I can’t believe it, my trip to Asia kicks off tomorrow! It still doesn’t seem real yet.

I’ve managed to fit pretty much everything I want to take with me into two small (carry-on size) backpacks.

For a bag, I chose to go with the Eagle Creek Doubleback 22, because it’s a small rolling case that turns into a backpack and I don’t actually enjoy carrying a lot of weight on my shoulders. I hope I can roll it most of the time. It also comes with a small daypack so it’s really two backpacks in one!

Update in 2019: they don’t seem to make this backpack any more but the closet thing to it is the Eagle Creek Load Warrior 22 inch, which also opens from the front all the way, one of the best parts about this roller bag! I never ended up using the backpack straps for mine so I think the Load Warrior bag would be just as great.

And, as recommended on pretty much every travel blog I visited, I also bought some Eagle Creek packing cubes

Finally, I read packing lists from several travel blogs and then created a list on google drive, which I optimized slightly after doing a packing trial.

If you’re curious, here’s what I decided to take with me. I know it’s probably too many “nice” clothes but I’ll be going out for a few “fancy” meals the first couple weeks (including lunch at Nahm). Whatever I don’t use, I plan to give away or mail back en route.

It all fits into two small bags

It all fits into two small bags

The photos show what I’m taking (not pictured are toiletries / medications, a couple books, and on-plane clothes).


  • 2 sports t-shirts

  • 2 pairs sport shorts

  • 3 pairs running/walking socks

  • 4 tank tops

  • 6 casual shirts

  • 3 nicer shirts

  • 1 nice skirt

  • 2 dresses

  • 2 pairs shorts (jeans, khaki)

  • Hiking shirt + pants

  • Stretchy pants

  • 9 pairs underwear

  • 2 bras

  • 2 sports bras

  • Pjs (tank top, shorts)

  • 2 bikinis

  • 1-piece swimsuit

  • 1 pair jeans (to wear on plane)

  • 1 long-sleeved shirt (to wear on plane)

  • Hooded rain jacket (to wear on plane)

Shoes and accessories

  • Cover-up / scarf

  • Flip flops (I adore these ones from Sanuk, made from old yoga mats!)

  • Hiking sandals: I bought a pair of Teva Tirra sandals which are super comfortable for hiking and double as water shoes. They’ve lasted through several trips now.

  • Flats (for going out)

  • 1 clutch purse

  • 1 cloth bag purse for carrying money under clothes

  • 1 narrow braided belt

  • Small microfiber towel

  • waterproof pouch

  • 1 scarf / hair band

  • Running/walking shoes (wear on plane)

  • Some cheap jewelry I don’t mind losing

  • Sunglasses

  • Swimming goggles

Medication, etc

  • Prescription pills

  • Anti-malaria pills

  • Anti-diarrhea pills

  • Mosquito spray

  • Neosporin

  • Bandaids

  • Contact lenses

  • Prescription glasses + case


  • Razor and extra blades (have heard they’re hard to get there)

  • deodorant

  • face lotion w/ spf

  • powder and foundation

  • small shampoos

  • body wash + poof

  • sunblock

  • face wipes

  • hand sanitizer

  • tweezers

  • small brush

  • toothbrush / paste

  • floss


  • Laptop + charger

  • Phone + charger

  • Kindle and charger

  • Adapters


  • Passport and Danish residency card

  • Earplugs: I absolutely love the wax earplugs that you can get at Boots in England; since moving back to the US I was so disappointed with other pairs until I found Quies wax ear plugs which are nearly as good! They’re great to shape to fit your ear.

  • Sleeping mask: I’m obsessed with the Bucky eye mask because it feels so light against my face and doesn’t catch my hair; I use them daily until they wear out and then buy another!

  • Pen and journal

  • Guidebooks

  • 1 paperback for beach

  • Door stop

  • Pacsafe bag protector (tupdate after this article was posted: I didn’t actually use it much, simply because I didn’t feel the need to and most hostels had lockers for the bags. I did use it in a hostel without a locker once and it was great! So I’d say it depends on whether you think you’ll need it.)

  • Padlock

If you’ve backpacked for a couple of months, what have you found most helpful, or what did people recommend that you ended up not using? Let me know in the comments!

Please note that this post contains affiliate links and as an Amazon Associate I earn money from qualifying purchases. I only recommend products that I love and would use myself and it’s completely up to you if you want to buy them!


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