I have a one-way ticket to Bangkok, not the slightest idea how long I’ll be traveling, and a 60-liter backpack filled to the brim with toiletries and (probably a few unnecessary) clothes.
I tried my hardest not to over pack this time. I thought bringing my entire closet to one semester in Denmark was a good idea. I had more outfits than days I was actually there.
Still, there’s a part of me inside that’s shouting you just might miss those pants or need that dress for something. Knowing myself, I won’t end up wearing it. I basically wear the same three outfits at home, why do I think that’s going to change there?.
It’s a bit difficult to pack for a trip that’s open ended. I’m assuming that I’m only going to stay in weather that’s going to make sweat drip down my face, so I’m not packing any winter clothes (let’s see if I spontaneously end up in Europe sometime during the winter next year, what a surprise that will be). Maybe I’ll end up buying new clothes, or maybe I’ll wear the same pants so often that people will mistake me for being homeless (which isn’t entirely a lie…).
So, what exactly am I packing?
Four pairs of shorts
Two crop tops
One long sleeved shirt
Three tank tops
Two regular shirts
One pair of overall shorts (Yes. Overalls.)
Two pairs of spandex shorts
One pair of leggings
Two pairs of hippy pants
Two sports bras
Eight pairs of underwear
Seven pairs of socks
One rain jacket
Three dresses (probably two too many, but…)
One bathing suit
One bath towel
One beach towel
One pair of sneakers
One pair of hiking shoes
Two pairs of flip-flops
I know I don’t need to bring all of my toiletries (or any at all for that matter), but I personally don’t want to have to buy anything right when I get there.
Shampoo and Conditioner
Tweezers and nail clippers
Toothbrush, floss, toothpaste
– If you are a dailies contacts wearer like myself (first off, I’m learning that it sucks traveling with all of them), there are ways to bring almost an entire years supply with you. I took all of the contacts out of their boxes and bought two cosmetics bags. I managed to fit 11 months of dailies (over 600 contacts) into both of these tiny bags. It works.
Hula Hoop (breaks down into 5 pieces!)
I’m going to have my 60L backpack, a smaller backpack, and my camera bag. Believe it or not, everything I’m packing fits into these three bags.
There’s a lot of preparation that comes with a backpacking trip, especially one that’s long term. I didn’t procrastinate until the last second and magically have everything exactly as it should be, though I wish that were the case.
Here are the ways I prepared for this trip:
For the past few weeks, I’ve been writing down and crossing off everything I might need. I’ve been getting supplies and finishing tasks in between sleeping and working.
Having a list will give you that visual you just may need. If you don’t write everything down, it’s going to get lost and jumbled in between thoughts of alcohol and that hot guy that just walked passed you (or maybe that’s just me).
I received the typhoid, tetanus, influenza, and Japanese Encephalitis shot over the past several weeks in preparation for this trip.
Talk to a medical professional or go to a travel clinic to find out which vaccines are necessary, and which ones are required or recommended. Of course, my hypochondria played a role in getting some of these, like the Japanese Encephalitis shot.
This goes hand in hand with the above, but it may be a good idea to get a check up before your departure date.
If you wear glasses, I would schedule an eye appointment as well to have an accurate prescription before you leave on your trip, This is also a good idea in case you need to get new glasses or contacts while you’re away. This way, you’ll know exactly what you need.
Bank and Money:
Call your bank and tell them you’ll be traveling so they don’t freeze your cards. It may also be a good idea to get cash in the currency of the country you’re traveling to, just so you have something upon arrival and can avoid the ATM withdrawal fees.
I would feel naked if I showed up to a country without any cash in their currency. What if I needed a beer ASAP?
You never know if you’re going to miss a flight, need to go to the hospital, or lose something, which is why it’s smart to buy travel insurance. I use World Nomads; they have great customer service and a wide range of coverage.
In a few days, I’m off on my solo adventure through Southeast Asia. I am SO excited to share videos, stories, and pictures from my trip, and hope that you follow me on my journey!
Make sure you follow me on Snapchat (@globetrottica) for live videos and pictures from my travels!