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What To Pack For a Year Long Trip to Southeast Asia

February 25, 2015

What in the world do you pack for a trip to the other side of the world, let alone a 12 month trip, in a backpack?? I have recently tried to figure this out and this is what I have found! is awesome for lists and since I am a list person this is my go to site when I was packing!  I also just came back from a sailing trip in the BVIs which is similar climate to Southeast Asia and took some notes from that trip.  For example I learned I do not need to dry my hair everyday air drying is okay as long as I have one hot tool (curling iron/straightener).  I also learned that jean shorts are a must have item, dresses are not fun to wear a backpack with and soft t-shirts are my go to.

I am using the Osprey Farpoint 55 Liter with detachable day pack, I love this thing! I got it specifically for our trip to Asia but have used it for 3 vacations since purchase and it is going to be great over there. Here is a before pic and I have outlined what I have put in it for our 12 month adventure.



Passport and 10 copies



Credit Cards

Travel Insurance

Dive Card

Pictures of all receipts for flight tickets, hotel reservations, credit cards, ID and dive card – Google drive is awesome for this stuff


9 tops– 5 casual 2 nice 2 workout

7 bottoms– capri leggings, jean shorts, black nice shorts, adventure shorts (moisture wicking) and 1 maxi skirt, 2 workout shorts

5 dresses

3 jackets– rain, zip up, and sweatshirt type

3 shoes– beach flops, nice sandals, tennis shoes

1 dive skin

2 coverups

10 underwear

3 bras– 2 fancier sportsbras and 1 wire– I anticipate wearing the sports bras a lot due to the heat

4 swim suits

1 scarf that can also be a blanket or cardigan (for the planes, trains, ferries etc)



Dry shampoo

Tampons– I heard they do not sell them in Asia so I have stocked up







Body wash


Body lotion

Face lotion




Curling iron

First Aid:





Medic bag from REI










Extra batterypack


Travel pillow

Dry bag

Steri-pen– in case we cant buy bottled water

Plug adapters

Hand sanitizer

Hand wipes for cleaning surfaces

Travel lock

I have packed ALL of this in my backpack, I know its amazing, by using the wonderful e-bags packing cubes.  They are awesome little gadgets and I highly recommend them!

Well I think that’s everything!  I will be keeping notes on how well these items suit me over there and if I need to update anything I will let yall know :)

We are currently planning out the month of April and Bali is high on our list, does anyone have recommendations on where in Bali to stay or if theres an island you like better in Indonesia?  Let us know in the comments below!!



Organize It

What To Do Before You Go Abroad— A Checklist

December 19, 2014

So you want to travel abroad?  Congratulations!! I am here to help and these are a few things to look into before you leave your home country for an extended period of time.  These are some tips that I have personal experience messing up or things I have heard along the way.   Either way just some tips to help make your transition to international long-term traveler smoother!


Shots— See what kind of shots are needed/recommended for the area you are traveling to

Doctor visits— general doctor, dermatologist, optometrist, gynecologist, dentist, any other personal doctors you might need to see.

Insurance— Do you want travel insurance or are you able to stay with your current carrier?  Whichever is best make sure your coverage fits the bill for what you are looking for

Proof of Identification:

Take pics of essential documents— passport, id, cc, birth certificate, any other important documents upload to a secure cloud server.   Also make copies of your passport to keep in a separate location and leave one with family member  in case your real one gets stolen you can still prove citizenship.

Register with the embassy—  If there’s a problem while traveling, this will make it easier for your government to contact you and get you to safety.


Understand the visa situation in each country you plan on visiting.  Is it a 30 day travel visa or a 60 day?  Whatever it is just know it and understand how to renew if you need to (typically you need to go to the embassy but not always).


Make sure your credit cards work in the country you are traveling to and that you know the conversion rate.  You don’t want to show up thinking you have way more money than you actually do.

Bring cash if you are unsure of ATM accessibility.  Its better to have too much cash than no cash and no ATM.

Stop Current Automatic Payments— Cancel that gym membership you pay automatically every month if you are not going to be utilizing it.

Conversion— Use ATMs.  If you have to utilize a person never and I repeat NEVER take your eyes off the person exchanging your money or off the money itself.  Do not let the money go out of your sight, I have heard horror stories of money being exchanged and as the money is slid off the table “into a bag” the majority of it falls on the floor never to make it into the bag you take from the exchanger and you just lost 2/3 of the money you were to take home.  Be cautious!


Have it forwarded to a friend or family member or there is this site that opens your mail scans it in and emails it to you for a small fee each month.


Adapter— make sure you have one since nowadays we are more attached to gadgets than anything else.  I would rather my wallet be stolen any day over my phone and I’m sure I am not alone :)

Global Capabilities— Make sure you activate your phones global capabilities to avoid roaming charges and use WIFI wherever you can!  You can also utilize a SIM card in your current phone (if you have a phone that operates on the GSM network which is pretty much every service in the US with the exception of Verizon) once you get to the country you are visiting, just buy a SIM card at an airport or local electronics store put it in your current phone and voila you are basically a local.

Hope these tips help!  What else do you do before leaving for an extended trip??  Please leave suggestions in the comments below!!