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  • Writer's pictureSara Poppelaars

How to pack for a long term trip!

Updated: Jan 15, 2021

I will never claim to be a light packer, because I’m not. I blame this on my tendency to always want to be prepared. I hate being caught off guard or not feeling prepared. So as you could imagine this seemed to be a tad difficult when I had to pack for an 11 week trip. Space was limited by how much car space we had (like really limited). And as added hurdles, I needed to be prepared for basically all four seasons, I will be working remotely while traveling (i.e. need all the monitor space I can carry) and at the start and end of the nearly 3 month hiatus, I will be flying. So I’m breaking down my 11+ week packing guide for you. I definitely brought some non necessary items and I’ll break those down too. At the end I’ll also evaluate how I felt like I packed.

This is weird ,but am I the only one who is obsessed with bags? I love getting a new backpack (not like I ever need them) or piece of luggage. My favorite luggage pieces:

Lululemon duffel (good sized carry on, has a laptop sleeve)

Lululemon backpack (laptop sleeve holds my 16 inch MacBook and travel monitor)

Calpak Roller (Carry on sized, but I checked this! I love the hard sided roller)

Travel duffel: folds up, didn’t need to use it on the way down but will have to use it as additional checked bag on the way back, too many souvenirs :)

Gregory hydration pack and hiking backpack (great for hiking in the dessert, love carrying 3L of water with me, and the perfect size for a day hiking pack)


A puffy jacket (Packable, light and WARM, bonus points if your puffy is waterproof with a hood) I love REI brand

A waterPROOF jacket, note waterproof is different from water resistant and I highly recommend waterPROOF

A sweatshirt - do yourself a favor and bring your favorite sweatshirt, something cozy and comforting. I hate when I get ambitious and think I don’t need my favorite 'worn in' sweatshirt (I always regret not bringing)

Patagonia Zip up - I knew I’d be in the mountains in Utah in December and had no idea how cold it would be, this Patagonia zip up with a puffy jacket would be my extra warm outfit and it worked great.

Puffy Vest - you know that weather when it’s not quite cold enough for a full down coat? This vest over a sweatshirt was perfect and such a classic PNW outfit.

Bomber Lululemon coat - Meant to be my more “fashionable” jacket, it’s a waterproof bomber jacket that’s also reversible (2 for 1!)

Light pull over - This has been great to throw on, it’s packable (packs into it’s own little pouch), cute and functional.

1 pair of versatile jeans (and belt)

2 sweaters

4 non workout tops

4 workout tops (hiking/working out and I wear athleisure most days)

4 pairs of leggings

1 pair of sweats/long sleeve to sleep in

2 pair of workout shorts

Enough socks/underwear/bras (Highly recommend a few pair of wool socks)


Dr. Scholl Slip ons

Brooks running shoes

Brooks trail running shoes (my favorite to hike in, super light weight)

Tevas (for beach walks and no shame wearing with socks before and after hiking)

Birkenstock slides (to walk around in in the house)

Waterproof shoes (nice on the rainy Oregon coast, pair with wool socks for some nice cold weather footwear)


A beanie and cold weather headband/ear warmer

My 2 favorite baseball hats

A scarf


Pillow! (I was not about to gamble if the Airbnbs were going to have comfortable pillows for the next 3 months)

Hydroflask water bottle

Yeti coffee cup (This has been awesome to make coffee or tea and have in the car on the way to hikes or weekend excursions)


For work:

Work laptop, headset, mouse, chargers

Portable 16 inch monitor (on of my favorite investments, folds down to the size of a laptop but doubles my screen space for working)

Power cords (For some reason power outlets never seem to be in a convenient area)

Personal computer/charger

Polaroid Camera/film (this is bulky and not necessary but I’ve loved being able to document my trip with cute polaroids and even take some extras to send to family over time)

GoPro (Love having an action camera that is waterproof during adventures and not stress over my overly expensive phone)


Long ethernet cord (Picked this up on our first stop/first day of working from airbnb after realizing our wifi was not as strong as guaranteed).

Odds & Ends:

First aid with commonly used medications/first aid (obviously you would be able to buy everything most places but I put together a little kit since I had extra items at home for just in case issues)


A book (I wish I would have just had bought on kindle or something I could read online)

A popup hamper from the dollar store (I’m just particular and knew this $1.00 small purchase would make my life easier and help me keep my room more organized)

Stasher bags and Tupperware (This is a more 'nice to have' I love cooking and honestly hate when I have to buy little things because an Airbnb kitchen isn’t stocked. I had extra Snapware Tupperware that I love and don’t mind leaving at airbnb at the end of the day and love Stasher bags for left overs, hiking snacks, marinading meat. They’re dishwasher safe, can be heated up, refrigerated or frozen)

A yoga mat - I wish I had looked for a travel yoga mat but I’ve used this quite a bit to stretch, plank, workout or just lay

Overall, I’ve felt like I used everything I brought! I am excited to wear “new” clothes from my closet when I go back home but I think I packed relatively well.

A few things I bought along the way: A mug, a cookbook. Drop your favorite travel gear/tips! I’m always looking for new travel gear and tips on helping me a better and more functional packer.

Unfortunately I was caught wearing the same jacket in (almost) all my pictures, but whatever, it was warm and comfortable obviously.


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