Packing for a Southeast Asian country is an absolute dream. The climate is amazing so the clothes are small and take up minimal space in your backpack. And let’s face it, it’s a lot more fun to buy bikinis and summer dresses than clothes for a cold weather trip.
Now hands up I easily took more clothes than necessary for my two week trip to Bali last month, but my backpack weighed in at a measley 12kg. I know, I think that’s a personal record. And I seriously had loads of outfit options and all of my luxuries. Here’s what I took with me…
An endless supply of beaut bikinis and swimsuits.
God I love buying swimwear. A little much so tbh. I took a whopping 6 options with me on my me on my 2 week trip and I definitely didn’t need that many. Especially seeing as it wasn’t really a beach holiday!
I followed my own advice and took a range of different straps to even out my tanlines as well as a swimsuit option for the waterpark – a bright pink swimsuit from Topshop with a seqinned cactus on the front! I’m completely in love with it.
I also loved my boho two piece from River Island which felt really appropriate for Bali with the ditsy print and embellishments. And for a big busted gal, felt completely supported in it. Talking about dat rack, I’m all about the bright green number from Floozie at Debenhams. I love a bikini top that comes in bra sizing, babez. Finally I added a palm-print strapless bikini from Lepel, a Topshop candy-striped bad boy and a black halterneck string bikini (not pictured) that I’ve had for a million years and have no idea where it’s from. I’d guess Primark.
Probs too many swimwear options, like I said, but if you’re going to OD on bikinis, Bali is the place to do it, right?
The 4 essential pairs of shoes.
I’m known to take too many shoes on my backpacking trips. Well duh, my blog is called Heels In My Backpack. Most backpackers will go for two pairs – flip flops and trainers… But I’m a believer that you need four pairs – flip flops for the beach, nice sandals for exploring cities, trainers for adventures and heels for big nights out. This applies to all trips ever IMO, whether it’s a year or a week away.
I actually went against this for the Bali trip and replaced the trainer option with another pair of flat sandals. And regretted it as I had to wear open sandals to the rice fields of Ubud… not cool.
I took a pair of Zohula flip flops, two pairs of lovely sandals from F&F at Tesco (total barg) and my ol’ reliable block heels from New Look. But like I said, I’d recommend subbing one of the F&F sandals for some Keds or lightweight Trainers.
Slip dresses are a must-have.
I love that the nineties trend brought the slip dress silouette back into our lives, they’re just perfect for hot summer evenings, dining al fresco or going to beach bars. And now that they come in all the prints ever I have quite the collection. The monochrome one is from Primark and the rest are Topshop and they’re just a lifesaver, they’re bold and pretty and roll up real small, kids.
Old faithful denim shorts and practical tees.
My vintage Levi denim shorts have travelled the world with me. I bought them from an Oxfam tent at Reading Festival in 2006 and I’m not giving them up any time soon. I pair them with comfy jersey tees and vests in the day that will keep me cool and cover sunburn if required. I normally go plain with this kind of thing and jazz it up with headscarves and accessories.
At night time I can bring out my denim short besties to go with bright camisoles. Job done and not much backpack space taken up again.
I also threw in a pair of lightweight rust shorts for an alternative in the day and some snazzy printed ones for an alternative in the evenings. I probs could have just used the denim ones for all but whatevs.
A respectable outfit for the temples.
Any Southeast Asia traveller knows that you normally have to cover your shoulders and your knees in any kind of temple you visit. So I made sure I packed a pair of lightweight printed trousers from a vintage shop and a grey tee from ASOS.
This outfit also came in handy when I visited Monkey Forest in Ubud and was told monkeys can climb all over you and they scratch… Yeah, think I’ll cover up.
A glam outfit to mix it up.
Although I keep my staples pretty plain, I like to take a cool outfit or two to spice it up and add a bit more of my personailty into my travelling wardrobe. On this trip I brought this amazing outfit from River Island – a white bardot top and red stripey cropped trousers. I was hitting the bardot trend, my legs were cool in the heat and it just looked goooooood. Loved it.
A gorge kimono just in case.
Obvs it’s hot in that part of the world but I’m a Brit that’s grown up knowing that the weather can always turn. So I can’t go anywear without some kind of cardigan. On this trip I went for a lovely flocked kimono that was light and airy and looked great just with my denim shorts and a black cami when going to dinner.
The toiletry and beauty essentials.
No thrills here, your standard toiletries, suncare and make-up bag. Although remember to bring adequate mosquito repellent. I swear by DEET and buy it on Amazon before I go.
I also took a travel hairdryer and and a pair of GHDs. No judgement please.
Accessorize your life.
This part is fun, all of the added little extras to vamp up your look. I went for two pairs of sunglasses, a marble effect pair with mirrored lenses from Quay Australia and a green rimmed everyday pair from River Island. I also took a couple of statement necklaces, a couple of options of earrings, several headscarves and a brown cross-body bag from Primark.
For the beach, I also got a super-instagrammable circle towel. Because it’s a thing and I just wanted one. This bad boy is off of eBay.
Gadgets and gizmos.
You’ll know from my recent blog post about the tech I take travelling, that I take quite a lot of this stuff with me. For my Bali trip, I took my GoPro HERO 4 Session complete with selfie stick, my Nikon D3300 DSLR and my Fuji Instax Mini for instant snaps! Also remember to throw in phone and camera chargers, pal.
(Sidebar: Check out my GoPro video from my Bali trip here if you fancy a gander!)
I normally carry this all in my hand luggage and keep it all together in my Mi-Pac lemon-print pouch.
There you have it, that’s everything I took to Bali. It seems like a lot when you write it all out but seriously, 12kg backpack, you can’t go wrong.
What do you think of my Bali packing list? Anything I missed out? Let me know in the comments below or tweet me @HeelsInBackpack!
Total Blogger Transparency: This blog post may contain an affiliate link or two but I only ever recommend products or services I really believe in. I wouldn’t play you like that shorty.