What We Packed

Lost Girls RTW Adventure, Packing & Wardrobe — By on January 1, 2006 at 5:42 pm

Try as we might, we couldn’t pair down quite as much as the hardcore backpackers, who travel with a single change of clothes, sneakers, a toothbrush and a smile. But by sticking together, we were able to divide and conquer, splitting up our first aid kids, electronics, reading material and several “extras.” Here’s what we amazingly shoehorned inside our three backpacks (yeah, it’s a lot, but next go ‘round, we’re paring down!).

Clothing & Shoes

Holly (1 pair of pants; 1 pair jeans, 3 sports bras, 1 bra, 2 pairs sweatpants, 1 pair pjs, 2 running tops, 1 bikini, 2 pairs of athletic shorts, 3 long sleeves shirts, 2 zip up hoodies, 1 fleece; 8 pairs socks; 8 pairs underwear, 2 tee shirts, 2 dressy tanks; 1 skirt; 1 sundress; 1 pair slides; 1 pair sneakers; 1 pair shower shoes; windbreaker jacket).

Jennifer (3 sports bras; 2 sports tops; 4 tanks; 3 long sleeve shirts; 1 zip up hoodie; 1 bikini; 3 pair capris; 2 full length pants; 3 tee shirts; 6 pair socks; 3 skirts; 1 dress; 1 pair hiking shoes; 1 pair sports sandals; 1 pair flip flops; 2 bandanas; 1 scarf; 1 waterproof jacket; 12 pair underwear; 5 bras; 2 pair athletic shorts)

Amanda (2 pair capris; 1 pair long pants; 2 pair leggings; 1 fleece; 10 pairs underwear; 3 bras; 2 sports tops; 2 sports tanks; 3 bikinis; 2 skirts; 5 cotton tanks; 3 bandanas; 2 pairs athletic shorts; 2 long sleeve shirts; 1 tee shirt; 3 pairs socks; 2 sock liners; 1 waterproof jacket; 1 dress; 1 pair hiking shoes; 1 pair sport sandals; 1 pair flip flops; 1 pair dance tights).

• 2-in-1 Shampoo and Body Wash: When you’ve packed as many clothes as we have, every inch counts.

• Conditioner

• Face Wash

• Razor: More blades = better

• Toothbrush and toothpaste: We love Crest Vanilla-Mint!

• Floss: Because our mamas always said we should.

• Shaving cream: We like King of Shaves or plain old baby oil. A little of either goes a long way.

• Deodorant

• SPF 30 Sunscreen: The ultimate all-in-one product. We use it to protect our skin, tame frizzies and in a pinch, to shave our legs.

• Moisturizer: Look for a slightly heavier formula (planes, trains, sun and travel in general can dehydrate skin quickly) and make sure it’s got a top that locks. Nothing’s less cool than finding your skin cream all over your bag instead of inside the bottle.

Makeup Bags
• Foundation with SPF or tinted sunscreen: Holly likes Neutrogena Healthy Skin Enhancer. Because Coppertone alone doesn’t always provide enough protection from the sun.

• Bronzer or Blush: We made sure ours had a mirror inside, since some hostels don’t provide them in bathrooms.

• Mascara: We should have bought our favorites before we left home; Amanda and Jen have discovered that most Latin American cities only sell waterproof

• 4-in-1 eye shadow kit: After an extensive search through the offerings at Sephora and Duane Reade, we discovered that few companies make shadow quads that we actually wanted to wear. One fabulous exception: Lancôme makes well-coordinated and highly wearable color palates that are about the size of a box of matches. Jen’s partial to the Bobby Brown nude on nude eye palate, particularly because it contains a dual sided brush that allows her to apply to color as a power or a liner.

• Lipstick: South America’s arid “dry season” makes a high-moisture lipstick a must. We each chose shades with pinky-brown undertones, which in a pinch, we can substitute for blush or eye shadow (Jen loves the 3-in-1 stick, by Smashbox).

• Lip balm: While Amanda prefers the cheap n’ practical Chap Stick (“buy several and stash them in different bags”) Jen loves the more luxurious Bobby Brown Lip Tint with SPF15.

• Nail kit: We keep a tiny scissors and file in our checked luggage after airport security stripped Amanda’s of her set when she accidentally stashed it in her carry on.

First Aid Kit
• Gel Band-Aids: We didn’t even bother with the regular kind; we’re usually covering blisters rather than cuts and scratches.

• Breath Right Nasal Strips: Keeps Amanda from sawing logs at night. Don’t bring them for yourself–take them along as a courtesy to your traveling companions.

• Imodium AD and Uristat. Because foreign bacteria can be a real (painful) bitch

• Pepto Bismol: According to our travel doctors, chewing one tablet a day can help keep us from suffering the tummy cramping that comes with eating strange foods and sipping less than purified water.

• Advil: Our general cure all for altitude sickness, fevers, muscle soreness and of course, hangovers

• Antibacterial hand gel: Far more often than not, there’s no soap in bathrooms, but there’s plenty of germs to go around!

• Eye drops: While Visine is great for redness and dryness, the antibacterial kind are a must in any medicine kit. After Amanda contracted conjunctivitis in both eyes (no doubt, from typing at an internet café then neglecting to use antibacterial hand gel!) the $3 drops we bought at a pharmacy in Cusco restored her to perfect vision practically overnight.

• Neosporin


• Panasonic Toughbook: We edit our photos, video and write our Lost Girls blog on this 40 gig, 2.8 pound laptop. At barley an inch thick, the Toughbook is slimmer than most of the reading books we brought and slips easily into our daypacks.

• 2 Gig Flash Drive: A tee-tiny device with tremendous storage capabilities, this memory stick enables us to transfer our work from our laptop to the desktops at internet cafes around the world.

• Canon Elura 90 video camera: This compact, lightweight model records crisp sound and video that we can easily edit with Studio Pinnacle or iMovie software.

• Olympus 720SW digital camera: Not only does this super slim, 7.1 mega pixel camera have 25 settings to capture great shots in any kind of light, the viewing screen is so large you could practically watch movies on it. And because it’s shockproof and waterproof (up to 10 feet!), we never had to worry that it might get damaged during our adventures.

• Ipods: For motivation (on uphill climbs), relaxation (while in transit) or celebration (just attach speakers for an instant party!).

• Pac safe: In the rare event that the above electronics (or indeed, our backpacks) are out of our sight, we keep them heavily secured inside this mesh metal bag and bound with a padlock to a pipe, pole or the heaviest object in the room. Slash-proof, pick-proof and for the most part, thief-proof, Pac safes have saved many a traveler from losing everything while they’re off sightseeing or sleeping on the train.

Extra Gear
• Twine: A great makeshift clothes line (and potentially, a way to tie up attackers once Holly puts her Krav Maga training into action).

• Quick dry towels: While they do wick moisture efficiently and dry rapidly, even the “extra large” size Amanda purchased at Bed, Bath & Beyond hardly covers enough to keep things modest.

• Water Bottles: Bulky and annoying when empty but absolutely essential during long treks.

• Rain ponchos: With this, nothing-not even a flash thunderstorm-can keep us from venturing out.

• Swiss Army knife: Our contain a scissors, blades of varying sizes, tweezers, toothpicks and the highly essential corkscrew and bottle openers (how else can we sample the local microbrews and vintages?

• Silverware set: For preparing mini-meals (PBJ and tuna fish sandwiches) in our hostel kitchens. After all, we’re never really sure who used the “community spoon” just before we did.

• Mini rolls of duct tape: Our Dads tell us that this sticky silver stuff can repair just about anything. So far, we´ve used it to keep loose plugs from falling out of sockets

• Adapter set: Cuz American plugs don´t mix with overseas outlets

• Reading material: Naked (by David Sedaris, brought by Holly), Dark Star Safari (Paul Theroux, brought by Amanda), My Sisters Keeper (Jodi Piccoult, brought by Jen). And, of course, guidebooks.

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  • mdepaulis says:

    Hi, girls! What kind of backpacks did you bring on your trip? I’m planning a solo (as of now) 2 week trip through Europe in early November and am trying to narrow down the choices. ;-)You may have mentioned it in a previous post but I must have missed it.

    Thanks so much! Love your blog by the way!


  • The Lost Girls says:

    Hi…Amanda here. I just LOVE my Snowgum backpack. Its made in Australia, so you may have to do a bit of hunting, but its well worth it. I have endless nooks and crannies in which to hide extra gear, it has a huge side load so you can access you things quickly an easily. For sure, get at least 4,400 inches, the minimum for a long trip.

  • Joy says:

    It would be interesting to post an update to this, showing what you found necessary and was was ditched along the way.

  • Jackson says:

    I used a 40 Liter pack on a 2 week jaunt through Europe. I t was nice and small, not too large, but held everything I needed. Just remember that you have to carry everything you pack!

  • SaltyCoconut says:

    Hi, I would also like to know what travel backpacks, and what size (LxWxH) and/or carry-on did you guys use during your travels? I’ve been looking and browsing this site, and haven not found the information. I’m looking to travel in 14 months for 1 year, I’m leaning towards a travel pack around 70L, that fits easily in the overhead compartments in trains for an added bonus.


  • Holly says:

    I wish I’d taken a rolling backpack. They let you pull your luggage when you have smooth ground, like at an airport or on city sidewalks, but convert into a backpack when you’re in more rugged terrain, like hiking a mountain. I used one from the High Sierra line for a later trip to China, and she loves it because it has tons of compartments to make organizing easy.

  • Suze says:

    What did you do about feminine hygiene supplies?

  • Lost Girls says:

    @suze These are available nearly everywhere in the world (you’d be surprised!) but we all took a supply of tampons with us. It sucks using the applicator-free kind, but they’re less bulky and you get used to them!

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