Packing Tips: All the Stuff I Wish I Had Brought to Indonesia

Indonesia, Packing & Wardrobe — By on May 30, 2011 at 7:55 pm

Java IndonesiaBy Melissa Kim
Special to The Lost Girls

Loose, breathable T-shirt and jeans? Check. Swimsuit, camera, travel umbrella? Got ‘em. Rather recently, I found myself on a flight to Jakarta, on the Indonesian island of Java. After quitting my job in Barcelona on a whim, I was suddenly available to attend my friends’ wedding in Indonesia. I figured this kind of opportunity may not present itself again—and so I bought my ticket on a Monday and flew out the next day. But I learned that when you make spontaneous decisions and pack light, you don’t always stop to fully research every scenario you’re getting into. Here’s what I wish I’d packed:

  • Flip-flops. I went with a pair of strappy sandals that were less than ideal. Not to worry—I was able to get a pair of flip-flops for 10,000 rupiah (about $1 USD).
  • Bug repellent. It’s extremely essential to arm yourself with some protection, as mosquitoes are omnipresent in humid climates and can affect great discomfort.
  • Loofah (or body sponge or washcloth). After a day of walking around dusty streets in sweltering humidity, I wished I had packed one of these things instead of frantically checking every convenience store (they’re not prevalent as I’d presumed.)
  • Tissues (pocket packs). Luckily, you can find these at almost every convenience store. You must have tissues at all times—most restrooms we stopped at, especially on the road, had no toilet paper to speak of and are usually those of the pop-a-squat variety.
  • Mini bar of soap. Since the private little villa you rent for the price of a U.S. lunch may not necessarily be a four star experience with all the amenities…
  • Hand sanitizer. Now this, I actually packed. I was skeptical of antibacterial power of the little bowls of water served with meals at restaurants. Purell was my friend.Java Indonesia
  • Packets of EmergenC or green tea bags. Good to have on-hand for any travel, along with the usual Advil and antacid tabs.
  • Sunblock. It’s so easy to forget but so important to have!
  • Sarong. Trifecta power: You can use these at the beach, as a cover-up, a skirt, or as an extra blanket.
  • Burt’s Bees lip balm. Even in misty air, chapped lips happen.
  • The best amenities you can arm yourself with, of course, are an open mind and the understanding that you may face the unexpected when traveling.

Melissa Kim is a former Hollywood industry professional whom has left town and opted for a globe hopping route.  On her most recent endeavor, she has imbibed many cups of coffee across Spain, Italy, the Czech Republic, and Indonesia, and hopes to order a few more within another slew of international borders.  When recharging stateside, she spends her time writing, researching her next destination, and catching up on one of her other passions, American television.  She documents her experiences on her blog,

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    1 Comment

  • Stephanie says:

    Great post and best of luck on your travels!

    When I left for a year-long trip around the world, I got a lot of advice about what to bring and I’m so glad to see that you had jeans as one of the first things you packed. Sadly, I learned that lesson the hard way and thought you might enjoy the tale –