What’s in my bag?

The following is a complete list of everything I have taken on my vacations for the past several years.  A few things may change from time to time, but this list has more or less remained unchanged.  All of this easily fits into a single, normal sized backpack.  Click on the red links for my personal recommendations on specific items.

  • 3-4 quick dry short sleeve shirts
  • 3 quick dry boxers
  • 2 quick dry shorts
  • 1 pair of regular jeans (only if needed)
  • 1 pair of Chacos sandals on my feet
  • A light jacket/sweatshirt if the weather calls for it
  • Handkerchief
  • An ample amount of Woolite in several small 2 ounce plastic bottles
  • A Flexo-line
  • A flat plastic drain stopper
  • Small bag of toiletries measuring 8x4x3 inches
  • Ear plugs
  • Tissues
  • Electric razor, fully charged (no charger cord)
  • Cash and several credit cards.
  • Paper journal/notepad [I don’t travel with this anymore.  I take notes on my phone]
  • Pen
  • Cell phone & charger
  • Digital camera, charger, and spare battery
  • Travel documents (plane ticket, passport, directions from airport to first hotel)
  • A small bag of nuts or beef jerky for the plane
  • A belt if the trip calls for it (rare)
  • A single pair of shoes if the trip calls for it
  • If the shoes come along, then so do 2 pair of quick dry socks
  • A few grocery bags
  • A few small and large plastic ziplock bags
The entire contents of my luggage.

Pictured above is everything I took to Vietnam for 2 weeks.  Not shown are the clothes I was wearing:  one shirt, one pair of boxers, one pair of shorts, and the sandals on my feet.  Even this ended up being too much stuff.  That pair of converse shoes in the grocery bag were never worn a single time and could have easily stayed home.  Same with the jeans and belt.  The 4 cameras were probably overkill as well.  I learned my lesson for my next hot-weather journey to Southeast Asia.

Here’s an even lighter version of my pack list that I’ve been using with more frequency in recent years.

Check out the other articles on my site for more details on the individual items in my bag and my personal recommendations for the best brands of clothing for light travel.  In the meantime, thanks for reading and Cheers!

Tags:  how to pack light small bag minimalism minimalist travel 


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