Before my departure I was very nervous. I kept on reading blogs and articles about what to pack when traveling for a month in Asia. Not sure if any of them helped but I was overall happy with what I packed, all though I did make some mistakes.
Here I will share step by step my experience, what I did wrong and what I did right. I hope this will help when planning your trips.
What should we pack?
The dilemma when travelling for a long time is either to pack a lot of clothes or not. I didn’t, and brought with me only a small cabin size bag. I decided to go light because I knew I had to hop on and off planes to visit many locations and didn’t want to carry a lot of luggage with me. What I didn’t knew was that the maximum weight of the hand luggage in Asian’s low cost flights is 7kg so I had to buy an extra luggage on each flight. Fortunately the flights cost were around 30-80 Euro and the extra for the check in luggage was around 15-25 Euros. Overall I think the best option is to bring a medium sized luggage that is still easy to carry and that can be check in with the 20kg limit.
Cosmetic products. I tried to pack the least possible. Really, when traveling to Asia you don’t need much and if you do, you can buy there specific products. I packed soap and solid shampoo instead of liquid shower creams and shampoos. They last more, are easy to carry and eco friendly because they don’t have plastic packaging. This one here, i really liked.
Medications. Unfortunately there are no vaccines for Asia yet, available in Albania. So everyone traveling to Asia may want to take some basic items such as Paracetamol/Ibuprofen, cold and flu solubles (Tylolhot, OKI etc.), antibiotic ointment for possible injuries, wide spectre antibiotics if something goes wrong, antihistaminic pills for insect bites and allergies, patches etc. You can also find all of these items in pharmacies there too, but I didn’t know what to expect. As a matter of fact I almost used all of them. There, I found this herbal ointment “Tiger Balm” very helpful for the muscle pain, mosquito bites and rushes.
Don’t forget: Two must- have products are the SPF cream and the mosquito repellent spray.
Clothing. Of course you are going to need summer clothes, but let’s also not forget etiquette. If your trip is mostly in cities it’s not gonna be very comfortable dressing like you are going t0 the beach. Some of the bars and restaurants have a dress code, especially rooftop bars. They most probably won’t let you in with shorts and flip flops. Try to pick your outfits considering that is going to be very hot and humid and that nobody will ever care how fashionable you look.
Shoes are always important, not only when traveling :). You are definitely going to need a very good pair of sport shoes and walking sandals (ie. Birkenstock). The distances are huge and it’s imperative to be as comfortable as possible.
Sport clothes. I packed a lot of sport clothes because I knew I was going to do some activities. So I packed yoga, hike, trekking and surfing suitable clothes, without forgetting windbreaker and rain jackets.
Tech stuff. I bought tourist SIM cards in each of the countries I visited. They cost around 10-20 Euros and can be found easily at the airport. Most probably everything you’ll ever need you are going to finding it online. Obviously the GPRS will consume dramatically your batteries so you will also need a very powerful power bank with you. If traveling to Malaysia you will need an adaptor. You can easily find it in supermarkets (3-8 Euro) or ask your hotel, they may provide one.