6 Months Travel in a Carry On (Her)

I may have mentioned previously that I’m going away with my girlfriend, I quit my job and she took a sabbatical so we could head off to South America for a few months.

On YouTube, I always found more women’s packing guides than men’s, so I assumed there was no lack of pack lists for girls. But a few have asked for what my girlfriend packed so we said we’d share.

Firstly my girlfriend didn’t want to write this but it is all her advice/comments. Secondly, before we truly started to plan this trip she had no idea I was going to force the carry-on baggage rule for her, but she now loves it. We see people struggling with massive 60L backpacks, plus a normal sized backpack and some girls will even have extra shoulder bags/handbags and some of the guys have small laptop bags. Each to their own of course, but seeing it just hardens our one bag resolve. And finally, I would say I went way more extreme when it came to buying gear, whereas my girlfriend had a much simpler, less expensive approach but seems equally as happy with what she has.

The Bag(s)

The day we left on our trip

I never said in my last post what bag I had. We both bought the Osprey Farpoint 40. Matching bags are the height of coolness, but her’s is red and mine is the navy one. Again I think we could both go a little smaller, but for our first foray into this type of luggage, we feel we’ve done pretty well.

Her bag is the smaller size (in terms of strap dimensions) and I think this actually makes the bag a little smaller too, probably 38L instead of the full 40L.


The clothes

No specific brands for a lot of this stuff, but similarly we’ve both gone with darker colours, and items that can all match each other (so multiple different outfits can be created).

  1. 1 x Berghaus Light down jacket.
  2. Adidas Runners — Used for exercise and longer treks, look good with jeans too.
  3. Birkenstock Rio Woman’s Sandals — Very comfortable, and flatten down in a bag. I never hear the end of how amazing these are. She wears them in dodgy unclean showers and they dry quickly.
  4. 1 x Sarong — Pulls multiple duties, not bad as a light blanket for the air conditioned sleeper busses, can be used as a shawl to dress up some tops, handy for the beach, and can be used instead of a skirt over a bikini in hot weather.
  5. 1 x Adidas Sports Top.
  6. 2 x Tank Tops (black & white).
  7. 2 x Dressy String tops (Lightweight).
  8. 1 x Mountain Warehouse Merino Thermal Layer Top.
  9. 1 x Under Armour New Way Cold Gear (Bottoms).
  10. 2 x Dresses — 1 Black, 1 more colourful (purchased on the road for £5).
  11. 2 x Shorts (GAP black shorts and Amazon Khaki shorts).
  12. 1 x Nike Running Bottoms (Would have preferred lightweight running shorts instead of these).
  13. 1 x Lightweight multi-coloured skirt (BooHoo.com).
  14. 1 x Adidas Sports Bra.
  15. 3 x Ordinary Bra’s (Marks and Spencer’s).
  16. 1 x Kangaroo Black Bikini.
  17. 4 x Smartwool Socks (2 no-show and 2 ankle level).
  18. 4 x Intimacy Seamless Micro-Fibre underwear (Really comfortable and lightweight, highly recommended).

Wash Gear

Muji Wash Bag — It’s class
  1. Muji hanging travel case — This Japanese goods shop (in UK anyway) is great for small minimalist travel stuff. I’m jealous of this wash bag, it’s neatly compartmentalised.
  2. Shampoo & Conditioner —
  3. Vichy Face Wash
  4. Nivia Eye Makeup Remover.
  5. Cotton Pads.
  6. Vichy Moisturiser.
  7. Nail File.
  8. Tweezers.
  9. Gillette Men’s Razor & Blades.
  10. Colgate Folding Toothbrush.
  11. Floss.
  12. Hair Brush.
  13. Makeup Bag (contains the usual bits and bobs but the favourite recommended pieces are below).
  14. Yves St Laurent Touche Eclat Concealer — Small pen, great for travelling.
  15. Max Factor Compact Powder.
  16. Rimmel Blusher.
  17. Smashbox compact eye shadow.
  18. Real Techniques Core Collection Makeup brushes.


Kindle (missing from the above)
  1. Moto G 4th Gen — Best smartphone in its price range, with a great camera and battery life too. Has extra SD memory card slot which is great for Netflix and Spotify offline. The cover was a cheap buy on Amazon but is great to store a bit of money and any cards we need for the day.
  2. Kindle — Useful for the long haul journeys when the battery on the phone is running low. We may ditch this in the future though. Economies with our phone battery and our portable charger is enough to cover 20 hour + bus journeys.
  3. iPad — Hasn’t been used so far, the phone is more than good enough.
  4. Earphones.
  5. Charging cables for the above (we use the one adaptor — really good).


Sorry for the crappy image
  1. Dry Bag — Used for exercise (kettle bell when filled with water) and as an air pillow (which is useful on the bus or on the beach).
  2. Quick Dry Towel — Definitely needed.
  3. Eye mask — Needed for the long bus journeys and hostels.
  4. Ear plugs — Same as above.
  5. Extra passport sized photos — Just in case.
  6. Small shoulder handbag — Picked up on our travels, useful to carry money, phone and small bits of makeup for handy access.
  7. First Aid Kit — Few plasters, Imodium tablets, painkillers and a few spare tampons.
  8. Malaria Tablets — For the two of us.


Taken with the Moto G (Iguazu Falls — Brazil/Argentina)

In addition to the ones I have:

  1. Netflix — The new download functionality has been really useful, you can download to an SD card as well (Moto G has a second slot) so plenty of space to binge watch. Addicted to The Crown at the moment.
  2. Tabata Timer — Used for HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) when on the road.

So that’s it, my pack list is here if you want to see the man’s perspective but any questions let us know and we can get back to you.

And if you liked the article maybe please consider joining my mailing list. I send a once weekly update on my attempts to make the complex simple.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s