Because I’m a long-term traveler, it’s hard to believe I only use this carry-on size bag. However, I’ve got a few packing tips up my sleeve. I recently got a great question from one of my readers and thought I’d share my reply with you. Find out my long-term travel packing secrets!

 


TFG, Do You Really Travel Carry On Only?


 

Reader asks:

Hi Alex! I love your website, it has helped me a lot towards becoming a lighter packer!

You said you´ve been traveling non-stop for the last few years. But it seems that you own a lot more “stuff” than what it´s in your backpack (I say this because you´ve shown so many examples of what to pack, and each time is a different set of clothes). Is this true?

If yes, where do you keep your “other stuff” when you´re not actually on the road? Or I’m mistaken, do you carry all your belongings with you at all times?

I remember reading recently that you´ll “settle” somewhere for the next few months. In this case, do you stick to your tips on this post? Or do you allow yourself to grow a larger wardrobe and ditch some items the next time you move on?

Thanks so much for all your tips, and keep inspiring us to be lighter travelers! =)

 

This is a great question and I’d love to clarify a few things about my personal packing strategy. To answer her questions:

 

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Do you own more stuff than fits in your backpack?

Yes I own or buy more items than I show in my luggage but I don’t travel with everything at once.

I usually replenish my clothing per region. For example, if my travels take me to Central America I create one capsule travel wardrobe. If I go to Asia or Europe I create different ones.

Generally it seems I spend my time between 2-3 “regions” per year so I purchase new wardrobes about 2-3 times per year. It may seem like a big expense but I could buy this many clothes a few times in just one month when I had my regular lifestyle in LA.

The visuals shown in these international packing lists are not all clothing I own instead they are meant to help give you an idea of appropriate things you can pack.

 

If yes, where do you keep your “other stuff” when you´re not actually on the road? Or I´m mistaken, do you carry all your belongings with you at all times?

My hometown is Los Angeles so it’s the perfect stop over for trips between Asia and South/North America. Also, my boyfriend’s hometown is in England so whenever we pass through either of these places I replenish my gear and store my old items if necessary.

If I’m on the road and want to replace many things at once, I occasionally ship a box back to my mom’s house in LA when needed. Otherwise, I sell, donate, or give other people things I no longer need or want while traveling.

 

I remember reading recently that you´ll “settle” somewhere for the next few months. In this case, do you stick to your tips on this post? Or do you allow yourself to grow a larger wardrobe and ditch some items the next time you move on?

I am constantly buying new things and replacing items. Since I’m on the road as a lifestyle I get bored with my things easily since I wear them all the time.

Whenever I “settle” somewhere for more than a month I buy things locally and add more items to my Maximista capsule wardrobe. This is super fun for me because I get to go shopping and don’t have to worry about owning too much. Once I leave, I re-asses my travel wardrobe and take the things I like most and that make the most sense for my next destination.

 

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Hope this gives you a better idea about how I manage to pack carry-on only in my long-term travels. Got any more packing questions for me?


For more insight into my personal packing strategy as a long-term traveler, please read:


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