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What if you're a shopaholic-fashionista-shoe-crazy girl your whole life and suddenly you're forced to live out of a backpack, one that's slightly bigger than a school bag, for 5 months?

What do you bring? How do you even begin to start packing?

That was the biggest challenge I had to face when packing for our big Southeast Asian adventure.

I packed and repacked my bag for 5 straight days. I probably now hold the record for the longest packing time in the history of backpacking. I tell you that's a whole lot of packing.

So wanna see what my closet is like for the next 5 months? Well, of course you do. Otherwise you wouldn't be reading this article now, would you?

My Pack


What's Inside

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- 6 tank tops
- Black shirts (3?) that I can dress up or down
- 2 t-shirts
- My favorite white v-neck shirt that most of my friends want to steal
- A girly blouse
- 3 tunic tops that doubles as bikini cover-ups

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- Grey sweat pants (My go-to travel uniform)
- Frayed rolled-up demin cut-offs
- 2 board/beach shorts
- 1 pajama bottom

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- 3 pairs of black tights or leggings: Mid-calf, full and ankle (Because if you can't bring jeans, they will be your best friends.)

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- 3 Headware pieces, of course! They don't weigh a thing.

Question: How many bikinis do you bring if you're going tubing in Vang Vieng, jumping off junk boats in Halong Bay and going to the beaches of Vietnam, Southern Thailand, Malaysia and Bali?

Answer: 4

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All of the above are neatly packed in pink, mesh organizers!
Extras

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Clockwise from Bottom Left: Havaianas slippers (which I've now lost), Merrel outdoor sandals, 2 pairs of cheapie flats that I bought from the best mall in the Philippines - SM.

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My travel essential bag contains:
- dental floss
- first-aid kit (pink case)
- ear plugs, eye shade, socks
- Tiger Balm
- mouthwash, lip balm

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Electronics Kit: Camera charger, adapter, iPhone charger, 300gb external hard drive (not pictured) and a teenie tiny pink hair dryer.

There have been endless debates on the internet on whether to bring or not bring this girlie item during backpacking.  After much consideration, I've made a decision to bring my hair dryer because I've never been particularly fond of looking like a drenched puppy early in the morning. Also, from what I know, the wet look has long been forgotten (Thank God!) along with the 90's fashion craze, so please don't hate. (P.S. My hard drive weighs more than the dyer.)

 So that's everything I have inside my backpack, that's my whole closet.

What's inside your packing list? We'd love to take a peek!

Carrying her world on her shoulders,
Sole Sister Chichi

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34 Responses so far.

  1. Why the need to hate? It's YOUR backpack and YOUR trip ;)

    So sad about the Havs. Ang cute pa naman :(

  2. Krizz says:

    your havs were cool but i love your merrel more! ;-)
    asa na imong "le sac"-like dress?

  3. chyng says:

    oohh, new header! i like it!

    where can i buy those headware? ganda!

  4. Ed says:

    @chyng: headware can be bought at ROX stores at 240 a piece. seems like a steep price for that piece of cloth but it's very useful! di pwedeng maliitin! also bought one when we dropped by a ROX store. kasi na enganyo kami sa write-up ng sole sisters. dapat may commission na sila! haha

    nice going chichi! kaya lang yan. buti nga walang laptop and big dslr. seems like a good pack indeed! :D

  5. Tere B says:

    i always love reading your posts! too bad about your havs, chichi... tsk tsk... and great job on the header, it is so cute!

  6. tina says:

    wow! super intelligent packing! hehe! :D

  7. ella says:

    hey, wher'd you get your pink packing cubes? the only ones i could find are the eagle creek ones! :(

    helpful post! imma be travelling across europe later this month and i havent shopped for my trip yet..

  8. Chichi says:

    There are a lot of haters of backpackers with hair dryers out there Nina. Just a friendly reminder to those out there ;)

    Haay, still not over the loss of my favorite slippers...

  9. Chichi says:

    The merrel's have been holding up pretty well The Le Sac look-alike didnt make the cut krizz, super heavy mangud siya ;(

  10. Chichi says:

    Thanks for answering for us Ed, saved me time! Dapat nga mag-charge na kami for endorsing the brand. Yoohoo, @theHeadware!

    I brought my laptop with me pero walang SLR, thank God!

  11. Chichi says:

    Thanks for following us Tere and for liking the header as much as we do! As i've said, I'm not yet over the loss of my Havs. They're just slippers but I still need more time ;(

  12. Chichi says:

    Thanks Tine! It took me quite a lot of time to trim down my packing list to only the basic essentials.

  13. Chichi says:

    Hey Ella, got the pink packing cubes from a stall in Greenhills..

  14. i have a blower in my gym bag. it's the in thing now. hahahaha!

  15. pinoyadventurista says:

    wow! how I wish I could also pack like that... kaso di ako organized eh... hahaha!!!

  16. Chichi says:

    Yeah, we love the new header too! See Ed's reply below Chhyng ;)

  17. Chichi says:

    I know you have that in your bag Gabby!

  18. Chichi says:

    The thing is, everyone has some level of being organized at the start of the trip. But it all goes downhill from there. I'm doing my best!

  19. Lost a pair of slippers too at the Full Moon Party (who doesn't lose theirs in an insane shenanigan like that?!). Either someone stole 'em, or I just wasn't able to find 'em kasi kasing kulang nila ang sand ;p

  20. Fliptravels says:

    e yung isang kilong bangs san mo nilagay?

    RON

  21. Chichi says:

    I expected to lose them sometime on this trip but I didn't expect I'd lose them this early on!:(

  22. Chichi says:

    Meron akong unlimited supply ng bangs in my secret stash ;p

  23. Steve says:

    My trouble with packing is I don't bring enough. I end up with a lot of room where I could fit a few more shirts or personal items. And since I really don't buy many souvenirs that I'll need to bring along, I often have plenty of spare room. I think you should bring your hair dryer if there is room for it. Might as well, if it makes you feel better while you're traveling.

  24. Chichi says:

    Less than 15k, booyeah!

  25. Chichi says:

    I guess we're polar opposite Steve. We could share tips eh? Bought my hair dryer and I haven't regretted bringing them ;)

  26. i thought this dress (http://www.wearesolesisters.com/2010/11/travel-with-it-thursday-le-sac-cest.html#comment-145207703) would be included in the list. haha was looking forward to see it! =) btw, where did you buy your leggings? i've been frustrated about that since i checked out forever 21 and promod and i find them both too thin.

    i look forward to reading more about your adventure. =)

  27. Chasingphilippines says:

    Hi Chichi!

    Where did you buy the pink organizers? Lovet! Thanks

  28. Chichi says:

     I wasn't able to find or order that dress :( I found a local alternative for it but decided to leave it because it was just too heavy.

    I found my leggings at SM (Yvonne's sell tights that are really strong), the others are from a local tiangge.

  29. Chichi says:

    I found them in a Greenhills stall. They're cheap and actually lasted the whole trip without falling aparat.

  30. ckirsteen says:

    hi chichi, im going solo backpacking first wk of august to china, cambo and vietnam and im planning to bring my hairdryer. is it okay?i mean il b staying in guesthouse (cud b dorm type room).some insights pls?merci beaucoup.

  31. Lois says:

    I think you will survive without it :-)

  32. Isaab says:

    HI Chichi, May I know whats inside the travel bag of Lois? Thanks!!!

  33. aizey kim says:

    Hi! i'll be on a solo backpacking trip Singapore-Malaysia-Thailand, your tips are really helpful, coz every time i travel, my biggest problem is packing.
    By the way, is it okay to use a trolley in my trip?
    Did you really use a 'backpack' for this trip?
    thanks :)

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