To Pack or Not to Pack…


OK, I think I have managed to pack everything I need, while still packing light. At least I hope so. I was not able to fit everything into my back pack though. I am bringing an additional smallish duffel bag that I can attach to the bottom of my backpack. Although I did not want to bring an extra bag I just don’t think I can fit it all. The backpack is more of a day pack and with the camera compartment does not fit much. The benefit is that my second bag is practically empty so I can fill it with new goodies along the way.

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I was able to bring the following:
4 pairs of pants/shorts
5 tees/tanks
2 bathing suits
1 sandal
1 sneaker
1 night shirt
7 underwear
2 pairs socks
1 scarf
1 overshirt/light jacket
3 sun dresses
1 belt
1 purse
1 security wallet
Power cords and such
Toiletries
Utility items batteries, water purifier, bug spray, ect.
Camera
iPad
Paperwork

Quite a lot for such a small bag I think!!

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Also my dog Ember (the black one) and my foster dog, Sheila, were a HUGE help in this process, as you can see!!

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So does anyone think I can possibly fit it all in one bag!? To pack or not to pack, that is the question.

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A Scouts Honor: Always Be Prepared


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There is a lot of information available out there for travel preparation. With this trip I’ve gone all out with my research. I don’t think I’ve ever been more prepared for a trip before, of course once I get there I’ll find out I’m not prepared at all, ha! But that’s all part of the fun. This was the first time I got vaccinations for a trip. I talked to a lot of people I know that have traveled to Southeast Asia to find out weather or not they got vaccines and weather not they thought it was worth it. Turns out it is about 50/50. After consulting the CDC website I decided I would get the recommended shots. Although I did not get all of them because Japanese Encephalitis and Rabies are more than $600.00 a piece! I did manage to get Typhoid, Meningitis, Hep A and Tetanus for about $200.00 total. Have any of you ever received vaccinations for a trip and did you feel it was worth it?

I also found a ton of country specific information on the Smart Traveler App. It has everything from Embassy locations and local emergency phone numbers to information on crime stats and health advisories. They also have an enrollment program in which you register your trip with the US Embassy of each country you will visit. That way they have all your emergency contact info from family members back home as well as on the road. I’m not sure how effective it is but it certainly feels good to know they know!

There is also a whole host of gear most websites suggest you need for this type of trip. One of the websites I found to be quite informative with their gear reviews was TravelFish. That is where I found this gadget for purifying water, which apparently as a westerner you should never drink over there with out purifying. Supposedly it works amazing. I tested it after receiving it in the mail and it takes exactly 2 minutes to purify. Sounds fast, but feels like an eternity so I guess I’ll find out if it is a pain in the butt once I get there. Anyone out there have experience with one of these?

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I also went ahead and purchased myself a backpack. Obviously an essential item. I was very interested in purchasing a PacSafe bag because of the great security features but I wasn’t happy with any of their camera bags since I will be traveling with my Nikon D5100. I ended up deciding on a LowePro model because it was less expensive (although way less secure) but it has a secret compartment for your camera that is easy to access. Which ultimately was my deciding factor, because what is the point of having the camera if you can’t get it out to take pictures! Does anyone use a bag like this and did you feel it suited your needs?

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On top of that there is a million of other products to bring: deet bug spray, sunscreen, universal plug, clothes line, personal care items, sleep sack, pad locks, cord locks, security wallet, reusable water bottle, poncho, first aide kit and of course toilet paper or wipes of some kind. It’s a lot!! So now my mission is to figure out how to fit all that and clothes into my very strategic packing plan. Which starts now. Help! My goal is to pack as light as possible for two reasons; I will be more mobile and it leaves more room for all the stuff I’m gonna want to buy! So here goes nothin’ I’ll be sure to let you all know how this goes. Accepting advice from any of you seasoned travelers out there!!