Packing for Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam.

by | Jun 12, 2012 | Packing 101 | 0 comments

“Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by
demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat,
worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if
we try and understand each other,
we may even become friends.”
– Maya Angelou

Well, today is the day! In eleven hours I will be stepping on a plane that will take me away to Thailand, alongside a friend that I met last year at the beginning of my first year of university. The weeks leading up to travel are some of my favorite weeks. They are rushed, stressful, and exciting. Paperwork is being done, photocopies are being made, banks are being called and a week before the trip I finally make a list of everything that I need, what I have already and what I still need to buy. Right now, I still need to go buy some bobby pins for my hair and have to quickly go to the doctor to check out my throat. I have the tiniest fear that I might be getting strep throat and, as I’ve mentioned, I leave in nine hours. Great timing. This tends to happen every time I go on a trip. My first one, to Europe, I sprained my ankle the night before I left, leaving me with crutches. Last year, I was sick the entire flight and this time, I may have strep throat. Or just a bad sore throat. No big deal, because nothing can put a damper on my spirits today!

Packing is always a big ordeal. If I’m going away for the weekend, with a suitcase, it’s not too hard. But when you’re living out of a backpack for an extended period of time, things get a little trickier. Once I had all of my clothing options spread out on my bed, it looked like the image above.

And that wasn’t even the half of it. The floor was a maze of toiletries, hair product, lotion, sunscreen, bug spray, towels, you name it. It was overwhelming. Three days later, I had made a good dent in the packing process. Clothes sorted out, this is what I was left with:

Only four little bags: shorts, bathing suits, tank tops, dresses. Some are new, bought for my trip.. because I can’t deny myself the added opportunity to shop. It’s a horrible addiction. But most of them are old, worn, and I have it in my mind that if I buy more while I’m away, those old clothes will be left behind. Despite my efforts at packing light, my backpack is still pretty full, which shouldn’t surprise me since it happens the same way every year. Some people have asked me what my packing list looks like, so here it is:



-Prescription meds
– Advil and Gravol
– Cotton Balls
– Q Tips
– Band-Aids
– Travel Towel
– Adapter
– Hand held mirror
– Wallet with VISA, debit card, ID, travel insurance card
– Passport
– Notebook and 2 pens
– Copies of all of my documents
– Camera, camera case, memory card, battery, battery charger
– Ipod, Ipod charger
– Sunglasses (2)
– Sunscreen
– Bug spray
– Eye mask
– Elephant Nature Park confirmation
-Chiang Mai hostel confirmation
-Flight tickets


– Bra (1)
– Bikini tops (3)
– Bandeau (1)
– Bathing suit
– Tank tops (4, except I pushed it to five.. woops)
– Shorts (3, except I pushed it to four.. woops)
– Dresses (3, except I pushed it to four.. woops)
– Flip Flops (2)
– Capri leggings (1)
– Scarf (1, to use as a blanket/cover up in temples/sarong, so handy!)


– 2 in 1 shampoo/conditioner
– leave in conditioner (because my hair is fried)
– hairpsray
– scrunching gel
-bobby pins
– elastics
*I know, sounds ridiculous. But I’m not bringing any styling tools and I am not blessed with hair that magically looks good wash and go, so I need some hairspray and gel to keep things under control*


– Waterproof mascara
– Bronzer
– Lip chap
– Foundation
*Even though in Thailand, it sweats off in about ten minutes*

Other Toiletries

– Soap
– Shower cap
– Razor
– Deodorant
– Face wash and wipes
– Moisturizer (mini, tester bottle)
– Toothbrush and toothpaste
– Lotion

It’s a pretty extensive list, I know. And I am fully aware that I probably won’t use some of it/don’t absolutely need it, but hey. I can always leave stuff behind and I never said I was good at packing light! As for the trip itself, I don’t have much of a plan for when I arrive. All I know is that we want to do Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. I have so much energy and excitement, I’m like a kid on Christmas morning!

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