Hard Luggage- I've been using hard luggage for years. I get them in obxnoxious colors- my first set was neon orange and now I have neon green- and they can take a beating. I've used two sets over the past 8 years and purchased both from E-Bags.com. My first trip to Indonesia I think I brought a medium and small suitcase, but this trip I just brought the medium. You will always know as soon as your luggage hits the conveyer belt because it stands out!
|Rockland 3-Piece Luggage Set, ebags.com|
|Two Large, Two Medium Set|
Teva Sandals- I bought two pairs of these sandals and one of them is on the good list and one is on the naughty list. Teva Sandals have a great reputation as sandals that offer good support and can handle lots of different terrain. I purchased these in black (on sale on the Teva website) and at first I got a couple little blisters but those weren't bad at all. They are easy to put on and take off (you take your shoes off here before going into most homes), don't slip, and don't really get damanged. They fasten around the ankle for support but if you need them to just slip on you can have the velcro part stick to itself. If they get stinky you just wash them with soap and hot water and let them air dry.
DevaCurl- I have naturally wavy hair and last time I was here I pretty much looked like a drown rat the whole trip. My hair was usually went from the shower at the start of the day and frizzy by midday. A few months before coming here this time, I started to research different ways to embrace my natural curls. I use the DevaCurl No-Poo Conditioning Cleanser every few days, the DevaCurl Daily Conditioner every day, and the DevaCurl Defining Gel every night. This allowed me to travel without brushes, straighteners, or a blowdryer. I watched several youtube tutorials on how to use the products best and it paid off. I started to use the products about two months before I left for Indonesia and brought the same bottles to my trip. By the time I am ready to go home (in two weeks!) I will be recycling the bottles here and have less to pack!
|I wake up (with my hair) like this. |
(I'm making a stupid face.)
|Contigo ThermaLock Matterhorn, 20oz|
|YTL Laptop Backback $23.99|
One thing I disliked was the top part of one side of the straps became a little separated from the top of the bag. Since I'm using the crap out of this bag I don't mind and the rest of it seems sturdy enough that I know it will hold.
EDIT: This is being moved to the DIDN'T WORK list. Today I put my backpack on and the strap adjuster on the right shoulder strap SNAPPED. This is a 2 month old backpack! Ridiculous!
|Dakine Women's Jive Tote $13.06|
Cell Phone- I brought my iPhone 7 on this trip. I kept it on airplane mode the entire time and just use WiFi wherever I go. This allows me to use Facebook, Facebook Messenger (where I have a group chat with my family), WhatsApp (the most popular app in Indonesia for texting and video chat I think!), and most importantly a currency converter, Google Translate (which you can use offline), the GoJek app, and Google Maps (which you can use offline). I also figured out how to use my Indonesian phone (an Andromaxx phone) as a hotspot so I could get internet anywhere to order a Gojek. I have an OtterBox case because I drop my phone at least three times a day.
|NEWVANGA Universal Adapter $10.99|
Laundry Bag- At the Dollar Tree before I left Arizona I had a stroke of genius and bought a mesh, pop up laundry hamper for $1. Piling up your dirty clothes is bad idea because a) it's gross and b) critters will find their way into your stinky clothes. This is something I will leave behind when I come home (one of the straps already broke, but hey it was only $1!).
|eBags Pack-It-Flat Toiletry Kit|
Audio Recorder- When doing interviews, I strongly suggest buying an audio recorder and not depending on the iPhone's VoiceMemo. The audio recorder I bought was inexpensive but the sound quality is
|Evistr 8GB Digital Audio Recorder|
BB Cream- If you're like me, wearing make up in Southeast Asia is useless- it just slides off along with your daily, constant sweating. I know a lot more about makeup now than I did five years ago but not enough to know what BB Cream was until I found it while googling tinted moisturizer. BB Cream is a mix of foundation, mosturizer, concealer and sunblock. The one I have comes out of the tube white but matches with my skin tone once on my face. It's super easy to use and my basic routine is to put on BB Cream, then a little TrueMatch Powder, curl eyelashes and then water proof mascara. I am getting pretty lazy though (and let's face it no one cares what my face looks like) so I am going makeup free most days! Before I came to Indonesia I replaced my foundation completely with BB Cream and found that I have great coverage but it looks way more natural.
|Travelambo Rfid Blocking Envelope Wallet|
|Trtl Pillow- $29.97|
What Didn't Work:
Poncho- I don't know if rain ponchos are just a scam but when I wore this in the rain every inch of me ended up soaked. This was an inexpensive one on Amazon that buttoned up on the sides and was a little difficult to maneuver on. It would have been beter for me to buy one when I got here since those seem to work better for everyone.
|Pineapple-ing is better.|
|JOTO Universal Waterproof Case $7.99|
Cheap Sneakers- Tempted by cheap sneakers that look cute on Zulily? Well they aren't as cute in person. Also, the bottoms got worn very fast even though I only used them a couple times- but they were super cheap so I got what I paid for. In retrospect they didn't even send me the right color- I ordered black and white and they sent me grey and black.
Camera- My iPhone took better pictures and took up much less room.
Jeans- Don't bring skinny jeans unless you like the feeling of peeling sweaty denim off of your body. And if you get rained on it's even worse!
What I wish I had brought:
Umbrella- I forgot mine!
Another pair of bottoms and two more tops.
A little bit of laundry detergent- sometimes you have to wash things in your sink on the fly while you wait for your laundry to be done. My mom suggested I bring some but I didn't listen to her- don't be like me! (Sorry Mom!)
I'm in the home stretch everyone! I have several more interviews, two presentations, a trip to kesbangpol and I need to apply for my exit permit, but then I will be done!