Two months, one carry on bag.
This ain’t the first time ya girl packed up her backpack for two months, but this time, it is very different.
I mean…. it is Southeast Asia vs. Europe. Obviously it is going to be different.
I made a packing list for my trip to Europe last year, and I still agree with everything I said. Layers are key for changing seasons. Neutral colors are a must. And, with the exception of things you would never ditch (purses, jackets, ect.), never bring anything you are super attached to. You will lose it. You will want to ditch it for space. You will full body skid down a gravel path in Switzerland and rip your brand new lulu lemon leggings.
So, how does one do two months of travel in one carry on bag?
For two months of travel, ones does not need two months worth of clothing. This type of packing is really not much different than packing for a one or two week trip. All you really need is a couple days worth of clothing, laundry detergent, and acceptance that your cleanliness is not going to be at 100. This trip is about what you are seeing, where you are going, and the people you are meeting. For God’s sake, it is not a fashion show.
For my Europe trip, clothes, clothes, and shoes took up the majority of the space in my backpack. Considering I don’t even care about fashion, this is pretty ironic. In my defense, the seasons were changing and…. Europe is a different beast. The judgement cant actually be felt when you look like a scruffy vagabond.
For this trip, my backpack couldn't be more different.
First off, I left a lot of room in my backpack. I realized I will sacrifice clothing to be able to collect small souvenirs as I travel. I don’t want to dread wearing my backpack for over an hour (even though it is only 40 liters)… and, of course, there is my golden rule - no one needs that much stuff.
1 Pittsburgh shirt (must rep the burgh, duh)
1 peach t-shirt (comfortable, from target, don’t actually care about it)
2 tank tops These are mostly for sleeping, but also because of of the warm and humid climate. Use a scarf to cover shoulders when exploring.
Sleeveless shirt that covers shoulders I got it in Turkey and it is perfect but I don't know where else you could find one.
1 dress Lightweight, covers knees, colorful but versatile.
2 pairs of nike shorts
Chacos My shower shoes and casual wears... black straps allow for shoes to MAYBE be dressed up if in a pinch.
As much underwear, bras, and socks that will fit into once small packing cube This is a personal preference, yall.
That is it.
No, it is not a lot of clothing, but get this - there will be clothing over there.
From everything that I read and everyone that I have talked to, clothing in Southeast Asia is readily accessible, cheap, and fits the fashion/weather of the area. I brought enough to get me through the first couple of the days, and from there, I will figure it out. I will asses the situation and weather and purchase clothing. Done.
So, what is filling up the rest of the space? Other crap. This trip, I brought so much other crap. I hesitated and second guessed a lot of it. I worked hard to pair it all down.
Sun screen - Sometimes my skin is sensitive, so I wanted to make sure I had enough/access to a brand I know I can use.
Going out bag
Dry bag A plastic bag with an intense seal to put electronics and passport in if around water.
Deet wipes - The most convenient way to bring enough 30% deet bug spray for 3 months. These wipes are not cheap, but one wipe is enough for the entire body.
Bug spray - If I need to reapply bug spray later in the day or have a lot of exposed skin. Always put bug spray on after sunscreen and reapply if you reapply sunscreen.
Travel towel - This time around I sucked it up and got an XL size microfiber towel. After spending nearly 3 months drying myself with a piece of microfiber cloth the size of a hand towel and then immediately changing into jeans in a humid bathrooms across 14 different European countries, I said NO MORE. I will sacrifice the microscopic amount of room for a towel that is actually towel sized.
Toilet paper: I read to keep some TP on you at all times as it is not always available. If this is a rumor, I will ditch it.