Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Gettin' it together

The Planning:
To decide where to go, we asked our well-traveled friends for advice, consulted weather for the best seasons to visit certain countries, and also chose based on where it was cheap to fly, haha. For the flights, we fiddled with dates in google flights to try and find the cheapest non-stop flights to each destination.

We booked our hotels on hotels.com (because of the free cancellation policy) and airbnb, whichever seemed like the more fun option. For activites, I downloaded a bunch of guidebooks on my kindle, scoped out what seemed interesting, and booked activities online. Though most of our activities will be walking around and taking in the sights.

The Packing:
(Warning: long lists of stuff, feel free to skip) I used several lists from travel around the world websites and books and came up with the following list (will let you know what ended up being useful or useless):

  • Phones + chargers
  • Portable 2TB hard drive
  • Marc’s computer + power adapter
  • Lauren’s chromebook + power adapter
  • GoPro camera + attachments
  • Camera + charger
  • Kindle reader
  • 64GB micro SD cards (for GoPro and camera) x 4
  • Micro-USB 3.0 cable x 1
  • Micro-USB cables x 5
  • Mini-USB cable x 1
  • Selfie stick
  • Grounded 2-in-1 plug adapters: type E/F (Euro style), type G (UK), type I (China/Oceania) - it turns out these 3 types are sufficient for the ~20 countries we are going to visit
  • Universal plug adapter with 2 1A USB ports - with the adapters above we will be able to charge 3 devices at once (2 grounded, 1 non-grounded) and there will be enough USB ports on this adapter and on our laptops to charge all the other devices. [Edit October 8: after 3 months of using this universal adapter I dislike it, because it is often too bulky to fit next to another plug and does not stay firmly plugged in many outlets].
  • Spare batteries (3 x aaa for headlamp, 1 x aaa for razor, 2 x aa flashlight)
  • Flashlight
  • Head lamp
  • Digital files of important documents stored offline on Marc’s laptop + both our phones
  • Earbuds x2 + splitter

  • Tom Binh travel bags
  • Small day packs (one with camelpack)
  • Crossbody day bag
  • Luggage tags
  • Printed itinerary and tickets
  • Paper checks x 3
  • Yellow fever immunization card
  • Sets of passport photos (4 in color)
  • Printed emergency numbers: doctor, lawyer, credit card, insurance, passport #, phone numbers
  • Credit cards and bank cards
  • $1000 emergency stash total
  • Paracord bracelet
  • Platypus bottle x2 (1 L and 2 L)
  • Dry bag sack for electronics
  • Keychain carabiner
  • Permanent marker, pen, pencil
  • Sewing kit
  • Clothing line (10m of nylon cord)
  • Playing cards (with 5m of duct tape wrapped around the box)
  • Superglue
  • Sunglasses + case
  • Rubber bands x5
  • Garbage & ziplock bags
  • Water purifier straw
  • Spork
  • Foldable bags

Clothing per person:
  • Zipper swim shorts x 2 (Marc)
  • 2 Swimsuits (Lauren)
  • Hiking boots (buy in country)
  • 3 Sport socks
  • 1 Non-cotton socks (wool, sock liners)
  • 2 Short sleeve t-shirts
  • 2 Long-sleeve polypropylene shirt
  • 1 Micro-fleece jacket
  • 1 Budget, breathable rain jacket
  • 1 Plastic poncho
  • 2 Pair travel pants
  • 1 Pair jeans (Marc)
  • 2 Bras (one sport, one normal)
  • 4-7 Sets of travel underwear
  • 1 Pair of sports sandals
  • 1 Pair flip flops
  • 1 Collapsible hat
  • 1 Bandana or scarf (buy in country)
  • 2 Wrinkle-free travel dresses
  • 1 Pair of shorts (Lauren)

  • Camp soap
  • Toothpaste
  • Electric toothbrush with 3 heads + 100-240V base
  • Invisalign + case
  • Dental floss
  • Contact lens, case, & fluid (travel size)
  • Medicated spf 15 chapstick
  • Comb
  • Face lotion, spf 15 (3oz bottle)
  • Astringent + cotton pads
  • Tampons/pads/pantyliners
  • Razors (plus extra heads)
  • Sunscreen: face x 2 and body
  • All purpose soap
  • Shampoo (3oz bottle)
  • Conditioner (3oz bottle)
  • Deodorant
  • Ear plugs
  • Bobby pins x10
  • Sleep mask
  • Tissue packs x5
  • Hand sanitizer x2
  • Hair ties x5
  • Glasses + case
  • Makeup: powder, eyeliner
  • Tweezers
  • Nail clippers and file
  • Safety pins
  • Travel towels x2
  • PVA Sham (super-absorbent sham)

Medical supplies:
  • Malaria pills (prescrip)
  • Diarrhea medicine type 1 and 2 (prescrip)
  • Height sickness (prescrip)
  • Bandaids
  • Alcohol swabs
  • Hydrocortisone
  • Immodium
  • Motion sickness
  • Neosporin
  • Tylenol
  • Ibuprophen
  • Tiger balm
  • Cold remedy
  • Insect repellant (40% deet)
  • Cepacol
  • Mucinex
  • Sleeping pills
  • Peptobismol
  • Antihistamine (drowsy + non-drowsy)
  • Mole skin
  • Lidocain cream
  • Itch-X
  • Thermometer
  • Vaseline
  • Gauze pads

I included links to a few of the things that we found specifically for the trip. Other stuff we mostly already had.

The most important was the backpack. After reading several blogs, most people recommend taking a carry on sized bag. This was a terrible shock for me, since I have so many shoes, purses, and dresses. However, being lazy and not wanting to carry a heavy bag ended up winning out, and in the end we opted for Tom Binh 45 L bags with two 13-15L day packs.

Most of our stuff laid out on the floor.
Here's what it looks like when packed into our carry on and personal item bags (we are so matchy matchy, I know).

But we still had to leave some space, to buy all those designer purses in Hong Kong.


  1. Mosquito head net? Really? Was it necessary if you already have the mosquito repellent spray? Hahahaha... :)

  2. Mosquitoes are Lauren's worst nightmare :)

  3. Hi Lauren, thanks for mentioning our designs. I hope you have an amazing adventure abroad!

    Tag us in some photos on Instagram (@Encircled_ ) <--- note the underscore... we'd love to see how you're styling the Encircled goodies.

    With wanderlust,

  4. Wow, your luggage is so streamlined. Seriously impressive! Sean and I just came back from our two-week long trip to the UK. I packed a suitcase that was slightly too large for carry on, filled with tops, bottoms, dresses etc. Honestly, I only ended up wearing about 5 articles of clothing the entire time. Can't wait to see updates on your upcoming adventures! <3