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Before I left for Taiwan, I had no idea what to bring. I had no idea what the weather was going to be like. Hot and cold. Helpful, right? I also didn’t know I was going to Japan until I was there, which didn’t help either. One last thing to make it difficult, I was going to the Philippines after, so I needed clothes for pretty much all weather.
Packing in a carry-on for all-weather can be tough, but I managed to find the right things, and buy a few things along the way, to be almost perfectly packed for Taiwan and Japan in the winter followed by the Philippines.
This packing list is for a month and a half in Taiwan and Japan in the winter. Like usual, I’ll separate it into clothes, toiletries, technology, and other stuff.
3-5 racerback tank tops – These were mostly for the Philippines, but they worked for layering.
1 black cardigan
1 maxi skirt
1 pair of athletic shorts
1-2 pairs of jean shorts
1 pair of workout legging capris – I would have rather had long pants. I didn’t wear these pretty much at all.
1 pair of jeans – These are a bit pricey, but I love them! I also wish I brought a second pair
Rain jacket – Mine was similar, but pink
Lots of socks
Lots of underwear
Fancy sandals – These broke towards the end of my trip so I got rid of them.
Fancy-ish not sandals
Fossil cross body purse
Solid shampoo in a square tin – It’s waaaay easier to get out of the square than the little round one. I got a solid conditioner in Japan and didn’t like it, so I would avoid the light green Lush solid conditioner. It smells heavenly but didn’t work very well for me. I would look for another one or just stick to the bottled stuff.
Travel sized conditioner – This was really difficult to find in Taiwan and Japan. Plus I couldn’t read any of the labels. I would bring a few more of these if conditioner is necessary for you.
Jojoba oil – I threw this out after maybe a week because it was too leaky. I used it on my face and in my hair after showering.
1-2 nail polishes
iPad Air + charger
iPhone 6 + charger
Canon Powershot G10 + charger + batteries
Kindle Paperwhite + charger
Portable Charger + charger
Waterproof Camera + batteries + charger
Camelbak Groove insulated/filter water bottle – This got too dirty and I couldn’t clean it. I love it at home, though.
Osprey laptop backpack – I didn’t have my laptop, but it was a good size for a daypack. It was also super light and I couldn’t fit tons of stuff in it, so I didn’t end up carrying around too much stuff. There were pros and cons to this.
REI Vagabond Tour 40 Pack – I loooove this backpack. It’s the perfect size. Sometimes I wish it had straps on the outside, but I’m also glad it doesn’t because then I’d end up with too much stuff again. And it works as carry on. This backpack doesn’t exist anymore but here are some other comfortable travel backpacks to consider.
An actual book – I wanted this to trade at book exchanges
2 pairs of sunglasses
Sleeping bag liner – I only used it a couple times, but I’m glad I had it just in case. It’s light and doesn’t take up much room.
3 luggage locks – I like these because I don’t have to worry about a key.
What I wish I brought
More long sleeved shirts, sweaters, or sweatshirts. I ended up buying two in Taiwan.
Hat – I finally caved and bought one (and gloves) in Japan and was so happy I did! I wish I had it sooner.
Hydro Flask water bottle – I didn’t even know about these at the time. This one is 40 Ounces, but the size is totally worth the weight. I can go longer between filling it up. I would also like to try this one, I’ve heard good things. It seems better for traveling since it has a filter.
Well, I think that’s it. This all fit in my 40-liter backpack and smaller daypack. It got surprisingly cold and was rainy a lot, so keep that in mind if you’ll be moving around a lot and need things to dry fast. Most hostels had umbrellas that guests could use, so I didn’t bring one. Other than not having enough warm stuff, which was probably the most important stuff, I did alright. There wasn’t much I didn’t use. And there you have it the perfect packing list for Taiwan and the perfect Japan winter packing list.
Have you been to Taiwan or Japan in the winter? What else would you recommend?