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My Packing List for One Bag | Female | Plus Size | Solo Travel

Below you’ll find my master packing list for my travels as a solo female digital nomad traveling with just a carry-on suitcase and a small daypack. Although I tailor this list for each and every trip, it’s the default I’ve fallen back on as I’ve traveled for the past 3 years.

Basic Supplies FOR packing:


  • Tiny Fold-up Ultralight backpack (I love my Northface Flyweight but there are respectable budget alternatives)
  • Caribiner big and small.
  • Space saver travel bags
  • Compression Packing Cubes (Like these from Rhode Island-based Knack Packs)
  • Lewis N. Clark ElectroLight Toiletry Kit


While there is debate on whether packing cubes actually save space, I carry 1-2 on every trip because: 1. with my whole packing list in just one bag, organization is everything, and 2: Packing cubes with mesh panels, like Knack’s, make great lingerie bags for clothes washing. A few weeks into an extended trip, you’ll be glad for a way to machine wash bras without shredding them- plus, you can use packing cubes to wash laundry in a shared load without mingling your unmentionables.


Plus Size clothing:




  • Packable Travel Raincoat
  • Fleece or Wool Zip-Up for layering


Personally, I never pack a parka or bulky winter coat. The last thing I want as a one bag traveler is to spend my vacation burdened by minding a bulky or expensive winter coat. Instead, to handle cold weather I pair an easy-to-pack high-tech waterproof windbreaker with an inexpensive off-brand fleece zip up (often found for under $20 in big box stores). The combination of layers- especially over a warm underlayer- has been enough to keep me warm even when visiting Patagonian Glaciers. And if the same trip takes me to to a warmer destination, I can donate the cheap fleece jacket without hesitation and proceed with my trip with more room for souvenirs.




  • 3-4 pair of travel underwear (travel underwear dries fast- perfect for one bag travelers washing laundry on the go.)


Since Ex-Officio discontinued their plus-size briefs, there’s a gap in the market for plus size travel underwear. Fruit of the Loom’s EVERLIGHT line may be the best alternative until more manufacturers of travel clothing become size-inclusive.


Need more plus size travel tips, destination ideas, and inspiration? Follow on Pinterest:




  • 1-2 pair of shorts
  • 1 pair of hiking-friendly yoga/athletic pants
  • 1 pair of jeans or jeggings
  • 1 dress (Choose one that works as a swimsuit coverup)
  • 2 sheer tank tops
  • 1-2 soft shirts
  • 1 quick-dry athletic top that works as sleep shirt or daytime wear
  • 1 swimsuit bottom for pajamas
  • 1 swimsuit
  • 2-5 socks (Always wool. 1 boot sock, 2-3 running socks. I’ve recently abandoned Smartwool- which always seem to get holes- for Darn Tough Socks, which have a warranty against holes!)
  • One pair of semi-athletic shoes (I like Allbirds)
  • One pair of sandals
  • One pair hiking shoes (like my trusty Blundstones)
  • 1 belt
  • 1 light jacket
  • raincoat
  • gloves


Plus Size Travel Clothes Recommendations:


  • Columbia Women’s Saturday Trail Pant
  • Columbia Women’s Arcadia II Jacket
  • Columbia Women’s Plus-Size Benton Springs Full-Zip Fleece Jacket
  • Columbia Plus Size Silver Ridge L/S Shirt
  • Columbia Women’s Plus Size Back Beauty Boot Cut Pant


Safety/Security Items


  • Lanyard (for keeping keys handy during late returns to your lodging)
  • Coin purse
  • Photocopies of documents
  • List of phone numbers
  • A sealed bag with 2-3 days of any essential medication, to be stored in a separate bag from main personal care items.
  • Personal alarm
  • Hotel Door alarm



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Essential Comfort / Self Care Items


  • Turkish towel
  • Eye mask
  • Compression socks
  • Comfort object
  • 100% cotton Bandanas (not the cheap kind)
  • Small Refillable Water Bottle
  • A small paperback book
  • An art friendly Sketch Journal


🥽 My recommendation for a travel eye mask is Bucky brand eyemasks, which you can buy here at Amazon. (I use this model). They’re ultra-lightweight and molded, making them perfect for travel.


Tech Essentials


  • Power adaptor with USB ports 
  • power splitter with surge protection
  • charging cables + backup cable for primary device
  • Travel photo printer
  • hardshell case for printer
  • noise canceling headset
  • Batteries for all device
  • 2 chargers
  • portable battery charger
  • Moment – Wide Angle Lens+ case, for better travel photos
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Personal care


  • Toothbrush (I love my GUM Folding Travel Toothbrushes with Antibacterial bristles)
  • Bandana
  • Makeup
  • Makeup removing cloth
  • Washcloth (if visiting South America)
  • Contacts or glasses
  • cleaner or cases for contacts or glasses
  • Prescription medications
  • non-prescription medications
  • Band-aids
  • Hand lotion
  • Chapstick Packets
  • Q-tips
  • Nail clippers
  • tweezer
  • deodorant
  • Pads, Tampons, or Menstrual Cup
  • Sunscreen
  • Razor leg
  • touch up razor (Schick Silk Touch-Up Razor )
  • Wax strips


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Etc & Miscellaneous.


  • A few sandwich size zip-top bags
  • 2-3 rubberbands
  • 1 length of string or twine
  • Small (under 4″ blades) pair of scissors
  • Shoe insoles (Sof Sole Insoles keep me marching on despite plantar fasciitis that tends to reoccur when I travel)
  • Student or Teacher ID card if you have one (Student/Educator discounts can add up to major savings)


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Finally, this is weird but bear with me: a dog collar. It has so many uses: 1. Securing a coat to the outside of your bag without using inside-bag space, 2. Buckling a backpack or purse to a chair or railing when I sit down in a cafe or public space, 3. Hanging up shoes to dry, clipping my toiletry bag to a towel bar, etc 4. Buckling around a bulky item in my suitcase as a compression strap.


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