How to Pack for Long Term Travel With Remote Year
From helpful packing tips to our favorite luggage, here’s everything you need to know when it comes to packing for your Remote Year adventure.
Whether you’re about to set off on a 1-month Trip to Lisbon or a 12-month Journey around the world, every exciting adventure starts the same way - at home, with your suitcase. To help make your packing experience as smooth as possible, we’re sharing our favorite travel planning and packing tips to so you can create the ultimate long-term travel packing list and avoid overpacking. So grab your suitcase and let’s begin!
Assess your packing needs
No two packing lists are the same – we know that! Here at Remote Year, we love a good minimalist moment, however we know that packing light is an art form (we’re certain you can master it!).
When starting your packing list, consider the following:
Packing should not be your main priority. What you bring on your journey is not going to make or break your experience. Create a packing plan that works for you and go with it!
No one packs correctly for Remote Year. You're going to bring items you don't need and you're going to forget things you wish you packed. This is normal! Luckily, malls and stores exist in every city on your itinerary, and every month you'll have the opportunity to donate items you don't want in your luggage anymore.
Keep it small. Avoid packing basic full-size toiletries such as: shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, deodorant, and sunscreen. All of these items are available for purchase near your accommodations, they add extra weight to your suitcase, and can explode in your bag mid-flight. We do recommend bringing small essential travel-size toiletries in a carry-on toiletry bag to cover you before shopping in your new city or for weekend-long side trips.
Don't forget comfort. Bring a few items like photos, postcards, and portable speakers to make you feel cozy and at home wherever you wander. If you love cooking and know how to make a killer curry, bring those spices you love—they weigh practically nothing and can be hard to find.
Let’s get packing!
You’ve already got a toothbrush and a few t-shirts ready to be packed for your adventure. However, when it comes to targeting the basic travel essentials you may need to think outside of the box for long-term travel. Below is a list of underrated traveling essentials we recommend putting into your suitcase.
Backpacks and day packs: Use a duffle bag, backpack, or weekend bag as your carry on that can double as your weekend back on side trips. A backpack or day pack will also come in handy when heading to the workspace, venturing out on an experience, or even tagging along on your next hike.
Water bottle: As some of the local experiences are adventure-packed, you’re going to want to have a water bottle to accompany you. They’re also handy for using at the workspace.
Clothing for different climates (or cold weather): It’s important to factor in the weather in each destination you plan to visit with Remote Year, especially when traveling long-term. Packing tank tops and shorts will only get you so far. having a few long sleeve shirts, pants, leggings, and a jacket or two for layering will make all the difference on your trip.
Bug repellent:Depending upon the country that you’re visiting, the use of DEET in insect repellents may be avoided. If you’re comfortable using repellent for your upcoming hikes (that may be a little tougher on protecting you), you may want to bring this from home.
Travel towel: All Remote Year accommodations come equipped with bath towels, however, if you’re exploring any of our coastal cities, you’ll want to pack a lightweight travel towel for your beach day adventures. Bonus points if it’s quick dry or a drying cover up!
Rain jacket: Whether it starts to drizzle on a hike or on your walk to the workspace, you’ll be glad you packed one.
Shoes for different occasions: You’ll want to pack a few pairs of shoes outside your traditional sneakers, such as flip flops for beach days and hiking shoes for any outdoor teks. Make sure you’ve broken in your hiking shoes before leaving - this travel hack will help you avoid any unwanted blisters. *Side note for the ladies, no heels necessary. More often than not, you’ll be glad you left these at home.
Technology: While an iPhone and laptop are a given while working remotely and traceling, there are few other tech devices to keep in mind. We recommend packing chargers or adapters to ensure your devices work in all outlets. If you need storage for photos and videos, you may want to bring an external hard drive.
Packing Cubes: These are great for helping to separate your luggage into manageable zones. They also make things easier when unpacking in your new accommodation.
Handheld Luggage Scale: Many airlines have different luggage size and weight restrictions. This small device can make sure you can keep all your new souvenirs!
What to know about Remote Year’s luggage policy
With all the fun, excitement, and adventures we provide on Remote Year, we have to sprinkle in a few policies that keep everybody safe and your adventure running smoothly. When it comes to luggage, Remote Year has a Travel Policy (section two of the Remote Year Participant Travel, Accommodation, Workspace, & Tech Policies) that limits the size and amount of baggage you’re allowed to bring.
On Remote Year planned flights, we can guarantee the following luggage at no extra cost:
One piece of checked luggage up to 20 kg (44 lbs), and
One piece of hand luggage up to 5kgs (11 lbs).
Planning to travel without the program at any point? It’s important that you take your baggage with you! Remote Year Staff and Remote Year participants are not able to transport baggage on your behalf.
Remote Year traveler’s favorite luggage options
The Remote Year community has all kinds of thoughts, and theories about luggage - we’ve tested a lot of suitcases! As veterans in the travel world, our fellow Remote Year participants dropped popular opinions on their favorite brands for both checked and carry on luggage:
Away Travel: high quality bags with a great return and exchange policy.
Both the medium and large bags from Away Travel can be used as a check bag.
Rimowa Salsa Air: super lightweight but very durable.
The 65L and up are checked bag sizes.
Briggs and Riley: each bag comes with a lifetime guarantee, spinner wheels, and an expandable zipper.
Osprey Shuttle 100L/30”: provided pockets make for handy, last minute adds. For hikers, this bag comes with a pocket designed for hiking boots.
Eagle Creek Load Warrior: this bag has tons of space, comes with compression straps, durable wheels, and many handle options.
Osprey Farpoint 55 Travel Pack: a front-loading backpack that won’t make you miss suitcase wheels.
Tom Bihn Aeronaut: Built like a tank! This carry on will look new even after months of use.
Pacsafe: a great option if looking for a long-lasting carry-on backpack.
Osprey Backpack: complete with a full back harness for comfort, this carry-on meets all international restrictions.
North Face Small Base Camp Duffel: the perfect size for a carry-on, this duffel can also convert into a backpack for easier transportation.
Minaal Carry-On: a personal item that can fit under any plane seat, surprisingly can hold a lot of items.
Tortuga’s Outbreaker 45L—well made, easy to pack, and proper space for your valuables like passport and tech equipment.
With Remote Year, get 15% off Tortuga with the code REMOTEYEAR. (*Not an affiliate link, just a nice discount!)
In addition to the awesome luggage mentioned above, other popular brands among the Remote Year community include:Cabin Zero,Eagle Creek,Everlane,GoRuck,Nomatic,Patagonia,Peak Design andTimbuk2
Get excited! The adventure of a lifetime is just around the corner! With these helpful tips, packing for your trip should be smooth and simple. And for anything you forget, there’s always a place to shop once you land in your next destination!
Need a little more expertise when it comes to packing? Check out these additional resources:
One Suitcase, a Year's Worth of Clothing: Tips for How to Embrace Minimalist Travel
What to Pack for Remote Year: Advice From People Who’ve Done It
I Traveled with Remote Year for 12 Months and this is How I Packed
Visas, Passports, and Other Travel Documents Needed for Remote Year
Everything You Need to Know to Prepare Your Home for Long-term Travel
Navigating Technology While Traveling: What You Need to Know