We depart for Asia in less than a week and that only means one thing: packing! I like to pre-pack my bag a few weeks before departure on big trips like this one. This gives me enough time to review the items in my ONE bag and decide if its worth carrying on my back for a month. In the last few weeks I’ve been able to eliminate quite a few items to lighten my load. I tried to fit everything into my 30 Liter backpack. However, it was too tight than I wanted it to be. Instead, I’ll be taking my trusty Osprey Porter 46 Liter backpack. This bag has traveled around Europe for weeks and it still looks brand new. This backpack is incredibly light, distributes weight evenly and the straps can be tucked away so you can hold the backpack by a handle like a traditional luggage. We’ll be traveling via budget airlines all over Asia and the maximum weight allowance for some of these flights is a total of 6kg (13.2lb).
The weight restriction means that every item that goes into my backpack must serve multiple purposes or will be used frequently enough to warrant taking up space and weight.
I found this Keen purse with fabric that is tough, water resistant and looks like denim. There are plenty of compartments inside the bag to store all my necessary items. This makes this purse the ideal day bag. Also the strap can be adjusted so you can wear the purse as a cross body or shoulder bag.
This is my airplane bag. I always have this little bag stocked with antibacterial wipes (for disinfecting airplane armrests, tray tables and seatbelt buckles), eye mask, earplugs, compression socks and hand lotion.
This waterproof zippered bag holds my first aid kit. Inside you’ll find your basic band aids and triple antibiotic ointment. However, since we’re nurses and will be visiting some rural areas of Thailand we decided to pay a visit to our travel clinic. We were provided with antibiotics, Immodium and anti-malarial pills. We also received a Hepatitis A booster and Typhoid Immunization (my arm is still sore!). Prior to departure, I visited our local pharmacy and stocked up on the following OTC medication: Mucinex-D, benedryl, ibuprofen, vitamin C/immunity supplements and excedrin.
Liquids: shampoo samples, small bottle of conditioner, tide stain remover pen, face lotion/hydrating spray and a travel pack of essential oils. I’ve become a huge fan of DoTerra brand oils and use them for headaches, immunity boosts and muscle aches.
This small insulated lunchbox always makes it into my bag. Inside I keep baby wipes, Kleenex, reusable utensils, zip locks and a cloth napkin. We’ll use this for picnics and to store daily perishable leftovers from breakfast or lunch. This helps keep food expenses to a minimum.
Toiletries: razor, sunscreen stick, soap, comb, floss, nail files, lint remover sheets, solid perfume, deodorant and a loofah.
Electronics: external battery charger, international adaptor plug, mini power strip. Not pictured: iPhone/iPad charger cord.
I’m a huge fan of packing cubes. These Lewis and Clark brand cubes are made of thin lightweight material. This cube holds 3 tank tops rolled up, small bag of accessories and these two bows. My favorite bows are the ones made at this etsy shop: http://monasbows.etsy.com. The owner makes all kinds of different hair bows, but this Star Wars one ends up in my hair most often.
Red Cube: 3 underwear, 1 exercise bra, 1 regular bra, 1 pair of socks and 2 headbands.
Large Blue Cube: Bathing suit, lightweight waterproof jacket, sarong (doubles as a towel for the beach), 1 tshirt and 2 pairs of exercise pants. Not pictured: A new item from a company called Encircled. They make clothes that convert to a variety of items. I purchased their Chrysalis Cardi. It can be word 8 different ways including a cardigan, cape, scarf, dress and more. I’ll be wearing it on the plane as a scarf.
Shoes: Birkenstocks, Chaco’s and Ipanema sandles.
Everything fits! And there’s stil plenty of room inside.
Ready for take off!
Miscellaneous items missing from photos: sleep sack, hydroflask water bottle, headlamp, combo locks, hat and clothesline.
I’m a minimalist packer and hopefully it shows in my photos. What type of packer are you? What would you add to the bag?