Recently, I spent about a month traveling through Vietnam. After taking several such trips, I figured it would be a good time to write about how and what I pack.
First and foremost, everything goes into my Osprey Farpoint 40 back bag. I bought this bag three years ago with the intention of forcing myself to pack more minimally and perhaps going carry-on only one day. This year, I finally managed to achieve that by having everything comfortably fit into this 40l bag and keeping the weight under 8kg. Additionally, I had to follow the liquids rule1.
I left out some minor things which are quite country-specific or which I didn’t even use on the last trip. Anyway, I see my packing list evolving with every trip. I can only recommend to take a look at your packing list after coming home and thinking about what you missed and what you can probably leave at home next time.
If you’d like to be inspired by similar lists, Travel Independent has a great (and lengthy) page on what to pack. Furthermore, Sebastian Morr’s packing list even includes weight measurements in grams.
Several years ago, I ran across a few people praising Merino wool for its climate-adapting and odor-preventing capabilities. I was skeptical at first and started off by ordering one T-shirt from Icebreaker. By now, I own several more and they are the only kind of T-shirt I take with me.
- iPad mini
I still carry an iPad mini (and I’m glad Apple is keeping it around) because it’s nice to have a slightly larger screen when looking at accommodation options or when watching a movie. All this, without having to carry around a 10-inch device.
- Power bank
- Bluetooth speaker
- 4-port USB charger
- Lightning cable
- Apple Watch cable
- Micro-USB cable
- Replacement headphones
More specfically, quip. It’s the only electric toothbrush I could find which packs well for traveling. As a plus, it runs off a replaceable battery.
- Toothpaste tablets
- Nail clipper
- Shower gel
- NOBITE skin spray
- NOBITE clothing spray
- Day bag
While I can’t carry a separate bag into the cabin, I’d still like to have a day bag after I’ve landed. The Osprey Ultralight Stuff Pack only weighs around 90g and packs into its own case. With a price tag of €34, it’s quite affordable, too.
I’ve used the PackTowl Personal.
- Water bottle
I really like the Platypus SoftBottle. It’s nice having it take up less and less space the more you drink.
- Electric razor
Everyone’s medical kit probably looks quite different and it should be customized to your personal needs. For me, it includes stuff like aspirin, antidiarrheal medicine, and a fever thermometer. I’m always glad when I come home and I never even needed to open this kit.
In short, liquids need to be in containers no larger than 100ml. All those containers need to then fit into a one-liter resealable plastic bag. ↩