Kelty Women’s Locus 40 Liter ($90)
I like the way my backpack fits me and its capacity is just right, but there are a couple of straps and pockets which are awkward. My pack is also not as lean as Joe’s (it’s more short and squatty) and therefore is harder to shove into overhead bins. Most important is the fit though, and that’s why I chose this backpack over any other women’s bag out there. I loved the Deuter 34, which is the women’s version of Joe’s pack, but 34 Liters was just too small.
REI Yoga Tank top ($43)
Polyester/spandex blend with built-in shelf bra. Great for layering, working out, sleeping, etc. I particularly like the long length.
Merino Wool Tank Top ($35)
Last minute Amazon find. I had never heard of the brand, “Lole” (a Yoga line of clothing), but it has worked out well. As Joe mentioned, wool doesn’t retain many odors, and it’s thin enough that it’s not too warm for sunny days. The one down side is that I prefer to hand wash and hang dry this vs. machine wash so it will not pill or shrink. It dries quickly though.
Ex Officio Cap Sleeve Button-Up ($33)
Made by the company touting the 6 week travel underwear. Lightweight, dries quickly, wicks moisture, and has a hidden pocket. It’s thin, so it packs up well, though it sometimes looks wrinkly.
Short Sleeve cotton T-shirt ($22)
An old stand by I brought for comfort’s sake. Many people recommended taking at least one thing you already own and like so you don’t feel like you are living in travel clothes. It’s thin enough that it still dries quickly even though its made of forbidden cotton.
Travel shirt with 3/4 length sleeves ($62)
This is the stereotypical “travel shirt” with drab brown color and button up front that I picture when I think of travel or safari clothing. I like this one by Lucy (yet another Yoga brand!) because of the trim fit, button up sleeves, and cotton rib side panels. Doesn’t really absorb smells and is great for wearing alone or layering over a dress or short sleeve shirt, functioning as a kind of cardigan. With the drab color I try not to wear it with plain colored bottoms else I look like a pile of sand.
Long sleeved REI shirt ($39)
Soft, comfy top for cool days or nights, and my only long-sleeved shirt. I debated about getting this shirt or some kind of hoodie or cardigan. So far I am happy with my choice.
North Face Convertible Pants ($65)
Same as Joe’s but for women. They can fold up to serve as capris, or zip off into just above the knee shorts. So far one pair of pants has worked fine since I also wear dresses and skirts, and can layer with tights.
Royal Robbins Travel Skirt ($60)
Not sure if it was worth spending this much, but this skirt is very versatile with 3 pockets, quick-drying and does not smell. I’m generally in favor of skirts and dresses because as a woman I look less like a traveler than I would in shorts, and even pants in some parts of the world. I can wear them out for dinner or during the day for sightseeing, and layer with tights when it’s chilly.
Multi-colored wrap skirt ($25)
Something I already had. I think it’s made of cotton, so it’s not the best for hand washing or quick drying, but the bright colors add life to my wardrobe.
Casual dress ($25)
Something else I already had that has been my “Travel dress” for years because of its versatility and wrinkle-free properties (some kind of synthetic material). It’s about knee-length, so it can be conservative and has thin straps which are nice for warm days, but can also serve as a layer underneath a long-sleeved shirt.
Pair of Mesh Shorts
For running or sleeping. The Stanford logo has started more than one conversation when wearing these around hostels (met some other Stanford grads, as well as rivals!).
Technically I am carrying 2 pairs right now. One synthetic/cotton blend that I can layer under skirts or under my pants for warmth. They started getting baggy so I bought a replacement pair that are nylon. On laundry day I sometimes wear these as pants (hello 1980s!)
Full zip in front. Somewhat bulky but nevertheless necessary as my warmest layer. Also works as a pillow on buses. Reversible but I usually just leave it on the nondescript black side.
Basic zip up shell with hood for rain or wind. I’m jealous of the armpit zip vents in Joe’s and mine is heavier, which is a plus (warmth) and minus (bulky). The best part is that it zips together with my fleece since they are the same brand, making one nice heavy coat which I have used for skiing in a pinch.
This thin but large piece of decorative fabric can be used as a blanket, swimsuit cover up/sundress, wrap/shawl, scarf. I had one from a previous trip but bought another in Brazil.
3 Ex Officio Women’s bikini ($16 each) – See Joe’s description of this underwear specially designed for travel. There is quite a bit of selection in styles and colors for women.
3 Regular underwear (already had) – Wanted to see how my regular synthetic underwear fared next to the expensive ones. They dry the same speed (very quickly!) but are a little less durable and supposedly aren’t treated for bacteria.
UnderArmour Sports bra ($17) – Thin, synthetic material dries quickly and packs small.
2 Regular bras
2 pairs Smartwool phd ankle socks ($16 each) – See Joe’s description.
Smartwool midweight hiking sock ($17) – See Joe’s description.
Asics Running Shoes ($85)
Regular running shoes I had from home with mesh panels for breathability. Smaller and more lightweight than hiking. I wear these for workout and activewear, not to blend in.
Bought off-season for almost half off. They are one of the most comfortable pairs of shoes I have ever owned. Even though I wear them during long days walking around towns and hiking, my feet do not get sore or blisters. I like the pattern on the straps; plus the tan they leave behind is cool! But, as any sandals, they start to smell and I have to wash them about once a week. I still look like a traveler/foreigner, but they stand out less than tennis shoes and can dress up a little more easily.
Flats from Zara ($20)
An old cheap pair I had. This is a splurge and they are somewhat impractical for comfortable walking, but make all the difference so I don’t feel like a traveler wearing my Chacos or tennis shoes out for a nice meal. They are also a back-up pair of slip on shoes for walking around the hostel, especially if my other pairs smell. I’ve worn them several times but have no qualms throwing them out at some point if they stop being useful.
Other Personal Items:
Leather Fossil Purse
I carry this just about everywhere. Has 3 pockets and a long strap which I can wear across my body (for better theft deterrence). The best part is how much it can hold while still looking like a purse. I usually have my wallet, camera, notebook/pen, kleenex (for use in ill-equipped bathrooms), pill case, hand sanitizer, chapstick, gum, headphones, and maps. Even the Kindle with its cover on fits!!
A few pairs of earrings, necklaces, and hair ties to spice things up. None of it is very valuable.
Just the bare minimum – blush, eyeshadow, mascara, foundation. I wore it much more in Buenos Aires than I have everywhere else.
About the size of a check book with a wrist strap. Brought for evening use in case I didn’t want to bring the big purse out for safety or convenience reasons (Dancing??). It’s very small and packs flat, however its lack of shoulder strap makes this more prone to losing. Therefore I’ve bought another at a local craft fair that has a long strap.
Glasses, sunglasses, contacts (6 month supply with another refill to come when I see my parents halfway).
I also have tape for collecting small mementos for safekeeping in my journal.
Same as Joe’s.
Eagle Creek Travel Gear Undercover Silk Moneybelt
My model is different from Joe’s, and I much prefer his. Mine shifts around and can get bulky under my clothes and absorbs sweat more than his. I will probably get a new one when my parents come.
Timex sportswatch ($20)
Same as Joe’s – cheap watch with basic features.
Eagle Creek packing cubes
Joe doesn’t use these but I think they are great. I don’t recommend packing them full because then they don’t mold to the shape of your backpack as well. For separating dirty and clean, keeping things folded, and quickly getting to the bottom of a top loading bag, these are handy.
I’m impressed you cut it down to three pairs of shoes.