If you are planning to travel in South East Asia (or in China, Korea, Japan in spring and summer), you don't need to pack much. Over the years, I have been trimming my bag as I discover new fabrics, technology etc. This is my current arrangement.
Most important is the bag. The brand doesn't matter as long as it is somewhat waterproof and sturdy. Mine is "Product No 98" by Ichizawa, a Kyoto based canvas bag maker. I like it for its simplicity, and utilitarian looks.
The stuff inside - from left to right
- the bag itself
- swimwear sealed in a ziplock bag
- a small mesh case packs a charger and cables
- a small sealable case that holds the various currencies, SIM cards, and postage stamps for postcards
- another case contains quick relief for common ailments - paracetamol and charcoal pills for stomach
- another case to hold keys, and a small lock for guesthouse or swimming pool lockers
- a transparent mesh bag for toiletries (some airport security like to able to visually inspect stuff)
- a soft foldable hat - it is waterproof
- the black zipper bag contains one or two change of clothes depending on how long my trip is for.
- a burner phone (good to have these for charge longevity, I usually slot in a voice only prepaid sim from my home region or a region around me with cheapest roaming rates)
- a small notebook - doubles as storage for tickets, maps etc
A phone and a small wallet go into my pocket. I usually get a inner pocked stitched on my trousers for the passport, some cash and a spare bank card. I am quite used to typing long text on the phone. If I need to use a computer - I usually raid the guesthouse computer, working mostly on Google docs. I have the Google 2 factor authentication enabled.
Light, quick drying clothes are my favourites. Uniqlo's easy pants and Muji's Indian cotton shirts complete the sartorial department. The maximum I carry is three change of clothes - just wash and dry.
The bag with all the stuff inside probably weighs about or less than 2 kilograms. Carrying a small bag makes you more mobile, you can get in and out of the flights, trains faster. If I need anything beyond this, I usually buy them locally at a supermarket.