5 Tips for Packing for a Month of Travel in a Backpack

I’m embarking on a 4 week holiday to India, Myanmar and Indonesia and my goal was to stick everything in my 60L Quechua pack and North Face Recon backpack as a carry-on/day pack.  Thought this was the perfect chance to showcase some tips & tricks for packing lightly for a long holiday.

First off, my trip to India is part holiday and mostly part of my MBA’s Global Business Experiece, where we get to get some experience of the changes, challenges, and opportunity in India today.  While the rest of my trip to Myanmar and Indonesia is taking advantage of already being away.  In total I will be traveling for about 30 days to relatively similarly hot weather conditions.

I decided I wanted to pack everything into a backpack as there was something just easier about moving around from place to place with it.  It also meant that I could travel to more rural areas without the fear of destroying my luggage wheels.

  1. Compression/packing sacks – I have 3 of these in various sizes (20L, 12L and 7L), 2 from Osprey and one from a store brand.  These are amazing for organising your pack and preventing everything from exploding when you open it up.P1070322
    • Small sack – all my undergarments, socks and swim gear
    • Medium sack – all tops and sleep wear
    • Large sack – all bottoms and dresses
    • Mesh bag – this allows me to separate all my dirty items from my clean onesP1070325
  2. Light and quick drying clothes – There is no way you can bring a month worth of clothes in a pack, so I typically bring enough for about 8-10 days and wash as I go along.  You can buy some little bottles of detergent that are meant for hand washing or just use hotel soap.  Silk shirts or anything that is quite airy and light can be easily hand washed and dries quickly.  Things like socks, jeans and jumpers typically take a bit longer to dry, so I sometimes either get them washed locally or wash them myself if I spend a few days in one hotel.P1070332
  3. Items that can be mixed and matched easily – A variety of clothes is always good to have and the easiest way to do that is with tops and a few bottoms that go with almost everything.
    1. Bottoms – I keep pretty standard with 1-2 pairs of jeans, 2 skirts, and 2 pairs of shorts.
    2. Tops – I will bring 8-10 just for some variety and ability dress things up or down depending on the occasion.
    3. 1-2 dresses.
    4. A set of workout clothes in case there are some more physically active things to do on the trip.
    5. Shoes – Once again I usually just bring things that can work for multiple outfits and occasions.  So sneakers for walking and working out, flats and/or sandals for anything formal and casual, and finally a pair of flip flops for the beach.
  4. Layering items – If you are traveling somewhere cold or you just need a few pieces in case of strong AC or chilly evenings, layering is a great way to pack light while staying warm.  For this trip I brought a Uniqlo HEATTECH long sleeve, a thin jumper, and a Uniqlo light down jacket.P1070333
  5. Leaving some of the toiletries at home – I tend to leave basic shampoo, conditioner, body wash, sunscreen, bug spray and lotion at home since most of these things can be bought almost anywhere around the world.  My exceptions are of course if there are particular items I really prefer and are harder to find.  For example, I tend to bring a small thing of a hair mask and a washing cloth in place of a luffa for a good scrub.P1070338_edited

These were the tips and tricks I kept in mind as I was packing everything up.  Of course depending on your destination there may be other things you may need to consider.

Good luck with the packing and happy travels!

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From LA to London and a recent LBS MBA, I'm blogging my love for anything beautiful.

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