Are you a busy yogi that travels all the time?
Or maybe you’re planning the ultimate backpacking escape?
Unless you’re on a business trip, when you go travelling for more than your usual one-week vacation, you must think about what you’re putting in your luggage.
How many times will you have to put your bags on a plane, bus, taxi, tuk-tuk or motorbike?
And what kind of activities are you planning to do as a Travelling Yogi?
Think about this:
- How long will you be on the road for?
- Who will carry your bags?
If the answer to these last two questions is “longer than 2 weeks”, and “me”, then you may want to be very careful about what you pack.
Since I’ve left my comfortable life in Dubai to go around Asia and Australia with just my backpack, I have a pretty good idea of what essentials you should bring with you. And also what you should leave behind. So I’ve listed everything you will ever need in this article.
Take advantage of my advice, and you’ll see how easy it will be for you to travel, solo or with friends, by plane or bus, to remote jungles as well as more urban locations.
I’ve divided all the content of my luggage in 4 areas: clothing & accessories, toiletries & medicines, electronics, bags. If you click on the links in blue, you will also get an idea of how much you might need to spend to get ready for your trip.
1. The Travelling Yogi packing list – clothing & accessories:
- 1 pair of jeans – you can wear them in cities, colder countries, or for a night out
- 1 pair of quick-dry hiking trousers, with zip-off technology that converts them into shorts – so you can use them long in the jungle to protect you from dirt, branches and insects, or when it rains, as well as if it’s hotter
- 3 full leg or capri yoga pants – assuming that you practice yoga every day, otherwise one pair is enough
- 1-2 “Aladdin pants” – they are perfect if it’s hot as they are light and airy, but also they protect you in air conditioned environments, like planes or buses. If you’re going to Asia, just buy them there. They are so cheap!
- 2 pairs of shorts, one of which “dry-fit”, that can be used both on the streets as well as to go surfing/swimming/running
- 5 pairs underwear
- 2 bras + 2 sports bras
- 2 bikinis, plus an extra bikini top that can be used with the other two bottoms, or as alternative bra
- 3 pairs of socks
- 1 t-shirt to sleep in, or shorts + vest pijamas
- 1 short sleeves t-shirt
- 2 long sleeves light and wide linen shirts – you will need these to visit temples, or you can wear them over another top, to keep you warmer
- 4 tops – for normal sightseeing as well any sport activities
- 1 dress – for both the beach or a night out
- 1 sweater – you won’t need it though if you just go to Asia
- all-purpose scarf/sarong – for the beach, to cover your head, or to keep you warm
- rain jacket – don’t bother with the umbrella: it will either break or you’ll lose it
- trainers or hiking shoes (depending on how much hiking you plan to do) – personally I went for this brand, as they are 100% waterproof and I do not run
- flip flops
- Birkenstocks – ugly, I know, but oh so comfy! They are pretty much the only thing I wear these days
- flat sandals – only if you really want to be fancy and you plan to maybe go to a restaurant where they might not like your rubber flip flops. Honestly, I’ve only worn my sandals twice in two months, so you may want to leave these out. You will definitely not need heels!
- ultra-light microfibre travel towel
- min 3mm travel yoga mat – I’ve tested Manduka and Lululemon. Most studios provide mats nowadays, but you never know what condition they will be in, so I prefer to have my own. This also helps me with my home yoga practice: spend money on a good travel mat, and you won’t have to pay for yoga classes all the time!
- your favourite necklace, bracelet and pair of earrings – ensure they are not valuable, like with gold or diamonds… you don’t want to attract attention and risk to be robbed, plus you’ll buy loads of accessories as you travel
2. The Travelling Yogi packing list – toiletries & medicines:
- 100ml shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, hair Argan oil – you’ll buy more as you finish them
- toothbrush and 2 travel toothpaste tubes – you’ll buy more if and when needed
- stone crystal deodorant – eco-friendly, does not attract mosquitos as it has no perfume and lasts longer
- sunscreen + after sun lotion (also to be used as your daily facial cream – which you won’t need anyway if you’re in very humid places, as they’ll make you sweat more)
- hair pins, hair band and 2 elastic bands – depending on your hair
- tweezers, nail clipper, scissors and nail file
- hair brush
- tampons for every month of your trip – you are likely not to find your favourite brand away from home. A very good alternative is the mooncup: small, reusable, environment-friendly. I’m still trying to get used to mine, so test it a couple of months before travelling and see how you feel about it
- no make-up, unless you’re planning to go out a lot and conquer hearts… Actually, you still won’t need make-up because you’re already pretty the way you are…
… plus if you go to the tropics, the make-up will melt immediately and you might still look better without it… 🙂
- all purpose baby-wipes
- travel sewing kit
- Swiss pocket knife – not so much to defend yourself (like my grandmother first thought when I asked if she had one from grandpa), but more to cut fruits you may buy on the road. NOTE: remember to keep this in your checked-in luggage, or you won’t be allowed to board… like it happened to me once in Vietnam… 🙁
- travel laundry soap – in case you need some emergency laundry!
- medicines – from what you normally take for headache, stomach cramps, to contraceptive pill, general antibiotics, etc. Too many times in the past I got sick while travelling, and I didn’t have the medicines I needed. It was the middle of the night, so I couldn’t go buy them either. Control-freak as I am, before leaving I made an Excel list with symptoms vs. meds names. This is in no way exhaustive and you should consult your doctor to ensure you have all you need. However, this list might be a pretty good place to start from.
3. The Travelling Yogi packing list – electronics:
- laptop – ensure you back up all your important files on the Cloud, just in case it gets stolen
- e-reader or iPad Mini
- iPhone (yes, I’m an Apple fan, plus I believe iOS is just much more user friendly!)
- Compact or professional digital camera – I use a Nikon D5300
- Go-Pro – if you’re a fan of videos and want to record all the dangerous 🙂 but cool activities you’ll do, like cliff diving, zip lining, surfing, diving, etc.
- chargers for all the items above (check if some may work with the same chargers, so you can carry less cables)
- universal travel adapter
- multi socket unit – this is particularly useful if you’re travelling with a partner and you (or both of you) have lots of items to charge at one time: in most cases rooms only have 1-2 sockets max, so this will avoid many fights 🙂
4. The Travelling Yogi packing list – bags:
- 65-85l Lowe Alpine backpack.
I find this to be the absolute best. It has lots of pockets all around it, plus you can access your content from both the top and bottom. This way you don’t have to empty the bag completely should you need something sitting at the very bottom of it
- smaller, carry-on backpack – padded if you have lots of delicate/photographic equipment like I do, this is where you should keep all your valuable items, including passport, passport copy, travel money, back up credit card (a different one from the one in your wallet!), passport photos (handy when you need to apply for visas or hiking permits), travel insurance
THAT’S IT! 🙂
This really covers all, and honestly, I still think the list could be reduced further, depending on how often you will be able to do a laundry. We do one every 4-5 days and we always have clean clothes left.
Once you’ve carried all these items on your back for a few days, you’ll be glad you followed my advice!
Now go! Discover the beautiful world out there!
Why?? Find the answer here!
You can also follow my adventures on my Instagram profile…