Packing List For 3 Months In Asia

Posted on February 21, 2013


Packing for Asia

While some dread the daunting task of packing for an extended trip, I discovered that I’m a big fan. For me, carefully deciding what to bring and what to leave at home is part of the pre-trip fun.

Nevertheless, it wasn’t the easiest job. I’ve packed, unpacked and packed again about three times now, getting rid of items every time to make sure my bag wouldn’t weigh too much. And still, I’ve managed to overpack. That’s okay though, most of my clothes are old and I have no problem getting rid of stuff as I go.

So here’s what I’ve got in my pack:

When packing my clothes I tried to stick to the rule of two for everything (except with tops, I brought one extra to sleep in).



I’m bringing 2 long-sleeved shirts (one that I’ll be wearing on the plane), 2 short-sleeved shirts, 2 light tank tops and 2 dark tank tops. All of this is lightweight cotton so comfortable to wear.  There’s an extra top (with a marvelous elephant print) that my friend gave me on my farewell party that I just have to bring, so I kind of cheated on my rule of two there… While I’m well aware the climate in South East Asia is really hot, I do insist on bringing the long-sleeved because I’d like to keep my skin covered from time to time.

I’m also bringing one light cardigan that I could use to cover up at temples, wear at night, etc. There’s also a vest that I’ll be wearing on the plane (I’m always freezing!) that I’ll probably get rid of pretty soon.



2 long, lightweight pants and 2 shorts. Added to that are 2 dresses, one for occasions and one maxi, that is good for temples etc. If it turns out to be too heavy, the maxi is the first one I’ll get rid of though, as it’s the heaviest item I’ve got.



I’m bringing one pair of Havaianas flip-flops, one pair of Teva sandals (really comfortable and reasonably classy too!) and I’m wearing my Palladiums on the plane. They’re canvas, so not too warm, yet have good steady soles and are comfortable to hike in.


Underwear (enough to last for a week), 2 pairs of socks (short and white), 2 bikini’s, 2 sarongs, a scarf I usually wear in my hair and a straw hat. Also coming with me are my boyfriends’ extremely comfy lightweight pajama pants that I’ve managed to steal for the occasion.



This must have been the trickiest part. Due to chronic skin problems I’m pretty particular about what creams & shower gels I use. I can’t possibly bring enough for my entire stay though, so I’ll have to hope I can find something suiting in one of the cities. For Christmas my parents in law gave me a really handy toiletry bag, as they remember my struggle in Spain when I had everything in one bag and was messing around all the time. This Samsonite one has lots of different compartments so I can store everything separately. I like to stay organized. Here’s what I’m bringing:

– 2 mini flasks of extra emollient shower cream
– 1 big tube of Vision factor 30 sun cream for sensitive skin
– Factor 30 sun protection lip balm
– Facial wipes
– toothbrush & toothpaste (travel sized)
– 50% DEET based mosquito repellent
– a mini loofah
– Aloe Vera body butter
– Roll on Deodorant
– Day cream for sensitive skin
– Rheumason (it’s an Indonesian muscle balm, comparable to tiger balm but a little gentler)
– Dental floss
– Epilady (shaving  and waxing is a pain with my skin, that doesn’t mean I’ll have to walk around with hairy legs though)
– 2 back up razor blades (just in case)
– Mascara
– 1 flask of Tea Tree oil. Works for everything.

And lady stuff (guys, don’t look); feminine hygiene wipes and a box of tampons.

Other stuff


One microfiber travel towel, one travel sheet, a first aid kit with all the essentials (betadine, ORS, band aids, gauge, etc.), one lightweight raincoat that I bought for 10 pounds at Primark in London… It’s water-resistant, and fits inside its own pocket! In the plastic cover I’ve got a pocketknife, a small rope, converter (for Singapore), small torch, a sowing kit, Point it booklet (thank you Merel!) and a decoy wallet with a blocked credit card. Better safe than sorry! In the side pockets of my pack I’ve put a moneybelt and a small purse.

All of this fits easily into my 55+10 liter Deuter Aircontact bag. I bought this one 2 years ago for festivals (where I usually camp out) and my trip to Spain. It’s comfortable and handy, with lots of different compartments. However I think it’s getting too big for me, it’s easy to overpack and even with everything I’m bringing now I still have room left. For the next trip I might consider a different backpack.

I packed all of my clothes into separate Ziploc bags, and put them in the middle compartment so it’s easy to reach:




In my small Dakine daypack goes: my Samsung NC10 netbook, my Canon Powershot SX220 camera, my Samsung Galaxy S2 smart phone, an iPod, passport & vaccination passport, medication, a notebook, a 32 GB USB flash drive (which has The Big Bang Theory and Homeland on it, yay), Lonely Planet’s Southeast Asia on a shoestring, The Beach (Yes, it’s a cliché, but I’ve actually never read it before so I’m curious), my wallet, my airplane survival kit (sleeping mask, earplugs, inflatable neck pillow, facial wipes and some undies in case my luggage gets stranded somewhere) and of course my flight information. I’ve also got some extra photo’s for visa’s, a flight ticket out of Thailand and a copy of my hostel booking confirmation for the first nights.

That’s all folks! I’ve weighed my main pack and it comes down to a mere 11 kg, that’s pretty doable and is well under the usual 15 kg weight restriction for most Asian budget airlines.

We’ll see how much is still left of it when I come back. I’m planning on doing a post on what I used and didn’t use at the end of my trip.

Packing for Asia

That’s everything!

Just a few more days to go, hurrah!

Posted in: Asia, Travel Tips