Are you still in the planning stage of your trip?
On this page, I’d like to share with you my South America packing list.
Maybe you’re looking for new ways to enhance your travel gear? Or, undecided on what to wear. Don’t worry, I may be able to help.
One of my pet-peeves as a world traveler is ensuring that I have all the necessary travel gear with me. Or, leaving the stuff I don’t need behind.
Backpacking Packing list: Dan Data
🇺🇸 $25K+ on Flights
13+ in Latin America
New Words Learned:
Over 3K Spanish Words
Travel Gear Investment:
Over $20K Spent
On my journey backpacking the Americas in recent years, I’ve collated a useful list of resources that are a result of continuous round trips.
Use the links below to jump to items most relevant to you:
South America Packing List
Without further ado, let’s take a look a look at this backpacking checklist. Before we do though, I’d like to mention one piece of advice below.
Planning solo travel or even just thinking of backpacking in South America, can be a daunting experience. But trust me, today we’re going to fix that.
Packing for South America: Do not overpack
Overpacking is one of the most crucial things to know before going backpacking. Overpacking is one of the biggest mistakes travelers make.
Seriously, I’m not even going to embarrass myself like that again.
I feel like it’s my duty to share my backpacking essentials for South America. Obviously I don’t carry everything all at once but you get the idea, right?
Please note: This list is not exhaustive and I’ll update it regularly ☺️
Inside my backpack
Things I carry that make my trip more comfortable when on the road.
- For Toiletries – It hangs so it’s really useful
- To Protect my Eyes – These glasses are very stylish
- For Power – I’d be lost with out one of these
- Laptop Protection – Probably the best cover I’ve used so far
- Anti-Bacterial Towel – Can’t travel without it
- Charcoal Toothpaste – Who still uses fluoride?
I aim not to carry expensive camera equipment with me. I have created a camera guide to help travelers on a budget to decide which camera to carry.
I carry my Marley Chant plus my headphones so when on a bus I can keep the music low. I use them for audiobooks too.
I am a big musical fan and listen to music constantly whilst on the go. I often have to carry two pairs of headphones as a backpack-up.
Keeping me Charged
My packing list for South America keeps me charged at all times, even if not connected to the internet.
After testing quite a few of these, below you can read my review on some of the best power banks you can find online.
Backing Me Up
I’ve made this mistake in the past. Not carrying adequate memory.
Having a few SD cards with you also serve as an extra backpack up for your photos and take up minimal space.
Keeping everything Organized
The ultimate way to travel light whilst and utilise space. Also whilst backpacking around South America you can pick up more souvenirs.
Staying organized is somewhat of an art form, adding space savers or packing cubes to your backpack can really change the way you travel.
Keep all this travel gear locked up and deterring theft is a must.
- For Securing – My backpack gets locked securely with this
I created the page below for people who are concerned about carrying their belongings safely and need a specific backpack to help conceal valuables.
Best Backpack for Backpacking
I have a vast collection of backpacks in my arsenal so it would be difficult for me to suggest a single best backpack for South America.
- Dan’s Favourite Backpack 2019 – The most durable yet
- For the day (2018) – I used this as a daypack
- Osprey Backpacks – See backpacks by Osprey
- Patagonia Backpacks – Ethical made backpacks by Patagonia
My favorite backpacks get used time and time throught my years on the road.
I’m a big lover for canvas backpacks and tend to use them in-between longer trips because there durable and look cool.
Now I know how to travel lighter than ever before – Learn from my mistakes.
If you know you struggle from a dodgy back you should see these backpacks for back pain that will help you in the long run.
Here are some tools for learning Spanish on the road.
- Fluent in 3 Months – Tips and Tricks to become fluent
- My Library – Dan’s vocabulary [built over 5 years]
- Portable Translator – Perfect for lazy learners
In addition to that, ensure you’ve got a proper travel journal that you can jot new words and phrases in.
I use the genesis framework and wrote all about my travel blogging journey if you’re curious about starting your own travel blog.
- Genesis – My blog’s theme
My Workstation Essentials
For working online here’s a list hardware that I carry. I have recently traveled without some of these items and added new items the list.
- My Favourite Camera
- Macbook Pro 15
- Ergonomic Stand
- IPhone 6 64GB
- Sony DJ Headphones
- Moleskine Journal
- Jackery Charger
- UniPin Set
- Gorilla Pod
My Tool Belt
This list is like my digital pencil case. I still carry pens and paper but without these tools, I have a difficult time publishing content to the rest of the world.
- Strong VPN – A must have for security
- Evernote – All my digital journaling
- WorkFlowy – For creating next action list
- Bluehost – I manage my website here
- Genesis – My blog’s theme
- WordPress – I use to run my blog
- Gmail – Use for all my email activity
- Hootsuite – Handling social media posts
- Slack – For teamwork
- Sublime Text 2 – Writing all my code
- Keynote – Building presentations
- Trello – Creating visual boards
Expert or not, when it comes to travel, whether you decide to backpack South America or not knowing the best app’s to find flights is crucial.
- Skyscanner – My go-to app for finding flights
Where I Stay
As always and as part of any backpacking travel checklist I recommend you consider where you’ll stay before arriving in a new place.
- Luxury Hotels – I use this site mostly
- Air BnB – I use for my accommodation
- Hostel World – For when I want to be more social
- Couchsurfing – Not got around to using this yet
Here are just some ideas to get you to start and to make sure you get the best deals, AirBnb has been one of my favorites lately.
No South America travel checklist would be complete without mentioning money. I use this delightful app to help me with all the conversations.
- Currency App – The most elegant currency app
I always recommend backpackers and travelers (no matter who you are) use World Nomads Insurance for fully comprehensive cover.
If you are due to travel soon, you can get a Get A Free Quote by clicking the link or the image above and filling out your details – that way you’ll get instant cover from the exact date that you choose.
On many occasions World Nomads has provided me with reliable insurance cover for travel in Latin America and the rest of the world.
Apps I use on the Road
- Google Maps – By far my most valuable travel app
- Pocket – For bookmarks synced across devices
- Google Translate – For when I need speedy translations
7 Most important books for solo travel
One for everyday of the week. Although I have hardcopy versions of these books. I read most books on an Ipad to save room whilst backpacking.
- The Art of Living Dangerously
- The Hero with a Thousand Faces
- The Education of Millionaires
- The 4 hour Work Week
- The Shortness of Life
- Manage Your Day-To-Day
- King, Warrior, Magician, Lover
Don’t like reading? Get an Audible Membership Free – great for those long bus or plane journeys.
I aspire to live a minimally with minimal possessions. I don’t like to rely on things but here are some quintessential items I’ve not quite learned to live without.
I would never have thought that packing for South America should include personal luxuries, but the more time I spend there the more I miss them.
Hostel Packing List
Believe it or not, staying in hostels can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your entire adventure.
- The Ultimate Sleep Mask
- The Best Ear plugs on earth
- 5-Way Headphone Splitter
- 3 Dial Tsa Lock & Cable
- Comfy Travel Shorts
- Travel Soap Case
In the same token, it can be one of the work experiences of your entire year. With just these 4 items you can ensure that you’ll have a better experience.
I have put all my learnings from this blog and all my knowleadge from Latin America into my travel bible which you can get via my products page.
The travel bible will give you more insight into the way I travel.
South America Packing List
Hopefully, with this packing list, you are inspired to travel lighter, longer and stronger than ever before. I’m constantly updating my packing list.
If you feel there is anything I’ve missed on this backpacking South America packing list that I should travel with please let me know.
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