What I Packed for Asia


Three countries in three weeks.

** This post has been updated since original publication.

On the 31st of this month I head out to Asia! My MBA programs does this trip annually and I get to be part of group #13. About 35 of us head to China and Singapore for two weeks. I am then continuing solo to Bali and then back to Singapore before returning to Los Angeles. I will be gone a total of 20 days.

In these 20 days, I fly from LAX to Beijing, Beijing to Shanghai, Shanghai to Beijing (via bullet train), Beijing to Singapore, Singapore to Bali, Bali to Singapore, Singapore to Malaysia, and Malaysia to Los Angeles. Phewwwww. Eight flights and one bullet train. Needless to say, that really adds up in luggage costs. So, I am going carry-on.

Now, I traveled to Europe for two weeks in a carry-on last summer, so I know it is personally possible. But this trip is a little tricky because I need professional, athletic, casual, and beach attire. I got down and dirty and was very strict with what I can pack.

Here is what has made the cut so far:

  • 7 TopsIMG_2298 I tried to be really strategic about the tops I chose – ones that could double up for touring companies in Singapore, the Great Wall in China, and temples in Bali. I selected all tops based on breathabilty, as the humidity in Asia is intense this time of year. I also made sure to bring many that have sleeves, as I will need to be conservative in Hindu Bali. IMG_2048
  • 4 Bottoms IMG_2296I packed up my Patagonia Happy Hike shorts, my Nike running shorts, and some airy shorts. I brought some light-weight sweat pants to wear on the plane and while touring temples, where you must be covered below your knees.
  • 2 Skirts IMG_2063I didn’t want to wear slacks so I opted instead for my Anne Taylor navy and Calvin Klein black pencil skirts.
  • 1 Cardigan IMG_2065Because some of my tops are sleeveless, I am bringing along a light black NY&Co cardigan to cover my shoulders in some businesses. I have also heard the AC in Singapore is intense and it is often cold in the businesses.
  • 1 Dress IMG_2297Lightweight and short-sleeved, this is perfect for nights out in China and exploring rice terraces in Bali.
  • 2 Bathing Suits IMG_2044Between hotel pools and Bali beaches, I hope to get some use out of these!
  • 2 Sports BrasIMG_2046I love my Montiel sports bras and selected two that are made from a quick-drying fabric.
  • 2 Bras & 5 Pairs of Underwear IMG_2066One black and one nude bra is really all you need, but I also brought along my nippies. I love my Calvin Klein seamless panties, especially since I will be in pencil skirts.
  • 4 Pairs of SocksIMG_2053I plan to just wash, rinse, repeat with these. You need at least three pairs – one to wear, one to wash, and one to dry – but I afforded myself a luxury 4th.
  • 0 PJs – You may have noticed that I did not pack any pajamas. I am planning on pulling double duty with my exercise clothing.
  • 3 Pairs of Shoes IMG_2074Asics running shoes, Sam Edleman flats, and Teva sandles (which are waterproof!)
  • 2 Bags IMG_2076I am bringing a Michael Kors purse for visiting business and a Longchamp backpack for touristy days. Both are both water-resistant.
  • Toiletries IMG_2069No need for foundation as it will all slide off anyways. Waterproof mascara, however, is a must. Make sure everything is TSA approved! Decant what is not.
  • Other Odds and EndsIMG_2067I grabbed some sunglasses, a hat, a book, a scarf (for the plane and to wrap around my legs in Bali), a microfiber towel for my Bali hostels, headphones, a journal, and a running belt that can fit my passport. IMG_2070

Everything was rolled up to ensure maximum packing efficiency and limited wrinkles.


I then stuffed it all into packing cubes, especially great when traveling out of a top-loader backpack.


The final product was this!


I put everything I did not want easily accessible during the flight in my Deuter 45L backpack which ended up weighing about 14lbs (the pack itself it 3lbs 12 oz).


Things I Still Need / Not Pictured:

  • Bug Spray – I am thinking about getting one of those bracelets. Thoughts?
  • Diva Cup – If you will be on your period while traveling, be sure you have one of these handy. I hear tampons are really hard to find in Bali.
  • Electronics – I am packing up my world adapter, my external battery, and my iPhone charger. I am not bringing any other electronics! Be sure to check that your electronic voltages will work with the output abroad and buy a converter if needed.
  • Psyllium Husk Powder – A little extra fiber is a great way to get your body back on track when traveling, especially if you are eating many new foods.
  • Copies of Documents – In case your phone goes missing or luggage is stolen, it never hurts to have copies of your ID, passport, hotel / flight information.
  • Travel Pillow – With so many flights I will definitely want one of these! And you never know what you will get at a hostel, so having one of your own might be a comfort.

If you want see my favorite travel apps, click here

So, I think I have everything I need, but if I am forgetting something, please let me know!


What would you not go to Asia without? Let us know below?


10 thoughts on “What I Packed for Asia

  1. jeanette

    Awesome. My packing philosophy tends to ‘well, I MIGHT need X, so I better pack it, just in case’. I end up with lots of unneeded items that never get used…plus, I buy stuff on the travels so typically end up with a really, really heavy suitcase and some extra bags of stuff on the plane. Less is more is an approach I need to embrace. Looks like you’ve nailed it! Well done!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It has taken so time! I cringe every time I see my MASSIVE suitcase that I purchased for 10 days in Ireland and Italy in 2014. It was complete overkill. But it definitely comes in handy when I need to move apartments! Thanks for reading and commenting!


  3. Sherilyn Campbell

    I was in Bali for 5 days this summer and can confirm tampons are hard to find and expensive when you can track them down. Have an awesome trip!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sherilyn Campbell

    I was in Bali for 5 days this summer and can confirm tampons are hard to find and expensive if you do track them down. The carry-on route is the way to go and makes everything a lot easier when you aren’t having to wait for luggage, etc. Have an awesome time!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: August Favorites 2017 – From Brown Eyes

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