Welcome back for step two of your packing process. Now that you've chosen your type and size of bag, after some careful consideration, it's time to think about what you're going to put in it. I've created a basic list for you to follow:
1) Clothing: Your destination and weather will determine what type of clothing you will need to bring with you. There are a couple important things to consider when deciding what to pack:
1) Culture: In order to be permitted entrance into temples in Thailand and Indonesia, knees and shoulders must be covered. In the northern Thailand, tourists were expected to dress more modestly more so than they were in the south. On the islands you would see men walking around shirtless and women in nothing but a bikini. Be sure to do your research before you pack to make sure you have appropriate and respectful clothing.
2) Weather: As mentioned in Part 1, make sure you know what type of weather you're getting yourself into. If you're heading into monsoon season, a raincoat and waterproof shoes aren't a bad idea. Ponchos were widely available in Thailand (thanks 7 Eleven), and I was extremely grateful for that as I lost my raincoat 2 weeks in. Be sure to think about what items will keep you warm and dry, all the way down to your toes.
Once you've determined the weather and culture of your destination you can begin to choose your items. In Southeast Asia (and places with similar weather), you can pretty much get around with:
3-4 pairs of shorts (including one pair of athletic shorts)
7-8 shirts (including one long sleeve shirt)
2-3 pairs of shoes (flip-flops, runners and a light pair of sneakers i.e Toms)
7-10 pairs of underwear
3-5 pairs of socks
1 pair of long pants
Of course this will vary based on the duration of your trip. If you're a minimalist and light packer like myself, this goes a long way. In my experience, less is definitely more.
2) Medication: Be sure to see your doctor or a travel doctor before departure to get any needed prescriptions and vaccinations. Your doctor will know what to give you for the region you are visiting. I also asked for a prescription of anti-biotics just in case.
3) Electronics: Some people find documenting extremely important, while others may just use their cell phone camera for a few photos here and there. I personally brought my iPhone and my GoPro and felt they served my purpose well. They were small and light which made for easy carrying. Be sure to consider bigger electronics such as a camera or laptop before purchasing your bag.
4) Documents: While everything can be stored and accessed electronically now, it never hurts to carry a hard copy of your documents. It's a good idea to carry a few copies of your:
1) Passport - this will make it easier if your real passport gets stolen and you need to visit the embassy
2) Driver's License/second piece of ID
3) Itinerary - as mentioned in my Flights post, some countries may require proof of return/onward flight. In case you don't have access to WiFi, a hard copy will help speed the process along.
5) Others: Toiletries (don't be fooled, this can take up quite a bit of space), headlamp/flashlight, souvenirs from your home country, etc.
The purpose of your travel will also determine the items you include in your bag. This list is based off of what I brought to Southeast Asia for no purpose other than to explore and enjoy it. I hope this post was insightful and will help you with your own packing process.
Not Your Average
"Whatever is good for your soul, do that"
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