Minimalist Packing For Bali
Liquidating your stuff will set you free
I know how liberating it can feel to sell or donate everything while keeping only the bare essentials. It wasn’t easy giving up my sneaker collection, especially the Nike Air Jordan’s, but trust me, just do it!
I carried many bags of clothes, sporting goods, household items, and things I didn’t need to the thrift store. After donating everything I felt like a weight was lifted off my back, I became less stressed, and with fewer choices, my packing became a lot easier.
Some Tips On Packing
The best way to fit everything into one bag: Fill every inch of space. For example, shoes should be stuffed with socks. Then lay your shoes together heel to toe at the bottom of your suitcase in a separate bag to keep your clothes from getting dirty. Think Tetris when packing even though it’s a personal preference. Here are some popular strategies:
- Roll your clothes. This helps to maximize space and minimize wrinkles.
- Use packing cubes. These smaller bags help you keep your clothes compact and your outfits ordered.
- Try wrapping your clothes into a ball, with underwear and T-shirts at the center, and larger items like hoodies or rain gear as the outer layer.
Keep gadgets in easy reach:
Camera, Gopro, laptop, headphones, Ipad, iPhone. I keep all this in one bag along with any important documents.
Keep liquids in easy reach: “Toiletries should always be placed on top of your suitcase in a clear bag since you never know when T.S.A. might be interested in looking. I recommend keeping a separate toiletry kit for traveling. (not toiletries you use at home) To prevent leakage, use a good leak-proof bag.
How I Pack For Backpacking Trips
- 6 or 7 shirts or t-shirts, ones that I know I’ll be happy to wear regularly
- 7 pairs of underwear. You will have fresh underwear every day by washing only once a week.
- 1 pair of jeans; good to have even in Bali. Finding jeans the right length and fit might be hard in Bali depending on your size. XL and XXL fit completely differently in SE Asia.
- 1 lightweight raincoat. You never know when it will downpour in Bali, especially while riding your motorbike. Keep in mind that raincoats are cheap in Bali, nut they may not be made to your standards.
- 7 pairs of socks (3 long/ 4 short for tropical climates even though you’ll probably wear sandals.
- 1 hoodie; I forgot my hoodie in the USA, luckily I found one in Yogyakarta that fit right for only $7 USD.
- 5 board shorts; I wear these everywhere, they’re lightweight and easy to pack. Make sure they have pockets.
- 2 Cargo shorts, pockets come in handy when traveling
- 1 pair of flip flops (sandals) These are cheap in Bali if you buy a local brand. Surfer brands are expensive.
- 1 pair of comfortable tennis shoes (Nike Air Jordan’s)
- 1 Baseball cap
Keep toiletries in easy reach
Keep a separate toiletry kit for your flight with only essentials. I always stock up on a few name brand deodorants that I can’t find here in Bali and pack them in my check-in luggage.
Keep gadgets in easy reach
Camera, GoPro, laptop, headphones, iPad, iPhone. I keep all this in one bag along with any important documents.
Bundle your clothes
Carefully wrap your clothes around your underwear and T-shirts, and large items like hoodies and jeans as the outer layer.
Use packing cubes.
These smaller bags help you keep your clothes compact and your outfits ordered.
Roll your clothes
This helps to maximize space and minimize wrinkles.
3 Rules For Minimalist Travel
- Pack the must-haves, not the nice-to-haves
Layout all your gear. Think long and hard about every item or liquidate like I did before you start, then eliminate anything you don’t absolutely need. If it’s your first big trip, you might end up packing more things just because ‘more stuff’ feels somehow comforting and safe. But resist this urge to be over-prepared. Many first-time travelers wish they’d packed half as much stuff.
- Don’t pack more than 1 week’s worth of clothing
It’s simply much easier to do laundry than to carry weeks worth of clothing. Pick your favorite clothes, shirts you could wear casually or a night out.
- Bring versatile instead of special-case items
Bring items that will be useful to you all the time or even have multiple uses. Really think whether or not you might use an item more than once and if you think it’s worth lugging around.