Packing For Our First Trip

Packing For Our First Trip on

Packing always reminds me of the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears.

You don’t want to pack too much, since lugging a heavy bag around while traveling is no fun. But you also don’t want to pack too little. It’s hard to decide what to bring and what to leave behind. And when you’re heading abroad for three months to places with vastly different climates (as was the case for us in March), it gets even harder.

Below is a complete list of what we decided was worth bringing along for our first three-month trip overseas.  I’d like to say we got it just right, but there were a couple things I wish we’d thought to bring. And though we packed pretty light (one carry-on bag for each of us) there were a few things we actually ended up ditching during our travels (more about those items below).


Length of Trip: 3 months
Known Destinations:
Stord, Norway + Berlin, Germany

Baggage Baggage
High Sierra Wheeled Carry-On Suitcase F-Stop Kenti Camera Bag
Nashbar Bike Bag Nashbar Bike Bag
Jackets Jackets
Columbia Ski Jacket (waterproof) Helly Hansen Ski Jacket (waterproof)
North Face Thermoball Jacket Lightweight Marmot Jacket
Shoes Shoes
Merrell Pace Glove 2 Shoes Vivobarefoot Boots
Waterproof Merrell Winter Boots Vivobarefoot Shoes*
_ _
Underwear Underwear
ExOfficio Give-N-Go String Bikini – 3 ExOfficio Give-N-Go Boxer Brief – 5
ExOfficio Give-N-Go Lacy Thong – 2
Sports Bra
Comfy Bra
Smartwool Crew Socks (lightweight and cushion) Socks – 5 pairs
Smartwool Ankle Socks
Long Underwear + Undershirt – 2 each Long Underwear + Undershirt – 2
Bottoms Bottoms
Jeans Jeans
Sierra Designs Microlight Rain Pants Convertible Hiking Pants
Leggings Metal-Free Plastic belt
_ _
Tops Tops
Thermal Thermal
Sweater Flannel – 2
Camis – 2 Henley
V-neck tees – 2 Quick Dry T-shirt
_ _
Swim Swim
Swimsuit Swim shorts
_ _
Accessories Accessories
Sunglasses Sunglasses
Baseball Cap Emergency Poncho
Emergency Poncho Winter Hat
Umbrella Winter Gloves
Winter Hat Balaclava
Swany Winter Mittens
Winter Earband
Turtle Fur Balaclava
_ _
Camera Camera
Canon EOS-M Fuji X-T1
Pedco Ultrapod Carbon Fiber Tripod
22mm Lens 14mm Lens23mm Lens, 35mm Lens
_ _
Computer Computer
Macbook – 13″ + charger Macbook – 15″ + case + charger
Razer Orochi Mouse Razer Orochi Mouse
2TB WD My Passport External Hard Drive
_ _
Extras Extras
Passport/ID Passport/ID
Wallet/Purse Wallet
Nexus 7 Tablet Kindle
Cell Phone + Charger Cell Phone + Charger
Necklace & Pair of Earrings Space Pen
Plug Adapters – 2 Plug Adapters – 2
Inflatable Neck Pillow Inflatable Neck Pillow
Folding Europe-friendly hair dryer
_ _
Toiletries Toiletries
Glasses Perfect Stubble Facial Hair Trimmer
Contacts & Solution Toothbrush
Toothbrush Toothpaste
MK Day SPF 35 Nail Clipper
Razor + Extra Blade
Tweezer Saddle Bag
MK Medium Coverage Foundation Extra Bike Tube
Dark Brown Eyeliner Patch Kit
Maybelline Mascara Multitool
Lipstick Allen Tool
Chapstik Tire Irons
Medicine Handpump
_ _
Bike Bag Bike Bag
Bike Bike
Bern Helmet Bern Helmet
Bike Lock + Key Bike Lock + Key
Bike Gloves Bike Gloves
Bike Lights and Charger Bike Lights

*After over a year of wear, Ian replaced these shoes with an even better alternative.

Things I wish we’d packed

  • More sunscreen (or I wish I’d bought some in Berlin before heading to Milan where it’s €20+ for some reason)

Things we bid farewell to during our trip

  • My long sleeved thermal shirt (ditched after the Norway part of the trip)
  • Both of our bikes, plus bike bags, locks, lights, and repair kit (sold at the end of the Berlin part of the trip)
  • Both of our winter coats (my brother took these back for us after visiting us mid-trip)
  • The legs of my jeans (now converted to comfy cut-offs)
  • My Macbook power adapter (I accidentally left this at our friend’s place in Berlin. Whoops!)

As you can see, the list of things we ditched is much longer than the stuff we missed.  My recommendation to anyone packing for a trip that involves moving around at all is to pack as light as possible.

My new rule of thumb for packing: If I’m not absolutely positive I will use it, I don’t take it!

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