Packing list 2.0 for a digital backpacker / expat!

Okay so, quick intro:

Student. Male. 25. Worked on a Disney Cruiseship for 8 months in US. Worked in Malaysia for 6 months. Backpacked trough Australia, Thailand, Indonesia, Myanmar, Cambodia and Dubai for 5 months right after Malaysia.

Packinglist 2.0 for people who are going to work abroad / intern /expat for a few months and travel after.

Packing my bag for 1.5 years Dubai and possible travel afterwards. This is version 2.0, which is updated from my original newby backpackinglist that I used to work in Malaysia and 5 months of backpacking trough Australia and Asia.

I will create 2 packs. 1 Backpack travel bag with just my backpack travel essentials. The other one is a suitcase for work and a continued stay.  So I have categorised all my items that I would take on a backpacking trip to medium to warm countries. (15 to 40 degrees celsius).

All of the items below (except the ones for long term stay) are going to fit in a carry on 40L backpack by F-Stop.


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  • My packinglist 2.0
  • Useless items from packlist 1.0
  • Stuff I should’ve had on packlist 1.0
  • Complete packing list
  • Differences between packing for a long term stay and backpacking


First time backpacking list items that were unnecessary:

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  • 2nd pair of shoes
  • 2nd pair of jeans
  • 2nd Shirt
  • Sleepingbag (Used it for a few days in AUS, sleeping in campervan and it was freezing around 3.00AM, still bringing it, but will leave it when I will use a carry on bag and go to tropical countries)
  • Fishing thread (also can be used as laundry line but never used, laundry you can hang over your bed railing, chairs, etc, did bring some rope but never used it, will still bring it again, strong nylon wrapped around metal caribiner)
  • Business cards (to give to people when I made photos of them or stay in touch). (Useless, we have Facebook now….)
  • Lonely planets (will buy they in first country I get to, only for next country) (Never bought, It’s called Google! And.. a little bit of a surprise is always nice!)


Stuff I should’ve had in my pack:

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  • Loads of sunglasses. (kept losing them or forget them and you can buy em for 50 euro cents, so why not..) Do not buy sunglasses at home, unless you want a pair of real raybans and want to pay for something you will likely lose.. Sunglasses will be extremely cheap in any Asian or hot country.)
  • Drybag (actually got 2 of them, 1 20L, and 5L. The 20l is very sturdy and great for when you hit rainy season and still need a day pack, the 5L is perfect for just electronics, and I usually put my SLR and Phone in there.. (Cheaper abroad, but check quality, could be better to spend more for a bit more quality)
  • A few caribiners (some with locking mechanism, the screw ones, and other just simple ones. They are perfect for securing stuff to your pack, or just hang a grocery bag on with a bottle of water and noodles on your pack so that you do not have to hold it in your hand while driving your scooter. Also best to buy cheap abroad or pre order on Ebay, use the non climbing and light weight ones)
  • Go Pro Wrist mount 360 degrees. (great for diving, chestharness or headband not great, even camera clip system not perfect, find on ebay from Telskin (or something))


Optional stuff

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  • Compression bags (thought about them, but never got around to buying them and got by just fine without them, anyone used them?)

  • Bandana (I am not a bandana guy, but I see the uses. Got a hat for my trip to Dubai)

  • Swimming goggles (Never bothered, not really needed them, you usually just swim for fun and dive goggles are usually provided when diving or snorkling

  • Water purifiers / Steripen (Never bought and never needed)

  • Travel wash (for washing clothes) (Wasnt sure about this. Am now. Usefull when traveling developed countries short time to save money on expensive laundry. Not worth it in Asia where getting your laundry washed and ironed will cost you more than a travel size laundry detergent (euro 0.50 cent), but I will bring it again, because sometimes you can quickly wash something in your sink, i.e. the last shirt you have before you will do laundry in 2 days)



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  • 8 Ziplock bags (1 liter) (Replaced with 5 liter bags, and 2 3l bags, all have actual zips, not the push and click system, and I use them for organising and weatherproofing, chargers, accu’s, cables, passport, documents, etc)


Comfort stuff:

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  • Earplugs (for hostels, airplane and bus travel) (bring multiple sets and always put one set in a convenient place)
  • Sleeping mask (hardly used, would leave it if I had space restrictions)
  • Inflatable neckpillow (Replaced a blue one with a black one for this trip, they get dirty real quick in Asia)



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  • Tiewraps (to use for locking bagage on bad airports) (Not used, but still going to bring)

  • 3 TSA approved cable locks (better than fixed lock, because cables are flexible and bigger than fixed locks) (lost 2, not replaced)Tsa-Lock-Just-Lock-Tsa-Combination-Lock-Suit-Case-Lock-Travel-Lock-3-Dials-Padlock-Cable-Lock-TSA21105-[1]
  • Multitool (no brand, not worth spending money on a leatherman in my opinion) (got a Gerber Dime mini multi tool for this trip as I will be backpacking with only carry on this time, should be TSA approved)

  • Headlight (better than flashlight because you have your hands free, and also phone has light)

  • 3 pens and a small notebook (paper 8 x 5 cm)

  • Mini ductape (Not used last time, might replace with smaller role of white medical tape)

  • Elastic bands (around 10 small ones) (not used, still bringing)

  • Spork (Knife, fork and spoon in one, get one at any outdoor store)  (Replaced with Titanium, lost 1 already, bringing the other one)(Updated Spork)

  • Waterbladder for in backpack. New this trip, not sure how or if it will work, hoping to replace buying 0.5L waterbottles all the time, might be to much trouble for me to refill it each time



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  • International student card (for discounts)

  • Photo copies of important documents

    • Flights or tickets to next destination

    • copies passport (also stored online)

  • Medical passport and copies of medication prescriptions (documentation on medication)

  • Vaccination passport (Did not use, never asked, might leave home)

  • Photo graphs for on passports (Usefull)



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  • 1 Pair of running shoes, light (Addidas Boost), can use trail shoes too, but they don’t offer enough support for me)

  • 2 normal casual T-shirts

  • Pair of jeans (not bringing again on carry on backpack trip)

  • 1 Polo (Nike sports, which should look more classy than a t-shirt)

  • 1 shirt, made of Linen (not as hot as nylon) with long sleeves, to be worn when it might get a bit to cold for short sleeves. (lost it, but still looking for one)

  • 1 zipp off outdoor pants (beige)

  • 1 Nike running short black (will double as swimming short) (Awesome, lost it but got a new one, tripled to normal shorts too)

  • 1 workout T-shirt (useless for backpacking, just use tank top)

  • 1 tank top

  • 5 pair of boxers

  • 6 pair of socks, (2 hiking – Falke) (its worth to buy special sports socks which absorb more sweat and smells)

  • 1 pair of Flip flops

  • 1 belt (not taking this again, I bought pants that fit this time)

  • 1 Soft shell jacket, to be used as sweater. Wind and waterproof. (will need to buy a poncho, because waterproof is not waterproof in a jungle shower.) (never got a poncho and jacket was perfect)

  • 1 pair of proper shoes (brought those, but will not do that again for carry on)



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  • Sleeping bag (mummy one, small, warm up to 5 degrees) (not bringing again


Digital stuff:

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  • Nikon D5100

    • Extra battery

    • charger for battery

    • Remote control

    • Joby gorilla tripod mount (can also be used for go pro) (awesome)!

    • Rain sleeve (lost it, never used but still got new one)

    • Peak desigCapture-Camera-Clip-system-in-use_0[1]n Camera clipsystem (if you have a SLR, you need this; ) (Even more awesome, and got a lot of jealous looks!)
    • 1 64GB SD card + 8 GB + 2GB

    • Peak Design Leash and cuff

  • Go Pro Hero Black (Found go pro a waste of money and only used it for diving, if you have an SLR you are not going to use it if you like quality pictures, might reduce equipment and just take go pro, pole and wrist mount for diving and emergency video use)

    • Many different mounts

    • Egg timer

    • Chest harness (Thinking of not taking this, because of next item) (didnt bring, needed a wrist mount for diving 360 degrees rotatable)

    • Peak design Camera Clip system

    • 1 64 GB + 1 32GB

  • Xperia Z1 (Water and dustproof) (broken, pain to ship back to Europe to get it fixed, remember most warranties are only covered in your contintent. Got a back up android 4 inch Oppo phone, fake chinese brand, dual sim, works great!)

    • Charger

    • Ebooks for phone
    • New this trip: Some amazing NoInternet apps: Find my Car (for running and finding your way back to hotel with only gps) Navigator (Downloadable open source maps requires no internet and really reliable)
  • Laptop 15.4 inch (to be used during internship on first 5 months, will be shipped home before travelling to other countries) + charger

  • Netbook 11 inch. (prefer this over tablet) + charger

  • Changed these 2 for a Tablet and Laptop in one; 13 inch Sony Vaio Flip Video Youtube
  • Cables

    • 2 Micro USB cables2 Mini usb cables 

    • Replaced with 3 pieces of:
  • Simple MP3 player (lasts 12 hours on accu, for flights and bus)

  • Adapter plug (for changing European plugs to any other, also has USB)

  • External HD (Toughdrive from Freecom, can drop it from 2 meters)


Medication and stuff:

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  • Own medication

  • Mosquito stuff (Deet for example)

  • Toothbrush

  • toothpaste

  • Deodorant 2 big (1 small for during flights) (def take a small deo on flights, please.. sitting in a seat thats always to small next to people you dont like, and the screaming kid thats always onboard, we dont need you to smell bad.. do everyone a favor)

  • Razor (1 braun cruzer face) (replaced with Gillete fusion for backpacking)

  • Gel / wax

  • Nail scisors (for cuting the tie wraps) (do no put in carry on, not allowed)

  • Shaving cream (small package (no need for small packages unless you are only travelling for 2 weeks, or staying somewhere longterm)

  • Lipsalve (3 labello blue, 1 sunscreen labello)

  • First aid kit for hiking with betadine. (waterproof bandages, and more) (never used, reducing amount for carry on)

  • diarrhea blocker and anti food poisoning medication (Used, very usefull!)

  • Anit bacterial wet tissues (never used, not bringing again)

  • Needle (part of sowingkit?) (used, bringing again)

  • Painkillers

  • Moistureizing cream (as after sun)

  • Tissues (to be used as toilet paper) (ended up carrying a full role of toilet paper for 4 months, finished after 3,5 months, was free to steal)

  • Mini deodorant, shampoo, shaving cream, (see deodorant remarks)


Fixed stay packing list:

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I hope this helps anyone who is going to work abroad and travel afterwards. Or intern and than travel..

List based on:

How to make money of your blog (instructions, tips and checklists)

So you are traveling the world got a nice little blog going and was wondering if you could actually make back a bit of money out of all the time you put in so far!?


Yes, that’s possible and below I’ll tell you how to do it.


This article will tell you everything.

  1. How you should start a blog online. (Yes you most likely already got a blog, but there is a big difference in having a blog and making money of it.)
  2. How to attract visitors.
  3. What different ways you can make money of your blog.
  4. Different styles of blogging to make money.
  5. The advanced stuff, like getting your own website, Search Engine Optimalisation, finding statistics about your blog, visitors and income, etc!

Working in Bagan


So, just a quick intro. I’ve worked on a cruiseship for a year in 2011 and 2012, worked in Malaysia for 6 months and traveled trough Australia and Asia for 4 months. I have my own succesful webdesign business for more than 5 years now and income of this and my blogs have allowed me to travel and got some amazing experiences!


Your situation

Your situation most likely is different. I know, because I met you. Well, not you, but people like you. The inspired, witty, fun travelling person who loves to document what they are doing. That’s great, but the unfortunate fact is that most (aspiring) blogwriters are not traveling nerds like me. (Real nerds sit at home, and real travellers don’t want to spend hours learning HTML, PHP and other technological bullshit, right!?) So for most readers here, you will already have a blog, but want to know how much work it is and what you have to do to make money out of your blog.

So let me make this clear.

This is not a post about how to become a webdesigner. I will keep things very simple, allowing you to work on each of the points and instructions below within 20 minutes, whilst you are waiting for the train to Manilla (or somewhere else). Don’t be worried about about your technology skills, I’ll make it easy and have a comment selection below that I check (almost) daily.


Starting situation.

I am continuing this article with the assumption that you have a travel blog started somewhere on a free webpage (, or

Anyway you should have the first posts written and gotten some response on them (even if it is only your family so far). Most of the bloggers I’ve met have a WordPress blog. So I’ll keep that in mind, but even if you don’t no worries! I’ll start from the basics and go trough everything from step 1.

 Checklist Question 1.

  1. Is your blog interesting enough?
    In order to make money off your blog, you’ll need to add value to people’s browsing experience. The hidden amounts of money lie in getting the people you don’t know to your blog. And the best way to do that is with our friend Google. It’s kinda the chicken and the egg story. Google will place your website high in it’s search results if people visit and read something that they think is relevant. More visitors will mean a higher ranking in Google, and a higher ranking means more visitors.. So it all starts with relevant content!Depending on how much money you’d want to make, almost all blogs have some relevant information. But keep things real and make sure you make sure there is an added value to your blog that people search for (information, humor, inside tips, etc).

Step 2. Okay, so assuming that you’ll have a blog that is interesting, now it is time to decide how to make your money.

  1. Affiliate marketing (Not sure what this means, dont worry, I’ll explain in a bit)
  2. Sponsored adds or story’s
  3. Sponsorships
  4. Advertising, the simplest way to make money without understanding what you are doing 🙂 (Scroll down directly if you don’t want to compromise your blog, are short on time, or don’t want complicated solutions)



Affiliate Marketing for Travel bloggers.

Out of the 4 options above, the first is usually the most difficult. Affiliate marketing is getting paid by referring someone from your website to another. For a lot of products this kind of thing is impossible to get into. Travel is one of the most popular industries to get into. Imagine getting 0.10USD everytime one of your blogreaders clicks on a link that says “want to know more about this amazing country and see it for yourself” and it than forwards you to a booking page of a travel agency!

So is this for you? Probably not.. Why?

  1. First of all you probably did not write your blog to do these kinds of things.
  2. Second of all, it is quite difficult to get a proper affiliate site in traveling (and now in most other sectors too).
  3. And thirdly it will take a lot of time setting up and learning how this million dollar industry works (even becoming a webdesigner is simpler than this).

So for now we’ll leave it out of this article as for most readers this won’t be relevant. If you want to know more info, I recommend looking here for a general description of affiliate marketing and here on how to learn affiliate marketing and go here for extra tips on affiliate marketing


Sponsored adds, story’s and sponsor ships

I’ll keep this section very simple, because I won’t be of much help here.. Getting sponsored involves you spending usually a great deal of time and effort into finding companies that want to link their product to your blog.

  1. Sponsored stories are the easiest of the 3. You just go to a company and present them with some statistics of your blog and ask if they would like you to write an article for them (and than negotiate on how much your article is worth)
  2. For sponsored adds you’ve got to put in a little bit more effort, and usually consists of putting a link on your website, posting information or images about a company on your website or putting up a big annoying banner.
  3. Sponsorships usually consist of products that you promote, or write articles about. This requires a long term commitment and is the most difficult to achieve for decent amounts of money / effort. A company will pay you xxx amount or give you products to be featured on your blog and promote their brand or products.

The simple truth is that in the beginning all of those options depend on how well you can market your blog and yourself. If your blog is already successful, you might be approached by companies instead of the other way around. But since this isn’t an article on sales, you will have to your own research in how to get a sponsorship or whether you would like to write sponsored articles.

How to make money of your travel blog via advertising

And this is the best place to start out for most bloggers. 90% of all bloggers have advertisements on their blogs. Not everyone likes to write sponsored stories or have the knowledge/time to get into affiliate marketing.

Advertising is simple, quick to set up and can make you decent to good money depending on your visitors.

The money making checklist for Advertising for travel blogs

  1. Get a domainname and website space
  2. Set up a WordPress or Joomla website (WordPress preferred)
  3. Do some basic Search Engine Optimalisation (again 20 minutes quick version) (optional)
  4. Improve your website with plugins and cool stuff (optional)
  5. Set up Google Analytics (finding out statistics about your blog) (optional)
  6. Set up Google Adsense (the actual advertisements)
  7. Sit back and relax.. I mean, keep writing and adding value to your blog

1. Get a domainname and website space

If you have a domain, you will never attraction the amount of visitors that could. Simply because Google has a algorithm that includes having your own domainname is good for the ranking. And without webspace/hosting, no one could see your website.

Having webspace is buying a piece of land somewhere. Picking a domainname is the location of that plot. Domainnames have some influence on how well your website will be found. A website about chickens that is called is usually higher ranked than a website about chickens that is called

In the end, it’s about content so dont fuss too much. Moving a website to a different domainname can be a pain, so pick a name that you will stick with.

There are thousands of companies offering domainnames and webspace (webhosting), so what should you look for?

  1. Price, yes you will have to spend some money! An average domainname and webspace for a year will set you back around 20 to 30 USD, that’s the price of 2 nights sleep in Myanmar, A decent meal in Australia or getting a visa in Cambodia.
  2. The safest is a populair website; sites like, Hostgator, etc. Google for more..
  3. Look for diskspace of a minimum of 1GB, this to allow for travel photo’s. Keeping it simple and low budget go for 500mb. (but this is a minimum and not advised).
  4. Domainnames dont really have any specific things to look out for, I do recommend finding one that is not taken. Buying domainnames that are taken is an expensive business.
  5. Make sure your webhosting includes the possibility of a MySQL database (this will store your blog)


2. Set up a WordPress or Joomla website (WordPress preferred)

If you already have a WordPress website your life of maintaining and posting will be a lot easier, otherwise you’ll need to take another 20 minutes to figure out how to use WordPress once installed. But don’t worry, it is all quite intuitive and fairly simple.

WordPress installs super easy and can be done in 3 minutes.

The detailed instructions are here:

You’ll need to go to your webhosting loging to create a MySQL Database. (Google; WEBHOSTINGNAME, Create MySQL Database). You dont need to know how it works, you just need the login details (Username, password, and Database name + password)

Than you’ll need to upload the WordPress files using a FTP programme. We are basically putting the WordPress programme and your future blog online.. How to do that is easier explained by watching these video’s:


Your WordPress website should now be online, you can add posts and pages to it.. If you’ve never used WordPress you can watch the video below. If you had a website than you can simply export and import your data via to your new own wordpress website.



Do some basic Search Engine Optimalisation (again 20 minutes quick version) (optional)
Improve your website with plugins and cool stuff (optional)
Set up Google Analytics (finding out statistics about your blog)

I am going to skip these for now, as this first article is just to set you up with all the basics.

6. Set up Google Adsense (the actual advertisements)

  1. When you are logged in in WordPress, go to the sidebar on the left and click on the “Plugins”, on the top click on Add New, and Search for: Easy AdSense, install this plugin.
  2. Go to Register here and set up your first advertisement (Layout, and what kind of advertisements)

    See this video on how to setup Adsense:


    Click here for a longer video on how to setup Google Adsense

  3. Copy the code in the Easy Adsense Plugin area.



7. There is no step 7, you will be paid by Google every month for every visitor that will click on one of your links on your blog. Enjoy!

Are you having challenges, please post below. I do this for a living and know what I am doing, don’t worry.