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Our packing list

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Pack­ing lists can almost be regarded as a philo­sophy! Every trav­el­ler swears on oth­er import­ant items in their back­pack. Before our world trip we stud­ied pack­ing lists of oth­er travel blog­gers for hours. Since we also paid atten­tion to sus­tain­able products, this was really time-con­sum­ing. That’s why we thought we’d write an post that sum­mar­izes everything you need to know about pack­ing for a sus­tain­able trip around the world and helps you to put your back­pack togeth­er as effi­ciently and sus­tain­ably as possible.

All items on our pack­ing list are avail­able for you to down­load free of charge in a detailed Excel spread­sheet includ­ing inform­a­tion on the products. We hope that our con­cen­trated load of pack­ing list know­ledge and every­day travel exper­i­ence in pack­ing, unpack­ing and repack­ing will help you! How­ever, the inform­a­tion is at the moment just giv­en in Ger­man. We are work­ing on the Eng­lish translation.

Packliste Leaf and Sea

Below you will find a lot of help­ful back­ground inform­a­tion about the items we have taken with us. We do not only describe what is import­ant, but also what mis­takes we have made. We also describe a few oth­er products that we don’t have per­son­ally, but think are great, and a few links and our favour­ite doc­u­ment­ar­ies attached.
The first part of our pack­ing guide deals with gen­er­al products you should have with you — wheth­er you are a back­pack­er or a cyc­list. After­wards spe­cial fea­tures for a bike trip are explained.

Have fun packing!


Depend­ing on the cli­mate regions you will be stay­ing in dur­ing your trip, you will have to pack your stuff. We have assumed that we will nev­er have to exper­i­ence tem­per­at­ures below 10°C on our trip… Far from it — we were even trav­el­ling at ‑10°C! Accord­ingly, we had to buy some extra clothes on our trip.

In gen­er­al, we took func­tion­al clothes with us that we already had. Much of it is Second­Hand or already sev­er­al years old. We made sure that the newly bought clothes were pro­duced in a fair and envir­on­ment­ally friendly way and were of a very high qual­ity. Of course this costs a little more, but it is annoy­ing if clothes break dur­ing the trip and you can­’t find a good or quick replace­ment. In addi­tion, we like nat­ur­al mater­i­als a lot. Our wool clothes turned out to be extremely prac­tic­al and not scratchy. And we only rarely have to wash them (see Wash­ing). There­fore we don’t have to take so many clothes with us and have less weight and more space.

In some areas, e.g. in some Muslim coun­tries, spe­cial dress codes must also be fol­lowed, such as veils, long body cov­er­ings, etc. How­ever, you can buy these spe­cial clothes on the spot.

Each of us has the fol­low­ing clothes:

  • 4 under­pants
  • 3 pairs of socks (prefer­ably wool)
  • 2–3 trousers (short or long depend­ing on weather)
  • a fancy out­fit e.g. shirt / dress
  • 1 thick sweat­er or a jacket
  • 1 thin sweater
  • 4 T‑Shirts/Tops (also avail­able in 100% wool)
  • rain jack­et and trousers
  • headgear such as wool head­band (good for warmth and when you sweat)
  • 1 pair of shoes, good for hik­ing and every­day life
  • 1 pair of flip-flops (also great for rather unhygien­ic showers, in hot regions or as slippers)
  • swim­wear
  • sports shoes and jog­ging pants (depend­ing on which sport you like)
  • cyc­ling clothes see below

For cold regions additionally:

  • 1–2 long tights (thermal tights)
  • 2 pairs of thick socks
  • win­ter­jack­et
  • scarf, gloves, cap

- There are Second Hand shops all around the world. One web­site where you can find them is this one.
- Sus­tain­able cloth­ing com­pan­ies for every­day life and out­doors.
- You can find all the import­ant doc­u­ment­ar­ies about sus­tain­ab­il­ity at the Swiss asso­ci­ation “Films for the Earth”. Simply enter “Cloth­ing”, “Agri­cul­ture”, “Energy” etc. in the search mask and off you go. You can also become a mem­ber of “Films for the Earth” (only Switzer­land and Ger­many). In addi­tion, you can buy the DVD or Blue-ray or watch the film online for a few euros.

Our top 3 cloth­ing documentaries:

  1. The True Cost
  2. China Blue
  3. Sweat­shop I: Deadly Fash­ion (espe­cially for teenagers)


As men­tioned under the point Cloth­ing, we get by with little cloth­ing, so we also have to wash little. Gen­er­ally we wash only every 10 to 14 days.

In our opin­ion, plastic cloth­ing can­not com­pete with cot­ton or wool because it starts to smell after only one day. We have dis­covered wool cloth­ing for us because it is easy to clean and smells good for a long time. My sweat­er is made out of cashmere and is washed approx. every 3 months, even with daily use — oth­er­wise it is just aired. The socks with approx. 35% wool made by the com­pany Falke last approx. 3–4 days without smelling musty.

Pure wool clothes are washed by hand. A small dis­ad­vant­age, how­ever, is that they dry rel­at­ively slowly. The Falke socks and the Icebreak­er wool top can even be washed at 60°C in the wash­ing machine. Over time, how­ever, the socks start to stink earli­er and the Icebreak­er top turns brown­ish when exposed to the sun.

Before the bike trip we bought a liquid organ­ic deter­gent for wash­ing func­tion­al clothes. But we had prob­lems with it, because it leaked out twice. That’s why we now prefer powder, but since then we have been only using the wash­ing powder from our hosts, because there are no small packs of wash­ing powder avail­able. In gen­er­al we try to fill up half full wash­ing machines of our hosts with our dirty laun­dry. If this does­n’t work, all our laun­dry will also fit into one machine. In many cases we have used our own tow­els and sleep­ing bags so that our hosts do not have to do an extra laun­dry due to us. If we did use bed sheets, we always made sure to stay sev­er­al nights and used only one tow­el each.

We use gall soap for hand wash­ing, but not (!!!) for wool wash­ing. Oth­er­wise it would become matted.

In Croa­tia we heard about a trav­el­ler who even has his own inflat­able wash­bas­in with him. That is cer­tainly prac­tic­al if you really travel through remote areas or have a hygiene tick.

We also had a clothesline with us at the begin­ning. Since we did­n’t use it once, we sor­ted it out. Chair backs, doors, cup­board doors, lamp stands, branches, our bikes, etc. have been serving us as a leash ever since.

  • Organ­ic wash­ing powder
  • Gall soap (for hand washing)
  • (clothesline and clothes­pins for outdoor)

We also know the pos­sib­il­ity of wash­ing with ivy, chest­nuts, soap nuts and soda. All these deter­gents have their advant­ages and dis­ad­vant­ages and we can­’t tell which one is the most sus­tain­able. How­ever, they are all bet­ter than the chem­ic­al vari­ants of well-known com­pan­ies or their cheap copies.


Hygiene when trav­el­ling is very import­ant, espe­cially when you come into con­tact with loc­al people. We don’t want the rumour to arise that Ger­mans are raggle-taggle stinkers 😉

We use body and hair soaps among oth­er things because they are much more effi­cient than sham­poo. They need a good, water­proof pack­aging. Also a small fab­ric bag would be ok. In the shop you can buy suit­able, small tin cans. We also know some people who no longer wash their hair with sham­poo or soap, but only with water, soda, rye flour or vin­eg­ar. This would be even more con­sist­ent and it works well after adapt­ing to it.

Make-up is very import­ant for many women. I rather fol­low the min­im­al­ist approach and only apply make-up on spe­cial occa­sions. It’s good that I have a part­ner who accepts me the way I nat­ur­ally look.

In my opin­ion, the men­stru­al cup is also essen­tial for women on a sus­tain­able trip around the world. I am an abso­lute fan and avoid many kilos of resid­ual waste each year. In the mean­time you can get the sil­ic­one cups in well-known drug­stores and in the Inter­net. In addi­tion, an app is very help­ful, so that you know when it will unfor­tu­nately hap­pen again. I use this app: P.C.

Toi­let paper is avail­able in sep­ar­ate rolls in some coun­tries. But some­times it is rel­at­ively dif­fi­cult to find recycled toi­let paper. We prefer any­way the Asi­an vari­ant simply to use water. We also save paper and there­fore don’t sup­port log­ging by using real handker­chiefs, those made of 100% cot­ton. When cyc­ling in sum­mer it was more like a sweat cloth, in winter we used it as a handker­chief due to a cold.

We like the new trend of the bam­boo tooth­brush, because the mass-pro­duced tooth­brush is mostly made of plastic. Mean­while you can get the bam­boo tooth­brushes in the usu­al drug­stores and partly already in super­mar­kets. In addi­tion there is also a spe­cial wood which can be used as toothbrush.

  • toi­let bag
  • body and hair soaps
  • (make-up and make-up remover)
  • men­stru­al cup
  • toi­let paper
  • nail scis­sors, nail clipper/ glass file
  • deodor­ants
  • hair ties
  • hairbrush/Comb
  • hair clip­per
  • razor
  • epil­at­or
  • cot­ton swabs (almost always avail­able at the host)
  • bam­boo toothbrush
  • tooth­paste
  • silk scarf to use as dent­al floss
  • handker­chiefs
  • wash­cloth
  • tow­els
  • tweez­ers
  • coconut oil

Without micro­plastics, chem­istry, hor­mones, anim­al exper­i­ments, pack­aging waste, pet­ro­leum… There are many things you can pay atten­tion to in hygiene products. We use as little toi­letries as pos­sible and due to that avoid many ques­tions and prob­lems. In gen­er­al, we find nat­ur­al cos­met­ics recom­mend­able, as the com­pan­ies do not use the ingredi­ents and prac­tices men­tioned above. Or you can also make deodor­ants, creams, soaps etc. your­self. DIY is in vogue right now and we think it’s great, because i.a. you know exactly what is con­tained in the products.


We used our cook­ing utensils espe­cially for camp­ing and dur­ing the bike trip. Self-made food we love the most. Nev­er­the­less, in many coun­tries we have tried the vegan or veget­ari­an nation­al dishes in res­taur­ants or at our hosts and were enthu­si­ast­ic in many cases. We have also tried vegan res­taur­ants in many lar­ger cit­ies such as Thes­saloniki and Tbil­isi. These can be found at, tri­pad­visor or we asked our hosts or at the tour­ist information.

Back to our own kit­chen: We had first got a gas stove, but after fur­ther research we found out that in many areas it is not so easy, cheap and eco­lo­gic­al to find, buy and dis­pose the gas cart­ridges. So then we bought a gas­ol­ine cook­er. It burns best with pure gas­ol­ine, but also gas­ol­ine from the gas sta­tion is suf­fi­cient. Then you only have to clean the stove more often because of the soot.

For our spices we took an old green tea can and got free photo can­is­ters in a photo shop and — dadadada — they fit per­fectly into the green tea can! We haven’t lis­ted any food here, but you should plan enough space for it and always have some­thing with you for at least one day.

  • gas­ol­ine cook­er incl. accessor­ies and clean­ing set
  • cook­er windscreen
  • pan
  • titani­um cups
  • bowls
  • spoon made of titanium
  • knife
  • chop­ping board
  • spice can with photo can­is­ters for dif­fer­ent spices
  • water­proof Tup­per­ware box for food leftovers
  • dish­wash­ing liquid
  • sponge
  • kit­chen towel

Outdoor equipment

We think camp­ing is great because we can exper­i­ence nature up close, love adven­ture and travel more flex­ibly. All the equip­ment takes up a lot of space, but has proven itself in count­less moments. It’s also more eco­lo­gic­al than stay­ing in hotels, hos­tels and even with hosts, as you don’t have to wash your sleep­ing bags for a long time. Moreover, we only leave a small spot of earth that is a little flattened. Of course it is not so excit­ing to camp regard­ing the social inter­ac­tions, but now and then we also need some time for ourselves.

We chose the non-vegan down sleep­ing bag because it takes up much less space and keeps you warm­er at the same time. Since we have been trav­el­ing in winter, we are now annoyed that we have not bought even warm­er sleep­ing bags. It would also have been nice to have a sleep­ing bag for couples: two sleep­ing bags that can be zipped together.

The fold­able seat cush­ions are an worth­while pur­chase. We can use them any­where and our butts always stay dry and warm — no mat­ter which sur­face we choose to sit on. For pic­nics, we also spread out the tar­paul­in that we nor­mally put under our tent and have a large pic­nic blanket. It also serves as a quick rain cov­er dur­ing cyc­ling tours, if we hang it skil­fully over our two bikes.

To make our small con­tri­bu­tion against plastic pol­lu­tion, we almost always drink tap water and well water. We fill the water into our water bags and drink­ing bottles. So we don’t have to buy plastic bottles.

  • tent
  • (mul­ti­func­tion­al) tent tarpaulin
  • sleep­ing bags
  • inflat­able camp­ing mat
  • inflat­able pillow
  • seat cush­ion
  • pock­et knives
  • light­er or flint stone
  • water fil­ter (for remote locations)
  • 4l and 2l water bags
  • drink­ing bottles to refill


Since we show beau­ti­ful videos and pic­tures and write inter­est­ing blog posts about our travel moments, we have a lot of tech­no­logy with us. Our blog and social media want to be fed with con­tent. We write the texts and do research on our laptop and smart­phones. We are aware that elec­tron­ics have a big neg­at­ive influ­ence on nature and people. That’s why we take care to use them for a long time. We have also bought some Second Hand via reBuy or ebay Klein­an­zei­gen. We got Powerb­anks for free and the USB stick and extern­al hard drives are used. I got my mobile phone from a friend who had it in her draw­er. Our drone and cam­era were def­in­itely not sus­tain­able pur­chases. Three of our products are from Apple, Second Hand, but still not good for a sus­tain­able image. We hope we won’t have to recycle our expens­ive tech­nic­al tools so quickly, but when we do, we make sure we dis­pose of them prop­erly.

  • smart­phones + char­ger cable
  • drone incl. accessor­ies, insur­ance paper and flight per­mit, if applicable
  • laptop + char­ging cable + pro­tect­ive cover
  • USB Adapter for Laptop
  • SD Adapter for Laptop
  • cam­era incl. accessor­ies, tri­pod and microphone
  • sol­ar cell
  • 2 powerb­anks
  • power adapter
  • 2 SD cards
  • small head­phones
  • silica bags
  • 2 head­lamps

There are a few rel­at­ively sus­tain­able elec­tron­ics sup­pli­ers, such as Fair­phone and Shift­phones. How­ever, we find the rest of the tech­no­logy industry very dif­fi­cult and untrans­par­ent. Many neg­at­ive head­lines in the media and fright­en­ing doc­u­ment­ar­ies do not make our con­sciences any better.

Our Top 3 Documentaries:

  1. Death by Design
  2. The Story of Stuff
  3. Tox­ic shops — the elec­tric garbage scythe

Meds & Protection

We have taken out all our pills of the space-con­sum­ing plates, filled them into film can­is­ters and labeled them. We searched online for the instruc­tion leaf­lets and put them all togeth­er in a Word doc­u­ment writ­ten in small font size, prin­ted them out and attached them to our first-aid kit.

Since we both have bad eyes, we need glasses and con­tact lenses. Well, one could live without con­tact lenses, but they are very prac­tic­al for swim­ming, sun­bathing (sunglasses) and spe­cial occasions.

As we are stand­ing in the sun while cyc­ling and wait­ing while hitch­hik­ing, we need sun pro­tec­tion. Unfor­tu­nately, we have to say that we haven’t found a good eco-sun cream yet. Most of them make us look like white ali­ens, because the cream is extremely dif­fi­cult to spread and not as effect­ive as the pet­ro­leum ver­sion. If you know any­thing good, please let us know! The same applies to the insect repel­lent, as we simply took our many years old bottle of Anti-Brumm with us. We’ve heard of black cumin oil against ticks, but as we don’t travel alone, it’s not a good altern­at­ive for us.

And since we are travel as a couple, there is always a hot top­ic: sex. We are a couple and there­fore need con­tra­cept­ives. The pill or oth­er hor­mones have been taboo for me for at least 4 years already for import­ant reas­ons and I would­n’t recom­mend them to any­one either. We have con­doms with us, but no eco, vegan or fair ones, because we haven’t found a 100% good altern­at­ive to “ours” yet. How­ever, we have a dia­phragm and cream with us, which we use from time to time. A nice and sus­tain­able thing!
Some of my friends swear on the meth­od of tem­per­at­ure meas­ure­ments and count­ing days, but this is much harder while trav­el­ling because you can­’t get reg­u­lar sleep.

First-aid kit with:

  • strong paink­illers
  • dis­in­fect­ants
  • dress­ing
  • sterile band­ages
  • iod­ine ointment
  • burn oint­ment
  • lip balm
  • res­cue blanket
  • horse balm” (Is it a Ger­man thing? It’s a creme against sour muscles)
  • tiger balm
  • glob­ules
  • plaster
  • pro­bi­ot­ics
  • gastrointest­in­al tablets
  • addi­tion­al med­ic­a­tion for chron­ic ill­nesses (treat­ments are not covered by long-term for­eign health insurance)

For (bad) eyes:

  • sunglasses incl. case
  • glasses incl. case
  • glasses clean­ing cloths
  • con­tact lenses and con­tact lens fluid

For the skin:

  • sun cream
  • after­sun lotion
  • insect repel­lent

For the fun:

  • con­tra­cept­ives

The phar­ma­ceut­ic­al industry, like the cos­met­ics industry, is a thorn in our eyes. Tab­lets are usu­ally pure chem­ic­als and not free of anim­al exper­i­ments. That’s why we rely on the most nat­ur­al medi­cines: healthy nutri­tion and lots of exer­cise. Unfor­tu­nately, this does­n’t always help, but if you sus­pect a cold, glob­ules are used and if noth­ing helps: a lot of rest and sleep. The chem­ic­al lobe is only used for bad injur­ies, vir­uses or bac­teria. We only have strong pain killers with us, because if you exper­i­ence minor or mod­er­ate pain, you can also go to the phar­macy or simply take half a pill.

Documents & money

Now to an ele­ment­ary point: import­ant doc­u­ments. The most import­ant thing is the pass­port. In the EU, a ID card was enough for us, so we have it with us. We have our inter­na­tion­al health insur­ance from Alli­anz-Ver­sicher­ung. If you know a good altern­at­ive, please let us know!

Many banks are dirty. In order to not sup­port unsus­tain­able prac­tices with our fin­an­cial invest­ments, we have our travel account at Tri­od­os Bank. There are also oth­er sus­tain­able banks that only lend money to sus­tain­able com­pan­ies and projects.

If you would like to work abroad, it is advis­able to have applic­a­tion doc­u­ments and spe­cif­ic cer­ti­fic­ates with you. Via plat­forms such as Wwoof or, you can score points with a well-main­tained online pro­file. Here, too, you can make sure that you choose a sus­tain­able pro­ject that bene­fits people and nature and does not harm them.

  • pass­port plus prin­ted cop­ies in your back­pack and digit­ally on your laptop, on a plat­form or in your e‑mail inbox.
  • (ID card)
  • pass­port photos
  • vac­cin­a­tion card
  • proof of Inter­na­tion­al Health Insurance
  • fur­ther evid­ence such as diving license, applic­a­tion doc­u­ments and cer­ti­fic­ates (Inter­na­tion­al Driv­ing License)
  • EC card
  • cred­it card + emer­gency num­ber for blocking
  • cash (Euro/Dollar and loc­al currency)

Top 3 doc­u­ment­ar­ies about money:

Too Big To Tell
Inside Job
Let’s Make Money

Leisure time & memories

On our jour­ney we meet many inspir­ing, inter­est­ing and lov­able people. In many cases they become our friends. We have long thought about what we should take with us as a gift for these great people. We wanted to take salad seeds with us, but unfor­tu­nately it did­n’t work out. Instead, we came up with a nice idea: a friend­ship book. At the end of our stay we write a few suit­able ques­tions on a page of our book. Our host(s) have to answer those ques­tions. Below this is a selfie from all of us. In addi­tion, we have simple busi­ness cards so that people can stay in con­tact with us.

For the time togeth­er it is worth to have some games. In the moun­tains of Geor­gia we played e.g. Who am I, rock-paper-scis­sors and hang­man. Also pic­tures of the fam­ily offer inter­est­ing top­ics of conversation.

When hitch­hik­ing, wax cray­ons are pretty good because you can write with them on the card­board. An off­line trans­la­tion app makes sense espe­cially while hitch­hik­ing, because we can­’t com­mu­nic­ate with the non-Eng­lish speak­ing drivers much with ges­tures and facial expressions.

  • travel diar­ies, notepads
  • pen­cils (col­oured pen­cils, cullis and wax crayons)
  • games (card game, tricks, jug­gling balls…), partly also on the mobile phone and group games in the head
  • friend­ship book
  • gift for hosts and encounters
  • dic­tion­ary and trans­la­tion apps
  • pic­tures of fam­ily and friends
  • sport equip­ment: diving log­book and com­puter, diving and swim­ming goggles

Packing & Carrying

We tried to take as little as pos­sible and as much as neces­sary with us fol­low­ing the min­im­al­ist­ic concept. A back­pack has to be com­fort­able, very robust and still look good. Our back­packs are of high qual­ity and have already sur­vived at least one year of travel. If you don’t have a back­pack yet and a new one is too expens­ive, you can check with your friends to see if they can lend you one. We haven’t seen any travel back­packs in second-hand shops yet, but you nev­er know.

We swear to have a daypack with us des­pite our travel back­pack. If we stay overnight with someone for at least 2 nights, we can only take this small back­pack for an excur­sion for one day. In addi­tion, we always have our valu­ables in it and carry it in front of our chest.

In addi­tion, we still have two cot­ton car­ri­er bags with us. So we have already avoided hun­dreds of dis­pos­able plastic bags.

  • back­pack
  • daypack
  • com­bin­a­tion locks
  • car­bine
  • zip plastic bags and oth­er stor­age bags
  • tup­per­ware box
  • cot­ton car­ri­er bags

Top 3 Plastic Documentaries

  1. Plastic Plan­et
  2. A Plastic Ocean
  3. Albatross

Bike touring packing list

We were very lucky to have the bicycle spe­cial­ist Zweirad Joos from Lake Con­stance as a spon­sor. He adjus­ted our second-hand trekking bikes with a mil­li­metre accur­ate meas­ure­ment to our bod­ies and gave us pro­fes­sion­al advice on many oth­er bicycle issues. We received ergo­nom­ic seats and handle­bar grips and some oth­er things.

For nav­ig­a­tion we ini­tially used the Garmin 62s nav­ig­a­tion device. How­ever, we used the two off­line route plan­ning apps Komoot and more often, because they are super easy to use. Dur­ing the bike trip we also cycled long dis­tances on the Danube cycle path.

The advant­age of two people is that one can always stop and watch while the oth­er per­son does the shop­pings. How­ever, we always used the bicycle lock overnight.

Regard­ing our bicycle stuff, we have unfor­tu­nately not done much research regard­ing sus­tain­ab­il­ity. The bike bags are from the sus­tain­able Out­door com­pany Vaude. Our bikes are Second Hand and we already had some repair items at home. If there is any­one who knows a good altern­at­ive for items, please let us know.

  • bicycles
  • (bicycle nav­ig­a­tion Garmin 62s)
  • speedo­met­ers
  • bicycle lock
  • cyc­ling shorts with padding
  • drink­ing bottles
  • USB- LED front and rear lights incl. charger


Good pan­niers are very import­ant for any bicycle trip. Ours are from Vaude and we are very happy with them. Ort­lieb also has good pan­niers. Depend­ing on how much stuff you want to have with you, you can mount pan­niers both in the front and in the back.

We fixed our gas­ol­ine bottle from the gasline cook­er sep­ar­ately in front of the bike in a bottle hold­er. So our things were not smelling like gasoline.

  • bicycle bag top case
  • frame case
  • top tube case
  • bicycle bags for lug­gage carriers
  • front bag
  • cam­era bag with cara­bin­ers and Vel­cro fasten­er con­ver­ted into a handle­bar bag
  • daypack with lug­gage ten­sion­ers con­ver­ted into a top case
  • cable tie
  • bottle hold­er

Repair tools

Con­cern­ing the repair kit we dragged everything along dur­ing the 3 months of cyc­ling — for noth­ing, because we did­n’t have a single break­down! We hope it will work the same way for you 😉

  • brake pads
  • replace­ment hose
  • bicycle chain
  • repair kit
  • cable tie
  • chain lock
  • air pump
  • gloves
  • mul­ti­tool
  • duct tape
  • tire lever
  • lub­ric­ants, cloths
  • screws & nuts
  • super­glue
  • spokes
  • spoke tensioner/wrench
  • snipe nose pliers/leatherman
  • valves

Remem­ber: You will find all our things with a detailed descrip­tion in our excel sheet above.
Have fun pre­par­ing your trip!

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