Traveling, in general, is an experience and a half. But, traveling alone? A whole new world. Literally. The days leading up to my solo adventures are always full of mixed emotions. Especially when trying to pack enough for a long trip in one single bag. I’ve definitely packed and repacked my bag for this trip alone, at least a dozen times!
Over the past year or so, I’ve been on 3 solo trips, only taking with me what could fit in my carry-on, and this one will be my 4th. I decided that it’s probably time for me to invest in a proper “backpacking backpack” instead of lugging around my mini carry-on suitcase.
I will be backpacking Thailand for a couple of months– well, sort of one. The other half of my trip, I will be completing my 200hr RYT course (registered yoga teacher), which will certainly explain the majority of my choice in clothing packed. If it weren’t for the training (and having to work while on the road), I would have definitely packed a little lighter, but I will still only be taking one carry-on bag with me, along with my Jade Yoga mat.
I’d like to say that I pack pretty light for my solo trips (if you would consider stuffing every nook of my travel bag with things “light-packing”). I feel best when I’m able to rely on my carry-on only, mostly because I’m always paranoid that if I check my luggage while I’m alone, it’ll get lost and I’d be too stressed to deal with it by myself; but also too because when I pack “lighter”, I just feel so much more flexible.
This time around, I am (hopefully) aiming to leave enough space in my bag to be able to bring back a few gifts without busting a zipper (update- no busted zipper, but also no room for extras). So, the backpack I chose to purchase to do the job was the Osprey Farpoint 40, (mine is actually a 38L backpack due to my height), and let me tell ya- she did NOT disappoint. Super snug, comfy, supportive, and I am so excited to break it in! I also purchased a few packing cubes from Amazon, to help me stay organized with the clothes I’m bringing.
Electronics/ Work Gear
Since I work online (a hopeful digital nomad in the making), my electronics are my life. They quite literally pay my bills, which means that I did have to make a few tech-investments to ensure everything will work as smoothly as I have control over, for the trip.
The first of these essentials? The obvious, various chargers for my phone and mac, along with my wireless and plug in headphones, and a power converter + adapter. Other tech-goodies will just be my selfie stick and tripod for filming all of my vlogs and taking photos.
On my first big solo travel trip to Costa Rica, I brought my big high-tech camera, which was A LOT of extra weight. I only ended up using it once, and filmed all of my vlogs with my phone! Dragging my camera around ended up being a nuisance, so when I got home I ended up selling it. I’ve been using my iPhone 7+ to film and take photos since then, and it’s saved me so much space and is much lighter, plus the quality is great!
A more compact, lighter vlogging camera will definitely be my next big investment soon though, as I can never get enough of those high-quality travel shots!
- Charges: 1x mac, 1x short iPhone cord, 1x long iPhone cord + plug
- Voltage Converter + adapter
- Mini iPhone Tripod
- Mini Selfie-Stick
Yoga Teacher Training
I am BEYOND excited to begin my training in Koh Phangan. I’ve looked through countless sites for what kind of clothing and extra gear is recommended to bring, but for the most part, it was pretty straightforward. The mat would have been more of an optional item if I were only going to Thailand for my training, but since I have a total of 4 weeks which I won’t be in the actual course, I’ll need a little something to keep my practice going!
From my research, laundry mats are pretty easy to come by, however, in between my work schedule and training, I don’t want to be spending the only downtime I have, doing laundry. So, I opted to bring more of a variety of athletic-wear, so I don’t have to do washing more than every week or so.
- My Jade Yoga Mat and Lulu Strap
- 1 Pair of Leggings
- 2 Athletic Shorts
- 3 Tanks, 1x Dry Fit, 1x Quick Dry, 1x Loose
- 2 Sports Bras
- 1x Small yoga towel
- Aches + Pains roll-on
- 2 Journals, 1x note-taking, 1x journaling
Swim + Undergarments
Pretty straightforward with swimwear + underwear. You really just want to make sure that you have enough underwear for the week, and are able to alternate your swimwear.
- 2 Bralettes + 1 bandeau
- 5-7 pairs of underwear
- 3 pairs of socks
- 2 Swimsuits
While researching what came up in the “what is appropriate for women to wear in Thailand” blog posts, a very popular theme was that it was slightly more conservative, but it different ways than one may think. Shorts and skirts above the knees were actually acceptable unless you were going to more sacred areas. What you do want to have handy are things like sarongs/ light scarfs to cover your shoulders in the temples (and in case you get chilly on long bus rides). Jumpsuits and maxi dresses are always good ideas especially ones with lighter fabric– this goes for pants too.
- 1 Jumpsuit
- 1 Zip-up Sweater
- 1-2 Light pairs of pants
- 2 Sun/beach Dresses
- 1 Skirt
- Spandex for under dress/skirts
- 1 Sarong
- 1 pair of casual/nice shorts (plus other 2x athletics)
- 1 light rain jacket
- 3 T-shirts, 1x light, 1x thicker, 1x nice/dressy top
- 3 pairs of shoes, 1x running shoes/ chucks, 1x comfy/ cute sandals, 1x flip flops
Hair and Skincare
Luckily, my haircare routine requires minimal tools and effort ever since I started my locs, but with the products that I use on my hair and skin for that matter, I’ve come to learn that there are certain things for my hair type that I may not find easily overseas. Luckily, I do know a strong black digital nomad community down in Chiang Mai, so hopefully, if there is something that I need topping up with for my dreadlocks or a tip in the right direction for affordable (and vegan), unbleached skincare products, they should be able to guide me.
- Grapeseed Oil
- Aloe Verra Blend (with tea tree + vitamin e)
- Witchhazel (cucumber and rose pedal is my favourite)
- Dr. Bronner’s Castille Soap — mostly for laundry
- Natural Bar Soap + Shampoo Bar
- Retwisting Cream + Bobby pins
- Spray bottle
Toilettree and Medicinal Misc.
Since I usually don’t do well with ibuprofen, I’ve created my own routine to fight of any pain on the road, which I’ve listed down below! I also like to keep things as environmentally friendly as I can, so opting for reusable products like menstrual cups and bamboo pads (for the road and at home) are totally a great idea.
- Microfibre/ Quick Dry Travel & Sports Towel
- Cramp Bark
- Red Raspberry Leaf Tea
- Evening Primrose Oil pills & Activated Charcoal pills
- Peppermint Oil
- Bamboo Toothbrush + Toothpaste
- Diva Cup + Reusable Pads
- Hand Sanitizer
- Tissues + Bandaids
- Bug Repellent
- Eye Mask
Other Important Items
- 1 Waterbottle
- 1 Daypack
- 1 Reusable mesh produce bag (with metal straw + cleaner)
- ATM Cards
- Passport + Visa (of course)
- Photocopies of visa, passport, itineraries, domestic flights
One thing I’ve learned when solo traveling and also attempting to pack light is to wear your bulkiest/ warmest clothing on traveling/ plane/ bus/ ferry days. It lightens the load, leaves room for any food or other items you’ve picked up for the journey ahead, and helps protect you from the extreme AC many transit vehicles in hotter climates tend to have. Plus, I find it much easier to take sweaters off and tie them around my waste versus digging through my backpack and cubes.
Stay on the lookout for my future posts on my YouTube Channel and here on my blog! Tons of travel, yoga, and vegan content coming your way 🙂
Peace and love xoxo
– Herbivore Beauty