This is the packing list which I used and have now refined after travelling for 6 months in South East Asia. I visited Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Philippines and Indonesia. The list is geared towards a male but with a few tweaks could easily be adapted and used by a female. I’ve also linked some of the content to other blogs I’ve written going into aspects that required more details than I put in the packing list blog.
Important Documents & Stuff
- Travel Insurance – phone numbers and copy of your cover
- Debit, Credit or Cash Cards
- Cash – spare USD for emergencies or visas is useful
- Transportation tickets
- Driving Licence and International Driving Licence
- Passport Photos (x8)
- Student Card
- Copy of Documents – such as your visas, passport etc. saved via cloud storage or memory card (or both for ultimate back up)
These are the essentials if you have this stuff nothing else really matters too much as you can always buy things when on the road. A plastic folder to keep things safe is a good idea. As is cloud storage for important documents that can be recovered with an internet connection.
This is probably one of the most essential pieces of kit you need on your travels, so don’t skimp on a shitty bag although you don’t have to pay the earth for a good one (I paid about £65 for my main and day bag combined). I travelled with a 60 L main bag and a 20 L day bag. The day bag could also be attached to the main bag, but I wouldn’t worry about this feature it’s probably easier wearing the small bag on your front and the big one on your back, than faffing about connecting the two when moving. A bag that opens up fully like a suitcase is also a lot better than a top loader bag which can be a pain trying to get to your stuff. Packing cubes can also be useful for things like underwear or a dirty laundry bag. I’d also recommend customising your bag with tags and colours that easily distinguish your bag from others. The bag I used on my travels is linked here: http://www.gapyeartravelstore.com/vango-freedom-60-20-ii-travel-backpack-grey-blue.html
- x4 T-shirts
- x3 Vests
- x1 Zip Pants – you know the ones that can be worn as trousers or shorts
- x2 Shorts – for formal and evening wear
- x2 Swimshorts
- x1 Gym shorts
- x7 Underwear
- x4 Socks – two trainer sock, two longer length
- x1 Rain jacket or poncho
- x1 light jacket or jumper
- x1 Pair of flip flops or sliders
- x1 Pair of Trainers – these can double up as walking shoes or just casual wear on a night out
I know you’ve probably read it a million times but less is more. Don’t pack anything you don’t mind losing or getting shitted up as things will be lost and get shitted up. Also, there are millions of market in South East Asia that sell every item of clothing you could wish for. You can always buy things you think you need more of and replace things when they get a little grubby. Often at prices well below those on the highstreets back home.
- Antiseptic wipes
- Antiseptic cream
- Rehydration sachets
- Mosquito spray – containing +50 DEET
- Ibuprofen & Paracetamol
- Any prescription drugs you may be taking
- Hand Sanitiser
- Baby Wipes
A little medical kit is essential, it won’t take up much room and you’re guaranteed to get a little sick at some point. Don’t forget however there are also many pharmacies around where you can replace things like paracetamol and stuff, so you don’t need to take mountains. Additionally, keep the hand sanitiser and baby wipes in your day bag, never know when the toilet you use may not have soap or tissue to clean your…
- Phone + charging cable
- Camera + charging cable, accessories, SD cards, spare batteries etc.
- Laptop + charger, removal storage, mouse
- Kindle + charging cable
- Travel adapter – universal for different countries + with USB ports and main plug
- Power pack + charging cable
- Sim Card – in most South East Asian countries you can get a cheap sim card with data on arrival, don’t pay stupid money using your home card. Wi-Fi is often available too.
Not everyone may want to take a laptop, I found it very useful for writing my blogs and editing videos. But I wouldn’t say it was necessary especially if your laptop is large and heavy. You can get away with just taking your phone. Also, some of your charging cables may fit multiple devices so check you don’t need to take 300 different leads.
- Toothbrush & Cover
- Body wash
- Face scrub
- Sun cream
- Nail cutters
Things such as shampoo and body wash can be brought as a 2 in 1 type thing to save space. Also, I took a battery power electric toothbrush as I didn’t want to be without an electric version. I’d say you could easily take an electric toothbrush and charger though.
- Combination Locks
- Waterproof bag cover – day bag and main bag
- Travel towel
Keep the pen in your day bag, useful for filling in immigration and customs forms on the plane. The sarong I would also have to hand when on long journeys, useful as a blanket, pillow or blindfold. Also good to take to the beach to lay on instead of getting your main towel all sandy. Can also be wrapped around your legs/shoulders when visiting temples and other such sites that require moderate dress. The sarongs can be brought very cheaply in Asia in most markets.