What to Pack for a Three Month Backpacking Trip

A woman laying on the ground helping daughter pack.
My mother serves as moral support as I struggle to fit everything in my backpack. Each night for an entire month, I practiced packing, reconsidering the “must have” items. The dedication paid off, as I couldn’t be more pleased with my packing list, which provided me with almost everything I needed for three months in Europe.

What to Pack for a Three Month Backpacking Trip

The best packing advice I ever received is this: Pack as if you are going for 10 days. Why? Because it is much easier to pack for a week or a 10-day trip. You can do laundry for any trip longer than 10 days. When you think about it that way, it makes packing much more manageable. Here’s the full list of items I brought with me on my three-month backpacking adventure.

THE BAGS

THE CLOTHES

  • 1 North Face Women’s Fastpack Wind Jacket
  • 1 lightweight green jacket
  • 2 short rompers [ one black and one black/white ]**Ended up mailing one home. 
  • 1 long romper [ black/white ]
  • 2 dresses [ one black and one black/white stripes ]
  • 2 pants [ one black jeans and one blue jeans ]
  • 4 short sleeve tops [ one pink cotton, one grey cotton, one teal cotton and one black silk ] **Ended up mailing the teal shirt home and buying a blue cotton t-shirt.
  • 1 grey tank top [ casual ]
  • 1 grey cotton long sleeve top [ causal ]
  • 8 pairs of underwear
  • 2 sports bras
  • 2 real bras [ black and nude ]
  • 3 pairs of socks
  • 1 pair of black Nike shorts
  • 1 pair of black Nike pants
  • 1 black bandeau [ needed for some of the dresses and shirts ]
  • 1 black cardigan
  • 1 black/white scarf
  • 1 black pajama romper
  • 1 swimsuit
  • 1 black floppy hat **Ended up mailing home.

THE SHOES

THE GADGETS

THE ACCESSORIES

HELPFUL HINTS

  • All clothing items should match. Neutral colors are best.
  • Roll [ don’t fold ] your clothes and use packing cubes.
  • Pack a comfortable pair of shoes in addition to tennis shoes (Converses, TOMS, etc.). They are a bit more fashionable than tennis shoes for when your feet have had enough of those cute sandals!
  • Avoid packing cosmetic jewelry. A simple pair of earrings and watch will suffice.
  • Use mini bottles for toiletries. You can restock at local grocery/convenience stores throughout your trip.
  • Remember, you can mail items home and/or purchase clothes during your trip. So avoid packing a heavy jacket if you don’t need it until your last month.
  • There is no shortage of laundry mats in Europe. Pack less and do laundry more.

Ready to plan your adventure? Here are a few more posts to help you get started.

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Packing List for 3 Months in Europe

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11 Comments Add yours

  1. Did you fit all that in your 46L? I was thinking of bringing my 46L as well

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I sure did! Most of the time I carried the Longchamp bag (versus putting it in my backpack). But it all fits… Packing cubes helped a ton! Where are you heading to?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Not sure yet but I know I will spend plenty of time in the Alps (:

    Like

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