Time to get down to the dirty business of travel blogging. I’ve been putting this off, because quite frankly, it’s boring, but the internet needs to see my complete packing list. In preparing for this trip to Thailand, I browsed dozens of blogs and lurked on many forums before feeling confident enough to pack my bag. It’s time to pay it forward and list one by one, every item I packed. If you actually know me, you might want to skip this post entirely.
I fit everything I brought with me in one 46 liter Osprey Porter and my trusty 20 liter JanSport teal backpack I’ve been using instead of a purse for a year or so. While the list below seems like a whole lot of stuff to be lugging around, it actually compresses quite well. My backpack is chock full of electronics, books, and toiletries, but my larger pack has plenty of room to spare! Surely we will start acquiring more things as we settle down into an apartment, but so far my gear has proved pretty adequate.
If I could pack all over again, I would have left out a pair of leggings and minimized my cords for electronics. I would have packed a pair of chucks, brought my climbing shoes (we’ll have to pay a pretty penny to get climbing gear here), and perhaps brought some workout gear, though I’m sure with some keen shopping I could replace those easily.
Surprisingly, clothing was one of the easiest objects to tackle. While I’m not what you would call a “fashionista”, I’ve got a lot of opinions and a lot of clothes. I love scouring thrift stores for cheap, unique items and mixing in colorful, trendier bits from the big boxes. I’m never quite able to be “on trend” or find clothes that fit me well, but I just stomp along and forget about it. Buffalo Exchange, Target, and Urban Outfitters probably make up the bulk of my clothing (though I since abandoned UO for ethical reasons), but what I’ve got in my bag skews towards the “performance” route. Here is the breakdown, complete with rather crappy cellphone pictures:
- Black, built-in bra tank top, origin unknown.
- Pink, lightweight, sheerish Threads4Thought tank top.
- Bright blue, short-sleeve, button-up shrug from Forever21 for layering with tanks for modesty.
- Lightweight, long-sleeved, purple and black plaid button-up with roll-up sleeves from Target’s Converse brand.
- Black, short-sleeved tee with snappy neck detail picked up from Buffalo Exchange.
- Black, quick-dry Patagonia tank top with wrap front.
- Not pictured: lime green v-neck Threads4Thought tee thrown in last minute.
- Not pictured: floral patterned, lightweight, short-sleeved Guess button-up.
- Black Patagonia quick-dry, knee-length, halter-style dress.
- Black North Face cowl-necked, short-sleeve, lightweight, wool-blend knee-length dress.
- Not pictured: red, short-sleeved dress from Forever21 worn on the plane.
- Grey skinny jeans picked up from TJMax many years ago.
- Brownish roll-up pants from REI with all of the performance traits: quick-dry, moisture-wicking, wrinkle-resistant, UPF rating.
- Navy blue Forever21 leggings.
- Not pictured: grey Target brand leggings I picked up for $5 in a fit of panic two days before my flight.
- Sparkly black flats from Target that can be compressed and carried in a purse.
- Green thong-style Birkenstocks.
- Lightweight all-purpose Merrell hiking shoes.
- Not pictured: my trusty Birkenstock insoles to throw out the pain from any new shoes purchased along the way.
- Not pictured: one pair of knee-high socks, one pair of wool socks, a few pairs of athletic ankle socks
- North Face Windwall pink fleece.
- Buff scarfy thing drenched in permethrin.
- Mismatched swimsuit with a hand-me-down top and Converse bottoms.
- North Face raincoat stuffed into its own pocket.
- A yellow Pashmina imitator purchased from a $10 store in the MSP airport in 2010.
- MSR blue travel towel.
- Not pictured: Urban Outfitters green, fake-shawl-type open cardigan worn on the plane.
- Two of my favorite bras
- Two quick-dry, wicking panties from Ex-Officio
- Three pairs of Target brand lacier undies that aren’t designed for the purpose of being quick-dry, but do indeed dry quickly
- Three pairs of cotton Victoria’s Secret underwear
- Red and white polka dotted bloomers from Forever21 that function as sleepwear/PJ bottoms
Electronics and Media
I probably could have minimized a bit on this front, but technology is probably the most important thing to me when I travel. It lets me connect with people back home, keep track of people abroad, and capture and share my experiences. I brought with me:
- MacBook Air and power adapter
- iPhone 4 and power adapter, which functions as a camera so long as the 4 with version 5 software remains resistant to unlocks
- iPod Nano and extra USB cable, because the iPhone is generally filled with pictures
- Canon Rebel XTi, USB cable, and battery charger (went into Andy’s bag, though!)
- Nook SimpleTouch E-Reader and USB cable, which is mostly carried by Andy, and was purchased last minute as a way to ensure we will always have english language books available
- iPhone macro lens and iPhone wide-angle lenses
- Zara clutch (a gift from Maaian!) to hold assorted cords
- HardCandy case for MacBook
- Geek Love paperback (a gift from Pete), which has since been finished and left for other travelers in Bangkok
- Beginners Guide to Zen Buddhism paperback, because I thought it would be educational
- Lonely Planet Bangkok Encounter guide
- Berlitz Thai Phrasebook, often carried by Andy
- A Guide to Spoken Thai, picked up at Half Price Books in Austin
- People Magazine (a gift from Kellie), consumed and left for other travelers in Bangkok
- Vanity Fair Magazine (a gift from Kellie)
- Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations, which was originally carried by Andy, but now I’m reading it and carrying it
Toilettries, Medications, and Other Troublesome Items
- Two razors
- Pack of zip ties
- Money wallet
- Small first aid kit including: Benadryl, antacids, Immodium, various pain relievers, band-aids, antiseptic cream, alcohol pads, prescription drugs including antibiotics, decongestants, chill pills, and sleeping pills
- Hairbands and bobby pins
- A very small make-up bag
- My Keeper
- Ultrathon bug repellant
- Individual hand sanitizer wipes
- Face cleaning wipes
- Eye make-up remover wipes (travel size)
- Basic wet-ones (travel size) — all of the wipes help avoid the liquids cap on airplanes; I know they’re not environmentally sound and I do feel things about this, but girl needs her comfort on international flights!
- Travel sizes of body lotion, shower gel, shampoo, and conditioner
- Detergent pen
- A 4-pack of Colgate Wisps for long travel days
- Travel pack of tissues
- An extra, unopened Rose Salve
- Mini travel perfumes
- Liter Nalgene
- Sunglasses and their case
Keywords: Southeast Asia, packing list, Thailand, what to pack
Hi! I'm Susan, and this is my travel journal. You can read more about me here.
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