The hardest part is knowing how much to bring. It comes down to how much you think you’ll need and I always go over.
For my 30 day trip to Asia I packed over 10+ shirts, socks, underwear and 2 pairs of shorts and pants. Then two swim suit, 2 pairs of basketball shorts, and a long sleeve shirt. Admittedly, that may be a little excessive but I also don’t want to have to be doing my laundry every couple of days when time can be so limited. Plus, I prefer options, what if some fancy socialite invites me to a classy establishment!
Two pairs seems to work for me, a pair for walking and then a pair that can look a little more classy. When I went to Asia it was rainy season so I also brought a pair of water proof shoes, so that made three. I do enjoy options for shoes but I still only found myself wear two pairs and sent one home early.
Stylish water proof shoes can be hard to find, but I got the crocs listed below but here are more options.
You’ll obvious want a toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, etc. You know all the things you need to bring to smell and look fresh.
I like to get cash ahead of time. I try to use card as much as I can but some stores, cities, or countries make it difficult. They also have ATMs but it’s nice to have that straight cash homie. Is that Randy Moss reference to old?
Especially if it’s international.. this is the obvious section.
Not As Obvious Stuff
I prefer to bring two just incase something happens to one.
Because I use my phone for everything (maps, pictures, videos, podcasts, etc) through out the day if I’m out and about and the battery is running low it’s nice to not have to head back to charge up. Same goes for using the gopro.
I like to wear a watch because with all the changing time zones it’s nice to know what time it is. Harper, my dog, chewed the band on my last watch so this time around I got a cheap Casio one that worked fine.
I’m not going to tell you how to live your life but I left a decently priced pair of sunglasses on an overnight train heading to Krakow, Poland. I just bring cheap ones now..
I bring my wireless and normal plug in headphones just in case the battery dies.
I usually travel in the summer so this feels more necessary. Probably wouldn’t bring it to Norway in the winter. But, maybe there is a hot tub to hit up.
I bring two locks. One for my day pack and one for the locker or my bag at the hostel. No one has ever tried to pick pocket me, I’m still waiting, but when they try they’ll be in for a surprise. Safety first!
Light rain jacket
I have one of those jacket that like folds into its own pocket. It’s easy to pack, comes in handy for light rain, and helps if I need an extra layer. It’s pretty useless in a big down pour though.
Most of the time I’m walking around like 10 miles a day so I get a lot of sun exposure. A hat can just be a good idea or a conversational starter. On my last trip I had a couple people come up and talk to me simply because I was wearing a hat with the name of my former college on it. But if you care more about sun coverage you can always get something like this..
Not So Obvious Things
Certain countries require a tourism Visa (I needed them in China, Vietnam, and Cambodia). Super pro tip - Even if you fly back to an original country, like Vietnam, for only a few hours to catch a returning trip home you'll need another visa!
If you are interested in getting travel insurance I recommend TravelInsurance.com. They are considered one of best in the industry, you can easily compare coverages and get the right one for you.
Download These Apps
Copy of your passport
I make a copy of my passport and keep it in a different place than my actual passport. Just in case anything happens.
Copies or screenshots of all reservations
I started taking pictures or putting them on my google drive account to have quick access. But if I lost my phone that’d be kind of useless so paper copies aren’t always bad. I'll shred them once I've used it.
More than one form of payment
I bring a couple credit cards or debit cards but only carry one with me at a time. If I lost my wallet or something happens I still have back up options.
A sim card is a cheap option to be able to get phone services in other countries. You'll get a local number and everything! I've never done this because then no one can get a hold of me using my normal number and I'm using not in a country long enough to have it make sense.
Whether you are in a hostel with roommates, in San Miguel, Mexico with fireworks shooting off at all points in the night, or Hanoi, Vietnam with roosters crowing at 4:30am ear plugs are never a bad idea.
I bring a stainless steel water bottle with me so that I don't have to stop to get one. It's easy to fill up before you leave or at restaurants. This is also a habit from living in Phoenix.
Know When Flight Check In Ends
This is good to know because in Asia they close the check in counter 45 minutes before a flight for domestic or an hour before international. Just be aware of things like this.
When I was in Europe I was sick, you know sore throat and runny nose stuff, every week or two. When I went to Australia I brought vitamins and in Asia I added a non refrigerated probiotic and that helped. I’m not saying it’s a simple cause and effect just an observation. I think it helps because on these trips I'm drinking more alcohol, eating more weird stuff, and sleeping differently and being sick overseas is not ideal.
If you have a camera or gopro you’ll want extra in case you need the space.
This sounds like a lot of stuff but it all fits I promise!
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HELLO AND WELCOME!
I'm Jake, a dude interested in personal finance and travel creating the life I choose.
In 5 years I went from living in a basement with Craigslist roommates to paying off 90k of debt, backpacking 3 continents, getting a house for myself and 5 rental units.
Read my story in the about me section.
All photos on the blog are from my travels
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