Packing for Southeast Asia my 33L Backpack
This is what I did Tuesday afternoon. Not only was it a blast, but it was a challenge well excepted to fit everything I wanted into my 33L backpack. Well, now we are on the road, or in the air, or sleeping maybe. Either way, I wanted to share what I’ve got on my back with you.
There are so many blog posts out there about what to bring, what not to bring, how you can buy so many things in Southeast Asia and on and on. For me, the number one important thing, well two things, actually is this:
Face cream and comfortable shoes.
I know, maybe totally weird, but that’s me. The face cream is important because not only does it make me feel fresh and keeps my skin healthy, I wasn’t sure I’d be able to find it – even the formula in the United States is different than in Canada. I stock up often and use it plentiful. A good face cream is a must, regardless of travel.
The second item, shoes, is pretty straightforward. It can take some time to break in Birkenstocks or even runners, which is why it’s important to bring comfortable footwear that fits you. Buying a pair the day before or even mid trip might seem like a good idea, however, if your feet blister up after a day of long city walking from your new sandals, you’ll be sorry since you’ll either have to dish out more cash to tuk-tuk around or you’ll have to sit out a few sights. I don’t want to do either of those things.
Tip One: Smaller is Better
The best advice I found was not to bring a lot. Some people pack in 70L packs – no thank you. You don’t need that much, really. 33L will be enough – I didn’t even fill mine. Oh, and it weighs less than 7Kg. Carry on here we come!
Tip Two: Packing Cubes
This one seems odd, and really, to me, I was like ‘No way I need those.’ Then we happened to be at the MEC store and I mentioned it to Bryce and he was all for it! I will admit it took us some time to find some small ones we could use.
These Amazon Basic small packing cubes worked perfectly – we each used two and I got all of my clothes in them – check it out below.
All of these clothes, minus my travel outfit (which includes the jacket) fits into the two small packing cubes. I know! Seriously, it all fits…nice and rolled.
So, this is what I’ve got:
6 pairs of underwear
2 sports bras
full swimsuit (skip if you like, but I want to snorkel)
pair of leggings
a pair of shorts
pair of crop leggings
2 pairs of socks
2 head buffs
3oz face cream
3oz hand sanitizer
box of tampons (I’ve heard these are hard to find in Cambodia)
4 hair elastics
10 bobby pins
Tip Three: Luggage Style Backpack
After reading about having a small pack the next thing that really resonated with me was a luggage style backpack – not one that opens from the top only. This way, you can easily access the items in the bottom of your bag, or see what’s in your bag quickly. There’s nothing like needing your face cream and having it be at the very bottom. Such a hassle, and one I’d like to avoid.
Well, those are my 3 tips for packing for Southeast Asia – now, let’s hope I don’t regret having only 6 pairs of underwear! haha.