Putting My Life In A Backpack


Before embarking on my backpacking travel around Southeast Asia, I had NO idea what to bring in my backpack. Those who know me, know that I absolutely LOVE having different items of clothing and that deciding on an outfit can take me an hour, or (probably) longer. So if you are planning a backpacking trip, and you are like me, someone who loves having their options, you’ll have to lower your standards on this one and choose wisely. Luckily, I’ve come up with a list of items that made my life much easier while traveling Southeast Asia. I also included important information on documents and visas required. Hope this helps!

  1. THE BACKPACK. When it comes to backpacking, you want to invest in a good quality backpack, especially if you are traveling for longer than a few weeks. You want a backpack that is comfortable & long lasting. You certainly do not want a cheap backpack that might break down mid trip and suddenly have all your clothes fall in the streets of Bangkok (Actually witnessed this happen to a girl). For my 5-month trip, I chose the Osprey Ariel AG 65 backpack. It’s really big and you’ll be surprised with all the things you can fit inside! However, I only recommend this backpack if you are doing a trip which lasts three weeks or longer because it is really big, a bit heavy, and pricey. If you are doing a smaller trip, I recommend the Osprey Farpoint 55 backpack. My boyfriend has been using this backpack and he absolutely loves it. It is more compact than mine, and comes with a detachable daypack, which has been a lifesaver because it is easier to carry around during the day than carrying the larger backpack.
  2. TOILETRY BAG: Before backpacking, one of my friends recommended me to bring a toiletry bag and this has been a GAME CHANGER. It keeps your personal items cleaner and more organized. For my trip, I chose the Samtour Cosmetic Pouch, which I got from Amazon.
    1. Toothbrush
    2. Toothpaste
    3. Hairbrush
    4. Floss
    5. Q-tips
    6. Face wash
    7. Shampoo & Conditioner
    8. Body wash
    9. Razor
    10. Nail clipper
    11. Microfiber towel (A lot more effective than a normal towel—dries quicker and it is more compact for traveling) I got mine from Amazon!
    12. Tampons and sanitary pads (When you run out, you’ll be able to find them at any local store. Tampons can be hard to find depending on the country you are in, but you will eventually find them if you look in more than one store)
    13. A pack of hair ties (You will lose a lot of them as you can probably imagine)
    14. Moisturizer (I actually forgot to bring this on my trip and wish I did because tanning constantly at the beach has dried my skin a lot & I had to invest in one while traveling)
    15. Makeup (not necessary for a backpacking trip BUT if you are like me and like dolling up on nights out, you might want to bring some. Here’s a little list of the makeup I brought. (It might seem like I had no room to fit all these but they all fit in the bottom pouch of my toiletry bag. Seriously, I am not kidding when I tell you the toiletry bag is a game changer!)
      1. Concealer
      2. Eyeliner
      3. Blush
      4. Bronzer
      5. Mascara
      6. Eye shadow Palette
      7. Eyebrow shadow
      8. Lipstick and lip-gloss
      9. Bronzer brush
      10. Blush brush
  4. CLOTHES: When it comes to clothes, mixing and matching will be your best choice! You do not need to bring all these clothes, you can buy some of these clothes when you get to the country (clothes are really cheap in Southeast Asia) but if you feel more comfortable bringing your own clothes, you certainly can! Here’s a list of the clothes I brought in my backpack!
    1. 4 Tank tops: ESSENTIAL, especially if you are in hot countries (I got them in white, black, navy blue, and gray)
    2. 1 pair of leggings
    3. 2 crop tops
    4. 1 bodysuit (Not necessary but I brought one for occasional night outs)
    5. 1 pair of long baggy pants (I have the mainstream elephant pants you can find anywhere in Southeast Asia, they are actually really comfortable and cute)
    6. 1 t-shirt
    7. 2 pair of shorts (a jean pair and one comfy pair)
    8. 1 maxi dress
    9. 1 short day dress
    10. 1 skirt
    11. 1 pair of sports bra
    12. 2 pair of normal bras
    13. 5-6 pairs of underwear
    14. 5 pairs of socks
    15. 2-3 bathing suits (I brought a few more because I love bikinis but more than two or three are definitely not necessary)
    16. 1 pair of flip flops (believe it or not, I actually forgot them last minute when I was packing and had to buy really bad quality flip flops when I got to Thailand and they are about to leave me BAREFOOT because they are breaking. So, make sure you double check when packing and not forget about them like I did!)
    17. 1 pair of trainers
  5. MEDICINE: Bring any medications you normally use!
    1. Painkillers: Ibuprophen, paracetamol etc. (You can find them at local pharmacies, but most of the times the pain killer packages are not written in English and are probably not the same painkillers you would have at home. If you want to play it safe, bring your own)
    2. First aid kit
    3. Traveler’s diarrhea antibiotics (high chance you’ll need this)
  6. Mosquito repellent
    1. I also got Afterbite, which relieves the itch and sting from mosquito, flea, and other insect bites. I got EATEN alive by mosquitos in Cambodia and Thailand and this really stopped the itching. I got mine on Amazon and I highly recommend it!
  7. Sunscreen lotion
  8. Universal charger converter
  9. Padlocks
  10. Ziplocs (This is where I kept my medications in and can be useful for more stuff)
  11. Flashlight (Believe it or not, you might need it! There can sometimes be power outages in your hostel and will be helpful if you ever find yourself walking at night in a dark street)
  12. Passport pouch (Easier to maintain passport safer)
  13. Travel Insurance
  14. Documents you need
    1. Passport
    2. Drivers license
    3. Credit card /debit card
    4. Document organizer
    5. Visas (Vietnam,Cambodia, and Australia require visas. Vietnam and Australia require a visa prior arrival—can take a few days before it gets approved so make sure to get a grip on this sooner rather than later. Cambodia requires visa upon arrival—turning up with passport picture will save you a few dollars and time)




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