Packing List for Southeast Asia
Here’s my minimal packing list as a solo female traveller. This is what I’ve found to be tried and true and this is entirety of every item I’m traveling with.
If you’re trying to go with the more minimal approach, just consider what you deem to be important. If you’re a fashion blogger and decide to bring patagonia baggies and a pair of birks and nothing else, you’re probably going to hate my approach to packing.
1. Nail Clippers. I haven’t used these on this trip because it’s so inexpensive to go get your nails done in Southeast Asia and I prefer doing that.
2. Toothpaste. No reason to explain.
3. Mascara. I chose this as my only makeup to bring because it’s nice to have on a night out. I keep my beauty routine fairly simple. A healthy tan is the most beautiful makeup you can have!
4. Bamboo toothbrush. Because sustainability is always in fashion. If I’m going on a long trip I usually bring multiple bamboo brushes because I know I probably won’t be able to find a bamboo one when I’m there.
5. Lipbalm. Another necessity.
6. Razor. I forgot my normal one in California so I purchased this one at a local store.
7. Perfumes. I’m a fiend for perfume and I refuse to take the minimalist approach when it comes to it. I bring two different smells with me, one is more flirty and one is more sophisticated.
8. Deodorant. A necessity.
9. Toiletries bag. This is nothing fancy, but it keeps everything together!
Not Pictured - Diva Cup. I’m a huge believer in the Diva Cup. Not only is it more sustainable, but it’s tiny and easy to pack. It’s a little more expensive to start, but it pays for itself in about four months.
Ahh, electronics. The items that double the size of my bag.
1. For my computer, I have a macbook pro 15”. It’s on the larger side of things, but it makes a world of difference when it comes to editing and emailing (and occasional netflix binging).
2. One camera and one lense (Canon 6D with 35 mm 1.4 sigma art lense). The first time I came to Indonesia, I didn’t bring my camera strap because I almost never use it in California. This resulted in me not taking as many photos as I should have. Now, while travelling I use it every day. My friends at Treefort Lifestyles made mine and it’s my favorite one on the market. It’s thick and padded so if I have my camera strapped to me while I’m scootering, it doesn’t hurt.
I would like to add also that I’m considering making the switch to a Sony because it’s SO much smaller as well as its video capabilities. I’d still only have one lense but it would make my camera about 2/3 the size and weight it is now.
3. Bluetooth Speaker. I have a Jam Classic (you can purchase it at any walmart) and while it has very little power, it’s small and it makes a huge difference being able to have music with you.
4. Canon camera charger.
5. Phone charger.
6. Computer charger.
7. Power adaptor. These are absolutely the sturdiest little devices in the world. I got this one for about 2 USD at a street market and it has yet to fail me.
8. Headphones. I lose headphones all the time so I never buy anything too fancy. Currently I have a pair from SkullCandy that I got at LAX (also a big fan of keeping the ones they give you for free on airlines).
10. Computer adapter. One of the main flaws with the new Macs is they have a lack of ports. The only thing you can plug in without the adapter is the charger. Mine is from Satechi.
11. Micro SD card. I’ve used a micro SD in my camera with the adaptor for years. No one knows why. Especially not me. Old habits die hard.
1. Bamboo reusable utencil set. So you don’t have to accept plastic silverware! I use this all the time.
2. Lifestraw water bottle. This has been one of my favorite travel additions for this year. This bottle filters my water so I could get it out of a puddle if I wanted to and it would be safe to drink.
3. A book for reading and my planner. When I finish this book I’ll trade it with someone for a different one. One of my favorite things about other travelers is they always have a book to trade you.
4. Reusable travel mug.
5. Assorted drink mixes. These are simple, all you do is mix them in with hot water. I like these ones from Four Sigmatic as they’re good for gut health while still being pretty tasty.
6. Microfiber towel. This one is relatively small but it packs down so tiny and is super absorbent as well as dries quickly. You couldn’t necessarily take it to the beach but it’s great for a shower in a pinch.
7. Two pairs of glasses. One cheap pair of sunglasses (because I know myself and I lose a pair every two weeks average), and a pair with clear lenses (great for driving a scooter when it’s raining or at night).
8. Inflatable neck pillow for travel. This was one of the best purchases of my life. I would never bring a full size neck pillow with me because they’re so large but they really can make the difference between sleeping soundly and being miserable on a long flight.
1. Flannel. Great for extra warmth and modesty.
2. Light t-shirt. This t-shirt is so thin, it’s great for hot days and I love to surf in it for sun protection as well.
3. Black tank top. A staple.
4. Sarong. A sarong has SO many uses. You can use it as a towel, a skirt, a dress, a shirt.
5. Rain Parka. I bought this in Bali for 25,000 IDR which is the equivalent of 1.75 USD. During the rainy season, this is a necessity.
6. Red Tank Top. Like the black tank, but spicy!
7. Sundress. It’s nice to have a sundress to throw on. I also use this the most if I end up going out. It has the ability to be dressed up a bit.
1. Light cozy shorts. Mostly I wear these casually to the beach and around town. I’ve also used them as pajamas if I’m in a setting where I can’t sleep naked, ha!
2. Jean shorts. A staple.
3. Black leggings. Mostly I use these while traveling through airports or anywhere I need to be a little more modest. They’re also great for early morning scooter missions when it’s cold.
1. Swimsuits and underwear. I brought two swimsuits because I use them every day.
2. Hiking socks. Mine are just classic wool socks from REI.
4. Birkenstocks. Okay, so they aren’t the most fashionable. But what I’ve found is that with just one pair of shoes, I can go from the beach, to hiking a mountain, to a bar (if it’s very dark). A pair of Birks and some hiking socks is all your feet will ever really need for a warm place like Asia. If I were to change anything about my Birks, I would have brought the plastic waterproof ones, because when it starts to rain hard here I usually just go barefoot so as not to ruin my shoes.
Here’s how my bag looks fully packed. I put the medium sized packing cube inside the large one and then roll in to fit best in my bag. I absolutely swear by packing cubes. Mine are the REI brand (because they were the only ones I could find in different shades of orange) (LOL).
My bag is the Chris Burkard Tough as Nails Mountainsmith Bag. Another thing I like about this bag is that it opens from the top as well as the front compartment. I also have the medium sized camera insert that goes with it.
The laptop slides directly into the back. It’s super durable and while it’s not waterproof, I’ve brought it into very wet situations and never worried about my computer in the back.
I still could have packed considerably lighter for this trip. I brought a lot of extra clothes that I didn’t need.
I’d love to hear what you bring on your trips and what you chose to do without. Leave me a comment!