What I Packed for Four Weeks in Asia

I received quite a few requests to share my packing strategy for a recent trip to Asia, so here’s the breakdown of exactly what was in my suitcase.

packing-for-a-trip

When you’re cramming four weeks of your life into a bag, you have to pack very smartly – and it helps to know ahead of time how you can style each piece. Regardless of whether you’re jet-setting s0metime soon or you’re just looking for new ways to breathe life into your existing wardrobe, grab a pen-and-paper or bookmark this link. I’ve got you covered! (And if you followed my trip on Instagram, you’ll notice this packing list/these items are exact.)

international-packing-list

What to pack for an international trip:

T-shirts: No-brainer, to start — especially because your basic tee takes up virtually no space. You can dress ‘em up with a leather mini-skirt or down with black leggings and boots. I like J. Crew’s cotton tee’s (and they’re usually on sale).

Bottoms: Two pairs each of black pants, tights and shorts. I passed on jeans for this trip, as black bottoms are more universal in my wardrobe. For our cold-weathered destinations (Japan and Hong Kong), I can wear the dresses and skirts I’m planning to don barelegged in Thailand – just with opaque tights.

Jacket: Since I didn’t want the hassle of dealing with my down-coat overseas, my focus for keeping warm is the art of layering. (I ended up buying a leather-and-fur Isabel Marant jacket in Hong Kong, which I shipped back home for an easy $20.)

Dresses: Each dress I packed can be styled for night and day – plus, paired with tights and my jacket, they’ll work in cooler temps, too. Otte’s signature Ellen dress is my perfect, all-occasion piece. I wore mine in Hong Kong under a jacket and in Thailand with bare legs and Jack Rogers sandals.

packing-for-tokyo{what I wore in Japan & Hong Kong}

Cover-ups: Since most of our trip was spent on the beach, I packed two beachy cover-ups that can also work for hot-and-humid nights out in the islands, including my favorite DVF kaftan.

Sweaters: On the flight overseas, I layered a cotton shirt and cozy cashmere knit – both from Vineyard Vines. I also packed my I-wear-this-with-everything dolman sweater from Derek Crosby. Style tip: Wearing black- and nude-colored tank tops underneath your knits helps to prolong their wear.

Shoes: I wore felt-lined black boots from La Canadienne on the plane, since they’re the bulkiest pair I brought and I need them for warmth in Japan. In addition, I packed raffia Soludos (for wandering), Converse Chuck Taylor’s (for off-the-beaten-path-exploring) and Jack Rogers Navajo sandals (for beaching).

Bags: In addition to my Lo & Sons carry-on, I packed a Rebecca Minkoff mini M.A.C. as a smaller, all-purpose going out bag. And you laugh, but the fanny pack is ideal for, say, partying on the beach in Koh Phangan and riding elephants through the jungle in Chiang Mai.

 

asia-packing-list{what I wore in Thailand}

Beauty: I skipped the shower goods, since we were staying at hotels. My beauty routine was very basic during the entire trip. I packed a comb, Bumble & Bumble surf spray, lip-lock moisture balm, my signature Tarte gloss, YSL Touche  Eclat and mini-sized Benefit products: Brow Tint, Benetint and mascara.

**

As a disclaimer, I used Hitha’s packing guide as a starting point. I highly recommend snagging one for yourself (it’s free) – regardless of your intended destination.

For traveling in Asia, know that you can check a bag, but it’s best to pack light. We flew Bangkok Air, ANA, United, NOK Airways, Thai Airways and AirAsia.

Of those, only AirAsia charged to check bags (and they required you to if your carry-on was more than 14 pounds — bitch, please). If you’re flying AirAsia, I suggest pre-checking your luggage online – it’s cheaper.

Lastly, here’s a few of my space-saving carry-on secrets:

  • Vacuum-seal bags will save on space (exponentially so), but they will make your bag a bit heavier.
  • Invest in a high-quality carry-on. I used the O.M.G. bag from Lo & Sons. I also brought my Large Metro Tote from MZ Wallace, which folds up neatly for packing purposes and served as a nice “overflow” bag on the trip home.
  • For more traveling tips and tricks, check out my post on packing the perfect carry-on.

 

23 comments

  1. Great packing tips! I’m heading out to NYC next month for Fashion Week and have no idea what to pack (we’re in the 70’s here in LA) – any ideas?
    xx,
    Kristi

  2. You are a freaking packing genius! I always over pack for trips and when I come home I’m left wondering why I even packed half of what I took with me. My biggest packaging achievement was packing for a 5 day work trip in Arizona and only taking a carry-on with me. However, the balmy 100+ plus temperatures really helped cut down on a ton of “heavier” items.

    http://jax-and-jewels.blogspot.com

  3. SPOT ON! This is exactly how I packed for 2 weeks! everything was interchangeable, except we were in Thailand the whole time and I needed ALL tanks – it was 90 degrees and 100% humid all day everyday!

  4. Okay so Hallie when I go to South America I am calling you to help me pack! I’ll provide wine! Glad your back – lets get together once you have fully re-immersed back into NYC life!

  5. I don’t know how you did this whole mix-and-match thing with your actual clothes in a blog post, but it’s amazing and incredibly helpful. You really know how to maximize your wardrobe and your space. Fantastic! Thanks for taking the time to create such helpful content for your readers and welcome home!

  6. Thank you so much for posting this…you are a packing goddess! Can’t wait to plan my next trip just so I can try out these tips/tricks.

  7. YES. Thank you. I’m heading to Thailand this upcoming November and this is already a lifesaver. So stylish!

    Also, I for one would LOVE to see a recap of all of your souvenirs/purchases from throughout your trip! I am so, so sure you snagged some amazing things.

    • Thanks, Paula! SO excited for you to head to Thailand. I should be posting my photos/updates from that leg of the trip over the next few weeks. Hope it will help in some of your planning!

      I will absolutely share my trinkets and souvenirs, too.

  8. Damnnnnnnn girl. You put my obsessive compulsive “I will never check a bag” packing style to SHAME. Totally bookmarking this for my trip to Harbour Island in March.

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