How to Pack for Any Length Trip

Jessie Beck, Bennett Collins, & Shawn Forno

Don’t panic and pack a huge backpack or suitcase just because you’re traveling for a long time. Packing in a 45L (or smaller!) carry on sized travel backpack means you’ll never have to worry about checking your bag. 

Is figuring out exactly what to pack the most stressful part of your travels? Relax. We’ve got you covered. Whether you’re packing for one overnight, or a long trip of more than two weeks, you’ll find your packing list here. Simply click on the table of contents for your length of trip and get ready to pack perfectly!

How to Pack for Short Trips

While you need less for short trips, it’s still easy to overpack. You’re making the most of your time, so you want enough clothes to avoid doing laundry, gear for multiple activities, and the travel essentials (passport, wallet, headphones, water bottle, etc.) you always bring. But, with a little planning, you can be ready for anything — without bringing everything. Here’s what to pack for overnights to four-day trips.

One-Night Travel Packing List

With overnight trips, you don’t need much more than you would for a day out and about — just a set of clothes for the next day, and travel-sized toiletries for your bedtime and morning routines. You’re also unlikely to travel by plane, so you can leave the travel pillow and other in-flight essentials at home.

Clothing

For overnight trips, your rule for clothing should be “wear one, pack one.” Pick a versatile outfit to wear en route that will take you from daytime to evening out, and pack one extra outfit for the next day. Also check the weather and think through what you want to wear. This will help you avoid bringing extras just because you want options.

For shoes, wear one pair of comfortable, versatile shoes you can use for all of your activities. Only pack a second if you need it for something specific, like hiking, an event, or dramatic shift in weather.

Wear 

  • 1 pair of pants, shorts, or skirt
  • 1 pair of underwear 
  • 1 pair of socks
  • 1 jacket and/or sweater
  • 1 set of accessories (hat, gloves, scarf)
  • 1 bra

Pack

  • 1 extra outfit (a dress, jumpsuit, or pants/shorts and a top)
  • 1 pair of pajamas
  • 1 jacket or sweater (if needed)
  • 1 pair of underwear
  • 1 pair of socks (if needed)
  • 1 extra pair of shoes (if needed)
  • Accessories (hat, scarf, jewelry)
  • Bathing suit (optional)
  • Extra bra (optional)

Toiletries

Keep your toiletry bag as pared down as possible with travel-sized toiletries, and plan to rely on what your accommodations will provide. You might even go as far as leaving toiletries, like shampoo, conditioner, or razors, that you can go a day without. Instead, avoid the time and accessories you need to do your hair by washing and styling it in a low-maintenance style at home before you leave.

  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Deodorant
  • Sunscreen
  • Chapstick
  • Comb/brush
  • Lotion (if needed)
  • Razor (if needed)
  • Basic makeup (if needed)
  • Soap, shampoo, conditioner (if not provided by your accommodations)

Electronics & Other Essentials

Bring only your essential electronics — your phone, camera, chargers, and an extra battery. You’re only gone for one night, can you leave the laptop at home? Then, reach for the items you never leave home without (like, your credit card).

  • Phone
  • Chargers
  • Wallet
  • Passport / ID
  • Water bottle
  • Headphones
  • Travel umbrella (if there’s rain in the forecast)
  • Eye mask (optional)
  • Ear plugs (optional)
  • Kindle or book (optional)
  • Camera and extra battery (if you have one)
  • External battery (optional)

Luggage

Since you’re basically packing for a day trip+, a 20-22L daypack, like the Outbreaker Daypack, or the Laptop Backpack is a great size for overnight trips. If you’d prefer something with more features, like hip straps, the Setout Divide Backpack in its unexpanded, 26L mode, is more than enough space. Just be careful not to fill all of it *wink*.

How to Pack for 2 Days

Even if you have a jam-packed schedule with lots of different activities, you won’t need more than a small carry on for a two-day trip. Plan your outfits in advance and ditch any nice-to-have items you won’t absolutely need. Remember: it’s only two days, and you don’t want your bag to slow you down.

Clothing

For a two-day trip, you’ll know the weather and your itinerary, which makes it easier to plan what you want to wear in advance. Still, pack items of clothing, rather than outfits, and limit yourself to four items of clothing. This could be two tops, one bottom, and one jacket, or one top, bottom, dress, and jacket. It may not seem like a lot, but when paired with the clothes you wear en route, you can create up to six outfits from this list, which is more than enough for two days.

For shoes, wear one pair of comfortable, versatile shoes you can use for all of your activities. Only pack a second if you need it for something specific, like hiking, an event, or dramatic shift in weather.

Wear 

  • 1 pair of pants, shorts, or skirt
  • 1 pair of underwear 
  • 1 pair of socks
  • 1 jacket and/or sweater
  • 1 set of accessories (hat, gloves, scarf)
  • 1 bra

Pack

  • 2 tops
  • 1 bottom
  • 1 pair of pajamas
  • 1 jacket or sweater (if needed)
  • 2 pairs of underwear
  • 1-2 pairs of socks (if needed)
  • 1 extra pair of shoes (if needed)
  • Accessories (hat, scarf, jewelry)
  • Bathing suit (optional)
  • Extra bra (optional)

Toiletries

Keep your toiletry bag as pared down as possible with travel-sized toiletries, and plan to use what your accommodations will provide. For hair and makeup, stick to low-maintenance styles that don’t require a lot of time, product, or equipment. Instead, make dry shampoo your friend and leave the blow dryer at home.

  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Deodorant
  • Sunscreen
  • Chapstick
  • Comb/brush
  • Lotion (if needed)
  • Razor (if needed)
  • Basic makeup (if needed)
  • Soap (if not provided by your accommodations)
  • Shampoo and conditioner OR dry shampoo

Electronics & Other Essentials

Bring your essential electronics — phone, camera, chargers — and take your laptop only if you absolutely need it (i.e. a work trip). Then, reach for the items you’d never leave home without (like, your credit card). Otherwise, you’ll be gone for such a short amount of time, there’s little extra you won’t be able to go two days without, or pick up along the way.

  • Phone
  • Chargers
  • Wallet
  • Passport / ID
  • Headphones
  • Water bottle
  • Travel umbrella (if there’s rain in the forecast)
  • Kindle or book (optional)
  • Camera and extra battery (optional)
  • External battery (optional)

In-Flight Essentials

If you’re taking a flight to your destination, it likely won’t be long, and you won’t need lots of in-flight essentials. However, a cozy pair of socks and a snack never hurts.

  • Socks
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Blanket scarf (optional)
  • Ear plugs (optional)
  • Eye mask (optional)
  • Snack (optional)

Luggage

For a two-day trip, you’ll have plenty of room to pack everything in the Setout Divide Backpack in its unexpanded, 26L mode. If you stick to this minimalist list, you should even have extra room inside — be careful not to fill it just because you can.

How to Pack for 3 Days

Three-day trips are short enough that you won’t need more than a small carry on, but long enough where you probably won’t want to try and skimp on certain creature comforts. Pack like you would for a weekend getaway, but with room for a couple of small extras to make your time on the road more comfortable.

Clothing

For a three-day trip, you’ll know the weather and your itinerary, which makes it easier to plan what you want to wear in advance. To have enough to make three days worth of outfits, pack five items of clothing. This could be two tops, two bottoms, and a jacket, or two tops, one bottom, one dress, and one jacket. Just remember that you don’t need three totally separate outfits to have a different outfit to wear every day.  

For shoes, wear one pair of comfortable, versatile shoes you can use for all of your activities. Only pack a second if you need it for something specific, like hiking, an event, or dramatic shift in weather.

Wear 

  • 1 pair of pants, shorts, or skirt
  • 1 pair of underwear 
  • 1 pair of socks
  • 1 jacket and/or sweater
  • 1 set of accessories (hat, gloves, scarf)
  • 1 bra

Pack

  • 2 tops
  • 1 bottom OR 1 dress
  • 1 jacket or sweater (if needed)
  • 1 pair of pajamas
  • 3 pairs of underwear
  • 1-3 pairs of socks (if needed)
  • 1 extra pair of shoes (if needed)
  • Accessories (hat, scarf, jewelry)
  • Bathing suit (optional)
  • Extra bra (optional)

Toiletries

Keep your toiletry bag as pared down as possible with travel-sized toiletries, and use what your accommodations will provide. For hair and makeup, stick to low-maintenance styles that don’t require a lot of time, product, or equipment. Instead, make dry shampoo your friend and leave the blow dryer at home.

  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Deodorant
  • Sunscreen
  • Chapstick
  • Comb/brush
  • Lotion (if needed)
  • Razor (if needed)
  • Basic makeup (if needed)
  • Soap (if not provided by your accommodations)
  • Shampoo and conditioner OR dry shampoo

Electronics & Other Essentials

Bring your essential electronics — phone, camera, chargers — and the items you’d never leave home without (like, your credit card). Depending on your trip, you might also be able to get away without bringing your laptop. Yes, three days is more difficult than one, but it’s still doable.

  • Phone
  • Chargers
  • Wallet
  • Passport / ID
  • Headphones
  • Water bottle
  • Travel umbrella (if there’s rain in the forecast)
  • Kindle or book (optional)
  • Camera and extra battery (if you have one)
  • External battery (optional)
  • Laptop (optional)

In-Flight Essentials

If you’re flying to your destination, you likely won’t be on a long flight where you’ll need lots of in-flight essentials, but a cozy pair of socks and a snack never hurts. If your flight is less than three hours long, consider ditching the travel pillow to save space.

  • Socks
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Blanket scarf (optional)
  • Ear plugs (optional)
  • Eye mask (optional)
  • Snack (optional)
  • Travel pillow (optional)

Luggage

For a three-day trip, you’ll have plenty of room to pack everything in a 26L bag, like the Setout Divide Backpack. Pack it in its unexpanded mode to avoid adding extra stuff because you have the space, and instead save it bring home anything you pick up along the way.

summer in europe

How to Pack for 4 Days

Packing for four days away straddles the line between a weekend and week-long trip. It’s short enough that you’ll want to bring enough to avoid doing laundry, but long enough that you’ll be less inclined cut corners on your packing list.

Clothing

Check your weather in advance to make sure you’re bringing the right outerwear for your trip. To have outfits for four days, pack five to six items of clothing. This could be three tops, two bottoms, and one jacket, or four tops, one bottom, and one jacket — whatever makes most sense for you and your trip.

For shoes, wear one pair of comfortable, versatile shoes you can use for all of your activities. Only pack a second if you need it for something specific, like hiking, an event, or dramatic shift in weather.

Wear 

  • 1 pair of pants, shorts, or skirt
  • 1 pair of underwear 
  • 1 pair of socks
  • 1 jacket and/or sweater
  • 1 set of accessories (hat, gloves, scarf)
  • 1 bra

Pack

  • 2-3 tops
  • 1-2 bottoms OR 1 bottom and 1 dress
  • 1 pair of pajamas
  • 1 jacket or sweater (if needed)
  • 4 pairs of underwear
  • 1 extra bra
  • 1-4 pairs of socks (if needed)
  • 1 extra pair of shoes (if needed)
  • Accessories (hat, scarf, jewelry)
  • Bathing suit (optional)

Toiletries

Keep your toiletry bag as pared down as possible, and stick to travel-sized toiletries — even if you’re not flying to your destination. You can also save space by planning to rely what your accommodations will provide. For hair and makeup, stick to low-maintenance styles throughout your trip. Save time and space and leave the blow dryer at home.

  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Deodorant
  • Sunscreen
  • Chapstick
  • Comb/brush
  • Lotion (if needed)
  • Razor (if needed)
  • Basic makeup (if needed)
  • Soap (if not provided by your accommodations)
  • Shampoo and conditioner (if not provided by your accommodations)

Electronics & Other Essentials

Try to bring only your essential electronics — phone, camera, chargers — and take your laptop only if you absolutely need it (i.e. a work trip). Then, reach for the items you’d never leave home without (like, your credit card).

  • Phone
  • Chargers
  • Wallet
  • Passport / ID
  • Headphones
  • Travel umbrella (if there’s rain in the forecast)
  • Kindle or book (optional)
  • Camera and extra battery (if you have one)
  • External battery (optional)

In-Flight Essentials

If you’re flying to your destination, you likely won’t be on a long flight where you’ll need lots of in-flight essentials, but a cozy pair of socks and a snack never hurts.

  • Socks
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Water bottle
  • Blanket scarf (optional)
  • Ear plugs (optional)
  • Eye mask (optional)
  • Snack (optional)

Luggage

For a four-day trip, you’ll have plenty of room to pack everything in a 26L bag, like the Setout Divide Backpack. Pack it in its unexpanded mode to avoid adding extra stuff because you have the space, and instead save it bring home anything you pick up along the way.

How to Pack for Week Long Trips

Packing for week-long trips presents what I call the classic ‘Goldilocks’ struggle: you think you’re either away long enough to pack your bag until the zippers burst or away short enough to think you can live on spartan amenities. If experience tells me anything, it’s that there is a ‘just right’ amount to pack in a carry on backpack or duffle bag for trips ranging from 5 to 8 nights.

Hit the sweet spot by eliminating non-essentials and being realistic about what kind of trip you’re actually packing for. While you need to capitalize on space, you don’t need to live like a monk. Here’s how to pack for those medium length trips.

How to Pack for 5 Days

Clothing

On your travel day, wear a versatile outfit made of your heaviest items: a pair of comfortable and semi-casual pants, a shirt, and outdoor gear you might need (jacket, gloves, hat). Then, manage your outfit options by mixing and matching clothing items. 

To avoid overpacking, I follow the rule that 1 bottom piece of clothing (shorts, pants, skirts) warrants about 3 top pieces (shirts, t-shirts, blouses), which at the end of the day offers three separate outfits. If you keep to muted colors, or at least complementary ones, you can easily mix and match to have a new outfit everyday. As a result, this leaves plenty of space in the suitcase for a special occasion item (a suit coat or dress, for example). 

Wear 

  • 1 pair of pants, shorts, or skirt
  • 1 pair of underwear 
  • 1 pair of socks
  • 1 jacket and/or sweater
  • 1 set of accessories (hat, gloves, scarf)
  • 1 bra

Pack

  • 4-5 shirts
  • 1 pairs of pants, shorts, or skirt
  • 5 pairs of underwear
  • 5 pairs of socks
  • 1 extra pair of shoes (dress or running)
  • 1-2 bras
  • 1 pair of pajama bottoms (recycle already worn shirts for bedwear) 

Toiletries

These medium length trips are when it’s appropriate to bring the toiletries that make you feel comfortable and help you look polished for a full week. It’s always good to remember that airlines require that liquids be in 100ml containers and there is a maximum of 1L of liquids allowed per passenger.

So, while you should definitely make room for your personal selection of hygienic products, it’s important to note that you’ll still need to ration, rely on what’s available at your accommodations, or get ready to buy extra toiletries at you destination. Consider switching to dry products to get around the TSA liquids limits.

  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Toothpaste
  • Bar of soap
  • Travel sized sunscreen (or sunscreen stick to save on liquid amount)
  • 1 brush/comb
  • Deodorant stick or 100ml deodorant can
  • Hand sanitizer 
  • Travel sized shaving scream 
  • Chapstick 
  • Basic makeup kit 
  • Razor

Electronics & Other Essentials

Like weekend excursions, these medium length trips can give you an opportunity to detox from electronics you really don’t need, like laptops. More packable electronics like phones and tablets can also give you your fix when you feel the scratch to check emails, do some work, or get on social media. Here is what you should pack in terms of electronics and other materials:

  • ID/Passport
  • Smartphone
  • Tablet or book (optional)
  • Chargers
  • Headphones 
  • External battery (optional)

In-Flight Essentials

If you’re flying to your destination, plan to pack your in-flight essentials in your personal item, like a daypack, that’s tucks easily under the seat in front of you.

  • Socks
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Water bottle
  • Blanket scarf (optional)
  • Ear plugs (optional)
  • Eye mask (optional)
  • Travel pillow (optional)
  • Snack (optional)
  • Phone or tablet
  • Chargers
  • External battery pack
  • Headphones

Luggage

For a five day trip, consider the Setout Divide, unzipped and fully expanded to it’s full 34L capacity if you need it. Or, pack it at the 26L size and leave the extra room for souvenirs you might pack to bring home.

How to Pack for 6 Days

Clothing

Once again, this list presumes that you are wearing a versatile outfit for traveling so that you aren’t taking up that valuable space with your outerwear, bulkier items like sweaters and more pairs of pants. 

If we go by the ratio of 1 pair of pants, shorts, or a skirt per 3 top items, it’s a great way to mix and match while saving space. I always pack muted colors or at least try to find complementary ones so that my wardrobe is versatile and new outfits can be made easily. 

Wear

  • 1 pair of pants, shorts, or skirt
  • 1 pair of underwear 
  • 1 pair of socks
  • 1 jacket and/or sweater
  • 1 set of accessories (hat, gloves, scarf)
  • 1 bra

Pack

  • 5-6 shirts
  • 1 pairs of pants, shorts, or skirt
  • 6 pairs of underwear
  • 6 pairs of socks
  • 1 extra pair of shoes (dress, running)
  • 2-3 bras
  • 1 pair of pajama bottoms (recycle already worn shirts for bedwear) 

Toiletries

Don’t let six nights make you think that you need to carry your bathroom with you. Take your personal favorites, but this isn’t the trip to go overboard. Remember, airlines only allow 1L max of liquids per passenger and those have to be in 100 ml or smaller containers. Six nights fly by fast, try to rely on the toiletries provided at your accommodations.

  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Toothpaste
  • Bar of soap
  • Travel sized sunscreen (or sunscreen stick to save on liquid amount)
  • 1 brush/comb
  • Deodorant stick or 100ml deodorant can
  • Hand sanitizer 
  • Travel sized shaving scream 
  • Chapstick 
  • Basic makeup kit 
  • Razor

Electronics & Other Essentials

I know this list seems scant for things you might need over six nights. But, it’s important to keep your load light. Don’t pack more than two electronics items, max. Try to do without your laptop.

  • ID/Passport
  • Smartphone
  • Tablet or book (optional)
  • Chargers
  • Headphones
  • External battery (optional)

In-Flight Essentials

If you’re flying to your destination, plan to pack your in-flight essentials in your personal item, like a daypack, that’s tucks easily under the seat in front of you.

  • Socks
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Water bottle
  • Blanket scarf (optional)
  • Ear plugs (optional)
  • Eye mask (optional)
  • Travel pillow (optional)
  • Snack (optional)
  • Phone or tablet
  • Chargers
  • External battery pack
  • Headphones

Luggage

As you reach the tipping point of one full week of travel you might be ready to go just a little bigger with your luggage and take a 35L Setout. Ladies, the Women’s Fit Setout will be perfect for your shape!

How to Pack for 7 Days

Clothing

While packing for a week can certainly sound daunting, there’s no need to overthink it. As always, wear your bulkier items on the plane so that you free up space in your travel backpack. Of course, this is weather dependent, but there really isn’t a need to pack more than one outfit of outdoor-wear  (1 set of outdoor accessories + jacket).

Using the 3 top pieces of clothing per 1 bottom piece ratio, the variation for outfit mixing and matching grows so that you don’t feel like it’s Groundhog Day.

Wear

  • 1 pair of pants, shorts, or skirt
  • 1 pair of underwear 
  • 1 pair of socks
  • 1 jacket and/or sweater
  • 1 set of accessories (hat, gloves, scarf)
  • 1 bra

Pack

  • 5-6 Shirts
  • 1 pairs of pants, shorts, or skirt
  • 6 pairs of underwear
  • 6 pairs of socks
  • 1 extra pair of shoes (e.g. dress, running)
  • 2-3 bras
  • 1 pair of pajama bottoms (recycle already worn shirts for bedwear) 

Toiletries 

Even when traveling for a week you can keep toiletries to a minimum. It’s likely your accommodations will provide some of them. Rely on those. Take your personal favorites decanted into 100 ml, travel sized, containers.

  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Toothpaste
  • Bar of soap
  • Travel sized sunscreen (or sunscreen stick to save on liquid amount)
  • 1 brush/comb
  • Deodorant stick or 100ml deodorant can
  • Hand sanitizer 
  • Travel sized shaving scream 
  • Chapstick 
  • Basic makeup kit 
  • Razor

Electronics & Other Essentials

Can you do without your laptop for a week? If so, it will save you a ton of weight and space. Do your best to stick to only two electronic items packed for your trip. Less is more.

  • ID/Passport
  • Smartphone
  • Tablet or book (optional)
  • Chargers
  • Headphones 
  • External battery (optional)

In-Flight Essentials

If you’re flying to your destination, plan to pack your in-flight essentials in your personal item, like a daypack, that’s tucks easily under the seat in front of you.

  • Socks
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Water bottle
  • Blanket scarf (optional)
  • Ear plugs (optional)
  • Eye mask (optional)
  • Travel pillow (optional)
  • Snack (optional)
  • Phone or tablet
  • Chargers
  • External battery pack
  • Headphones

Luggage

Once you’re at a full week of travel, you might be ready to carry a little more in a slightly bigger piece of luggage. Pack the majority of what you need in a 35L Outbreaker travel backpack if you want a little more organization than the Setout provides. Then, add a daypack that can double as your personal item and keep your in-flight essentials at your fingertips.

How to Pack for 8 Days

Clothing

As this is the longest medium length trip, you might be thinking, “I might as well pack for a couple weeks.” Wrong. You’re only increasing that precious 3 top clothing items per 1 bottom clothing item ratio, and making sure you have enough socks and underwear to last you the duration of the trip.

Mixing and matching is an easy way to make you feel fresh. To save you more space, make sure you’re wearing your weather-oriented, bulkier items while traveling. 

Wear

  • 1 pair of pants, shorts, or skirt
  • 1 pair of underwear 
  • 1 pair of socks
  • 1 jacket and/or sweater
  • 1 set of accessories (hat, gloves, scarf)
  • 1 bra

Pack

  • 7-8 shirts
  • 2 x pairs of pants, pairs of shorts, or skirts
  • 8 pairs of underwear
  • 8 pairs of socks
  • 1 extra pair of shoes (e.g. dress, running)
  • 3-4 bras
  • 1 pair of pajama bottoms (recycle already worn shirts for bedwear) 

Toiletries 

As the size of these medium trips get longer, our toiletry list expands only mildly. Perhaps you will want to pack an extra small tube of toothpaste or an extra bottle of conditioner, depending on quantity used. At the end of the day, as you’re only allowed that precious 1L of liquid in a carry on, you need to prioritize and balance what you absolutely need. 

Choosing dry items over liquids will expand your options. Pack only the items you’re brand specific with, rely on what’s available at your accommodations for the rest.

  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Toothpaste
  • Bar of soap
  • Travel sized sunscreen (or sunscreen stick to save on liquid amount)
  • 1 brush/comb
  • Deodorant stick or 100ml deodorant can
  • Hand sanitizer 
  • Travel sized shaving scream 
  • Chapstick 
  • Basic makeup kit 
  • Razor

Electronics & Other Essentials

Once you’re over a week, perhaps you can justify packing a computer. Eight nights and nine days can be a long time away from a mobile office. However, the list remains spartan because electronics not only add weight and take space, but also tend to be used sparingly unless it’s work related.

  • ID/Passport
  • Smartphone
  • Tablet or book (optional)
  • Chargers
  • Headphones 
  • External battery (optional)
  • Computer (optional) 

In-Flight Essentials

If you’re flying to your destination, plan to pack your in-flight essentials in your personal item, like a daypack, that’s tucks easily under the seat in front of you.

  • Socks
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Water bottle
  • Blanket scarf (optional)
  • Ear plugs (optional)
  • Eye mask (optional)
  • Travel pillow (optional)
  • Snack (optional)
  • Phone or tablet
  • Laptop (optional)
  • Chargers
  • External battery pack
  • Headphones

Luggage

To really max out your available space without going larger with your travel backpack, choose a 35L Setout for your main bag (the one that goes in the overhead compartment) and carry the Laptop backpack as your personal item. There’s enough room in the Laptop backpack to pack for a couple of days, so you’ll add 25L of volume without actually investing in a bigger travel backpack.

How to Pack for Long Trips

Packing for a long trip can seem overwhelming. How can you possibly pack everything that you’ll need for two weeks of travel (or maybe even longer!) into a carry on-sized bag? Don’t you need twice as much stuff to travel for a trip that’s twice as long?

The simple answer is: Nope.

Longer trips really don’t require that much more stuff. They just require a few more versatile items. Once you trim your packing list down to a few core essentials you’ll be surprised by how long you can travel in just a carry on bag for just about any length trip.

Here’s everything you need to pack for trips ranging from 9 days to two weeks (or even longer!).

How to Pack for 9 Days

Packing for a trip that’s longer than a week doesn’t require a massive packing list. You just need to pack a few additional items of clothing to stretch your wardrobe for the length of a nine day trip.

These additional items can vary based on the time of year and your destination, but generally you’ll want to add clothing items that go with most of your other clothing, like a solid-colored t-shirt or pants you can easily wear to the beach, happy hour, or a co-working space, or even layer under a nicer jacket or sweater. You also want to prioritize clothing that dries quickly, since you’ll likely do laundry at least once, and items that can be worn more than once between washes.

Clothing

For nine day trips, it’s important to pick pieces that work for both daytime and nighttime. That means at least one good pair of travel pants and a shirt that fits well enough to look presentable at dinner. T-shirts are fine as long as they’re plain, clean, and fitted.

Layers are the best way to stay warm on longer trips, especially if you run into a cold snap. Packing a bulky jacket can be nice at night, but it’ll be a pain to pack on sunny warm days. Leave it at home. Layering up also lets you adjust to the conditions during the day, as well as giving you options for different looks without packing extra clothing (aka today’s outer layer can be tomorrow’s inner layer). Choose one or two items for each layer to help you avoid bringing too many shirts just to have options.

For shoes, wear one pair of comfortable, versatile shoes that go with everything else you packed. Make sure they can handle whatever you’ve got planned, but most travel shoes should be able to stand up to a day of walking cobbled city streets, a little light trekking, and looking respectable for a nice dinner. Approach shoes are on the more sporty rugged end of the travel spectrum, and barefoot shoes or espadrilles are on the lighter, more city-centric shoes for going out and light hiking. Wool runners like the Allbirds fall somewhere in the middle.

You don’t need to pack a second pair of shoes for a nine-day trip unless you have a specific activity in mind, like a particularly grueling trek (not just a day hike), a festival, or if the weather is particularly bad and you need a special shoe, or a second pair in case you get soaked.

Wear 

  • 1 pair of pants, shorts, or skirt
  • 1 pair of underwear 
  • 1 pair of socks
  • 1 jacket and/or sweater
  • 1 set of accessories (hat, gloves, scarf)
  • 1 bra

Pack

  • 3-4 tops (t-shirts including one “nice” shirt for evenings or events)
  • 2 tank tops or bottom layer shirts
  • 1 pair of pants / 1 dress
  • 1 pair of shorts
  • 1 pair of pajamas or loungewear (this can be either gym style shorts or long flowy pants)
  • 1 lightweight jacket or long sleeve shirt
  • 4 pairs of underwear
  • 2-3 pairs of socks (if needed)
  • 1 “sun” accessory (either a hat, scarf/wrap, or sunglasses—not all three)
  • Bathing suit (Always pack something for swimming or even just laundry day)

Toiletries

Packing a toiletry bag for a long trip is exactly the same as a short trip. Seriously. A travel-sized tube of toothpaste should last for up to 10 days. And if you need more, pick it up along the way. Don’t bog yourself down with tons of extra toiletries you don’t need. 

Most accomodation and Airbnb hosts provide soap, shampoo, conditioner, and anything else you might need to stay squeaky clean. Pack a small combo soap/shampoo tube (less than 3oz) for emergencies if you’re the nervous type (although you’ll probably head home with a full tube).

  • Toothbrush
  • 1 travel-size toothpaste (less than 3 oz)
  • Travel-size deodorant (you don’t need the whole big thing)
  • Travel-size sunscreen stick (not lotion, but you can also buy this in country (if needed)
  • Razor (conditioner, soap, or lotion can act as shaving cream) 
  • Basic makeup (if needed)
  • Combo body wash, shampoo, conditioner (if not provided by your accommodation)

Electronics & Other Essentials

The electronics you pack will vary on how connected you like to stay while traveling, and whether you’re going to be doing any work while you’re on the road. Nine days is a long time not to check emails or stay in touch, but hey maybe that’s a good thing. If you need to hop online, try to rely on just your phone. It’s more than enough to do some light emailing and even a bit of writing or journaling, not to mention all the photos you’re going to take. And, unless you’re an influencer, you don’t need to pack a huge camera rig for a week and a half long trip.

Again, it really depends on you and your needs, but packing for longer trips gets a lot easier when you leave the laptop and DSLR at home.

  • Phone
  • Wall charger with at least a 6’ foot cable (10’ cables are great for weirdly positioned outlets in Europe and Asia)
  • Slim travel wallet (or coin purse if you’re traveling to Europe, Australia, or New Zealand)
  • Passport & ID
  • .75L Vapur collapsible water bottle 
  • Bluetooth headphones 
  • Kindle or book, or you can just download Libby and read books (or audiobooks) on your phone
  • Camera and necessary charging cables/battery (if you really need one)
  • External battery or battery phone case (optional)
  • Foreign plug adaptor with USB ports (optional)

In-Flight Essentials

If you’re flying to your destination, it’s nice to have a few essentials for the plane. But a 9-day trip isn’t like moving overseas, so don’t over do it. A cozy pair of socks, a snack, and maybe a nice foam travel pillow are all you need.

  • Socks
  • Blanket scarf / wrap (optional)
  • Noise cancelling headphones (if you didn’t pack them up above)
  • Or, earplugs
  • Travel pillow (“optional,” but not really)
  • Eye mask (optional, but nice for longer flights)
  • Snack (optional)
  • Fanny pack for keeping essentials at hand instead of the overhead compartment (optional)

Luggage

Packing for nine days requires a backpack with a waist strap, even if you get your packing list down to the essentials. It’s also great to travel with a bag that can expand from the slimmer profile you’ll (hopefully) start with to include souvenirs or other bulky items you pick up along the way. 

The expandable carry on-sized Setout Divide is a great size backpack for trips longer than a week. The unexpanded 26L mode should be more than enough space to pack all your clothing and gear, but readily expands to 34L for additional breathing room, which is more than enough for nine days of travel. And the removable hip belt straps mean you can turn your backpack into a great day bag or laptop bag to get around the city after you’ve checked in. You’ll also want to bring along a packable daypack for exploring the city with an extra layer, your guidebook, camera gear, and a bottle of water. If you’re traveling with your laptop, the flat packing 21L Outbreaker Packable Daypack or 26L Setout Laptop Backpack can provide some extra space and security for your sensitive electronics when you’re working on the go.

How to Pack for 10 Days

A week and a half long trip isn’t that much different to pack for than a short weekend trip. You just need a few more items to stretch your clothing a few more days. Invest in one or two travel-friendly fabrics—like a merino wool t-shirt or a travel-friendly pair of pants—to keep your packing list lean, yet still versatile enough to look your best throughout any adventure.

Clothing

For a ten-day trip, you’re going to want to pack clothing that you don’t mind wearing a few times. Remember, you’ll probably be on the move, so you don’t need to impress everyone you meet with a new statement outfit. Everything you wear will be new to them!

Keep your outfits coordinated and interchangeable with three to five shirts/tops, one go-to pair of pants for everyday use, a pair of shorts suited for day trips or trekking (whatever you’re into!) and one lightweight layer like a jacket or long sleeve shirt that can double as something to wear to dinner or in the evening. That might not seem like much, but a few quality shirts and a pair of rugged, stylish travel pants can get you incredibly far on almost any trip for 10 days or more. From this list alone, you can create over a dozen looks for all sorts of conditions and occasions. And that’s assuming you fight off the urge for a few souvenir t-shirts.

For shoes, try to wear just one pair of comfortable, versatile shoes you can wear to just about anything. A second pair of shoes only adds weight and bulk to your bag. Only bring a second pair of shoes or sandals if you know that you’re going to need them for a special event or activity like extreme trekking (not just a day hike!), dancing, or hanging out on the beach all day. The only other exception is a pair of shower shoes for hostels, or if you aren’t sure about the weather during the length of your trip and don’t want your only pair to get soaked.

Wear 

  • 1 pair of pants, shorts, or skirt
  • 1 pair of underwear 
  • 1 pair of socks
  • 1 jacket and/or sweater
  • 1 set of accessories (hat, gloves, scarf)
  • 1 bra

Pack

  • 3-5 tops (t-shirts including one “nice” shirt for evenings or events)
  • 2 tank tops or bottom layer shirts
  • 1 pair of pants or 1 dress
  • 1 pair of shorts
  • 1 pair of pajamas or loungewear (this can be either gym style shorts or long flowy pants)
  • 1 lightweight jacket or long sleeve shirt
  • 4 pairs of underwear
  • 2-3 pairs of socks
  • 1 “sun” accessory (either a hat, scarf/wrap, or sunglasses—not all three)
  • Bathing suit (Always pack something for swimming or even just laundry day)

Toiletries

Keep your toiletry bag as slim and lightweight as possible. Use travel-sized toiletries, and plan to use what your accommodations will provide. For hair and makeup, stick to low-maintenance styles that don’t require a lot of time, product, or extra equipment. Guys, don’t worry about shaving everyday, And everyone, please stop packing hair dryers. They almost never work well in foreign countries, and they’re just the heaviest thing ever.

And if you need more than this list, pick it up while you’re there. It’ll be easier to pack and much easier to fly with fewer toiletries in your bag.

  • Toothbrush
  • 1 travel-size toothpaste (less than 3 oz)
  • Travel-size deodorant (you don’t need the whole big thing)
  • Travel-size sunscreen stick (not lotion, but you can also buy this in country (if needed)
  • Razor (conditioner, soap, or lotion can act as shaving cream) 
  • Basic makeup (if needed)
  • Combo body wash, shampoo, conditioner (if not provided by your accommodation)

Electronics & Other Essentials

Electronics are a very personal thing to pack, but the last thing you want is to be wired to your phone or laptop your entire trip. Stick to the essentials you need to travel and stay connected— phone, wall charger, cable, and maybe a portable battery backup—and take your laptop only if you absolutely need it (i.e. it’s a work trip or you just love to blog). 

In-Flight Essentials

If you’re flying even just there and back, it pays to pack a few essentials for the plane. But a 10-day trip isn’t like moving abroad, so don’t over do it. You’ll have to lug this stuff around the whole time. A cozy pair of socks, a snack, and maybe a nice foam travel pillow are all you need.

  • Socks
  • Blanket scarf / wrap (optional)
  • Noise cancelling headphones
  • Or, earplugs
  • Travel pillow (not really optional anymore)
  • Eye mask (optional, but nice for longer flights)
  • Snack (optional)
  • Fanny pack for keeping essentials at hand instead of the overhead compartment (optional)

Luggage

For a ten-day trip, you need a carry on-sized backpack that includes a waist strap, even if you get your packing list down to the essentials.

The 35L Setout Backpack (available for men and women) is the perfect sized backpack for trips longer than a week and is more than enough room for everything on this list. If you need more space, try the 45L Setout and you’ll have plenty of breathing room.

You’ll also want to bring along a packable daypack for exploring the city with an extra layer, your guidebook, camera gear, and a bottle of water. If you’re traveling with your laptop, the flat packing 21L Outbreaker Packable Daypack or 26L Setout Laptop Backpack can provide some extra space and security for your sensitive electronics when you’re working on the go.

How to Pack for 11 Days

Eleven-day trips are definitely on the longer side, but you can (and should) still pack everything you need in a carry on sized backpack, especially if you plan to be on the move multiple times during your trip. The freedom to show up to the airport, bus station, train station, or even just hopping into the backseat of a taxi or tuk tuk without worrying about your big suitcase is one of the best parts about carry on travel.

The key to packing in a carry on for longer trips is to hone in on the clothing and essentials you absolutely can’t live without, and pack from there. You’ll have room for a few creature comforts, but you’ll be surprised how a few must-have items can get you through even longer trips.

Clothing

Packing for an eleven-day trip requires a little flexibility to cover some unknown variables like weather, delays, and just the serendipity of a longer trip. There’s a reason they only forecast the weather 7-10 days out. No one really knows what’s going to happen on day 11.

Pack 4-5 t-shirts or tops, one long sleeve shirt for layering on chilly (or sunny!) days, a lightweight jacket for chilly nights and AC on planes and busses, and 1-2 pairs of travel pants that go with everything for the entire trip. Remember, you don’t need a separate outfit for every single day—just pieces that match each other.

For shoes, wear just one pair of comfortable, versatile shoes you can use for everything. Shoes are bulky and take up a ton of room in your carry on bag. The only reason to pack a second pair is if you know you’ll need it for something specific, like an intense hike, a festival or event, or you’re really nervous about the weather (no one likes to wear the same damp shoes for days on end).

Wear 

  • 1 pair of pants, shorts, or skirt
  • 1 pair of underwear 
  • 1 pair of socks
  • 1 jacket and/or sweater
  • 1 set of accessories (hat, gloves, scarf)
  • 1 bra

Pack

  • 4-5 tops (t-shirts, including one “nice” shirt for evenings or events)
  • 1 long sleeve shirt
  • 2 tank tops or under layer shirts
  • 2 pairs of pants / 1 dress
  • 1 pair of shorts
  • 1 pair of PJs or loungewear (this can be either gym style shorts or long flowy pants)
  • 1 lightweight jacket or packable down (if needed)
  • 4 pairs of underwear
  • 2-3 pairs of socks
  • 1 “sun” accessory (either a hat, scarf/wrap, or sunglasses—not all three)
  • Bathing suit (Always pack something for swimming or even just laundry day)

Toiletries

Keep your toiletry bag trim and slim. Pack the bare minimum travel-sized toiletries, and rely on your accommodations to provide the rest. For hair and makeup, stick to low-maintenance styles that don’t require a lot of time, product, or equipment. Ditch the blow dryer (please!) and keep extras like lotions, hair gel, perfume, cologne, and shaving equipment to a minimum.

  • Toothbrush
  • 1 travel-size toothpaste (less than 3 oz)
  • Travel-size deodorant (you don’t need the whole big thing)
  • Travel-size sunscreen stick (not lotion, but you can also buy this in country (if needed)
  • Razor (conditioner, soap, or lotion can act as shaving cream) 
  • Basic makeup (if needed)
  • Combo body wash, shampoo, conditioner (if not provided by your accommodation)

Electronics & Other Essentials

Keep your electronics and other items to just the essentials—phone, charger, cables, wallet, passport, credit card. You can do everything on your phone, from booking accommodation, calling a cab, shooting quality video, sharing your trip online, and yes, even checking your email. A portable battery pack can be a lifesaver in certain circumstances, but keep it small (less than 10,000 mAh). And unless you’re on a work trip, or you’re a writer/video editor, you just don’t need a laptop these days—even for longer trips. Keep your bag light, and stay connected to where you are, not the internet.

In-Flight Essentials

If you’re flying even just there and back, it pays to pack a few essentials for the plane. However, odds are you’ll be catching a few trains, planes, or automobiles on an eleven-day trip, so pack for the in-between transit too. A cozy pair of socks, snacks, headphones, and a nice foam travel pillow can make all the difference.

  • Socks
  • Blanket scarf / wrap (optional)
  • Noise cancelling headphones (if you didn’t pack them up above)
  • Or, earplugs
  • Travel pillow (not really optional anymore)
  • Eye mask (optional, but nice for longer flights)
  • Snack (optional)
  • Fanny pack for keeping essentials at hand instead of the overhead compartment (optional)

Luggage

An eleven-day trip is starting to get up there, but you should still try to fit your entire packing list into a 35L carry on sized bag. Packing in a 35L (or smaller!) means you’ll never have to worry about checking your bag, even on budget European airlines

The 35L Setout Backpack is more than large enough for everything on this packing list.

If however, you really want the extra room for a few more pieces of essential gear or extra space to stash souvenirs, the 45L Setout Backpack is a great option for a lot more room in the same convenient design.

You’ll also want to bring along a packable daypack for exploring the city with an extra layer, your guidebook, camera gear, and a bottle of water. If you’re traveling with your laptop, the flat packing 21L Outbreaker Packable Daypack or 26L Setout Laptop Backpack can provide some extra space and security for your sensitive electronics when you’re working on the go.

How to Pack for 12 Days

Packing for twelve days can feel like you need to bring everything in your closet. You don’t. But traveling for nearly two weeks in a carry on bag does mean you’ll need to do at least a little laundry along the way.

Clothing

Pack 4-5 t-shirts or tops, and one long sleeve shirt for layering on chilly (or sunny!) days. It also helps to bring 2 tank tops along for layering on both hot or cool days. A lightweight jacket for chilly nights and AC on planes and busses is a must for longer trips, and 1-2 pairs of travel pants that go with everything for the entire trip is more than enough for twelve days of travel. A pair of shorts rounds out all your options, as well as something to sleep in. Remember, you don’t need to pack a separate outfit for every day—just bring neutral pieces that match each other and you’ll easily make it the entire time only washing a few things.

For shoes, wear just one pair of comfortable, versatile shoes you can use for everything. Shoes are bulky and take up a ton of room in your carry on bag. The only reason to pack a second pair is if you know you’ll need it for something specific, like an intense hike, a festival or event, or you’re really nervous about the weather (no one likes to wear the same damp shoes for days on end).

Wear 

  • 1 pair of pants, shorts, or skirt
  • 1 pair of underwear 
  • 1 pair of socks
  • 1 jacket and/or sweater
  • 1 set of accessories (hat, gloves, scarf)
  • 1 bra

Pack

  • 4-5 tops (t-shirts, including one “nice” shirt for evenings or events)
  • 1 long sleeve shirt
  • 2 tank tops or under layer shirts
  • 2 pairs of pants / 2 dresses
  • 1 pair of shorts
  • 1 pair of pajamas or loungewear (this can be either gym style shorts or long flowy pants)
  • 1 lightweight jacket or packable down (if needed)
  • 4 pairs of underwear
  • 2-3 pairs of socks
  • 1 “sun” accessory (either a hat, scarf/wrap, or sunglasses—not all three)
  • Bathing suit (Always pack something for swimming or even just laundry day)

Toiletries

Packing a toiletry bag for 12 days is the same as packing for a long weekend. You don’t need that much more stuff, since most travel-sized products can go the distance for up to two weeks. Rely on your accommodations to provide soap, shampoo, and the rest, and remember, you can always pick up more stuff along the way. They have toiletries all over the world (and often for a lot cheaper than what you’d pay for it back home!). 

For hair and makeup, stick to low-maintenance styles that don’t require a lot of time, product, or equipment. That means, trim your nails, and maybe get a haircut before you trip if you can. And please leave the blow dryer at home. It’s the worst thing you can pack. Really. Finally, keep extras like lotions, hair gel, perfume, cologne, and shaving equipment to a minimum, relying on a lightly scented soap or deodorant to power you through your day.

  • Toothbrush
  • 1 travel-size toothpaste (less than 3 oz)
  • Travel-size deodorant (you don’t need the whole big thing)
  • Travel-size sunscreen stick (not lotion, but you can also buy this in country (if needed)
  • Razor (conditioner, soap, or lotion can act as shaving cream) 
  • Basic makeup (if needed)
  • Combo body wash, shampoo, conditioner (if not provided by your accommodation)

Electronics & Other Essentials

Traveling for nearly two weeks without your full array of electronics can be a problem for a lot of people. However, just “tossing in” a few additional items can add extra cables, charging bricks, batteries, and accessories. Really strive to keep your tech and accessory packing list to your everyday carry essentials including your phone, wallet, a charger and cable, passport and ID, and maybe a portable battery charger, but keep it small (less than 10,000 mAh).

Unless you’re on a work trip, or you’re a writer/video editor, you just don’t need a laptop these days—even for longer trips. Keep your bag light, and stay connected to where you are, not the internet.

In-Flight Essentials

Traveling for twelve days means you’ll be on the move a lot. That means packing some lightweight, portable creature comforts for the plane, train, and inevitable bus or long car ride. A cozy pair of socks, snacks, headphones, and a nice foam travel pillow can make all the difference on longer trips.

  • Socks
  • Blanket scarf / wrap (optional)
  • Noise cancelling headphones (if you didn’t pack them up above)
  • Or, earplugs
  • Travel pillow (not really optional anymore)
  • Eye mask (optional, but nice for longer flights)
  • Snack (optional)
  • Fanny pack for keeping essentials at hand instead of the overhead compartment (optional)

Luggage

An twelve-day trip can feel like a lifetime if you pack the wrong size bag. Packing in a 35L backpack means you’ll never have to worry about checking your bag, even on budget European airlines. It also means you’ll stay light and nimble as you explore every destination on your bucket list.

The 35L Setout Backpack is great for minimalist packing and it is more than large enough for everything on this packing list. It even includes removable waist belt straps if you want to lighten the load.

If however, you really need the extra room for a few more pieces of essential gear, clothing, or extra space to stash souvenirs, the 45L Setout Backpack is a fantastic bag with even more room in the same convenient design. You’ll also want to bring along a packable daypack for exploring the city with an extra layer, your guidebook, camera gear, and a bottle of water. If you’re traveling with your laptop, the flat packing 21L Outbreaker Packable Daypack or 26L Setout Laptop Backpack can provide some extra space and security for your sensitive electronics when you’re working on the go.

How to Pack for 13 Days

Packing in a carry on for thirteen days is easy—if you commit to bringing just your favorite clothing and essential gear. Even so, you’ll probably need to do at least a little laundry while traveling.

Clothing

Pack 4-5 t-shirts or tops, and at least one long sleeve shirt for layering on chilly (or sunny!) days depending on your destination and the time of year. Packing two tank tops as under layers is a great way to stretch how long you can wear each top. A lightweight jacket for chilly nights and AC on planes and busses is a must for any two-week long trip, and 1-2 pairs of travel pants that go with everything for the entire trip is more than enough for thirteen days of travel. A comfy pair of travel shorts rounds out all your options, as well as a pair of shorts or pajamas to sleep in. 

Remember, you don’t need to pack a separate outfit for every day—just bring neutral pieces that match each other and you’ll easily make it the entire time only washing a few items.

For shoes, it’s still important to wear just one pair of comfortable, versatile shoes you can use for everything. A second pair of shoes take up a ton of room in your carry on bag. Only pack another pair of shoes if you need them for something specific, like an intense hike, a festival, going out dancing, or you’re really nervous about the weather (damp shoes are the worst).

Wear 

  • 1 pair of pants, shorts, or skirt
  • 1 pair of underwear 
  • 1 pair of socks
  • 1 jacket and/or sweater
  • 1 set of accessories (hat, gloves, scarf)
  • 1 bra

Pack

  • 4-5 tops (t-shirts, including one “nice” shirt for evenings or events)
  • 1 long sleeve shirt
  • 2 tank tops or under layer shirts
  • 2 pairs of pants / 2 dresses
  • 1 pair of shorts
  • 1 pair of PJs or loungewear (this can be either gym style shorts or long flowy pants)
  • 1 lightweight jacket or packable down (if needed)
  • 4 pairs of underwear (wash them after a few wears)
  • 2-3 pairs of socks
  • 1 “sun” accessory (either a hat, scarf/wrap, or sunglasses—not all three)
  • Bathing suit (Always pack something for swimming or even just laundry day)

Toiletries

Packing a toiletry bag for nearly two weeks is basically like packing for a long weekend. Most travel-sized products can last for days, but your accommodation will almost certainly provide soap and shampoo. And remember, you can always pick up more stuff along the way.

For hair and makeup, stick to low-maintenance styles that don’t require a lot of time, product, or equipment. That means trim your nails before you leave, and maybe even get a haircut before you trip if you can. And ditch the blow dryer. You don’t need it. Lastly, keep extras like lotions, hair gel, perfume, cologne, and shaving equipment to a minimum. Soap and deodorant are all you really need on the road.

  • Toothbrush
  • 1 travel-size toothpaste (less than 3 oz)
  • Travel-size deodorant (you don’t need the whole big thing)
  • Travel-size sunscreen stick (not lotion, but you can also buy this in country (if needed)
  • Razor (conditioner, soap, or lotion can act as shaving cream) 
  • Basic makeup (if needed)
  • Combo body wash, shampoo, conditioner (if not provided by your accommodation)

Electronics & Other Essentials

Traveling for thirteen days without all your gizmos and electronics can feel like an eternity, but bringing more expensive gear than you need will quickly bog down your bag (as well as making you more nervous about all your stuff!). If you need to get work done, by all means bring your laptop, but really strive to keep extra cameras, chargers, and other gear to a minimum. 

Pack your EDC essentials—phone, wallet, charger, cable, passport and ID, and maybe a portable battery charger, but keep it small (less than 10,000 mAh)—and you’ll be footloose and fancy free.

In-Flight Essentials

Thirteen days of travel means you’ll be on the move after you arrive, so pack a few lightweight, creature comforts for any additional flights, trains, or long bus rides. A cozy pair of socks, snacks, headphones, and a nice foam travel pillow are game changers on longer trips.

  • Socks
  • Blanket scarf / wrap (optional)
  • Noise cancelling headphones (if you didn’t pack them up above)
  • Or, earplugs
  • Travel pillow (not really optional anymore)
  • Eye mask (optional, but nice for longer flights)
  • Snack (optional)
  • Fanny pack for keeping essentials and valuables at hand instead of the overhead compartment (optional)

Luggage

Bringing a huge bag on a thirteen day trip is a mistake you’ll pay for every single day. Don’t panic and pack a huge backpack or suitcase just because you’re traveling for a long time. Packing for two weeks in 35L or even 45L backpack means you’ll never have to worry about checking your bag, even on budget European airlines. It also means you’ll stay light and nimble enough to explore every destination on your bucket list without the fatigue of lugging around a monster backpack.

The 35L Setout Backpack is great for long-haul minimalists, thanks to a few streamlined storage compartments and a large main compartment. It even includes removable waist belt straps if you want to lighten the load. 35L is more than large enough for everything on this packing list, but if you really need the extra room for a few more pieces of essential gear, clothing, or extra space to stash souvenirs, the 45L Setout Backpack is a fantastic bag with even more room in the same convenient design.

You’ll also want to bring along a packable daypack for exploring the city with an extra layer, your guidebook, camera gear, and a bottle of water. If you’re traveling with your laptop, the flat packing 21L Outbreaker Packable Daypack or 26L Setout Laptop Backpack can provide some extra space and security for your sensitive electronics when you’re working on the go.

How to Pack for 2 Weeks

Packing for a two week trip isn’t that much different than packing for a few days. You just need a couple of extra items and the right size carry on bag to keep your packing list streamlined and organized. Obviously, check the weather before you go, and add any specialty gear you might need, but the real secret is keeping your list to a few versatile clothing items and just your essential tech and other gear.

Clothing

Pack 4-5 t-shirts or tops, and at one long sleeve shirt for layering on chilly (or even sunny) days. Tank tops make great under layers, and packing one or two can stretch how long you can wear each top to last for most of your trip. A lightweight jacket for chilly nights or air-conditioned planes and busses is a must for any two-week long trip, and 1-2 pairs of travel pants that go with everything for the entire trip is more than enough for fourteen days of travel. A comfy pair of travel shorts rounds out all your options for warm of muggy days, as well as a pair of shorts or PJs to sleep in. 

Remember, you don’t need to pack a separate outfit for every day—just bring neutral pieces that match each other and you’ll easily make it the entire two weeks with just a single wash.

For shoes, it’s important to wear just one pair of comfortable, versatile shoes you can use for everything. Extra shoes take up a ton of room in your carry on bag, and you just don’t need them in most cases. Only pack another pair of shoes if you’re doing something specific, like going on an intense hike, raging at a music festival, going out dancing, or you’re really nervous about the weather (damp shoes are the worst).

Wear 

  • 1 pair of pants, shorts, or skirt
  • 1 pair of underwear 
  • 1 pair of socks
  • 1 jacket and/or sweater
  • 1 set of accessories (hat, gloves, scarf)
  • 1 bra

Pack

  • 4-5 tops (t-shirts, including one “nice” shirt for evenings or events)
  • 1 long sleeve shirt
  • 2 tank tops or under layer shirts
  • 2 pairs of pants / 2 dresses
  • 1 pair of shorts
  • 1 pair of pajamas or loungewear (this can be either gym style shorts or long flowy pants)
  • 1 lightweight jacket or packable down (if needed)
  • 4 pairs of underwear (wash them after a few wears)
  • 2-3 pairs of socks
  • 1 “sun” accessory (either a hat, scarf/wrap, or sunglasses—not all three)
  • Bathing suit (Always pack something for swimming or even just laundry day)

Toiletries

Packing a toiletry bag for two weeks is essentially like packing for a long weekend. Most travel-sized products can last for days—even weeks—and your accommodation will almost certainly provide you with soap and shampoo. And remember, you can always pick up more stuff along the way if you need to.

For hair and makeup, stick to low-maintenance styles that don’t require a lot of time, product, or equipment. That means trimming (or painting) your nails before you leave, and even get a haircut before you trip if you can. Leave the blow dryer at home (or in the garbage can), and keep extras like lotions, hair gel, perfume, and cologne to a minimum.

  • Toothbrush
  • 1 travel-size toothpaste (less than 3 oz)
  • Travel-size deodorant (you won’t need the whole big thing)
  • Travel-size sunscreen stick (not lotion, but you can also buy this in country if needed)
  • Razor (conditioner, soap, or lotion can act as shaving cream) 
  • Basic makeup (if needed)
  • Combo body wash, shampoo, conditioner (if not provided by your accommodation)

Electronics & Other Essentials

Traveling for thirteen days without all your gizmos and electronics can feel like an eternity, but bringing more expensive gear than you need will quickly bog down your bag (as well as making you more nervous about all your stuff!). If you need to get work done, by all means bring your laptop, but really strive to keep extra cameras, chargers, and other gear to a minimum. 

Pack your everyday carry essentials (EDC)—phone, wallet, charger, cable, passport and ID, and maybe a portable battery charger, but keep it small (less than 10,000 mAh)—and you’ll be footloose and fancy free.

In-Flight Essentials

Thirteen days of travel means you’ll be on the move after you arrive, so pack a few lightweight, creature comforts for any additional flights, trains, or long bus rides. A cozy pair of socks, snacks, headphones, and a nice foam travel pillow are game changers on longer trips.

  • Socks
  • Blanket scarf / wrap (optional)
  • Noise cancelling headphones (if you didn’t pack them up above)
  • Or, earplugs
  • Travel pillow (not really optional anymore)
  • Eye mask (optional, but nice for longer flights)
  • Snack (optional)
  • Fanny pack for keeping essentials and valuables at hand instead of the overhead compartment (optional)

Luggage

One of the biggest mistakes you can make on a two-week trip is bringing an oversized bag. You don’t need a massive bag to travel for two weeks. You can pack everything you need for two weeks in 35L or 45L backpack, and avoid expensive checked baggage fees, even on budget European airlines. Packing for two-week trips in a carry on backpack also means you’ll stay light and nimble enough to explore every destination on your bucket list without the fatigue of lugging around a monster bag.

The 35L Setout Backpack is great for long-haul minimalists, thanks to a few streamlined storage compartments and a large main compartment. It even includes removable waist belt straps if you want to lighten the load. 35L is more than large enough for everything on this packing list, but if you really need the extra room for a few more pieces of essential gear, clothing, or extra space to stash souvenirs, the 45L Setout Backpack is a fantastic bag with even more room in the same convenient design. 

You’ll also want to bring along a packable daypack for exploring the city with an extra layer, your guidebook, camera gear, and a bottle of water. If you’re traveling with your laptop, the flat packing 21L Outbreaker Packable Daypack or 26L Setout Laptop Backpack can provide some extra space and security for your sensitive electronics when you’re working on the go.

How to Pack for Longer Trips (More than 2 Weeks)

Packing for more than two weeks can feel like you need to load up everything you own. But honestly, packing for an extended trip isn’t that much different than packing a bag for a few days. You just need a couple of extra items and the right size carry on bag to keep your packing list streamlined and organized. Packing quality fabrics helps, as does checking the weather before you go for any specialty gear, but the real secret to packing for long trips is to keep your packing list to a few versatile clothing items and just the essential gear.

Clothing

Packing a carry on backpack for more than two weeks doesn’t mean bring along 10 shirts. 4-5 t-shirts, a few tank tops (for your base layer), and one long sleeve shirt for layering on chilly (or even sunny) days is plenty. A lightweight jacket for chilly nights or air-conditioned planes and busses is a must for any trip longer than two weeks, and 1-2 pairs of travel pants that go with everything for the entire trip is all you need to travel indefinitely. A comfy pair of travel shorts rounds out all your options for warm of muggy days, as well as a pair of shorts or pajamas to sleep in. 

Remember, you don’t need to pack a separate outfit for every day—just bring neutral pieces that match each other and you’ll easily make it the entire two weeks (or more!) with just a single wash.

For shoes, it’s important to wear just one pair of comfortable, versatile shoes you can use for everything. Extra shoes take up a ton of room in your carry on bag, and you just don’t need them in most cases. Only pack another pair of shoes if you’re doing something specific, like going on an intense hike, raging at a music festival, going out dancing, or you’re really nervous about the weather (damp shoes are the worst). If you have to pack an extra pair of shoes, make them lightweight sandals or espadrilles like Toms to keep your bag light.

Wear 

  • 1 pair of pants, shorts, or skirt
  • 1 pair of underwear 
  • 1 pair of socks
  • 1 jacket and/or sweater
  • 1 set of accessories (hat, gloves, scarf)
  • 1 bra

Pack

  • 4-5 tops (t-shirts, including one “nice” shirt for evenings or events)
  • 1 long sleeve shirt
  • 2 tank tops or under layer shirts
  • 2 pairs of pants / 2 dresses
  • 1 pair of shorts
  • 1 pair of pajamass or loungewear (this can be either gym style shorts or long flowy pants)
  • 1 lightweight jacket or packable down (if needed)
  • 4 pairs of underwear (wash them after a few wears)
  • 2-3 pairs of socks
  • 1 “sun” accessory (either a hat, scarf/wrap, or sunglasses—not all three)
  • Bathing suit (Always pack something for swimming or even just laundry day)

Toiletries

Packing a toiletry bag for a long trip is almost the same as packing for a long weekend. You just need to add a few crucial items and pick up replacement toiletries along the way. Most travel-sized products can last for days—even weeks—and your accommodation will almost certainly provide you with soap and shampoo. And remember, you can always pick up something you really need along the way. Don’t “prepare the worst” with your toiletries or you’ll end up lugging around a lot of extra stuff. 

For hair and makeup, stick to low-maintenance styles that don’t require a lot of time, product, or equipment. That means trimming (or painting) your nails and maybe even get a haircut before your trip. Leave the blow dryer at home (or in the nearest garbage can), and keep extras like lotions, hair gel, perfume, and cologne to a minimum.

  • Toothbrush (splurge on a good one like a Quip if you’re traveling for a long time)
  • 1 travel-size toothpaste (less than 3 oz)
  • Travel-size deodorant (you don’t need the whole big thing)
  • Travel-size sunscreen stick (sun lotion isn’t TSA friendly, and you can buy more when you land)
  • Razor (conditioner, soap, or lotion can act as shaving cream) 
  • Basic makeup (if needed)
  • Combo body wash, shampoo, conditioner (if not provided by your accommodation)
  • Nail clippers (for longer trips)

Electronics & Other Essentials

Traveling for more than two weeks means bringing along some of your tech and other gear to stay connected with work, friends, and family. However, bringing more gear than you need will quickly bog down your bag (as well as making you more nervous about all your expensive, fragile stuff!). If you need to get work done, by all means bring your laptop, but really strive to keep extra cameras, chargers, and other gear to a minimum. 

Pack your EDC essentials—phone, wallet, charger, cable, passport and ID, and maybe a portable battery charger, but keep it small (less than 10,000 mAh)—and you’ll be footloose and fancy free.

  • Phone
  • Wall charger with at least a 6’ foot cable (10’ cables are better for weirdly positioned outlets)
  • Slim travel wallet (or coin purse if you’re traveling to Europe, Australia, or New Zealand)
  • Passport & ID
  • .75L Vapur collapsible water bottle 
  • Bluetooth headphones 
  • Kindle or book (optional)
  • Laptop w/ charger (if needed)
  • Camera and necessary charging cables/battery (if you really need one)
  • 10000mAh external battery or battery phone case (optional)
  • Foreign plug adaptor (optional)

In-Flight Essentials

Traveling for long periods of time means you’ll be on the move after your initial flight. Pack a few lightweight, creature comforts for those additional flights, trains, or long bus rides and you’ll arrive fresh and ready to explore every single day. A cozy pair of socks, snacks, headphones, and a nice foam travel pillow are game changers on trips longer than two weeks.

  • Socks
  • Blanket scarf / wrap (optional)
  • Noise cancelling headphones (if you didn’t pack them up above)
  • Or, earplugs
  • Travel pillow (not really optional anymore)
  • Eye mask (optional, but nice for longer flights)
  • Snack (optional)
  • Fanny pack or packable daypack for keeping essentials and valuables at hand instead of the overhead compartment (optional)

Luggage

Bringing an oversized bag is one of the worst mistakes you can make on longer trips. You don’t need a 70L backpack or rolling suitcase to travel for weeks at a time. You can pack everything you need for longer trips in a 35L or 45L backpack, and avoid expensive checked baggage fees, even on budget European airlines. Packing for long trips in a carry on backpack also means you’ll stay light and nimble enough to explore every destination on your bucket list without the fatigue of lugging around a behemoth bag.

The 35L Setout Backpack is great for long-haul minimalists, thanks to a few streamlined storage compartments and a large main compartment to keep everything in place and at hand. 35L is more than large enough for everything on this packing list, but if you really need the extra room for a few more pieces of essential gear, clothing, or extra space to stash souvenirs, the 45L Setout Backpack is a fantastic bag with even more room in the same convenient design.

You’ll also want to bring along a packable daypack for exploring the city with an extra layer, your guidebook, camera gear, and a bottle of water. If you’re traveling with your laptop, the flat packing 21L Outbreaker Packable Daypack or 26L Setout Laptop Backpack can provide some extra space and security for your sensitive electronics when you’re working on the go.

 

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