Travel Tips - Backpacking in South East Asia

Currently, we are not travelling and loving living in Canada but you can feel the tug to 
leave slowly sneaking in. Here is some advice and information I recently gathered for friends and their first trip to Asia, I felt that I might as well share this list for anyone else getting ready to go on an adventure!

1. Buy your souvenirs closer to the end of your trip so you are not carrying too many valuables and your bag won't get too heavy. Or ship larger items home. Posting something can save you a lot of hassel and if you send it by sea it isn't that expensive.

2. Packing - you need clothes that have more than one purpose, especially if you plan on being active. Light weight clothes that dry quickly are the best. Check the climate of the place but Asia is usally super humid so lightweight materials are best. Also leave room in your bag because you are likely to buy lots of clothing while you are there.

Here are some good links to check out.

(I would not travel with a sleeping bag but a sarong as a blanket is a good idea if you like to sleep on long bus rides like me.)

(Roll your clothes so you can fit more in and lay out everything you are going to pack. Often you have too much. You need to be 110% sure you are going to use what you are taking.)

3. Make copies of all your documents.

Copy all of your important information. Few things are more inconvenient than losing or having your passport, important documents and/or credit cards stolen. Copy the photo page of your passport, and both sides of your credit cards. Make two copies. Hide one in some obscure part of your backpack and one to leave with your contacts at home. Remember to keep a close eye on the copies – they’re a great asset if you lose the originals, but can also be used to steal your identity if they get into the wrong hands. You can also email yourself a copy of your scanned documents so that you can access and print them if you need to.

4. Power converters. Plugs are different all over and it is annoying if you don't have one of these little guys. I don't think you have to buy one, though, Friends who have travelled will have one hanging around somewhere that they would love to share. Also, l
eave your big blowdryer at home. I knocked out the power of our entire hostel with mine because blowdryers use sooo much power and the voltage was different. If you use one you can take a small travel sized one, buy one in that country, or do without it (your hair will frizz anyways cause of the humidity). Curling irons and straighteners can also melt. Laptops, camera chargers, and ipads usually come with a surge protector so they should be fine.

5. Things you will want to have:
- microfiber travel towels instead of big towels
- cheap shower shoes
- Antibacterial Hand Sanitizer
- a refillable water bottle
- leave your tripod at home if you have one, it's just extra weight.
- large backpack and your day to day smaller backpack

- Gravol, Advil, Imodium

6. Carry little packs of tissue or wet wipes with you ALL THE TIME. Most bathrooms do not have tissue and you will have to pay a little kid to get some or go without. We learned this in Taiwan and never went anywhere without it while travelling.

7. Get some gear.

Mountain Equipment Company

Friends told me they can fit you for your backpack here and teach you how to pack it properly so you don't hurt your back. We bought ours in Asia and just learned as we went. (heavy stuff on the bottom so you don't fall over! haha)

Merrel - awesome shoes for travel.
I got them for South Africa and they are the only shoes JP wears for travelling.

Leatherman -A mulipurpose tool also comes in handy. Just remember to check it in your luggage and not in your carry on.

8. Water proof bags. Asia is wet and if you plan on trekking, or being adventurous you will want one. In an emergency, zip lock bags! 

9. Read, research, and learn all you can about where you are going before you get there. The more you know the safer you are, and the more fun you will have. Read blogs so you can learn about other people and their experiences. Read travel books and websites (, and talk with people you meet along the way. Other travellers are a great source of information. Also, leave yourself the option to be adventurous and wing it! 

10. Document your travels. Write in a journal, start a blog, take pictures, and do something with them when you get home. Make a scrapbook, hang them on the wall, send them as postcards to friends and family. Celebrate where you have been. You will want to remember everything!

Here are some links from our travels to South East Asia:


Chang Mai - Thailand

Indonesia - Bali and the Gili Islands



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