When it comes to clothes, it’s important to remember that you’ll be carrying all of this on your back: you’re going to want to limit yourself. Now, if it’s summer, lightweight clothing is doubly good–it will keep you cool, and lighten the load on your back. You’ll want to bring two short-sleeved shirts and shorts, and one long-sleeved shirt and trousers. The long-sleeved shirt and long pants will come in handy in case you want to visit religious sites. And, even though it’s summer, you’ll also want some sort of lightweight jacket–say a fleece, or a windbreaker.
In cooler months, you’ll want to swap out some of the aforementioned shorts for long pants, and maybe add a sweatshirt or two to the mix.
If you’re traveling during the summer, you’ll definitely want to bring along some sandals. Sports sandals are especially good, because they offer extra support for long days on your feet sightseeing. If you intend to do some heavy duty hiking, make sure to bring some broken-in hiking boots, or sturdy sneakers at the very least. Remember that you want to reduce the amount of weight in your pack so at most bring these two options.
This may be a no-brainer, but make sure to bring travel sizes of all of your toiletries–or transport them into smaller containers. Even if you’re anticipating a longer trip, it will be easier to refill your travel-sized containers than lug around the full-sized ones. You can also just skip the toiletries and wait to buy them at the country you are traveling to, they may not be the same brands you are used to from home but they can still get you clean.
While it is important to stay safe, you don’t need to go too far overboard when it comes to first aid supplies–you’ll be able to locate most items (such as band-aids and antiseptic cream) very easily as you travel through Asia.
A cycling tour between Laos and Cambodia
Again, it’s important to prioritize. Most people will want to bring a cell phone, along with its charger, and a camera and charger as well. Though keep in mind pesky roaming charges–you might want to use a locally-bought SIM card to keep costs down. Also, Internet addicts may be tempted to bring along a laptop, but they can get very heavy so you might want to bring an iPad or tablet computer if you’re so inclined instead. However, you can find internet cafes all over Asia and you can access a computer for a small fee. But take this opportunity to take a break from technology and use this backpacking trip as a great opportunity to unplug for a few weeks/months!
One important electronic you can’t forget is a converter and adapter. American and European plugs are going to be different from those in Asia so make sure to do your research on which adapter you will need and if you will need a power converter for your electronics as well.
● Laundry supplies: a bag and some detergent. The bag can be key in keeping the odor of the dirty laundry self-contained.
● A smaller bag or backpack: you’re not going to want to lug everything with you on a short hike, or a day trip.
● Cotton (or silk) travel liners: they’re your first line of defense against bed bugs, plus they can keep you away from any dirty unwashed sheets that you might encounter.
And last but not least: make sure to enjoy your trip! It’s sure to be a memory you’ll cherish forever and can be some great bonding time with your best friends!