Here is a packing list for the tomboy traveler.
The Backpack. Get something comfortable and quality, you’re going to be wearing it a lot. Get something half the size you think you need. I carry The North Face Surge pack which is only 33 liters. It holds everything I need and offers easy access to all the compartments made available. Even though this bag has a place for a rain cover, it does not come with one. You’ll have to make this purchase separately.
As a part of my carry on, I carried a foldable daypack that carried 10 liters. This was used for day trips and as my carry-on for bus, train, and plane rides. I donated mine to a traveler at the end of our trip, but you can find these online or at recreation or sports stores. I found cute ones at H&M the other day.
The Shoes. You’ll need a pair of boots for any hikes and treks. You’ll need a pair of casual shoes for walks through the city and for motorbiking (safety first). You’ll need a pair of sandals for the beaches and their surrounding towns.
The Shorts. A pair of jean shorts and fashionable swim trunks.
The Cold. One wool sweater and a zip up fleece. Even in tropical areas, riding on buses and trains can get colder than you’d expect. These items also doubled as comfortable pillows.
The Underwear. 7 pairs of underwear and 2 sports bras. Do socks count as underwear? 2 pairs of socks.
The Toiletries. Only bring things specialized for you. For example, I can only use a specific type of sun screen and I prefer to moisturize with Cetaphil. Other than that, shampoos, conditioners, toothpastes, body washes, and soap was all bought as needed. Things in my toiletry bag included a toothbrush, deodorant, Cetaphil lotion and face wash, Beaver sunscreen, my Diva cup, and a medicine carrier with Benedryl, Pepto tablets, and advil. Anything else could easily be found at a pharmacy for cheap.
The Technology. An unlocked smart phone, MacBook Air, headphones, chargers, camera, external hard drive, and a universal plug converter. Having an unlocked phone will give you the option of purchasing a sim card in every country and having full internet access at all times. It’s very, very helpful.
The Others. I brought a thin blanket for sleep and times we wanted to lay outside. It was lightweight, easy to carry, and easy to wash and dry. A couple of hats. A money clip. My passport. Passport and travelers insurance copies. You’ll also need a micro-fiber travel towel for accommodations that don’t offer clean towels.