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How to Pack a Carry On For a One Month Trip to Asia | Thyme is Honey

Tomorrow we’re heading to Asia for a 30-day backpacking trip. The first two weeks we’ll be in Japan and Thailand, but the last two trips are up in the air, which is really exciting! I’m going to keep this post pretty simple, but just wanted to show you how easy it can be to travel with a carry-on, even for a lengthy trip. See the bottom for a quick video of how I got everything into my Osprey Porter. I’ll update this post after we return with feedback on how I did as far as packing and gear.

How to Pack a Carry On For a One Month Trip to Asia | Thyme is Honey

STEP ONE: Get good gear and invest in quality footwear. We bought our Osprey Porter backpacks a couple years ago and have been using them non-stop ever since. I think it has been at least 5 years since I last checked a bag. I love the shape , their ability to compress thanks to the stiff sides and strapping system, and the fact that they seem to somehow magically hold so much more than you think they can. Along with the Osprey Porter I also use Eagle Creek Packing Cubes and their zippered pouches. I swear these things are the secret to carry-on packing. For shoes I chose Adidas Boost tennis shoes, Madewell Sandals and Teva Originals.

How to Pack a Carry On For a One Month Trip to Asia | Thyme is Honey

My tips for packing clothing are: 1. Be well aware of the weather conditions and the culture, and pack accordingly. 2. Pick a color palette and then select basic pieces that all work together. I like to basically say that if you reached into your bag with your eyes closed and pulled out an outfit, they should be able to work together. 3. There are various types of “backpacker” underwear available, but my favorite ones are actually Victoria’s Secret Raw Cut Hip Huggers (5 for $27.50). They are made out of a super thin material that is fast to wash and dry by hand, plus they are lightweight and easy to pack. Clothing: 4 pairs of shorts, 7 tank tops (love these Mossimo ones from Target, $6 each), 2 t-shirts (love these Mossimo ones from Target), 2 long sleeve knit shirts (again, I love these Ribbed Mossimo ones from Target), 1 pair of Athleta Metro Slouch Pants (my go-to travel pants!), 1 black knit skirt, 1 light jacket, 6 pairs of Victorias Secret Raw Cut Hip Huggers, 1 sports bra, 1 bralette, 1 light jacket, 2 bikinis, 1 rashguard. Not pictured: 3 pairs of socks, Nike Spandex Shorts.

How to Pack a Carry On For a One Month Trip to Asia | Thyme is Honey

Some people manage to travel without much tech gear, but not me. I travel with my iPad Pro + Apple Pencil, my Nikon D5300 + a 50 mm lens and a 55 mm lens, a (amazing) selfie stick that truly is the best one I’ve tried, aTravel Tripod and myJoto Waterpoof Pouch for iPhone for my iPhone 7 Plus. We also have this time capsule that we put together 5 years ago and are bringing along to read throughout the trip.

Before packing I removed the light jacket, 1 tank top, 1 long sleeve shirt, the Adidas, a sports bra and a pair of socks to wear for the flight to Tokyo. The rest went into the Osprey Porter. The packed bag weighed in at 21.5 pounds and was completely condensed, leaving plenty of room to expand the bag throughout my trip.

Alright so, curious about how all of this fit into the bag? Here’s the video. Happy Packing!

How to Pack a Carry On For a 1-Month Trip

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  1. Keilea says:

    Hi!
    Do you know what size Osprey Porter this is? 8 have a 30 and I’m trying to decide if it will fit everything for a one month trip to Asia!

    Thanks!

  2. Chloe Erramouspe says:

    great information

  3. April says:

    Thanks for sharing! Any thing you feel you didn’t need to bring or wish you did in retrospect? We are spending 3 weeks in Thailand for our honeymoon in October and going to many places you went to.

  4. anna says:

    wow that is amazing to pack for one month is a backpack. I’m going on a 7 day cruise and I have so much in one suitcase and my carry on. How do you really decide on what to take for your trip.

  5. LC says:

    What do you do about toiletries? Do you just purchase them along the way?

  6. Monica says:

    Carry on is only 7kg from Australia airlines. However, the extra 2.5 could fit in large handbag I guess. I recently travelled to UK for 3 weeks with carry on of 7kg. First time I have tried it and it works. I used travel cubes with 5 tops and 5 bottoms = 25 outfits. Liberating, and easy to manage luggage alone. Different coming home as I bought too much. I packed a nylon carry on bag so put larger bag in hold for return trip.

  7. Niki says:

    Hi! Thanks for the packing tips. Just wondering… Don’t you take any toiletries or meds with?

  8. Claire White says:

    Hi there! Did you find that this bag was too big or too heavy for the asian airlines to be used as a carry on?

  9. Candy Emmons says:

    I love your list, but I’ve been reading a lot about packing for asia and they recommend avoiding shorts for women. Did you have any trouble in the areas you traveled?

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