Welcome back, my travel enthusiast fellows!
Packing for a backpacking trip overseas can be a gruesome task. In my experience, my biggest problem has always been over-packing. I remember, because when I studied abroad in Singapore, I brought two large suitcases full of things with me. I didn’t use most of them. When I decided to travel in Japan, I had to lug around my two giant suitcases, which became a huge pain.
Nowadays, over-packing would be detrimental in the long run as I carry all my possessions on my back. Over time, I’ve cut down the stuff I take from 2 luggages to 1 backpacking bag and 1 day bag. Like so: Without further ado….
What’s in my bag?
I specifically chose this size because it easily fits into all airline carry on cabins. Especially with budget flights, I can just pack it up and just bring it in as a carry on without having to pay for a luggage. The state-of-the-art suspension system made all my material possessions in my bag feel weightless, and is a lot easier on my back.
I am a minimalist in the things I pack when traveling. I also like to under pack to buy some clothes in the country I’m traveling as souvenir. 😉 Because I carry everything in my bags, I like to keep all my clothes and accessories as lightweight as possible.
- 1x stuff sack
- 5x shirts (3 tank tops for comfort/going out, 2 formal)
- 1x water resistant jacket
- 1x stuffable dawn jacket (I highly recommend getting these for ultra lightweight and warmth)
- 2x pants (1 comfort, 1 going out)
- 3x shorts
- 3x dresses
- 4x socks (sporty and comfortable)
- 1x scarf/shawl
- Underwear (lots)
- 1x shoes
- 1x flip flops
- Waterproof bag set (for water activities)
- Safety pins/needle and thread
- Multi-tool knife
- Duct tape
- Ao dai – since I’m planning on celebrating Vietnamese New Year, Tet, in Vietnam, I’m bringing my custom made ao dai. I don’t typically bring this on my trips! Here’s a picture for reference!
First Aid Kit – whatever brand or name you use, here is the gist of medications you want to take with you.
- Antibiotic cream
- Antiseptic wipes
- Pain reliever
- Anti-mosquito/anti-itch cream (tropical countries)
Paperwork – I like to keep all of my paperwork in zip lock bag to protect them from water damage
- Printout/screenshots of plane tickets
- Passport book/card (+2 photocopies to bring on day/night trips)
- Vaccination records (depending on country)
- Visas (Vietnam, for example)
- Copy of TEFL certificate (If I plan to teach while abroad)
- Capital One Quicksilver – 1.5% cashback on all purchases, no foreign transaction fees, no annual fees
- Charles Schwab – no ATM fees, no foreign transaction fees worldwide. With this card, you can withdraw from anywhere at any ATM!
- Power bank
- Money Belt
ADDITIONAL GEAR: IF YOU PLAN ON HARDCORE BACKPACKING + CAMPING
- Camping tent and poles (poles can go on side straps, tent can go on bottom straps); I loved our Marmot tent because of lightweight and the air flow system. We had taken it on our trip to the freezing top of a volcano and survived thanks to it. The high price is worth the durability.
Whether you’re traveling short term or long term, I hope that my list has helped you. Thanks so much for reading! I’d also like to know what you have in your bag. Let me know in comments below- Cheers!
Thanks for reading! This is a response to the 21 Weeks of Travel Blogging Challenge!
Interested in participating in the Weekly Travel Blogging Challenge? Feel free to make your own today!
Week 1: A favorite travel photo of you and intro
Week 2: Little known tips
Week 3: Funny story
Week 4: Misadventures
Week 5: Top three cultural foods
Week 6: Unusual travel activities/photos
Week 7: Inspiration for traveling
Week 8: Five favorite travel blogs
Week 9: Gross/disgusting stories
Week 10: Best adventures while traveling
Week 11: What’s in your backpack?
Week 12: Happy and sad stories
Week 13: Unique cultures encountered
Week 14: Top three favorite destinations
Week 15: Travel regrets
Week 16: Scary and cool travel stories
Week 17: Things to purge
Week 18: Humbling things learned from traveling
Week 19: Confessions
Week 20: Travel bucket list (countries/activities)
Week 21: Your challenge post highlights and what you’ve learned during this challenge
These awesome people are also doing the challenge!!! Click to see their stories!
- In the Wild LA – Julie
- Journey Through the Trees – Victoria
- Trouvaille, Mon Cher – Aly
- Simply Kailin – Emily
- The Ben Lessard – Benjamin