My Southeast Asia Packing List

My Southeast Asia Packing List

I leave for Southeast Asia on Tuesday and to say my nerves are at an all-time high would be an understatement.  Since I decided from the beginning that I wanted to travel with carry-on luggage only, I’ve been agonizing over every detail that goes on my packing list.

I’ve re-packed and changed things so many times, but I can’t really do that anymore.  Everything I’m taking is fitting into my REI 40L bag and my 15L Pacsafe daypack.  I’m also taking an across-the-body purse.  While I’m on the plane, it will be packed away since I can only have 2 items, but once I’m there it will hold my camera equipment and wallet for two reasons : so my daypack isn’t so crammed and so my money and camera equipment is easy to get to without having to take my daypack off and on my back a million times.

southeast asia packing list


  • 4 tank tops
  • 2 long sleeved shirts
  • 1 long sleeved button up shirt
  • 1 maxi skirt
  • 2 dresses (1 maxi, 1 knee-length)
  • 1 pair of shorts
  • 1 pair of Columbia trekking pants
  • 1 pair of sports leggings
  • 1 pair of long comfy pants
  • 1 lightweight rain jacket
  • 2 pairs of socks
  • 3 pairs of ExOfficio underwear
  • 3 bras (2 sports, 1 regular)
  • 1 swimsuit
  • 1 pair of Cheeks sandals (amazing for my extremely flat feet)
  • 1 pair of trekking shoes with my orthopedic insoles in them.
  • 1 scarf
  • 1 zip-up hoodie
  • eBags used to pack all my clothing in – I used 2 of the medium sized ones.


  • Lush solid shampoo
  • First aid kit (band-aids, painkillers)
  • Diva Cup
  • Basic makeup (concealer, foundation, mascara, lipgloss)
  • Razor and plenty of cartridges
  • Bug Spray
  • Sunscreen
  • Lemongrass Oil (for occasional pain I get in my knee and side)
  • Peppermint Oil (for my migraines)
  • Deodorant
  • Toothbrush, Toothpaste, Floss, Mouthwash
  • Plenty of bobby pins and hair ties
  • Tiger Balm
  • Face Cream
  • Small brush
  • Q-tips
  • Moisturizer


southeast asia packing list


southeast asia packing list

Personal :

What do you think?  Is there anything else you think I’m missing for my Southeast Asia packing list?

southeast asia packing list

Ashley Hubbard

This Post Has 37 Comments

  1. Stephanie Mayo

    Pretty impressive pack list! What about a wash kit? (detergent packs, line and drain plug) Congrats on the upcoming adventure! Can’t wait to read of your journey!

  2. Sounds like a brilliant plan! pretty much the same stuff I took on my own RTW trip 4 years ago, and that I will take again when I embark into nomadic life in a few months!

  3. Rachel

    I can’t believe how quickly this has come around! I remember coming across your blog last September and I’ve enjoyed following your blog since as it goes from to strength to strength, and you have stuck to your dreams.

    I wish you all the best on your adventures!

  4. SJ @ Chasing the Donkey

    I am super impressed that, that is all you are taking – whoooahhh. My new hero. How exciting that is time!

  5. Cambria

    Holy Cow! This is a very organized list and I can’t believe how well you packed! I pack more than that for a two week vacation. So I’m really impressed. Bookmarking this post so I can refer back if I am ever traveling and need to pack lighter.

  6. Fairlie

    Great packing skills! I’d love to travel lighter….but I can never manage to do carry-on only for anything more than about four days.

  7. Katie

    Yay! Have fun! I was really glad I packed a clothesline it helped when I washed things in the sink, allowed my towel to dry faster after showers/the beach and was just a good thing to have!

  8. Wow, I can’t believe the big day is this week. I know you’ve been looking forward to this for a long, long time. I’m am horrible at overpacking all my “just in case” items, so I am especially impressed that you are able to travel so lightly. So about that rain jacket — I never once used on in SE Asia. It seemed like using a tiny foldable umbrella worked for me. On a previous trip to Puerto Rico, I realized that even breathable rain jackets trapped in sweat and instead of being wet from rain, I was wet from sweat.

  9. Wow, that’s so exciting that your trip has come around so quickly! I’m currently travelling through SEA too, and one thing I have found invaluable is a silk sleeping liner, which is perfect for overnight bus/train travel, when you need an extra layer, or when you aren’t sure you trust the hostel sheets have been cleaned. I used mine all the time, so easy to wash too and silk dries super fast!

  10. Courtney

    Wow! I honestly don’t think I could fit all of that into carry-ons! You deserve some kind of medal or something. I’m curious to see what you do with the Star Wars figurines!!! I hope you have a marvelous trip, and I can’t wait to read about your adventures πŸ™‚

  11. Yalanda @ Laugh Anyway

    This looks like a great list and I love that cross body. Did you get that at REI as well? I looked at something similar there before I left for South Korea. Visiting from the link up!

    1. Ashley Hubbard

      I got it on Amazon and I love it! Just added the link for it to the post πŸ™‚

  12. Kara

    Hey Baby Girl. You got excellent “list making skills” from me! lol. With so few underclothes you will need some type of laundry detergent to do a daily “great grandma elsie” wash, rinse, and dry overnight on the shower curtain rod. Just a last minute thought. That will save money and time. She used to do that ALL the time even though a “real” washing machine and dryer were available. This is a super great list! I think you out to weight it before you head out just for fun! what do you use those “photo props” for? I’m just curious. Maybe they are just going to keep you company when you are all by yourself. You are going to start talking to harry potter figurines like Tom Hanks spoke to Wilson. I love you so much! I miss you already. What the heck am I going to do for 9 months? Oh yeah, I bought a horse [or 2] yesterday. Maybe they can keep my mind a little busy and less worrisome. You are an awesome daughter to follow your dreams!!!!!!! I’d say bring me back something tiny from each place, but that isn’t going to happen. Maybe you can do the “Kara Hall” little expense, nothing to haul around thing and mail me a post card from each place! That is a GINORMOUSLY serious request! I did birth you 28 years, and exactly 2 months to the day when you leave on your big adventure. Had to throw this extremely manipulative plead!

  13. You couldn’t have posted this at a better time! I have just started thinking about what to pack for India and SE Asia and I found this list very helpful as you were able to pack lightly. How long are you in SE Asia for? Do you have an itinerary or are you just going to play it by ear?

    1. Ashley Hubbard

      Katie – I’ll be there for 9 months and I have a loose itinerary – I know what country I’ll be in what month but the rest is still being planned as I go πŸ™‚

  14. tammyonthemove

    Those gear ties look awesome. That exactly what I need for all my endless chargers.

  15. Angelica @BkChickTravels

    You got it down pretty good! I travel with carryons only all the time and hoping to go to Asia in December for a week. Sometimes that carry-on makes it so hard to fit everything!

  16. You’re so organized! I wish I’d seen this packing list before going to Southeast Asia myself…I was a disaster the entire time! My pack was so stuffed that it was crooked which was fun, and within the first day I’d already lost my headlamp…I wish you better luck πŸ™‚

  17. Anna Parker

    I am seriously impressed that you got all that in such a small space! I’ve just packed for a week in London with work and didn’t need half that stuff, but still struggled! Planes aren’t too fussy on a cross body small bag from what I’ve seen so hopefully you can carry that on you which makes like a little easier!!

  18. Dennis Kopp

    Thanks for sharing your packing list Ashley! I have to admit that I am also big on creating lists, but unfortunately I can really only do them after the fact, since I am usually changing my mind until the very last minute. But it’s impressive to see that you are so organized even well before your trip… πŸ™‚

  19. samiya selim

    Very impressed by your detailed organizational skills! you really thought of everything!Look forward to reading all about your adventures over the next few months πŸ™‚

  20. Well done! Looks like you will have everything you need. If you find yourself missing anything you can always get it once you are over there anyway

  21. Vasudha Aggarwal

    Very concise packing list – Impressive !
    I myself can’t imagine to travel this light. Have a great trip. πŸ™‚

  22. Laurie

    Great packing list Ashley – got some great ideas from it. I too am heading off for a long term (six months) adventure only mine is taking me to the UK and Europe. I will be leaving next month so have to pack for three seasons (or am I being optimistic with the UK weather??:) which is a challenge. Let’s talk layering! I admire the fact you are doing it all with carry on. My friends are astounded I am just taking one 25 inch soft sided suitcase with a day pack and across the body travel purse. I have been following your blog since we did the Travel Blog 101 so I am so excited for you!!! Have an absolute blast on your adventure and I will be following along on the blog!

  23. Mandie Sanders

    Oh my gosh, I can’t believe you’re leaving tomorrow!!! It’s come up so fast and I’m so excited for you. I’m also impressed at your packing list. I decided that this last trip was my learning experience and I’d be better off doing a packing list post once I knew what I was doing. Lol. I actually didn’t pack anything until the night before I left…probably not the best idea. Can’t wait to read all about your adventures!

  24. Adelina // Pack Me To

    Super impressive! Can you take razor blades on a carry on? Also, omgosh! I can’t believe you’re leaving tomorrow!!! Have a blast miss and I’m looking forward to all the updates on the road πŸ˜€

  25. melissa

    What brand laundry sheets are you using? I didn’t bother washing my own clothes in SEA because it was super cheap to just go get it done.

  26. Els

    Well done on the packing, Ashley! Travel light is always a great idea!!! Looking forward to read about your first steps in SE Asia!!! πŸ™‚

  27. Marta Kulesza

    Great job packing! I was in THailand few weeks ago, on a 3 week stopover from Germany to New Zealand and I had a huge bag with me. I am normally really good with packing, but I had all my camping equipment with me, which I didn’t want to buy again in New Zealand. I will be staying here for a year so it made sense to bring it over, but carring it around Thailand was not fun. Whilst in Thailand everything I needed, including loads of camera equipment was stoed away in my awesome F-stop Loka bag which is 38 liters. I have decided at that point that if I was going only to South East Asia I would take my Loka and a small daypack and it would be more than enough:)

  28. NZ Muse

    YAY! You seem well and truly set. I basically lived in 2 dresses and 2 pairs of shoes all through Asia, lol.

  29. Laia | colibrist

    Have a great trip! I’ve started a round the world trip this week and I faced similar questions… My biggest dilema was to take or not a mosquito net. I think we got similar packing. Happy travels!

  30. Lisa

    What a great packing list and in such small space. Looking forward to hearing more from your trip!

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