How to Pack for a Year-long Warm-weather Trip Abroad

As many of you know, in March 2019, I set off for a year long solo trip through South East Asia. My bag and my items have become my steady companions. They are my home and my comfort. I take good care of them, and use packing cubes to keep things organized and pack with care. I always kept my home very tidy, and I like to do the same with my bag. It’s a life-changing experience to live out of one bag for so long, especially coming from a culture where consumption is the rule. I love the concept that you can really carry everything you need right on your back. It’s truly freeing!


The backpack I use is the Osprey Porter 46, and I absolutely love it. I’ve had it for 7 years and have used it for all my longterm and short term trips since I bought it. For my day bag, I am using this that I got off Amazon. I really like the looks and it is quite sturdy, but I do wish it was a little bigger. I use this cross-body bag as my purse, but please see my blog post of How My Purse Was Stolen in Cambodia as I still am not totally sure about this bag in terms of safety.

I spent a long time working on my packing list. And now that I’ve been traveling for 5 months, I can honestly say I did a damn good job. I’ve used every single thing I brought multiple times, and I haven’t needed to buy anything (except restock) since I began traveling. I have gone on a few shorter trips in previous years (2 weeks – 3 months long), so I had some good experience with packing that helped me figure out what a year would look like. Actually, I pack nearly the same for a 3 week trip as I do for a 1 year long trip, but basically just add some more meds!

You can access the full list below through pdf download. Some of these items I would consider luxury, and not a complete necessity, so I have added a * to those items. Let me know if you have any thoughts or questions. And happy packing!

Click here for the free pdf download of my packing list

In Ubud, Bali, getting ready to go to the airport in Denpasar. Not pictured: my cross body bag

In Ubud, Bali, getting ready to go to the airport in Denpasar. Not pictured: my cross body bag