Popular Full-Time Traveling Youtubers Share Their Best Packing Tips And Tricks

As of 2024, YouTubers Kara and Nate have been traveling full-time for eight years. They've racked up over 3.7 million subscribers and published almost 1,000 videos on their channel. In 2016, they set off to travel the world with carry-ons, thinking they'd be gone a year. In 2022, 6.5 years later, they finally made a much-requested packing video.

That video was jam-packed with packing tips and tricks. They weighed in on the folding-versus-rolling debate, discussed whether they use packing cubes, and explained the type of bags they carry. They spilled on how to look cute on the road, gave some advice about overpacking, and confessed to having things they pack but never use. Their advice isn't just for people who travel full-time, so here are some of their best packing tips for travelers of all kinds.

Let's start with the type of bags they carry. Many people spend quite a while deciding what the best bag for their travels will be. When Kara and Nate began traveling, they had rolling backpacks (the perfect choice for those who don't want to choose.) After a year on the road, they realized they rarely converted them into backpacks and switched to high-quality rolling suitcases for their next year of travel. And they're still rolling.

Packing and overpacking

Kara and Nate also weighed in on using packing cubes. Kara says she's "pro packing cube" and shows multiple stuffed mesh cubes. On the other hand, Nate, who says he hates packing, claims that "packing cubes are like having to pack twice." We think if you use packing cubes efficiently, they're great space savers, but they're clearly not for everyone. Kara and Nate then gave their opinions on whether it's better to fold or roll clothing when you're packing. And they like both ways! They roll smaller items and fold bulky ones flat.

When it comes to things they never use, Kara showed a hair curler and Nate a medicine kit. In fact, both YouTubers carry medicine kits that they say hold items for "just in case." While Kara and Nate are lucky not to need their medicine kits, we think most travelers benefit from carrying an emergency first-aid kit.

Kara then gave some advice about avoiding overpacking. She says one of the biggest things she's learned is that "everybody uses most things." Huh? She goes on to say that most people use shampoo, razors, wear flip-flops, and so on, so there's no need to stress over the "what ifs." If you forget something, you can almost always buy it.

How to look nice when packing light

You might think it's hard to look nice when you only have a carry-on and limited space to pack cute outfits. Kara and Nate are on camera often and tend to look pretty put-together most of the time. So, what's their secret?

Anyone who's caught Kara and Nate's videos in recent years might have spotted a trend in their clothing. They wear black A LOT! As they explained in their video, having mainly black clothing wasn't intentional initially. Nate says that black doesn't show sweat and dirt. (And we assume having everything match is a bonus!) A mainly black wardrobe is probably the way to go if you want to travel light.

One viewer asked, "Is everything wrinkly all the time?" Kara and Nate say yes, but they both have a strategy. Nate says he plans which outfit to wear the next day and lays it out the night before, hoping some creases will disappear. And Kara tries not to buy clothes that wrinkle in the first place. Some of the best anti-wrinkle fabrics include polyester, lyocell, wool, and cashmere. And finally, when it comes to looking cute, Kara says she has one "dressy outfit" (a black jumpsuit). She says she's learned that no one "pays attention or cares" about what other people are wearing. And we think that's excellent advice to end with. Pack what makes you feel comfortable, pack light, and if in doubt, wear black.