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.


[list type=square_list]

  • 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:

[list type=arrow_list]

  • 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:

[list type=star_list]

  • 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

[list type=arrow_list]

  • 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)



[list type=arrow_list]

  • 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:

[list type=arrow_list]

  • 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)



[list type=arrow_list]

  • 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



[list type=arrow_list]

  • 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)



[list type=arrow_list]

  • 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)



[list type=arrow_list]

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


Digital stuff:

[list type=arrow_list]

  • 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:

[list type=arrow_list]

  • 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:

[list type=arrow_list]



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

List based on:

3 thoughts on “Packing list 2.0 for a digital backpacker / expat!”

  1. Hi! This is great! Thought I would contribute my packing list (from a girl’s perspective!). Things you said you didn’t use, like your sleeping bag, I used ALL THE TIME! I think it also depends on how you’re traveling… if you’re couch surfing, camping, etc.

    Katie’s Packing List

    Driver’s license
    Copy of driver’s license
    Insurance Card
    Copy of immunizations (AND yellow fever card)
    Extra passport photos
    At least two copies of passport
    List of banking numbers
    Diving Log Book
    Money (US dollars and local currency if you have a chance to exchange before you go is convenient. Otherwise use ATM at the airport. It’s cheaper than exchanging anyways!)
    Credit cards (I recommend having at least two credit cards and two debit cards. I traveled with three of each just in case.)
    Book to read

    Computer (Charger too!)
    Computer case (Charger too!)
    Cell Phone
    Life Proof Case for Phone
    Camera cable cord in waterproof pouch
    Extra memory card
    Triple A
    Double A
    Universal Adaptor
    Headlamp (always on you!)
    Portable charger
    Portable hard drive

    Personal Care:
    Soap (Recommend a bar with a case)
    Face soap
    Cotton balls and Q-tips
    Hair ties
    Bobby pins
    Make-up remover wipes
    Moisturizer/Body lotion
    Nail Clippers
    Nail File
    Cuticle cutter
    Razor (Extra razor blades!)
    Diva Cup (For girls of course. Highly recommend!)
    Travel pack of tissues (Used more for toilet paper than anything else!)
    Vibrator (Yes! I traveled with one, lol)

    Sleeping Bag
    Hypoallergenic zipped cover pillowcase (protect against bed bugs and keep it clean)
    Travel pillow
    Eye mask

    Environmental protection:
    Bug Repellent/after bite
    Water purification tablets (2)
    Baby/disinfecting wipes
    Hand sanitizer (At least 3 bottles!)
    Chap stick
    Aloe Vera
    Facemasks (For China!)

    Septra DS
    Ibuprofen 800
    B12 Nasal Spray
    Colloidal silver crème (Amazing for healing cuts and open wounds!)
    Immuno Start
    Homeopathic Kit (Phosphorous, Gelsemium, Arnica, Nux Vomica, Bryonia, Aconitum,
    Ignatia and Ocsillo)
    Lavender oil (Great for burns!)
    Gauze Pads
    Cough drops
    Small bottle of Bactine
    Alcohol wipes
    Black Seeds (Amazing for immunity)
    Sleeping Aid (Ambien)
    Gold Bond powder
    Cold medication (I picked this up in China and Sri Lanka)
    Ear/Eye drops

    Sunglasses!!!!! (I recommend at least 2 pairs)
    Combination lock, no keys required! You’ll lose them.
    Sarong (Perfect in lieu of a beach towel or blanket)
    Quick dry towel
    Watertight pouch for phone and money
    Rain cover for backpack*** (Protects bag in transit too! Especially if you check it)
    Foldable daypack and/or foldable duffle bag (recommend dry bag!)
    Reusable bag for carry on (how I carried my computer, sleeping bag, etc)
    Camelback with bladder
    Laundry Bag (I used a portable washer!)
    (Maybe a to go packet of detergent)
    Zip lock bags
    Zip Ties
    Safety pins
    Sewing kit
    Deck of Playing Cards
    Pocket Knife

    Peanut butter
    Granola Bars
    Energy Gu?

    Running Shoes
    Hiking Boots
    All purpose sandals (Tivas)
    Dress shoes (Fancy sandals)
    Flip Flops
    Shower shoes if your flip-flops aren’t for getting wet
    (Wish I would have had my rock climbing shoes!)

    Rain Jacket
    Fleece jacket
    8 pairs of pedi socks
    2 Knee-high Hiking socks (Also warm)
    Sports bra (2)
    Regular bra (2)
    Bathing Suit (2) although 1 is fine!
    Cargo pants (All purpose hiking pants that unzip into shorts)
    Jean shorts
    Running shorts
    Soffee shorts (Used these as pjs)
    Leggings (Comfy for traveling/extra layer if you need warmth under other pants)
    Cotton Capris (bought while traveling)
    Maxi dress
    Fancy dress
    At least two shirts with sleeves (for conservative countries)
    Dressy non wrinkle shirt (2)
    Long sleeve dry fit shirt
    Sun shirt
    Spaghetti strap
    Black stripe workout
    Scarf (great for temples!)
    Earrings and necklaces (nothing too fancy)

  2. Well i worked at Vigin Active as a Fitness Instructor hope one there i can leave my country and study faired where Fitness will take me cause it got my heart.Am inlove with healthy lifestyle.

  3. This is among the easiest ways of creating money at home.
    – Scan your web pages to locate errors with one click. You get to talk about
    things you love and make money on the side –
    this is not only easy but it’s fun.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *