Packing is always an exhausting mental exercise and preparing for a long surf trip is even more complicated. This is what you need to know about luggage for making the most of your surfing journey.

Traveling for surfing is different from your regular travel, the main objective of your trip is to score a maximum of waves. You will be enjoying the culture, sightseeing and other means of relaxation on the days waves are flat, or when you’re too tired or sick/injured of surfing every day.

Surfer gathering point at the airport: oversize baggage section

Surfers gathering point at the airport: oversize baggage section

These constraints make you want to be as free and as mobile as possible, likely renting a motorbike and wandering from spot to spot. So obviously, you cannot bring suitcases or many bags full of nice clothes that you won’t be using anyway. If you need to also take your surf boards then things can become heavy to handle very quickly!

Can't do lighter #packing than that! 2 #surfboard 1 #bodyboard and #backpack #indonesia #sumatra here we come

A photo posted by The Working Surfgirl (@deepblue04) on

After many hits and misses, I rounded my choices to a small and efficient list for this time (a 3+ weeks trip):

  • Clothes that will go into a medium backpack (as a carry-on):
    • 4 t-shirts,
    • 2 tanks,
    • 2 shorts,
    • 3 pairs of seroual pants (for these long motorbike night rides),
    • 4 dresses (3 casual and a fancy)
    • 2 shirts,
    • a pair of sunglasses,
    • One pair of sandals and tongs,
    • beauty products,
    • enough underwear for one week,
    • 4 pairs of bikinis.
  • Surf gear that I stash in a surf bag: 2 boards, 2 sets of fins, 2 leashes a pair of booties, a sprint surfing suit, and a big bottle of sunscreen,
  • Personal stuff that will go in a casual tote bag (and that I plan on using for the beach and the city): wallet, makeup case, camera, sarong and other small stuff.

The girl in me thinks that I could have a shortage of clothing, but it’s Indonesia! You can have all your clothes cleaned for less than $10 and when I’ll arrive in Bali I’ll be able to do some extra shopping…

Beauty Products:

While you can stock on clothing in Asia, shopping for good beauty products can be pricey. I keep tons of sample size products and use them for traveling. It’s a win-win situation where I get to try new products while getting the beauty case lighter. I also took some full-size products:

Pretty sure you can't do this in your regular 4 wheels suitcase

Pretty sure you can’t do this with your regular 4 wheels suitcase

How do you pack for your travels? Do you find it more difficult to keep things light for a surf trip? Share your stories in the comment section!