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The Ultimate Packing Guide for 3 Months Abroad:

Packing for a few months abroad can be challenging and is somewhat of a science: you want to keep your luggage light enough to comfortably carry and meet airline protocols, yet still fit all of your essential items!

This packing guide is designed to be minimalistic and for a hot climate. Keep in mind that you can use it as a guideline and customize it depending on where you are heading and what luggage you are using.

If you would rather avoid checking a bag and stick to extreme light packing, you might want to check out my secrets to light packing.


What to Pack for 3 Months Abroad:


Carry On Items: 

  • Universal voltage converter
  • Laptop and charger
  • Unlocked cellphone and charger
  • Camera, lenses x 2, charger (plus camera cable to upload photos)
  • Selfie stick
  • Ipod and ear buds (plus charing cable)
  • External hard drive or usb stick
  • Journal and a few pens
  • Novel and/or magazine for plane
  • Passport, 1 credit card, 1 debit card (important to use at local ATMS to get local currency), small amount of cash)
  • Immunization documents (for Tanzania, you need to bring your yellow fever immunization card)
  • Photocopies of passport and cards (in case you ever lost them, you at least have ID numbers)
  • Water bottle
  • Snacks (avoid paying for expensive food at airport!)
  • Toiletries:
    • Ziplock bag with <100ml liquids
      • hand sanitizer, tooth paste, face wash and face lotion
    • Non liquids
      • comb, toothbrush, lip chap, deodorant, cleansing wipes
      • Medicine/first aid kit (ibuprofen, Benadryl, robax, pepto, immodium, insect bite treatment, anti-malaria pills, bandaids, gauze, prescription medication) (Bonus: remove from boxes to save space)
  • For sleeping on plane:
    • Comfy socks, cardigan, scarf, ear plugs, eye mask

Total weight in 30L backpack = 7.5 lbs 

Packing guide 3 months - the pink backpack blog

Related: | RunnerClick: 10 Best Jogging Shoes for Travel


Luggage items:

  • Bathing suit x 1
  • Clothing: (Bonus: roll items to save space)
    • Lightweight pants x 1 (wear on plane)
    • Yoga crops x 1
    • Shorts x 1
    • Tank top x 2
    • Maxi dress x 2
    • Long skirt x 1
    • Cotton T-shirt x 7
    • Hooded light-weight water repellent jacket x 1
    • Scarf x 1 (in carry on)
    • Cardigan x 1 (in carry on)
    • Underwear and socks x 7 (wear on plane x 1)
    • Sports bra x 1; regular bra x 1 (wear on plane x 1)
  • Footwear:
    • Hiking boots (and hiking socks x 1)
    • Running shoes x 1 (wear on the plane)
      • Flip flops x 1
      • Sandals x 1
  • Toiletry Kit:
    • Tooth brush, toothpaste, mouth wash, tooth floss (in carry on)
    • Face wash and face moisturizer (in carry on)
    • Deodorant (in carry on)
    • Shampoo and conditioner (carry on sizes)
    • Sunscreen (large spray on SPF 60 x 1; carry on size SPF 30 x 1 & zinc SPF 60 x 1)
    • Shaving cream (carry on size); razor x 1
    • Face cleansing wipes (in carry on)
    • Hair ties, bobby pins, cloth head band x 1
    • Q-tips
    • Menstrual cup
    • Make up (obviously this will depend on how much you wear. I brought SPF 15 cover up; SPF 30 lip chap, mascara & eyelash curler, bronzer with brush)
    • Body lotion (carry on size)
  • Miscellaneous:
    • Yoga mat
    • Travel towel
    • Insect repellent (large spray on size x 1; smaller carry on size x 2)
    • Water purification tablets
    • Multivitamins (x 90 days)
    • Mini sewing kit (this was key! my backpack ripped a few times)
    • Deck of cards
    • Headlight and extra batteries (also super useful for frequent power outages)
    • Tupperware container and set of utensils (knife, fork, spoon)
    • Zip lock bags
    • Rain cover for backpack
    • Sunglasses

Total weight in 60L backpack = 30 lbs 


  • Items I wish I had packed:
    • a watch
    • an external battery to charge devices during power outages
    • self-filtering water bottle
    • my favourite coffee from home (i.e. Starbucks instant coffee sachets)
    • scuba diving mask and log book
    • a small cross-body canvas purse or tiny day backpack (my 30L backpack is too large and cumbersome at times for certain situations such as market shopping or going to restaurants)
    • pocket sized Swahili/English dictionary (goes for any language!)


I hope this packing list helps you to plan your next adventure and remember that you can always use it as a guide and simply modify it to meet your needs. Happy Travels!





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Stephanie - the pink backpack travel blog




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What are your thoughts?

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * said:
Thanks Ellen :) So glad to hear you found it helpful xo
August 1, 2016 at 2:46 am
Ellen said:
Super helpful post! Thanks for a great post Steph :)
July 31, 2016 at 4:23 am