One of the biggest things about packing you need to take into consideration is the weight of you’re a bag. If you are planning on only taking carry on luggage and save checking in a big bag you need to keep the packing to a minimum as most airline only allow 10kg.
We didn’t have this option as we were carrying winter clothes for Australia as well as Martina’s hairdressing gear so we had 2 big bags. For check-in bags, the weight varies from airline to airline (which is extremely frustrating) the lowest weight we encountered was 20kg with ThaiSmile. In general to avoid overweight charges pack to have a maximum 20kgs.
Travel Packing Checklist
- Smartphone: This is absolutely essential for all travellers. You will need it for taking pictures, general boredom aka social media, checking emails and MOST importantly Google Maps. You can buy a cheap sim with data for $10-20 so you can have internet all the time but I recommend not to bother and just use the WiFi in you’re hotel/hostel or when you are out as all bars/restaurants have free WiFi.
- First Aid Kit: Pretty much essential for every traveller. Out first aid kit consisted of the following:
- Prescription Drugs: The prescription needs to be on the bottle/box because some countries will check your medicine when you pass immigration.
- Paracetamol or any sort of pain killers.
- Band-Aids and Sudacream
- Motion Sickness Pills
- Diarrhoea Medicine – Traveling Asia you’re stomach will need to adjust so just be prepared 🙁
- Heat rash tablets – it gets pretty hot out there!
- Lonely Planet Travel Guide: I laughed when I saw Martina bringing this thinking who needs books when you have Google. It genuinely comes in very handy as you don’t always have Google at hand. It was also great for a quick history lesson before we arrived in a city/country.
- Headphones: A good pair of headphones is a must, I have a small pair of buds which are ideal as can be easily carried around. Avoid the large Beats type headphones as they will just be a nusiance to carry and it will be a bit hot to wear.
- Good Pair of Runners: You will be doing a lot of walking so having one good steady pair will stand to you in the long run. You can buy flip flops/light runners pretty easily as loads of street stalls/shops selling them.
- Portable USB 3.0 Hard Drive: Don’t rely on the local television to keep you entertained, most places now have televisions that will take a USB drive which you can plug in. We had a few different tv show seasons and movies we could put on anytime we were bored which saved us from watching Star Wars in some sort of Vietnamese. We have a 2TB but 1TB should be more than enough space.
- Rechargeable Battery: An absolute must especially for those who phones suck battery (try turning off the WiFi when not using it and closing apps)
- Manbag or Money Belt: Hotel rooms will have safes but there will be times you will be carrying you’re money and passports on you so I recommend a bag you can carry close to you with multiple inside pockets. Be wary on tuks tuks as people might try to grab them though.
- Padlock: We never locked our bags but we also never ke[t anything valuable in them so depends on what you keep in your bag but always handy to have one!
- Kindle/Table/iPad: You will have a lot of spare time so having something to read or watch is pretty helpful
- Audible: For anybody that likes being productive 90% of their time all those hours travelling can be used to listen to books with Audible.
- GoPro: Recording videos with you’re phone is just a nuisance so I recommend a GoPro to save the hassle and catch things in the moment. (It doesn’t even have to be a GoPro there are cheaper equivalents).
What Not to Bring
- Laptop: Just leave it at home this is time to embrace the journey and culture of the countries you’re visiting. Obviously, this is easier said than done but I did and really enjoyed it (I did buy a laptop in Bangkok though so I could get back to some sort out routine in Koh Samui).
- Towels: You will be provided towels in most places and they only add extra weight you want to avoid.
- T-Shirts: Pack 5 t-shirts because simply the amount of cheap t-shirts in Asia is unbelievable and they are absolutely dirt cheap. If you are packing t-shirts I recommend light training t-shirts that won’t stick to you as you will be sweating loads!
- Hairdryer: Most hotels will have hairdryers and they are pretty cheap in Asia too
- Books: Simply they weight too much, just load them onto a Kindle!
- Toiletries: They weight too much just buy them there, most hotels will provide you with toothpaste and brush, earbuds, shampoo and conditioner.
- Jewellery: You can buy loads of jewellery in the street stores so leave the fancy stuff at home!
Is there something you think should be added to the lists just comment below and I will add them 🙂
Buying the Right Travel Bag for Your Trip
When packing for Backpacking the first choice you need to make is the type of bag you will take. Most people highly recommend backpacks but we took suitcases and got on grand. With wheels on the suitcases, it saves a lot of the hassle. It was a bit of an inconvenience taking them onto boats but we were happy with our choice.
Backpackers: For those that are going to be walking the streets looking for accommodation a backpack is what you need. You can buy backpacks that open up as suitcases and also come with a small backpack that can be detached for day to day purposes.
Flashpacking: I took a suitcase with 4 wheels and it does everything you need as I was literally only carrying it in airports and then putting on a bus or in back of a taxi, there was no need for a backpack.
Packing Your Travel Bag Hacks for Thailand or Anywhere
- Make sure to divide your bag into compartments to make things easier such as toiletries, first aid kit, essential docs, warm clothes, day to day clothes.
- Roll you’re clothing makes it easier to fit in large amounts of clothes.
- Put any liquids in plastic bags
- Keep important documents easily accessible if you need them in the airport
- Keep valuables on you while travelling between country to country, city to city!