What I’m Packing for a Month in Asia

I know, I just got back. But now I’m leaving again.

Back in September I was wanderlusting to the point of desperation and my November trip couldn’t come soon enough. So on a whim my friend Erin and I booked flights to Bali. We’ll travel around there for a week together, at which point she’ll head back to Toronto and I’m continuing on my travels around Southeast Asia while working overseas. Gotta reap those digital nomad benefits, am I right?

I’m doing things a bit differently this time around. On my last trip I had all my flights and accommodations booked ahead of time but traveling on a restricted itinerary sucked. In Bangkok I wish I had stayed for longer and in Krabi I spent two days sitting around at my hostel, staring out into non-stop pouring rain. I didn’t want to pay to change my flights and cancel the accommodations I’d already booked so I just trekked on my preplanned trip. This time I’m going to wing it.

I know for sure I have to be in Bangkok on May 11th to catch my flight back to Toronto so I need to somehow make my way there within those four weeks. I have a loose idea of where I want to go but I’m leaving my options open.

It’s hard to pack though when you don’t know where you’re going. To keep things simple I’m going to stay in warm climates so I don’t need to pack multiple layers with me, reducing the bulk I’ll need to carry. I’m going to bring a different travel pack too — last time I had a top-loading Osprey but I found it hard to move around with when I had a separate carry on bag that had my laptop. I have another bag, the MEC Supercontinent travel pack, that has a removable daypack and can fit a ton of stuff. When I’m moving from place to place I can just clip the daypack on the bag. It’s super convenient and makes traveling around more comfortable.


My Packing List

– 3 sleeveless tanks
– 3 t-shirts
– 1 sweater
– 3 pairs of shorts
– 1 pair of shorts that doubles as workout gear and pjs
– 1 knee-length skirt
– yoga leggings
– loose fit linen pants
– 5 pairs of undies
– 2 sports bras
– 3 t-shirt bras
– 2 pairs of ankle socks
– 1 swimsuit
– travel towel
– day bag

Sweat and beach days mean clothes need to be washed more often but it only costs about $1-2/kilo for wash and fold laundry service in Asia, so I usually get clothes washed every 4 days or so.

I try to avoid fabrics that really wrinkle because I won’t have access to an iron. For the odd crinkle, I hang up the item in the bathroom while I shower and use the steam to naturally iron it out. Works like a charm!

– sneakers
– nice sandals to wear out and about
– flip flops for the beach and hostel showers

– shampoo
– conditioner (great as shaving cream too)
– bar of soap
– toothbrush
– toothpaste
– deodorant
– razor
– pack of baby wipes
– facial cleanser
– hand sanitizer
– hair brush
– hair ties
– bug repellent
– Afterbite
– sunscreen

I’ll carry travel-size versions of things I can easily find abroad, like shampoo and toothpaste. I use what’s available at a hostel, if they offer shower gel or something, so that I save from using my own supply. Usually by the end of my trip I dig into my own stuff so that I don’t have to carry it back home.

– sunglasses
– travel adapter
– laptop and charger
– iPhone and charger
– travel-size flat iron
– combo lock
– passport, ID, and credit cards
– pressure reducing ear plugs (I swear by these ones; works better than Earplanes and are reusable!)
– a book
– inflatable travel pillow
– enough Indonesian currency to last me 2-3 days


What I’m not bringing this time:
– dresses – I packed 2 dresses last time and didn’t wear them once. I was doing so much moving around and found it more comfortable in shorts, but I’m packing a knee length skirt to wear for temple visits.
– jeans – they’re way too hot and way too heavy.
– rain jacket – I wore my rain jacket in chilly Hanoi but not in Thailand during the torrential rainstorm because it was so humid out. I just bought a cheap umbrella and used that when I was outside.


Is there anything I’m missing? Anything I don’t need to bring?

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