What Not to Pack When Traveling for a Year (in the tropics)!
So, when I sold almost everything, and I believed I needed to bring everything that was left, I was…. WRONG! I need 2 of these, 4 of those, ah and 15 of them there. Of course, I did. After 4 trips to the post office to ship items home, and over $100 in fees to the airlines, I’m officially done. Period, end of story. Today was the last day that I will be at the post office for anything other than gifts. If I have to, I’m finding the trash. I've officially have learned what not to pack and figured this may help you.
The little budget airlines are great when you get into country, whichever one that may be. You can travel from one country to the next for generally $40-$80 USD, making seeing the world, an affordable possibility. The problem that you will find is that they generally have RIDICUOUS baggage fees. It wasn’t until this last trip from Bangkok to Phuket when my luggage cost me an extra $60 USD at the gate, that I realized, I’m done. What I learned: Do not try to pack the kitchen sink.
I’ve always thought I was good at detaching myself from “things,” but sometimes having those extra pairs of this or a few items of that would make me more comfortable during my travels. Well, I’m here to say, forget that. I do not need 4 pairs of shoes and 10 pairs of socks (as I’m wearing sandals 90% of the time). I do not need 3 pairs of jeans (as your entire body sweats through anything you wear). Oh, and a hair straighter (forget it ladies-If you have poofy hair, you’re gonna have poofy hair, buy gel).
For the guys: The info I’m providing works for y’all too. Just leave the dresses at home. Well that is.. unless..
Things to know:
If you end up bring too many things, when do decide you to ship out from a local post office; take your passport or a photo of it at minimum. They won’t ship your items without one.
Many will only take cash. Credit and debit-need not apply.
Battery powered anything (or what may be plug-in-able. Aka, my useless hair straightener.
Liquids of any kind (vodka, makeup, etc)
Explosives (who knew?)
So, allow me to provide you with a list of the things you should bring, and wa-la, you are in business if you are traveling for any length of time. Leave your attachments at home.
Dresses: 3. You can buy new ones for $3-$6 in Asia. It’s hot, you want things that are light and airy.
Shorts: Max 5 pair. Workout shorts included.
Shirts/Tank-Tops: Max 5 shirts that you can mix and match.
Jeans: 1 pair max (I wear them on the plane, I’m little, I get cold, what?).
Jacket/Sweater: One or the other. You won’t need it often, but again, I get cold on the plane.
Socks: 3 pair tops (you will be wearing flipflops 90% of the time).
Drawers aka Panties: As many as you want. You sweat here-a lot-just saying.
Bras: One strapless, 2 normal, 1 sports bra. You can get your workout on and be able to be comfortable in a dress.
Jewelry: Minimal. A few pieces if you must but buy them when you get there.
Shoes: Gym shoes, 1 pair cute sandals that will match with everything.
Purse: 1 big to fit everything you could need for a long day at the beach and 1 small to get you to the late-night spots, or for shorter trips during the day that could fit your basic necessities and potentially a water bottle if you’d prefer not to carry it on tours.
Bring what you need, but only bring small containers. You can buy them when you get here. Little bottles are available in each spot and buying them is a lot cheaper than paying crazy airline fees.
Makeup-Minimal. In many places you are so hot and sweaty most of the time, it oozes off anyway. Leave it at home.
Inflatable Travel Pillow. Never leave home without it on long trips. It can save your life, I tell you! After so many hours of head-bobbing, you gotta try it. It’s just awesome! It may smell like plastic, but so be it. Sleep on an uncomfortable, long flight—Worth it!
All charging devices including a Portable phone charger
Leave most of your cash in the bank. Have enough to get by and make you comfortable but use your ATM when you get in country. The fees are minimal, and then you don’t have to try to find someone to exchange to local currency. It's also way easier to pay with your card over cash and you gain points when you do so.
Photo of your birth certificate, passport, and credit cards/important documents.
10 additional passport-sized photos. These are used to extend your visa if needed.
A huge fan of Listerine strips (although when traveling to the islands, the humidity eats them for you. So, depending on where you are going, what to get.
Cough drops (same deal). The heat and humidity will turn them into a soggy mess. Bring a few for the just in case you can buy them when you get here.
Wet wipes: These can always come in handy.
Camelbak: For any of the long hikes you may want to take.
That’s it. No more, no less. Now that you know what not to pack, but rather what you should pack, that even if you’re gone for a long period of time, you learn what you need in your life to be comfortable. So, if you think that traveling for a year is easy, think again. Understanding what not to pack, can at least help you learn, what to pack! There are so many different types of challenges, that by removing this one piece from the pile, you can spend your time focused on which rum to put in your drink.
Thanks all for stopping by, and remember: Travel Till You Drop