In a previous post we shared a women’s packing list for a three-week trip to Southeast Asia. This article provides notes around the approach and and what we might have changed if we were to do the same trip again.
- 18 hour-long haul flight (nonstop, direct to destination)
- Four “commuter” flights (less than five hours) during the trip
- Carry-on style travel (some of the smaller flights have low weight restrictions where this will not be possible)
- Weather: high 80s, low 90s Fahrenheit (mid-20s-low 30s Celsius); high humidity, occasional rain showers
- 1/2 of the trip will be exploring cities (Singapore, Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City)
- 1/4 of the trip will be outdoors (no intensive trekking or hiking)
- 1/4 of the trip will be on the beach
- Accommodation: hotels, villas (with access to laundry services)
- Laundry done once mid-way through the trip
Trip Post Mortem Notes:
- We were traveling with our child, and because we all tend to get grubbier due to kid activities (park, exploration, eating) we packed more than usual.
- Wash/dry/fold laundry services are inexpensive. We utilized them three times during the trip. For this reason, we could have packed half the amount of clothes as we did the wash once per week.
- Having a system for packing the night before a flight was effective in keeping us stress-free and not leaving items behind.
- The weather was humid and we tended to select the clothing items that were lightweight and had breathable material.
- Make sure that antibacterial wipes are kept on hand; hand washing facilities were spotty around the coasts.
- MomInside Diaper Bag Tote (can be worn as a tote, cross-body, or backpack)
- Purpose: In-flight bag & large day bag if out all day
- Ditty Co. Day Bag/Fanny Pack
- Purpose: Lightweight purse for short day outings; can be worn as a fanny pack or sling
- Kelty Redwing 40 liter pack
- Purpose: luggage that can fit overhead in most international airlines
- Packable backpack for diapers & wipes
- Packing cubes – Eagle Creek, REI or similar
This diaper tote/backpack measures 15.5 inches wide on the front and back panels x 5.5 inches on the side panels and x 14 inches tall.
This fanny pack is purpose built to hold diapers and wipes. It measures 11 inches wide in the front and back panels x 5 inches on the side panels x 5 inches tall. It also includes a baby changing pad and a belt extender. The wipes featured here are an unopened 64 wipe pack with two size 4 diapers and the fit is snug in the main pocket.
Gear Post Mortem Notes:
- The MomInside Diaper Bag does not fit a 13 inch laptop. When fully packed, it is difficult to access items in and out of the bag. We will likely try to find a similar style, slightly bigger bag for future.
- The Ditty Co. fanny pack/sling was a delight to use and wear. Whether you purchase this item, or opt for a similar style, having essential items on your chest and easily accessible is helpful. Those challenging transition moments getting through airport security, boarding a flight etc. are eased.
Long Haul Flight Outfit
[Items noted below are all listed in the clothing section and are NOT in an addition to what is packed in the backpack]
Long Haul Flight Outfit Post Mortem Notes:
- Bring a stole or scarf if flying in economy, skip if in business class (blankets are provided).
- Wear compression socks to reduce swelling and help blood circulation
- Go braless for comfort; keep a wireless bra in your carry-on
- Wear a panty liner and change mid-flight if needed to feel “fresh”
- 1 lightweight rain shell
- 1 black cardigan
- 1 white long sleeve cover up
- 1 chambray long sleeve cover up
- 2 tank tops (black, white)
- 3 lightweight shirts with sleeves (black, white, color/patterned)
- 4 dresses – three knee-length one long sleeve midi dress (substitute two dresses with two shorts and two shirts if you don’t wear dresses)
- 1 dress slip
Tops Post Mortem Notes:
- The light weight cover up tops turned sleeveless tops and dresses into appropriate temple outfits. Highly recommended to keep one in your day-to-day bag when a sweater or cardigan is too heavy weight.
- 1 pair of leggings (for under dresses if not long enough for temples, multipurpose for beach)
- 1 pair of joggers
- 1 pair of linen pants
- 1 pair of shorts
Bottoms Post Mortem Notes:
- Leggings can be removed if the weather is hot; unlikely that tight material would be preferred in the humidity.
- Wear linen pants to temples if needed
- Ensure that shorts are lightweight; don’t have to be athletic but something that won’t rub inner thighs after a long day of walking
- 10 or so pairs of underwear
- 2 seamless bras
- 5 pairs of no show socks
- 1 lightweight pajama set
- 2 bathing suits (one piece for activities, one bikini or tankini)
- 2 bathing suit dress (or cover up, sarong)
Beach Post Mortem Notes:
- If tight on space, can reduce to 1 coverup/sarong/dress
- 1 pair city sneakers
- 1 pair walking sandals
- 1 pair flip flops
- 1 pair of flats (substitute flip flops for flats if time is more city oriented)
Shoes Post Mortem Notes:
- If your bag is feeling heavy/stuffed by the time you get to shoes, consolidate to one pair of sneakers and one pair of walking sandals. You can pick up flip flops on the road or wear hotel slippers to/from the pool.
- Earrings – delicate gold hoop, delicate silver hoop (make sure they can get wet/water friendly)
- 1 lightweight scarf for covering shoulders
- 1 hat
- Toothbrush + (mini) toothpaste (purchase full sized when you reach)
- Face wash
- Hair ties & bobby pins
- After sun soothing cream
- Contact lenses
- Eyebrow pencil
- Cream blush (can be blended in with fingers)
- Concealer (can be blended with fingers)
- Lip stain
- Cuticle trimmer
- Razor (and extra blades)
- Compact travel mirror
Mosquito bite prevention
- Digestive enzymes
Tricky to find/limited options when on the road:
- Razor blades
- Period products
- Google Pixel smartphone + charger
- Waterproof phone case
- Global converter
- iPad mini tablet (as a replacement for computer) + charger + case
- External battery pack + charging cord
- Corded headphones
Electronics Post Mortem Notes:
- We brought the iPad for our child; it didn’t get a ton of use. May not pack for future trips, especially if we are tight on space.
- Wet bag
- Handful of ziplock bags
- Face mask
- Sanitizing wipes
Identity, Health, Banking & Insurance
- Passport (with applicable visas and six months+ of time before expiration)
- Global Entry card (second form of identification)
- Proof of funds (print out of last bank statement)
- Covid-vaccination card
- Charles Schwab debit card (no foreign transaction fees and refunds ATM fees)
- $100 USD converted into local currency, small bills
- World Nomads travel insurance policy and contact information (used as a secondary insurance beyond coverage at home)
- Coin purse
If staying in a hostel, plan to pack:
- Microfiber towel
- Small sleeping bag liner like the Cocoon Travel Sheet (packs down into the size of a fat deck of cards)
- Body wash
- Shower flip flops
Items you can leave at home:
- Mosquito net – available for rent or free use in most hostels, hotels and b&b’s.
- Jeans – even though locals wear them, they retain moisture and can become too tight if your body swells in the heat. If you DO bring them, plan to select a looser fitting, boyfriend style cut that does not fit snug against your body.
- Polyester or synthetic clothing — does not breathe well in the humid, hot air.