top of page

2020 what to pack guide

Updated: Jun 29, 2020

Moving is always a challenge. Moving to Mexico with only one checked bag between the two of us is even more of a challenge. Add in the cool nights in Mexico City, ziplining in the jungle, hot days on the beach, seasons, and multiple climates and packing can be a real nightmare.

Knowing we'll be spending a good chunk of time at various beaches, attempting to stay cool in hot climates, and needing to protect our skin from extreme sunshine, a must-have item we packed are our Hemlock Hats. We have received so many questions and inquires about where we got them -- check out their awesome patterns!

Hemlock Hat



Although we pride ourselves on the fact that we traveled the world for 15 months with only carry-on backpacks, this "trip" so to speak is much different. We are no longer interested in being those people who nearly fall over every time they attempt to lift their backpack up. Muddy Chaco sandals clipped to the side of your backpack? A ripped secondary bag that could fall apart at any moment? Praying our zippers don't bust every time we stuff our bag to capacity? Not for us this time.

For this big adventure traveling around/moving to Mexico (we still don't know what to call it), we invested in a new magical piece of luggage: a 75L Dakine Split Roller. This will be the bag that we check each time we fly. In addition, we'll be taking one of our 35L Tortuga backpacks that has now traveled the world with us and still looks brand new. We can't say enough good things about Tortuga! This bag can typically be a carry-on, unless the airline employee behind the counter demands we place it on the scale, in which case, it's usually overweight. We'll probably do a combination of carry-on and checked luggage for the Tortuga.

Last, we each have a 20ishL carry-on daypack. This holds our most valuable items like our computers, the camera, books, passports, and other day-to-day stuff. Bre has the Tortuga Outbreaker Daypack 20L and Daniel has the REI Co-op Ruckpack 28L.

What to pack traveling Mexico

We're confident that our new luggage situation will have its upsides and downsides.

The Good: we won't have to do laundry as often. That means on any given day, there might not be ten pairs of underwear hanging around our Airbnb drying. That'll be new.

The Good: we feel more prepared in terms of clothing and hopefully won't have to spend our money purchasing new clothing when we're freezing our butts off or when we sweat through all of our clothing.

The Bad: our patience will be tested while waiting around to check in our luggage and after our flight at the luggage carousel. Patience is a good life skill, so this may actually qualify as an upside.

The Good & The Bad: One of us usually ends up carrying the majority of our shared items because the other packed too many clothes.

The Bad: When we travel to separate countries in January (more on that later), we'll have to figure out how to divide our luggage so that we each have what we need.

So, here's what we're bringing along:




6 dresses in various lengths

3 pairs of shorts (two denim, one soft)

1 pair of running/sleeping shorts

2 long skirts

1 kimono cover-up

10 tops (t-shirts and sleeveless)

2 one piece swimsuits

3 bikinis

2 pairs of sunglasses

1 pair of Ecco sandals

1 pair of Chacos sandals

1 Brixton Fiddler cap

3 bras, 2 sports bras

10 pairs of underwear


3 pairs of pants (no denim, all soft)

1 pair of leggings

2 long sleeve shirts

1 sweater

1 lightweight packable jacket

1 Brixton full-brimmed fedora

1 pair Adidas sneakers

4 pairs Bombas socks (addicted)

The above items can hopefully transition from climbing a mountain to going out dancing in Sayulita. We realized last year that we aren't big fans of wearing muddy Chacos and moisture-wicking t-shirts while touring big cities, so we aimed for more versatility this time.




4 pairs of regular shorts

3 pairs of swim shorts

2 pairs of workout shorts

4 t-shirts (with plans to acquire a few along the way)

5 button up t-shirts

1 pair of Chaco sandals

1 pair of New Balance tennis shoes

1 pair of sunglasses

1 Topo Designs nylon camp hat


1 windbreaker packable jacket

1 pullover sweater

1 Brixton Leonard fedora hat

2 pairs of pants

Daniel packed a little bit lighter this time knowing he would want to buy any cool t-shirts he spots or acquire other unique items along the way. Some of his favorite travel brands are Dakine, Brixton, New Balance, Chubbies, Bearbottom, Hemlock Hats, and Chacos.

Backpackers packing list


Since we're constantly working to improve our website, edit new videos, keep up with the latest How to Get Away With Murder episodes, and work remotely, we packed a lot of technology.

1 Macbook Pro

1 HP Pavilion Laptop

1 DJI Osmo Pocket

1 DJI Mavic Air drone

2 iPhone XR's

1 1T hard drive

1 Canon M5 camera

1 50mm lens

1 17-85mm lens

1 15-45mm lens

1 Wandrd mini camera cube

4 pairs headphones

2 Fitbit Versa 2's

1 MeFoto Tripod

Cables + chargers



2 passports

Any passport photos we could find

Multiple credit/debit cards

4 passport photocopies

2 vaccination cards

Photocopies of credit/debit cards

We recently switched our banking over to Charles Schwab. We now have debit cards with zero ATM fees, zero exchange fees, and great exchange rates.

**Embarrassing truth: we realized we spent well over $1,000 on ATM fees during our 15 months of travel *facepalm*



8oz bottle of purple shampoo

Hair ties and bobby pins

8oz bottle of curl hair gel

4 headbands/headwraps

1 stick of deodorant

3 bottles face/eye oil

1 roll-on perfume

1 Quip toothbrush (with 2 head refills)

1 bottle facewash

1 bottle face astringent cleaner

1 bottle face sunscreen 30 spf

1 pair of tweezers

1 make-up bag containing concealer, lipstick, bronzer, mascara, eyebrow pencil

1 jewelry pouch containing earrings, rings, and necklaces



1 stick of deodorant

1 electric hair trimmer

2 bars of soap

1 tin of hair product

1 bottle roll-on cologne

1 pair of nail clippers

Contacts + solution

1 bottle 50 spf sunscreen



2 microfiber towels

2 padlocks

1 flashlight

1 pair of eyeglasses (each)

1 mini First-Aid kit

1 tin of Tiger Balm

10 hydration tablets

1 mini container of Ibuprofen

1 GRAYL water filter bottle

2 Hydroflask water bottles

Teaching materials

3 expedition training books

2 journals

1 painting notebook

1 pouch of gouache paint

1 pouch of paintbrushes & pens

3 reading books

1 Braven speaker

**We accidentally packed our Scrubba laundry wash bag in our storage unit in Denver. Bre washes many of her clothes by hand, so this bag will definitely be missed. We're planning to purchase a new one once we settle and have somewhat of a permanent address.


Well, that's it. It sure sounds like we packed a lot of stuff when it's all written down. I'm sure we'll post a follow-up blog at some point in the future to let you know which items were wins and which were failures.

Para amor y aventura,

B & D


bottom of page