I’m usually a last minute packer. Mainly because I hate it. And unpacking when I get home? Fuhgettaboutit.
But nothing can make a trip go more smoothly than planning ahead and having everything you need.
I guess I always knew this, but it’s not until you start implementing it that you actually feel a difference. Once you Smart-Pack you never go back 😉 It saves time and frustration, and even better, money when you’re not buying last-minute phone chargers or snacks in the airport.
I did A LOT of research for my trip to Bali because A) I was going to the other side of the world, and B) I was going by myself. Skipping the research was not an option for me. One thing I took a lot of time to look into was what different bloggers brought with them to Asia. I combined a mixture of packing lists and then tailored it to suit me.
RELATED POST: 14-Day Bali Itinerary: A Comprehensive Guide
Packing LIGHT was a must for me. I was willing to give up my hairdryer, heels, and a plethora of outfit options for a stress-less travel. I wanted to have only enough items that I could keep all of them on me at all times through the flights and layovers, and so I could access anything quickly and easily at my destinations. When I returned home, I adjusted my packing list to the perfect combination of what I would bring if I did it all again.
If you’re like me and don’t mind being a minimalist in trade for ease and low-stress travel, here is your ULTRA-LIGHT packing list for almost THREE WEEKS in Bali.
RELATED POST: What I Would Do Differently On My Next Solo Trip
- Small backpack – I got mine at Walmart
- Small bag – I had this compact bag in my closet that is easily expandable. I kept this empty on the way there and on the trip, I used it to put dirty clothes in (I had my laundry done 3x on my 18-day trip). And on the way back home, I used it to put some souvenirs in.
Documents & Money
- Passport (also don’t forget to make a copy of your passport and keep it in a separate area of your bag)
- ATM & credit cards – Read more here about what I did when my ATM card was stolen early on during my trip.
- Copy of health insurance card
- Contact card with information: Family member contact info, List of hospitals and US embassies in destination countries
- Copy of Rx or note from doctor
- Money belt
- Journal & Pen
- Antibacterial wipes (or 60% alcohol)
- Travel size kleenex
- Ibuprofen (or Acetaminophen) – Because these are not individually packaged, I kept them in the bottle. The last thing you want is customs questioning you about the random colored pills in your bag.
- Head/Throat Over-The-Counter meds:
- Allergy meds (Zyrtec)
- Cold meds (Dayquil & Nyquil)
- Decongestants (Mucinex)
- Anti-motion sickness (Dramamine)
- Perscription medication, kept in labeled bottles
- Cough drops
- Antihistamine (Benadryl)
- Gastrointestinal/Urinary Over-The-Counter meds:
- Antiacid tablets
- Pepto-Bismol tablets
- Pyridium/Azo urinary pain relief
- Loperamide antidiarrheal
- Antibiotic ointment (Neosporin)/ Anti-fungal creams (i.e., Lotrimin)
- Insect Repellent (DEET 30-50% or Picardin 50%)
- 1% Hydrocortisone cream
- Travel size SPF
- First aid kit:
- Larger bandaid/gauze pads
- Advanced healing bandages for blisters
- Aloe gel for sunburns
- Digital thermometer
- Oral rehydration packets
- Eye drops
- Snacks for airports or long travel days
- Travel anti-biotic medications prescribed by your doctor before the trip (i.e., sinus medications, antidiarrheals, UTI meds)
- Portable chargers for phone
- Standard phone charger
- Go Pro and charger
- Go Pro accessories
- Headphones (and adapter if needed for phone)
- Phone & waterproof case
- Phone outlet adapter
Note: If you want to set aside some money to do some local shopping, I’d suggest cutting back on your clothes to start, and buy some while you’re there. There were a few different outfits I didn’t touch on my trip and I considered leaving behind to free up space!
- Bras (2 pair regular, 2 pair sports bras)
- Underwear (7 cheap pairs, in case you need to throw them out towards the end of the trip to save room in your bag)
- Socks (5 pairs)
- Bathing suits (at least 3 suits)
- Day dresses (2 pairs)
- Bottoms (3 pair yoga shorts/pants you can also use as PJs, 1 pair jean shorts, 1 pair other shorts)
- Tops (4 tank tops you can use as exercise shirts, sleepwear, and day shirts)
- Comfortable flats (Flip flops for beaches/ 1 pair to dress up)
- Sneakers/Running Shoes that are good for trekking
- Hat: Whether it be a sunhat, visor, sports hat.. anything will help!
- Sunglasses & case
- Set aside: Airport outfit (comfortable shoes, yoga pants, shirt + light sweatshirt)
- Portable bottles for:
- Body wash
- Face wash
- Contacts/ eyeglasses & case
- Moisturizer/other face regimens
- Feminine products
- Container for accessories:
- Hair ties
- Togo nail clipper kit + tweezers
- Makeup bag:
- Travel size mirror
- Must have makeup supplies (foundation, mascara, eyeliner, chapstick, etc.)
- Pencil sharpener
- Toothbrush, toothpaste, floss
- Travel pillow
- Padlock for hostel lockers
- Reading book
- Something American: One thing I wish I did on my trip was to bring some small mementos to give to the locals. Perhaps some postcards of the city/state you’re from, or something else that gives a look into our culture (and doesn’t take up a lot of space!)
There you have it: Your ultra-light packing list so you can be both a minimalist and prepared traveler. And yes, believe it or not, you CAN fit all of this into that light backpack! Roll your clothes, use ziplock baggies, and stay organzied! Have you traveled with minimal items and noticed something I forgot? Let me know in the comments!