What I’ve packed for long term travel.

Disclaimer – I am not a travel expert. This is everything I’ve packed, as a twenty something female, for a 4 month trip around Asia. This is the first time I’ve been away ‘long term’ and the prospect of packing 4 months’ worth of clothes into 1 bag literally terrified me. I have packed, unpacked, repacked, stressed about packing, cried over packing, then once and for all, packed.


How much underwear does one need for 4 months? 30 days a month, 4 months – so 120 pairs of pants, right? Wrong. My aim for the trip is to clean my clothes either myself or in a launderette at least once a fortnight so very maximum. 14 pairs of pants, I like to live life on the edge so I’ve opted for 10. Now girls I dunno about you but I probably wear my Bra’s far too many times before washing them, so I’ve opted for 3 bras. Most of the time I will be wearing sandals but I am also taking trainers so I’ve packed 5 pairs of trainer socks.


I’m taking 3 pairs of shoes with me. I’m wearing a pair of trainers to fly out in as they will be the heaviest item that will be coming with me. I’m also taking my Birkenstocks, which are super pricey for sandals but literally the comfiest and most hard wearing sandals you will ever come across. Along with 1 cute pair of sandals for dressier evenings.


One thing to bear in mind when travelling is the culture of where you’re going. If you’re going temple hopping then denim booty shorts probably are not appropriate. Again, trying to stick to the ‘washing my clothes every fortnight’ rule. So I’ve got 2 pairs of denim shorts, 2 pairs of cotton shorts, 1 pair of culottes and 1 maxi skirt. I will also have some full length leggings that I will be travelling in.


Now personally I think if I’m going to take more of anything it’s going to be tops. Because hot countries = sweat patches. Again, it’s important to consider where you are going. Religious areas may wish for you to wear long sleeves or require at least your shoulders/elbows are covered. So I’ve packed 6 t-shirts, 4 vest tops and 2 baggy t-shirt dresses. I am also taking 1 thin cardigan, and 1 hoodie that I will be wearing to fly in.


One thing to remember. Other countries have shops. You do not need to take 6 tubes of Colgate and 4 bottles of Tresemme. Shocking, right? My toiletries bag consists of 1 small bottle of combined shampoo & conditioner, 1 small bottle of body wash, a razor, toothbrush and toothpaste, hand sanitiser, deodorant and a pack of face wipes. I know that some countries we’re going to don’t use toilet paper, which is a lifestyle I just cannot adjust to, so I’ve packed an emergency toilet roll, and 1 pack of sanitary towels. I’ve read a lot of female’s who travel long term swear by using a menstrual cup, but again, another lifestyle choice I just cannot get used to, but that’s a whole different post. I’ve also got 1 bottle of factor 50 sun cream, 1 can of bug spray and 1 bottle of after sun. I’ve also packed some nail clippers & tweezers.


Some girls will be shocked when they hear me refer to these things as luxuries. Yes, I actually am that type of girl now. I am not taking a hairdryer. Most of the places we are going to will be so unbelievably humid so there will be absolutely no need to blow-dry my hair as all the effort would be ruined within precisely 4 seconds. I am however taking my hair straighteners. I just can’t part with them for 4 months. Will I regret having to carry them around with me? Time will tell. Along with the hairdryer, all bottles of foundation will be staying firmly at home. I have however packed a little make-up, some highlighter, blusher, eyebrow gel, eyeliner, and mascara. If I feel I want to get super dressed up and want more make-up whilst I’m away I will invest when I’m in a drug store in Asia.

First aid bag.

If you’re travelling long term, probably exploring countries with a very different cuisine to what you’re used to, chances are you’re going to get an upset tummy at some point. So I feel like some diarrhoea medication, along with Dioralyte capsules for re-hydration are essential. Obviously any prescription medications also need to be in there (remember to get any repeat prescriptions sorted well before hand). Birth control, cos that would be one way to cut your trip short now, wouldn’t it?! Other things in my first aid bag include Paracetamol, blister plasters and antihistamine tablets.


Obviously, if you’re going somewhere hot then protection from the sun is imperative, so remember to pack your sunglasses and a hat. A travel towel is essential for long term travel, you’re going to need something that will dry out fast, especially when packing and unpacking in hostels. Another essential is a ‘mac in a bag’, if you’re traveling long term then chances are you’re going to get bad weather at some point. Macs are perfect as they roll up really small and aren’t heavy for if the weather is really wet but also still hot.  I’ve also packed an umbrella for the rainy days, which can also double up as a sun umbrella. A Plug adaptor is something you’re also definitely going to need, you can actually get universal ones which are perfect if you’re travelling through many different countries. Last but not least I’ve purchased a light weight, silk sleeping bag sheet. This is essentially a really thin silk sleeping bag. When travelling long term chances are you’re going to come across one or two substandard accommodations.  The sleeping sheet will give me protection from any dirty hostel beds and also a little extra protection from bugs.

The rucksack I’m taking with me is this one. I hope you find these tips useful, and any extra’s I’ve missed then please let me know!

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  • You’ve certainly done good research as this is basically what my backpack is full of when I take off for my travels. I am exactly the same when it comes to taking my straighteners with me, I can’t live without them for even a week haha.
    A few tips I would advise; either take or buy some cheap flip flops out there for showers, especially if you’re staying in hostels. Also, hostels will most likely have laundry services (some will even do it for you) so that’s very convenient. Good thinking with the toilet roll, as you’ll probably get used to using squat toilets in China which never provide toilet roll, something I hate. To add to your first aid kit, perhaps you want to add itch cream, or just buy some out there, as it will help with the pain if you do ever get bitten. Last thing, not sure if you’ve already considered it, but take a small padlock with you to lock away valuables. Sometimes hostels don’t provide locks or even storage for your bags so it’s good to have one just in case.
    Hope this is a little helpful!

    Abs x

    • Thanks for the advice really appreciate it. Great point about flip flops in the shower I never thought about that!

      Amy x