RTW Shopping List: So Much Debate!

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RTW Shopping List

After reading through many different travel sites and travel blogs about what is really needed before traveling around the world, it is obvious that there are many different opinions on what to bring on a trip around the world!

Since it is roughly 4 months until we leave, I thought it would be helpful to start gathering insights and suggestions from travellers out there who have done this before.  Read through the list below and let Alyse and I know what we really need before departing to our first destination.

Potential Shopping List

Backpacks/Travel Bags

I think we can all agree of the get go that investing in a good backpack is key to a successful trip and is arguably the most important item to purchase before traveling.  Some key characteristics many travelers state to be the most important include: Comfortable, Durable, Lightweight, Breathable, and Accessible.   We both purchased Osprey backpacks (Mine is a 65L Waypoint and Alyse’s is a 55L Farpoint) because of word-of-mouth recommendations from other travelers who rave about their superior comfort level (most can be adjusted to fit the individual and unique body shape of the traveler), their intuitive designs and their best in class guarantees.  P.S. Don’t forget to buy a Rain Cover for you bag unless it comes with it!


Compression Sacks

When it comes to saving space in your bag, every inch counts and I think with some compression sacks not only do they save you some extra space, but they can be useful separating dirty or wet clothing inside the bag, and to top it off they are waterproof.  We purchased  “Sea to Summit” Compression sacks like the one below.

Travel Towel

Having quick dry towels are probably going to come in very handy on the road, seeing as not every hostel or camping area will offer something to dry with.   We definitely will not want to let a wet towel slow us down on the road!

Head Lamp (Torch)

With plans to explore caverns in Belize, camping in South Africa and hiking in Peru, a good head lamp will be important to have.  Even trying to navigate around a hostel at night might prove challenging without one as well.


I debated for a long time about what type of camera to purchase for our travels.  I could go into a lot of depth into why I made the decision I did, and perhaps I will in a future post, but it came down to my desire for picture quality over portability.  With that in mind I purchase a DSLR, a Canon T4i, which I absolutely love so far.  It takes amazing pictures and 1080 video which will be awesome to document our adventure.  We also own a point and shoot, Sony, which we will use when bringing out the more bulky and expensive DSLR is not appropriate or advantageous.   I was concerned when deciding whether to purchase the DSLR about putting a target on our backs for theft, but from the travelers I have talked to, most never felt uncomfortable using it and the ones that did would just use their point and shoot.  I also did a lot of research on the new category of cameras, the Mirrorless Interchangeable Lense segment, which boasts a smaller body more suitable for travel while supposedly not giving up anything in the picture quality department.  However, the lack of available lenses is a downside as is the fact that once you put the lenses on these mirrorless cameras, they are almost as big as a DSLR so you really do not save a lot of space at the end of the day.

Universal Adapter

Having a universal adapter so that we can charge our Ipad, Laptop, and Cameras is absolutely essential.

Silk Sleep Sack

Some travelers state they never use the sleep sack while others claim it be a lifesaver in certain countries.  Let’s be honest, not every bed we will be staying in will offer the same cleanliness and comforts of home.  I think that fact that this sack can provide a layer of protection against bed bugs and other critters, while helping to prevent sweating for the traveler makes it a must for any RTW traveler.  UPDATE: After looking at the price of the silk sleep sacks vs. the ClimaCool Cotton ones, we opted for the Cotton Sacks, cheaper and not the at much heavier.

Travel Underwear and Socks

Durable, quick drying underwear for the world traveler.  Seeing as though we will be spending the majority of our time in hot humid climates, this will be a good purchase!

Travel Water Purifier

Clean drinking water can be very hard to come by on the road, so having something to sterilize the water for us quickly while also being small enough to travel the world with is essential in our opinion.  I have purchased the SteriPEN Traveler Mini.  It uses UV light to destroy more than 99.999% of the pathogens in the water giving you peace of mind that you are drinking clean water on the road.  A major concern in a lot of countries.


Alyse and I are very interested to hear your suggestions on if there’s anything we have missed!  We will update everyone on the road as to what we feel we missed and what we felt we didn’t need in the first place.





Lover of travel, photography, nature, movies, and nachos. If you love Star Wars and Lord of the Rings we'll probably become best friends.

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