SE Asia Packing Guide: Plus Size Edition
Packing for a trip, especially somewhere you've never been to before can be intimidating. I am someone that has always over packed, but I've been working on it and I've gotten better! This trip is going to be a true test to that. I am packing for a 5 week trip across SE Asia, this includes Thailand, Bali and Singapore. I am going to be taking 7 flights (short ones) while I'm on the trip, and my luggage cannot weigh more than 35 pounds. Which is good, because I'm hauling all of my stuff in my brand new Osprey Fairpoint 55L backpack (yes it's the mens version, but it has a longer waist belt, and my shoulders are broader anyways). It has a detachable day pack, which is nice because that will take off a good amount of weight from the main bag since I will have my main electronics in that pack.
I've been watching endless youtube videos, reading pages and pages of blogs, looking for packing tips. These have been some of my favorite:
The Curvy Girl's Packing Guide For Every Adventure
Packing List Southeast Asia: Your Ultimate Travel Checklist!
What To Pack: Backpacking Asia (girls)
Women's Minimalist(ISH) Packing List 1-6 Months
One of my biggest concerns while traveling to a hot place, is going to be how to keep cool. I sweat like crazy in the heat, and another big issue is chub rub, or chafing! After doing a lot of online research I have come up with a couple great solutions for my fellow fluffy folks out there. ( I just want to clarify, everything I'm listing on this page is stuff I have bought and used myself, or been told about by friends. I'm not getting paid to promote any of these things. I just want everyone to have a good packing list!)
Solution #1 - Mega Babe Anti Chafing Stick I have been hearing endless things about this magical product, So I order some myself and am excited to try it on my trip. I've learned that the trick of putting deodorant on your thighs isn't good for you, it clogs up your pores etc.
Solution #2 - Bandalettes These are thin pieces of soft lace fabric you wear around your thighs to prevent them from rubbing together. I've worn them a few times and really like them, on top of that.. It feels like you've got a sexy secret that no one but you knows about!
Solution #3 - UnderSummers I have not worn these yet, but many people have told me about them. They come in 3 different lengths with different styles. You don't have to use just this brand, but they're essentially slip shorts, or biker shorts. Stay away from cotton folks! Cotton will stay wet forever.. You want something synthetic, with moisture wicking technology preferably.
For my travels, I plan on going to a lot of temples on my trip. To enter a temple, your shoulders and knees must be covered. My first thoughts were "How do I do that without melting like a popsicle on a hot day?" The solution, find dresses with quarter length sleeves, made of light material that cover my knees! Since I'm only going to carry 33 pounds with me, I figured I can only bring 3-4 dresses. Lets be real, plus size clothes take up more space, and more weight.
I have quite a few dresses, but none that match those perimeters and I figured I need at least one that matches those needs. As I was browsing online for a swimsuit, I found a great dress on SheIn.com and found this adorable dress that I knew would be a great pop of color, and it was only $20! I got it in the mail and really love it.
Besides clothes, there are a lot of other small things needed for travel, that can really improve your experience. Here are some of my favorite things I bought for this trip.
Travel Fan - Travel & Leisure did a great article breaking down the best travel fans of 2022. Between hot train stations, sunny temples, and heat beating down from the tall buildings. Having one of these was such a relief. Choose from battery operated, manual, or USB charged!
A Traveling Laundry Bag Because who likes their dirty underwear mingling with their clean underwear? Not me.
TSA Approved Luggage Locks, I love these because they have a combination. You don't have to worry about losing any darn keys!
Travel Size Luggage Scale that can weigh bags up to 110lbs, Because lets be honest, while traveling you're going to pick up some new clothes, food, or souvenirs to bring home! So it's good keep track of how much your bag weighs.
REI Expandable Packing Cubes helps me keep my bag organized when I'm on the go. When traveling somewhere with multiple destinations, my bag can become a hot mess really quick. These packing cubes help me keep my clothes in check, aka within their gloriously zipped pouches. So instead of rummaging through a black hole of clothes, I know exactly what piece of clothing is in which bag.
JOOMFEN Travel Power Converter because you do not want to blow up your GoPro battery like my friends did (true story.)
Wet/Dry Bag - Keep your wet swimwear from getting on your dry items wet with these zipped closure bags. They have an internal pocket, and external one to keep wet/dry items separated.
Period Products- Tampons are expensive and difficult to find in Asia. Most people use pads, so make sure you bring plenty of tampons for your trip. OR if you can, bring a silicon menstrual cup!
Sun Hat/Sun Protection- The heat in SE Asia can be brutal, make sure to protect your skin from the suns rays by wearing a wide brim sunhat to shade your neck and face.
Now let's talk mosquitos. (Cue dramatic music). I don't know about you, but when I go somewhere, if there is 1 mosquito within a mile radius of me, It will hunt me down like Liam Nesson in the movie Taken. So imagine, in the tropics. I'm like an all you can eat buffet with freaking legs for these things. The hardship with that is finding products to repel them that A. Don't smell like a flowers armpit, or a stinky armpit. B. Is actually safe to wear on your skin. and C. Can work with sunscreen on! Because usually sunscreen will wipe away any bug repellant. I have found these products to WORK amazingly, and don't smell bad! Did I mention.. They're safe? You will sadly not develop any mutant super hero powers from wearing too much of this stuff, it also won't damage your clothes.
Skin So Soft Sunscreen w/ Bug Guard - Do you hear that? It's the sound of angels singing! Not only does this protect your skin from the suns rays, but it also protects you from flying blood sucking bugs! Woo. It also, doesn't smell bad!
Skin So Soft Bug Guard Body Wipes - These babies are wonderful for traveling, or just keeping them available for when you're on the go. One wipe can easily cover 2 people with the bug repelling liquid.
Last but no least, something else I've recently added to my packing list. A document folder! I am printing out a copy of my passport, and ID. All of the details to everywhere I am staying, every boat or plane ticket I have purchased, including travel insurance to have it all with me. This can help in the case of not having a good phone connection, losing your phone, losing your passport, etc!