Travel Essentials Packing List


PLEASE NOTE: The dress featured in this set is SOLD OUT. It was originally from (brand unknown). Here is a similar black dress. The BKE Dakota Convertible pant is from

Travel Essentials 9 Piece Packing List 2012

For an updated version of this Travel Essentials packing list, please refer to the Spring 2013 10 Piece Travel Essentials Packing List.

How to know if this packing list is for you:

Whether you’re going on a Round-the-World trip or a 2 week vacation, the Travel Essentials packing list shows you how to pack light and have the right clothes you need for your trip. If you’re low maintenance or you just want to pack light; the Travel Essentials Packing List offers you the ability to maximize your travel outfits with minimal travel gear in a small pack.

To learn more about customizing TFG’s Packing Lists to meet your needs, please read this guide.

Where are you traveling?

This list is equally perfect if you’re traveling for business, going on a fun weekend getaway, or if you’re a minimalist traveler going on a long term trip. It’s all about choosing the right clothing pieces to fit the needs of your travels, and making sure that you can mix and match each item. Both Erica from OverYonderlust and Brandy from It’s One World Travel choose to travel with less than 10 clothing items in their backpack.


Hand washing is a good idea with the Travel Essentials Packing List because you’re traveling with less than 10 clothing items.  Travelers tend to wear travel clothes for several days in between washings so you can also wait to have your laundry done.

For a minimalist packing trip like this one, you’ll probably be doing lots of hand washing so you might also want to get a few additional items like a universal rubber sink plug, laundry clothesline, and a few handy laundry soap sheets to make this process a breeze!

Guidelines to choose appropriate items:

Learn how to mix and match these 9 clothing items into 26 travel outfits in the Travel Essentials Style Mix! A few accessories help create dozens of looks that will continually refresh any travel wardrobe even while on an extended trip.

As with all the lists, it is important to select clothing items that work well together and can be used interchangeably.

  • Color: One Color Story – solids, patterns within the same color story
  • Fabric: Durable, quick dry, synthetics
  • Cut: Good Fit, classic styles that match with everything
  • Style: Appropriate in various settings: Beach, Temples, Villages, Cities, Treks, etc
  • Travel Bag: 35-40 Liter Backpack suggested or carryon size weekender bag or suitcase.

For a complete guide to choosing your perfect wardrobe, sign up for the free Travel Essentials Packing Guide e-book.

9 Piece Travel Essentials Packing List

4 Tops + 4 Bottoms + 1 Dress

Three Tank Tops/Short Sleeve Tops in the heat or Three Long Sleeves for Cooler Climates – Synthetic fabric, quick dry, solid colors or simple prints. Classic cuts that can be worn under dress or button up shirt to match and provide extra coverage if needed. Tunics are versatile and can be worn in more than ways than regular length tops.

One Long Sleeve Button Up Shirt – Light Fabric, Synthetics, polyester, or silk blend. Able to layer over other tops and dresses as a light jacket or cover up

Three Pants - Travel Pants, Jeans, and leggings are all good options for travel. Light cargo pants are good and have multiple uses. Water Resistant properties encouraged but quick dry fabrics are important due to the minimal amount of clothing. Jeans work well on shorter vacations, trips to metropolitan cities, or cool climates. Remember, jeans may be heavy but they hardly have to be washed.

One Skirt – Maxi skirts work well in a variety of settings and are both fashionable and conservative

One Travel Dress – Light Fabric, Solid Vibrant Color/Print or Neutral Khaki or Little Black Dress. A sun dress is idea that can be worn casually during the day and dressed up at night. Convertible dress/skirts are ideal

Outerwear – One Fleece/Hoodie/Cardigan and /or Water Resistant Jacket/Coat depending on weather

One Bathing Suit - Reversible bathing suits allow you to mix and match. Choose one that has a neutral shade on one side so it can easily double up as a bra under your tops

One Bra – neutral color that matches with all your tops. Read about choosing the best bras for travel.

One Sports Bra – if you plan on doing activities or have long bumpy transportation journeys

Five-Seven Pairs of Travel Underwear - quick dry, avoid 100% cotton

Two/Three pairs of shoes – One Pair of Flip Flops/Sandals/Flats and One Pair of Trainers/Hiking Hybrids. If you have space for a third pair, pack something to dress up your travel outfits. Read more about finding fashionable and comfortable travel shoes.

One belt that can be worn with pants and dress for practical style

A complete set of costume jewelry – one of each: earrings, ring, necklace, bracelet

Multi-use Stick (check out the Nars Multiple Stick)

Mascara, Eye Liner, Lip Gloss

Mix and Match Travel Clothing - 8 pieces of clothing make 26 travel outfits - Minimalist Packing thumb

To learn how to mix and match 26 travel outfits with these 9 clothing pieces, check out the  Travel Essentials Packing List Style-Mix

If you want to pack light but need more than a handful of clothing items, check out the other Universal Packing Lists and to shop functional and stylish travel gear, check out the Travel Fashion Girl Shop.

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