Which clothes to bring on a world tour?
In order to optimise our luggage we decided to bring with us technical travel clothes, quite a different wardrobe from what we had at home!
After months of research (thank you fellow travel bloggers, podcasters and youtubers) we decided on our outfit’s priorities:
- Lightness: to keep the luggage weight as low as possible.
- Versatility: to bring as few items as possible.
- Quick dry: for those overnight laundry emergencies.
- UV protection: for our fragile northern French (and former British expats) skins.
- Insect protection: against diseases transmitted by mosquitoes and ticks.
For us the brand Craghoppers reconciles all of these properties. Moreover, their clothes offer robbery safety as a bonus with lots of secret pockets to carry money and paperwork. It is also a brand, unlike others, which offers trendy and well fitted clothes. This is especially a problem for women as the travel clothes market does not seem as important as for male travellers (whereas Clémentine cares much more about her style than Nicolas!). We are delighted to be able to offer you a 10% promo code VMEXTRA10 to use on the Craghoppers website (more promo codes are available on our tips and discounts page).
We each got a complete mosquito repellent outfit from the Craphoppers and Insect Shield brands (from hat to socks). We brought mostly technical clothes and also got some from the Décathlon brand (the best French brand for cheap hiking and sport gears). Finally, we also packed old clothes to be replaced with purchases on the way. Indeed, we only have space to get useful souvenirs which replace other items from our backpacks.
- 3 sweaters including a Nosilife mosquito repellent one and a Décathlon.
- 1 adventurer’s shirt from Craghoppers, a with an unfolding collar to protect his neck from mosquitoes and sunburn.
- 1 pair of trousers convertible into shorts also from the brand Craghoppers, the basic item for backpackers!
- 2 long-sleeved T-shirts (Decathlon merino wool and Decathlon technique to keep warmth).
- 3 short-sleeved T-shirts (one of each is a mosquito repellent from Insect Shield).
- 6 boxer shorts (one of each is a technical one drying quickly for last minute laundry)
- 7 pairs of socks (2 Décathlon hiking pairs, 2 Nosilife mosquito repellent and 1 pair of Insect Shield mosquito repellent as well as a pair of Cadence compression socks to fly with).
- 1 pyjamas (Spongebob shorts and Star Wars top of course).
- 1 pair of sport shorts
- 1 pair of light tennis shoes (also used for formal dress).
- 1 cap and 1 mosquito repellent hat
- 2 swimsuits
- 1 belt where it is possible to hide money
- 1 secured wallet (RFiD) from Lifeventure. All of the Lifeventure products are available to you with 15% discount thanks to our discount code 15CMBLV (more promo codes on our tips and discounts page).
Nicolas’s formal clothes
- 1 evening shirt (which still covers all the properties of the Craghoppers clothing) already used for a wedding in Vancouver.
- 1 evening trousers (also covering the Craghoppers properties) complementing Nicolas’ formal outfit and which can also be used for any other occasions (hiking, city breaks, etc.).
- 1 bow tie and 1 clutch to complete the wedding and going-out look.
The items we have in common
- 1 hooded jacket Forclaz Trek 500 each: super practical, these down jackets are really light and warm. They are still rather voluminous once compressed but make a perfect pillow for the transports.
- 1 Decathlon raincoat each (already lost and replaced).
- 1 pair of light technical shoes from the French brand Aigle each (we look rather silly to be wearing the same shoes and jackets).
- 1 Infinity Dress, a convertible dress from Dress and Charms. This is a dress with multiple styles the upper body is covered with two bands that can be knotted in 30 different ways. Clémentine’s formal outfit! A little bit heavy however we have send it back home once we were done with our dressed-out events.
- 2 pair of trousers from the brand Craghoppers: the Clara trousers and the Kiwi trekking trousers. Although the Kiwi trouser is not insect repellent like the Clara it is the favourite garment of Clémentine’s world tour wardrobe. Indeed it is super comfortable and looks pretty! Only downside: it is sightly too short and doesn’t like the dryer.
- 2 vests: a Nosilife insect repellent one and a Uniqlo merino wool vest.
- 1 polar sweatshirt
- 2 sweatshirts for cold weather: a Uniqlo heatteach and a Decathlon Kipsta.
- 1 Super Natural merino wool T-Shirt
- 2 tank tops
- 1 sports t-shirt (with a dry quickly fabric which can be used for hiking or as pyjamas).
- 2 insect repellents shirts: Nosilife and Insect Shield
- 1 endless top sewn by Caroline from the great travel blog Searching El Dorado. Find an overview of the different ways to wear it on this Youtube link.
- 3 dresses: one Craghoppers insect-repellent with long-sleeved and 2 light summer dresses (one of each is a souvenir from French Polynesia)
- 10 panties/knickers, 3 of which are amazing period and leak proof underwear
- 3 pairs of bras
- 1 pair of Kalenji gloves. Nicolas decided not to bring gloves but Clémentine who is always cold does not regret it. These gloves take up very little space, are super light, tactile and have been very appreciable in Alaska and New Zealand.
- 2 swimsuit
- 7 pairs of socks (2 Nosilife insect repellent pairs, 2 special Decathlon hiking pairs and 2 pairs of Insect Shield and a normal pair)
- 3 pairs of compression garments: Clémentine has legs blood pressure issues and got equipped with the range from the French brand Cadence: a pair of socks and two pairs of tights.
- 2 insect-repellent leggings: one from Insect Shield and one from Craghoppers. Very practical to hike, sleep, carry in a purse to wear under a dress or a pair of trousers in case it gets cold.
- 1 anti-theft purse form the brand Pacsafe.
- 1 Craghoppers insect-repellent sarong: super practical Clémentine uses it every day as a scarf or shawl (its length makes it possible to make several turns and keep warm, you know how Clémentine is chilly!). In warmer places it can be used as a pareo, blanket, picnic or beach mat.
- 1 Craghoppers hat for sun and insect protection
- 1 pair of sandals for warm weather but also to complete Clémentine’s formal outfit.
- 1 jewel box improvised in an earplug box: two pairs of earrings (fleas and drop-offs) and a waterproof Swatch watch (Clementine is looking for a bracelet and a necklace to get as souvenirs).
The underwear puzzle
After many researches on the ideal number of underwear to take backpacking it seems that opinions agree on: the ideal number of panties/knickers is 8-10, the ideal number of underpants is 5-6 and the ideal number of socks is 4-5 pairs. The explanations mentioned are: the female panties take less space than the underpants and the girls might have to change more often. Consequently we tested this theory and have to admit that we are not satisfied.
Nicolas is always dangerously short of underpants while Clémentine can go on for several days. Moreover, it is a true battle for the last pair of clean socks. We bought more underwear to have an even number of everything. As a matter of fact it seems logical for the laundry cycle to have an equal number.
Another concern is the fabric. Indeed, cotton is undeniably the most comfortable and healthy choice for underwear but we end up with our underwear taking 3 times longer to dry than our technical trousers or jackets. Consequently, we each invested in a pair of technical travel underwear to dry quickly after a last minute laundry. Finally, for travellers with a womb, we strongly recommend a few pairs of period underwear and wrote an article on this subject.
To have a look at what else we have inside our world tour backpacks, check our ultimate packing list and the electronic gears list.