How To Pack for a Multi-Destination Adventure Trip

You know my ongoing obsession with minimalism and travel? Well, I’m about to blow that entire concept to smithereens in this packing list post. Maybe some of you can master the art of packing lightly for multiple destinations much better than I can, but this is as close as I can get.

This packing list covers (1) three weeks in Hawaii, (2) a wedding in California, (3) a ten-day road trip along the Baja Peninsula of Mexico, (4) a week in Lake Powell, (5) a few days in California, (6) three weeks in Tennessee, and (7) a few days in Wisconsin. I might even add a few days in New Zealand or China to the list before heading back to Western Australia.

This is one of the most challenging trips I’ve ever packed for because there was such a variety of activities and climates that I needed to cover. At one point, I had a pair of high-heels and a bridesmaid’s dressed packed alongside my surf booties and neoprene wetsuit.

General Tips

It can be really tempting to over-pack when you’ll be visiting multiple destinations — especially with sports activities thrown into the mix. Try to rent or borrow any gear you’ll only be using once or twice. If you’re not sure if you’ll need it but know that you can buy it (cheaply) there, just leave it at home.

Bring clothing that you can layer. It’s much better to bring a T-shirt, a sweater, and a raincoat than one massive puffy jacket unless you’re in cold weather the entire time.

Packing cubes will be your lifesaver. If I’m only using certain items for part of a trip (like my freediving gear), I’ll lump them together and stash them until I get to that destination. This saves me from packing and unpacking the things I don’t need.

Invest in things that are durable. I prefer to buy an item once rather than keep buying the same thing multiple times. The saying, you get what you pay for definitely applies to travel items.

Pack just a few colors so that everything can be mixed and matched. I usually bring black, blue, or grey base layers, and accessorize with color.

My Backpack and Packing System

I roll my clothes into three packing cubes, then I stuff those into the bottom of my Deuter 60 + 10 L backpack. I’ve had this backpack for nearly six years, and aside from a few scuffs, it’s still in perfect condition. My backpack has gone with me everywhere from the top of Mt. Rinjani to the Eiffel Tower to Las Vegas.

I pack all camera and tech gear into a 32 L Patagonia backpack (similar) as my carry-on. For this trip, I also brought my freediving fins inside of their own Leaderfins freediving bag — though it is possible to unscrew the fin blades from the pockets and pack the fins into my large backpack.

So that leaves me with one normal-sized backpack, one huge one, and a fin bag.

Essential Clothing

  • Sunglasses (2): I never leave for a trip — let alone the house — without a pair of sunglasses. I usually have one cheap pair that I can wear in between sports activities as well as a nicer pair for general sightseeing. Favorite pair: Burberry Garbadine from Vision Direct — you can virtually try on sunglasses on their website before choosing, or find the pair you liked in a shop online for a discount.

  • Hats (3): I have one hat for surfing, one for other adventure activities, and my favorite, a wide-brimmed hat for everyday wear. The wide-brimmed hat is a pain to travel with on multiple flights, though. If I’m really limited on space and not planning to surf, I’ll only bring my trucker hat.
  • Necklaces (5) + bracelets (3) + ring (1)
  • Scarf (1)

  • Zip hoodie (1)
  • Tops (7)
  • Jeans (1)
  • Shorts (3) (athletic + jean)
  • Short dress (2)
  • Long skirt (1)
  • And (1) fancy dress (for a wedding – ditched shortly after wearing)
  • (1) pair of running shoes
  • (1) pair of every day shoes
  • (1) pair of flip flops
  • (2) bras + (1) sports bra + (7) pairs of underwear + (4) pairs of socks
  • Bikinis (3)
  • Sarong — this acts as my towel and quick cover up
  • Cross-shoulder small purse (1)

  • Compact tote bags (2) (so handy for grocery shopping or storing extra dirty laundry)
  • Patagonia nano-puff jacket (1): Rarely worn, but brought on every trip and so thankful to have it whenever I need it. So warm yet so compact.
  • Long-sleeved cover up (1)
  • Yoga leggings (1)
  • Running leggings (1)

Toiletries

  • Sunscreen: This is the most important toiletry I take on a trip. I wear sunscreen nearly every single day. I never pack or use sunscreen with oxybenzone in it. Oxybenzone is known to be bad for skin and harms coral reefs. I use Surf Butter Co. (Australian brand) for my face and Australian Gold Botanical 50 SPF sunscreen for my body. Or Garden Goddess 30 SPF. These are mineral sunscreens which are harder to rub in and can leave a white residue, but they’re better for the environment and your skin. Many people love Sun Bum but I personally think it doesn’t work very well — after being burned so many times after using their face stick, I threw it away. And! Oxybenzone is a main ingredient.
  • Shampoo bar (doubles as soap) + conditioner
  • Razor
  • Contact lenses + prescription glasses
  • Coconut oil
  • Deodorant (still can’t find a great basic one)
  • Diva Cup
  • Makeup: Urban Decay Naked Palette + Benefit mascara + Too Faced bronzer + Urban Decay eyeliner + foundation

Tech and Camera Gear

Adventure and Sports Gear

I opted not to bring a surfboard on this trip, but this is generally what I put into my board bag (plus a surfboard), anyways.

Disclosure: Chantae Was Here is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost for you. Featured sunglasses courtesy of Vision Direct.  Thank you for your support. 

What are your favorite things to pack on every trip?
How do you pack for multiple destinations on a single trip? Read these tips and tricks to making the most of your luggage space. How do you pack for multiple destinations on a single trip? Read these tips and tricks to making the most of your luggage space.

How do you pack for multiple destinations on a single trip? Read these tips and tricks to making the most of your luggage space.
How do you pack for multiple destinations on a single trip? Read these tips and tricks to making the most of your luggage space.

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13 Responses

  1. Blair villanueva says:

    Thanks for these tips. Recently am learning to pack lightly and just pack my multifunctional clothes. My scaves are my savior! I can use it to make as my top, belt, etc.

  2. Jodie says:

    Love your patience and packing system. And I think my favourite part is that you had heels and a dress packed alongside your adventure items! Tips on bags has been useful for me because I still have the old school luggage set from over 10 years ago!

  3. Great tips! Thanks for this post! I’m also a minimalist and I managed to travel 3 weeks in SE Asia with only one backpack – and it wasn’t too big 😉 Your packing is actually way better – with the swimming equipment etc… I’m surprised how you fit it all so it doesn’t take up too much space!

  4. Miriam Ernst says:

    It’s always a challenge to me to pack lightly your post is really helpful haha! I’m impressed by all your lenses, cameras, laptops,… It’s incredible that you can pack everything you want and yet pack so lightly, this is great!
    Miriam Ernst recently posted…Jewellery design? Here’s how with Marlous!My Profile

  5. Great post! My max of multi destination was 4 days in different cities in Italy! Since I did not have assorted adventure activies anywhere, I went off with just a simple backpack! Your trip is much longer and with so much more activities! This packing list is way too awesome!!!
    My Travelogue by Bhushavali recently posted…Treebo Red Lotus Hotel – A Review (Puducherry aka Pondicherry)My Profile

  6. Ana Ojha says:

    Some great tips on Packing! I’m sure you must be pretty excited for your upcoming trips to amazing destinations! Enjoy fullest!
    Ana Ojha recently posted…TATEL Miami| Experience Spanish Cuisine at South BeachMy Profile

  7. Diana says:

    Love your packing system. Will have to try the rolling method and the cubes I’m sure are super helpful.

  8. Ami says:

    Most of us have pretty much the same list. And it gets really overwhelming to pack it all. Thanks to your tips, it might just no longer feel that way. More so, now I have a ready reckoner for my next travel 🙂
    Ami recently posted…A treasure trail through Arwah Caves in MeghalayaMy Profile

  9. You are so well-organized. I haven’t tried rolling up clothes, but I’m reading about this everywhere and next time, I know what I’m going to do. I love your green canvas shoes 🙂

  10. Kim E. says:

    I’m all about the layers too. I also like to bring junkie, old things that I plan on throwing in the trash after they’ve served their purpose. For example, if I’m going warm first, I’ll bring my oldest tank top or two and just leave them there when I go cold.

  11. Babbette says:

    WOW! I’m a light packer but I can’t even imagine trying to pack for that trip and have everything fit that was needed. I’m totally impressed with what you were able to do not to mention incredibly jealous of the overall trip. I love the idea of packing cubes, not something that I’ve used yet but am going to checkout immediately. Awesome post and hope that the trip was all that you wanted!
    Babbette recently posted…GED Tutors for Adults; How to Find the Right One For YouMy Profile

  12. Abby says:

    I can’t believe all that stuff actually fit into one backpack And for such a long trip.. That’s amazing! I still struggle with packing, always carrying more stuff than I need and then also ending up shopping for more stuff than I need. This is an awesome list. Will keep it mind for my next trip.

  1. July 19, 2017

    […] Read: What I Pack for a Multi-Destination Flight […]

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