Strutting the Planet

Packing ideas #1 –

Because we are often asked by others along the way how we do things, what our experience was, what it cost, how we got to a certain place etc. we thought we would share with you some of the practicalities of travel that we’ve discovered – not just this trip but over the years.

So far, the question most asked is – how did you know what to pack for long term travel?  So here is what we do:

Long term travel needs a little bit more thought about what you might need and after four weeks we are still working out what we keep and what we ditch. We each have just under 20kgs of luggage packed into one suit case each.

We use packing cubes bought on line but we have seen them in Daiso stores for about RM5 ($1.50). They are mesh zippered bags with a deep channel side. The beauty of these is that you can have one for undies/swimwear/PJ’s, one for tops, one for shorts etc. and everything is kept tidy and you can see what is in each bag at a glance. Shoes are tucked along the sides of the suit case after everything else is packed in.



I don’t use a toiletries bag as I find they don’t hold enough and are too bulky. I have several clear plastic zippered bags which are much more practical.  I also have a medium size black leather back pack for days when we are travelling, and a small raffia bag for days when we are not.  This doubles for night time as well.

The suit cases:

These are the ones that open in the middle to make two even halves. They have 4 roller wheels that turn 360 degrees.  We find that they go anywhere with ease – even up and down escalators. To date there is no where where we have found them difficult – and I really cannot see myself lugging around a “turtle tote” in the heat. They are locked for travel with a built in combination lock.  We also have lockable, personalised luggage straps for added security.

Eight months on…

And now we can see ourselves lugging around a “turtle tote”!  We don’t rally feel the heat that much anymore anyway. We have found we don’t need half this stuff. As long as there is a laundry nearby and you don’t mind wearing the same clonthes week in and week out, and as long as you can buy the odd thing at a market you need very little. We are now down to two back packs and two day packs. We still find that the packing cubes are the most efficinent way of packing.

Electrical stuff in a seperate bag.


Use different bags for each set of things.  eg: shorts, t shirts, dresses etc in one and swimmers, undies etc in another. Beware the temptation to buy stuff just because it’s cheap. – you dont need it and don’t want to carry it. If you do succum to temptation, leave the older stuff behind.  The locals will love you for it.


All packed. These bigger  packs weigh about 7-8 kgs.  Very manageable and especially good if you are going on ferries, boats, trains and tuk tuks!

g bags bags


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