I don’t always bring a bag with me on daily outings, but when I do, I HAVE to include some essentials.  These items can vary for each trip but this list is generally true for most.  Keep in mind these are for long day outings (in generally warm weather), not just quick trips to dinner.


  1. Passport or copy of passport (if you have a safe place to leave the original like a safe)
  2. Camera – pretty much always, you never know what you’ll run into
  3. iPod Touch and headphones – for travel apps, music, and the like
  4. Hand sanitizer – for obvious reasons
  5. Bug Spray & Sunscreen – in areas where mosquitos and/or sun exposure is an issue, I try to pack these in my defense, although I prefer to use more natural means
  6. Tissues – most toilets in Asia don’t have TP so if you’re accustomed to using it, bring your own
  7. Umbrella – if it’s small, it’s worth it to not have to be worried about being caught drenched in a downpour, especially if you carry a non-waterproof camera with you
  8. Rain Shell – for the same reasons as umbrella
  9. Big Square Scarf – if it’s cold it can be used as a blanket, or a cover up at temples, or even as a pillow on bus rides
  10. Light Long Sleeve Shirt – to stay warm, enter temples, and avoid mosquito bites
  11. Snacks – I’m a grazer/light meal eater and am often hungry as a result, plus I get grumpy and drained without a snack
  12. Pen – you often need to fill out forms and when you need a pen the most, you rarely have it.  Great to get in the habit of toting one along just in case.
  13. Tums/Rennies – a lot of local food can make my stomach rumble so I always try to have these on hand
  14. Water bottle – don’t want to get caught dehydrated
  15. Sunglasses – protect your eyes!  No one wants the sun blinding them all day


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