Minimalist packing for my road-trip / by Jessica Lee


I'm heading out on a Jack Kerouac-styled road trip very very soon!

I wanted to show you how my packing-style has changed since this fiasco:


Above is the crazy amount of stuff I thought I could carry with me throughout Australia and East Asia. It was a lesson well-learned as I had to rely on cabs and the kindness of strangers to get me and my stuff to places.

You would be surprised to know that I could carry all of the above by myself though. I just moved like a tortoise.

Eventually I realized it was stupid and shipped everything home. Here is a photo of me in Yogyakarta, Indonesia with less stuff (I eventually shipped the large blue backpack on my back home too).


My new packing regiment is more stream-lined. I would be able to walk to and from the bus station to my residences with my gear on my back.

For a month and a half's worth of travel, I am only bringing:
1 pair of pants
2 sweaters
1 hoodie
1 rain jacket
1 pair of sneakers
1 pair of flip-flops
1 pair of flats
2 pairs of shorts
5 t-shirts (two are discardable, i.e. I don't care about them and they will be thrown away to make room for other things I may pick up)
5 summer dresses (what I plan to wear daily)
a week's worth of underwear
2 pairs of PJ shorts
1 pair of lounge pants
3 pairs of socks
one towel
discardable cheap sunglasses


Toiletries (again, this is very minimal)


-Sunscreen (both for the face and for the body)
-body butter (pretty much empty and the case will be discarded once everything is used)
-shampoo and conditioner, body wash, face wash freebies I picked up once and never put to use (see above photo)

-a facial travel kit from The Body Shop. According to the sales associate, the amount of product in there will last for a month. If she is correct, then great! If not, then I can easily buy more face stuff where I'm headed. The kit has face wash, toner, and a day and night cream. (see below)


I'm also going to be bringing along a small bottle of Pantene shampoo I picked up for $1 at the supermarket in Indonesia. It has Indonesian writing on it as you can see, so I'm a bit hesitant to part with it.


The blue Reef sunscreen was bought in Australia, so I'm a little hesitant to part with it as well. It's an Australian brand not sold here in North America.

I'm also bringing hair gel because I'm currently in that awkward short-hair growing-out phase. (see below)

I feel like this huge tube of hair gel is too big for back-packing travel but at the same time I don't want to go out and buy a smaller one since when I have long hair again, I won't need to use hair gel ever again! Thus I am throwing it in and hoping my back doesn't break from the extra weight (it all adds up).


Here is my make-up kit:

It all fits into that silver mesh bag on the left!


It contains:
a small tube of BB cream picked up in Hong Kong
under-eye concealer
regular concealer
mascara
black eyeliner
dark brown eyeliner
brow brush
liquid eyeliner (for those Audrey Hepburn days)
lip stain

Then for fun I threw in purple glitter, gold eyeliner, white eyeliner and shiny violet eyeliner.

If I need anything else, it can be easily picked up for CHEAP at Target as I am going through the States.


I also plan to bring about a month's worth of tea and some honey so I won't be tempted to pop into a coffee shop. They're all tea bags as loose leaf would mean bringing along a steeper too. And since these are all consumables, they will make extra room in my pack when I'm done all my tea!

I'm packing a tea tumbler and Nalgene bottle as well to be nice to the environment. Before I leave, I plan to fill the Nalgene bottle with my favourite drink, cranberry juice- just in case cranberry juice is ridiculously expensive in the states. Cranberry juice is more expensive in Australia than Canada- something I didn't account for in my budget when I went over to study-abroad.


Other items I am packing include my notebook, my laptop and charger, a day purse, my camera, laundry detergent, a novel... and possibly my rock climbing gear and ukulele...

Check out how thin I was able to condense my wallet!


Readers: How much luggage do you travel with?