To pack or not to pack, that is the question!!
Packing.... my least favorite thing about preparing for a trip! I am a serious over-packer. Ask anyone that's traveled with me. I always check a bag, even for a long weekend. So when Blake and I first started talking about this trip, one of the first things I started researching was how to pack. How do you prepare for 6 plus months of travel, in multiple climates/countries/cultures etc.? Luckily, there are tons of blogs and sites out there that give you endless advice on what to pack and what not to pack.
First things first, what will I use to carry everything? A suitcase is out of the question. Think about wheels on cobblestone roads or even beaches. Think about running to catch a train. Think about cheap hotels without elevators. A backpack is the way to go. After a lot of research and reading reviews, I settled on the Osprey Farpoint 55 Liter. It's an easy load bag with a detachable day-pack. Blake already had a backpack he bought on sale a few months prior. His is also an Osprey but it's a 75 liter. It might be too big, but for now we welcome the extra space.
When I started the actual packing process, it was easier than I thought! Again, all my research helped! Every blog post or article I read said that when you finished laying everything out, you should remove half! People always take way too much and it isn't necessary. You're going to be doing laundry all the time anyway and when you know you have to drag all this stuff with you from place to place, why not make it easier on yourself and bring less. This is a great lesson for me. I still probably packed too much... but here it is.
Grey trekking pants
Jeans (some people said not to bring since they take forever to dry, but jeans are a staple item for me and I wouldn't feel comfortable without a pair)
2 maxi skirts (great for modest countries and days when we're visiting tons of temples)
Black Nike leggings
North Face lightweight jacket
2 long sleeve shirts
1 zip up long sleeve shirt
5 plain mix/match tank tops
3 pattern tank tops
3 swimsuit bottoms and 2 tops (all mix and match)
6 pairs of socks
10 pairs of underwear
2 sports bras
2 regular bras
4 pairs of shoes: Black Nikes, Toms, Teva's and Reef Flip Flops
Travel Size shampoo, conditioner, face wash, lotion, eye makeup remover, a bar of soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, sample size perfume, razor (3 extra blades), hairspray, hair gel, dry shampoo, leave in conditioner, hair ties, headbands, bobby pins, Q-tips, cotton balls
Travel size straightener (we'll see how much I use this...)
I did bring makeup and nail polish... roll your eyes if you want but that's me and I'd miss these things after a while!
Sleeping Pills (great for overnight bus rides...)
Anti Diarrhea pills
Diarrhea Antibiotics (Blake got a prescription from a doctor before we left!)
Blow up travel pillow
Deck of cards
Sink stopper (to do laundry in the sink)
Travel laundry detergent called 'Wilderness Wash'
Fabreeze (hopefully we won't need and will be able to wash our clothes enough!)
Travel Packing Cubes! These things are amazing and hold so much!
Blakes Packing List
Basic grey pants
2 pairs of trekking pants
2 pairs of casual shorts
2 tank tops
3 long sleeve shirts
Zip Up Hoodie
6 pairs of underwear
7 pairs of socks
3 Pairs of Shoes: Chaco's sandals, Nikes, New Balance hiking shoes
Mostly sharing the basics with me. Add on contacts, contact solution, and glasses. We also brought sunscreen.
Hammock and strap (can't wait to try this out!)
Canon Camera with extra lens
HP 13 inch laptop
Portable phone charger
I'll update this list as we go!