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Carryon ContentsCarryon Contents
Backpack Contents for BloggingBackpack Contents for Blogging
My recommended clothingMy recommended clothing
My two bags for one weekMy two bags for one week
  • Carryon Contents
  • Backpack Contents for Blogging
  • My recommended clothing
  • My two bags for one week

One of the challenges of traveling overseas is packing. Some people are able to pack in a minimalist way and only take a carry on even when traveling for multiple months, others pack a whole lot of stuff. I wanted to post a blog entry about what all I thought was worth bringing and share how it was used. Hopefully you might find this helpful.

1. Bags
For this trip I wanted everything to be exclusively carryon. I packed a tiny gym bag that I could have loaded with my clothes should I have found things I wanted to bring home. It’s worth noting that my carry-on was packed to capacity. My bags consisted of a rolling duffel bag that fits the carry-on size and my small Incase Campus backpack. I highly recommend the Incase bag because it is slim and does a good job of forcing you to pack smart. Whenever I have a large backpack I always seem to weigh myself down by carrying things I don’t need…this bag will prevent you from being upset about that. Also, should you be traveling with a laptop or books, you definitely want two straps for your shoulders. Go with a backpack!

2. Clothing
After this trip I became interested in sink washing clothing and I wish I had done that during this trip. El Salvador has a great climate for drying your clothes! For this trip I brought enough clothes for every day. So let’s go down the list:

• 2 Bandannas
• 2 Pairs of Zip off pants (yes they are silly but you want to wear shorts when you can)
• Tank tops for every other day. I can wear one two days in a row without smelling bad. Make sure you check with someone that the clothing is appropriate for whatever culture you are visiting.
• 3 T-Shirts for sleeping after a shower
• 3 Quick-Drying/Moisture-Wicking shirts
• 3 Pairs of Socks (I wore flip-flops most days)
• Bathing suit (if recommended)
• Shorts for sleeping in
• Hat for blocking the sun during long days outdoors
• Pair of flip flops for walking
• Flip flops for showers (you will be fine with one pair probably…)

3. Toiletries
Here is where things sometimes pile up. I’m just going to go through the list.

• Small toiletry bag
• Toothpaste + Travel Toothpaste
• Deodorant
• Two Rolls of Camping Toilet Paper
• Three packs of bathroom wet wipes
• Travel Mirror (you might not have one in your house/room
• Travel Towel
• I brought a tiny silk sleeping bag but never used it because it was so hot…
• Travel pack of bandaids
• Blister bandaid pack
• Advil Cold & Sinus w/ Sudafed (in case of flu-aches)
• Migraine headache medicine
• Pack of Kleenex
• Headlamp (your nights will be pitch black and it’s good to have a flashlight you can wear!)
• Bunch of anti-bacterial wipes
• 2 packs of anti-bacterial wet-ones
• Trashbag for dirty/smelly clothes
• Bandanna with built-in bug repellant
• Some kind of bug repellant
• Water Bottle (Not too big…you don’t want it to weigh you down)
• Ear Plugs (you never know if your roommate will snore…or if they will be upset with you)

4. Snacks / Food
It might seem strange to take snacks but you don’t know when your meals will be and you want to have some healthy snacks for energy and in case your stomach doesn’t respond well to things. You can make two types of nuts/fruits/chocolates bags to take every other day and you will want to take some cliff-bars or other energy/granola bars with you. Here are a few recommendations:

• 5 Small zip-locs filled with walnuts and dried fruit
• 5 Small zip-locs filled with m&m’s, raisins and salted peanuts
• 3 cliff bars
• 3 kudos (sweets are nice though not the best…)
• 3 power bars

5. Electronics
For my  trip to El Salvador I was invited to document the trip which required me to bring a few more things. You want a journal to jot things down and a computer you can travel well with. I would highly recommend a netbook for something like this.

• Macbook Air + Charger (the built in SD card reader was great for collecting everyone’s pictures each day)
• Small Camera + Charger
• Mouse + Mousepad
• Slim External DVD burner to compile everyone’s images at the end of the trip
Grid-It in whatever is the smallest size you need for your pens, cables, batteries etc. These truly are brilliant!
Griffin USB Mini Cable Set (These will allow you to connect to any cameras or other devices which you might have forgotten a cable for.
• Tiny USB Hub
• Screen Cleaner + Micro-Fiber rag
• Mini-Flashlight

6. What to keep in your backpack ALL THE TIME
• Photocopy of Passport page with your info on it!
• Small Flashlight
• One energy bar
• Two bags of snacks
• Notebook + Pen
• Laptop in sleeve
• Grid-It
• Extra zip-locs in freezer AND normal size for whatever might happen
• Sunglasses
• Bandanna
• LCD Cleaning Spray + Micro-Fiber Rag
• Earplugs

That’s everything I took with me! I hope this helps you plan for the future. These days I would highly recommend getting a sink stopper, a bar of laundry soap for $1.50 and a travel clothes line (this one is cheaper) so you can take less clothing with you. A cotton t-shirt can dry out in 2 days and the new “moisture-wicking” stuff can dry out in 6 hours or less! These days I would only need two pairs of undies and three light-weight moisture wicking shirts.

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