an International Student I.D. card for discounts at museums, etc. Not as useful in the 3rd world, very useful in Europe.
Vaccination cardYellow. Now not as needed as it once was, but still a good way to keep track of your injections.
$50 in small U.S. bills10 $1's, 4 $5's, 2 $10's - Uncle Sam's money is good most anywhere in a pinch.
International driver's permit(Only if you think you might drive a car while traveling).
Local driver's licenseTake your local driver's license - it's occasionally useful.
American Express CardDon't leave home without it.
3 blank checks from your home bankWith your American Express card, you can write a check on your home account at any AMEX office and purchase more Travelers checks.
Travelers checksSeveral months worth.
PassportIt should be valid for at least 6 months AFTER your planned return date.
Visa PhotosGet lots of extra copies of your passport photo - you may need them for visa applications in many countries.
Scuba diver card
1Convertible BackpackCarry-on luggage size! You don't need a big suitcase, especially if you are going to be gone for a while. Your bag should have backpack straps that you can tuck away when going thru immigration. Wheels are optional.
1Nametag for packGet something better than those paper ones the airlines give you at the airport.
1Sleeping BagThis is definitely optional. You could instead take a polypropylene sleeping bag liner instead - smaller and lighter and usually good enough. Or just do without.
1Clothes bagIt's nice to have separate bags in the main compartment of your pack for similar items.
1Quick drying shirtI prefer nylon, rayon will do. You want something that will dry overnight in a very humid room.
1cotton T-shirtSomething to wear after it cools off and your other shirt is drying.
1pair of nylon running shortsShorts in most places in the 3rd world are for kids and rickshaw drivers. Check the local customs before wearing in public.
3pair of underwear3 pair ARE enough - you just wash every night.
1SwimsuitBring your goggles if you are a real swimmer.
1pair of corduroy pantsNicer than jeans, quicker drying.
2pair of drawstring pantsOne pair very light, one pair heavier to live in all the time.
1sarongA length of cloth with countless uses, including as a robe, bedsheet, etc.
1nice long sleeved dress shirtwear with corduroy pants when going thru immigration.
1sweatertight weave wool or polypropylene with buttons at the neck.
2pair of white socksAustralian school socks - very durable.
1pair of wool socksOptional - for wearing with hiking boots.
1pair of hiking bootsOptional - depending on where you are going an what you will be doing.
1pair of comfortable, durable walking shoesI prefer running shoes. Make sure they are broken in!
1pair of flip-flops(thongs, jandles) You will not want to put your bare feet in a 3rd world shower.
1towelthin so it will dry quickly.
1water bottlemetal fuel bottle (that never had fuel in it of course) - leak proof.
1roll of toilet paperIt's not provided in Asia.
1soap container with soap
1tube of toothpaste
1bottle of vitamins
1razorand a package of razor blades - or several disposable razors.
2bottles of sunscreenSPF 25 or better, waterproof and sweatproof.
1bottle mosquito repellentGet the strong, nasty kind - better than being bitten by a disease ridden mosquito.
1mosquito net with stuff sackOptional - depends on where and how long you will be in mosquito country.
1chainvery useful for locking your bag in your berth on the trains, locking up your rented bicycle, etc.
1padlock with 2 keysfor the chain and for securing your pack's zippers.
1novelTrade with other travelers when finished.
1Medical kit containing:
HydrogenPeroxideH2O2 - the MOST important item in the medical kit.
Mercurochromeput on ALL cuts and scrapes.
roll of waterproof adhesive tape
dental floss
malaria tabletsIf necessary.
3 Sterile pads
2 alcohol swabs
lots of Band_Aids
tube of fungicide
tube of antiseptic cream
antiseptic throat lozenges
eye drops
LomitilTo stop the "runs" if it gets really bad.
1ankle brace
1book of matches
5ziplock plastic bagsvarious sizes
1length of thin ropemany uses, including as a clothes line (clothes pins are not necessary, string rope thru clothes).
1inflatable neck pillowfor those long airplane, train and bus rides.
1pouch containing
ballpoint pen
sewing kit3 needles, dark nylon thread, white cotton thread,
several pins of various types.
more Band-Aids
piece of cloth for repairing your backpack.
more matches
Small container withmore visa photos.
safety pins
straight pins
twist strips
paper clips
rubber bands
1Bag or envelope containing various papers
more blank checks
more travelers checksdon't keep all of you money in one place!
list of AMEX addresses
very small notebook
1Shoulder Bag containingA shoulder bag is better than a daypack - you can keep an eye on it while wearing it. It will be your constant companion where ever you go.
Sunglasses100% UV filter, wraparound.
Sun hatfoldable; the bigger the brim, the better.
nylon raincoatlightweight coated nylon with a hood, doubles as a windbreaker, get from a backpacking supplier.
CameraSmall is better, waterproof is durable.
ballpoint pen
Address Book
Bag containingsmall traveler's alarm clock
small flashlight - 2 AA batteries
metal spoon - often useful because you won't find any plastic spoons to go
small mirror
fingernail clipper
water purification tablets

The above list is, of course, for a male traveler. Women will need to modify it a bit - particularly substituting a long skirt for the corduroy pants or for one of the pair of drawstring pants.

What NOT to take:

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Leigh Brasington / / Revised 15 Aug 12