After spending about 5.5 months in Asia, I returned to the US for a couple of weeks. I used the time to prepare for a few months in South America. My packing list for South America overlapped a lot with my list for Asia, but one major difference was that I had to pack heavier clothing for the cooler weather.
For my main backpack, I’m sticking to my beloved Tortuga V2. It served me very well in Asia, and I see no reason to switch it out.
For my secondary bag, I’m bringing a daypack instead of a handbag or tote. I got annoyed with my tote in Asia, and a daypack will be more useful for treks. I chose the Aer Flight Pack since it seemed compact and versatile. I can wear it as a backpack or shoulder bag, and it has the added bonus of not being completely hideous.
Below is a list of the contents in the two backpacks.
- 2 tank tops
- 4 short-sleeved t-shirts (1 for sleeping)
- 2 long-sleeved t-shirts
- 2 pairs of casual shorts
- 3 pairs of athletic shorts (1 for sleeping)
- 1 skirt
- 1 romper
- 2 pairs of jeans
- One of these may be tossed if I need more room in my bags.
- 2 pairs of leggings
- 1 casual black dress
- 1 belt
- 1 sweater
- 1 hoodie
- 1 rain jacket
- 10 pairs of underwear
- 4 bras (3 everyday and 1 sports)
- 2 swimsuits
- 2 pairs of short socks
- 2 pairs of long socks
- 4 pairs of shoes (1 pair of sneakers, 1 pair of boat shoes, and 2 pairs of sandals)
- I had to buy new sneakers and boat shoes. I loved the boat shoes that I wore in Asia, but they were too worn to bring to South America. I don’t love my new pair as much, but I’ll manage.
- I got a couple of shoe bags, which should help keep my bags more organized. Plastic bags wore out really quickly.
- 3-1-1 bag:
- I used this moisturizer with SPF in Southeast Asia, which was amazing. I applied it once in the morning and reapplied in the afternoon, and my face never got sunburned. Unfortunately, I didn’t think ahead and forgot to order this moisturizer for my South America trip. I bought another moisturizer the day before I left for Bolivia. To my horror, I didn’t notice this moisturizer had no SPF until after I had already opened and used it. SPF is important, kids!
- Face wash
- Body lotion
- Eye cream
- Nail clippers
- Go Pro
- Chargers and adapters
- Power pack
- New addition for South America. I plan on doing some treks, so I thought this would be useful to charge my electronics.
- Extra memory cards and batteries
- Small crossbody bag
- Hand mirror
- Half of a compact mirror
- This broke in half in Asia, but I could still use it, so I didn’t bother buying a new one for South America.
- Travel towel
- Ear plugs
- Plastic bags for dirty clothes
- Backpack rain cover
- 5 TSA locks
- 4 packs of Ice Breaker mints
- Thank goodness I got to restock these.
- Playing cards
- Bought a new pack, and they’re Harry Potter-branded!
- Ziploc bags
- As mentioned in my post-Asia packing list, these are so useful.
- Mesh laundry bags
- I did my own laundry only a couple of times in Asia since wash-and-fold services were the norm at hostels. I didn’t always have time to hand wash my delicates, so I would send them to the laundry service and pray that they wouldn’t get ruined. I don’t know how often I’m going to use these mesh bags, but at least they’ll provide some protection for my delicates.
- Folder for documents
Both of my backpacks are bursting at the seams (I blame the thicker clothes), so I won’t have room to pick up things on the road. Thank goodness I’m not a souvenir person.