A few months ago, after leaving my last company, I was in search of experiencing something new. I’ve always been a fan of solo trips in the past. My first solo trip was to Mexico City, where I stayed in a hostel while I worked remote. That was quickly followed by trips to Cancun to go scuba-diving, Stockholm and Helsinki to experience Scandinavia, and an 8 day solo trip through Japan, starting with Tokyo.
For this trip, I wanted to do something new, something spontaneous, and plan as I go. That’s when I decided to head to South East Asia. I booked a one way ticket to Bangkok and booked my hostel for the night. I had no return date, I had no plan for what I was going to do, and I had no plan for where I was going to go.
It was absolutely liberating!
In order to prepare for this trip, I needed to pack so that I had just what I needed when I got there, while buying the rest along my journey. After spending 7 weeks in South East Asia, I’ve learned exactly what I need and don’t need.
I know there are many lists out there, but I hope to mention a few specific items that I’ve found useful during my trips in this solo travel packing checklist. I hope this list helps you as much as it’s helped me in preparing my long solo trip. Feel free to print this out and use as a checklist for your next trip.
Underwear and socks for 8 days
Pair of Pants and Shorts
2 Comfortable Dress Shirts or Tops
1 Pair of Flip Flops
1 Pair of Multi-purpose shoes
Travel Cubes (Pro: Amazon Packing Cube Set)
- I usually pack for a little over a week at a time. That’s why I recommend packing at least 8 days worth of underwear and socks, to make sure you get through the week.
- You’ll thank me later for carrying that extra pair of underwear! 😉
Travel Toothbrush + Toothpaste
Travel Shaving Cream + Razor
Travel Deodorant + Cologne/Perfume
Multi-purpose Soap (Body and Hair)
Your favorite sunscreen + lotion
Ibuprofen (Pain Reliever)
Dramamine (Motion Sickness)
- You can buy many more of the toiletries in the country itself. I wouldn’t recommend carrying too much, and it’ll save you time during security at the airport.
- Dramamine is great for motion sickness. Came in useful during the windy, 3 hour bus ride to Pai. You never know!
A Sim Card
Headphones (Pro: Bose Wireless Over-Ear Headphones)
Drone + Charger (Pro: DJI Mavic Air)
GoPro + Charger (Pro: GoPro Hero 5)
Tablet/Laptop + Charger (Pro: Microsoft Surface Pro)
Unlocked Phone + Charger (Pro: Samsung Galaxy S9)
Power Adaptor (Pro: Universal Adaptor)
- I usually buy a sim card at the airport for each new country that I go to. It’s usually far cheaper than paying for an international plan, which can run upwards of $100 for a week.
- I can’t leave home without a drone, I’d recommend the DJI Mavic Air for anyone who wants a fairly affordable, portable drone. This is the drone I took with my during my Southeast Asia trip. 😀
A Good Book (Pro: The Sapiens)
Credit Cards (Pro: Chase Sapphire Reserve Travel Card)
Lock (to secure your locker)
Passport(s) + Printed Copy
Driver’s License + Printed Copy
Visas – 2 Printed Copies
Daypack for Daily Use
- Having extra copies of all of your important documents comes in handy if you were to lose your passport or your credit card. There’s nothing worse than being stuck in a new country without your passport or credit card. 😲
- A Daypack is great for carrying just your essentials for each day, so that you’re not carrying around your big backpack with all of your valuables when you’re out at a bar.
While this is not an exhaustive list, I hope this packing checklist serves as a guide for your own solo travels. If you think there is something I missed, or you think should be added to this list, comment below!