Travelling with hand luggage only for six months

In June 2019, we left London for six months for a backpacking trip in Asia. We decided to take hand luggage only as we wanted to travel as lightly as possible and knew that we’d be taking a lot of planes, buses, boats and trains and that travelling with lightly would mean we could be more flexible with the way we travel and also keep our belongings closer to us on the road.

But what to pack?! Six months is a long time to be away, and we were spending time in tropical climate of Asia but would also be in Japan / Korea in time for winter.

First of all which bag? If you’re ever going backpacking it can be so overwhelming trying to decide which bag to take. We decided to take Osprey bags with us – we have always used Osprey when travelling as they are so sturdy and reliable and there are lots of handy parts and pockets. I opted for one which had wheels meaning I didn’t always need to carry it on my bag.

Clothes… we packed lightly to say the least with the below:

3x t shirts, denim shorts, 2 dresses, 1 playsuit, 1 leggings, 1 jumper, 1 pair of jeans and three swim suits. For shoes, I packed a pair of trainers for exercise and longer walks, a pair of vans and a pair of flip flops. We packed lightly with toiletries packing just a first aid kit and some shampoo and conditioner to last the first month – the rest we planned to make the most of hotel / hostel amenities. We didn’t take a towel as we knew for the most part these would be available and to be honest they were, we didn’t go without.

In terms of tech, we both took our phones and used these as our main camera. But we also took a laptop with us and our GoPro as we were making videos on the go. The laptop was great as we could also watch Netflix and TV Shows when in hotels / hostels with good wifi.

The biggest takeout is that we’re so glad we travelled lightly. Initially, it was so we didn’t have to pay for extra baggage on all the internal flights. But after being away for even a month we realised how lucky we were to have small backpacks which we could easily carry. We saw so many people with HUGE backpacks which looked so heavy. Of course we all travel in different ways but for us this lighter way made things easy and simple.

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