Ultimate Packing List for Southeast Asia


Southeast Asia is one of the most popular regions in the world for travelling; being so diverse in cultures, history, having amazing cuisines and a delightfully warm climate.
Best of all, it is pretty easy to travel around at a low-cost, making it accessible for all types of budgets.

I've had a continuing love affair ever since my first visit four years ago, and I've been lucky enough to visit four times so far, travelling to Thailand, Indonesia twice and to Vietnam.

In two weeks I'll be off on my next adventure to Southeast Asia where I'll be travelling to six different countries (the majority of it solo) over two months.
Naturally, packing has been on my mind and I think for my fifth time there I've finally got it down pat!


I'm one of the few people that actually loves packing - it gets me extra pumped for my upcoming trip. Whether you are travelling with a suitcase or a backpack, the same list generally applies and either way it is always best to travel as light as you can with only the things you will need and actually use.
I've had to train myself not to bring too many clothes (guilty habit) and over the years I have learned what I can easily pick up along the way.

Here is my Ultimate Packing List, with everything I should need for eight weeks away:


Clothing

4 T-shirts – Three casual and one for sleeping in. I usually buy T-shirts at each new place I go to so I don't like to bring too many with me.

1 nicer top – For going out to the very occasional nice restaurant for dinner where t-shirts and singlets aren't quite acceptable.

4 singlets – Perfect for hot days around the likes of Bali, Bangkok and beach areas.

2 dresses – Same as above (beachy dresses). Also can be used for evenings with a light cardy.

4 pairs of shorts – My favourite pair of jean shorts, one pair of board shorts for the beach, gym shorts and one for sleeping in.

1 pair of jeans – Not so much for hotter areas but I will be wearing them there and back on the plane as I'm always really cold and for possible cooler evenings in the north.

1 sweatshirt – For the same reasons as above.

2 light cardigans – One casual black cardy that goes with everything and one nicer one for evenings out.

3 bikinis – I'm going to be spending a fair bit of time at the beach and I'm mostly staying somewhere with a pool, so I think three is necessary.

3 bras – Two normal and one sports bra.

8 pairs of underwear

4 pairs of socks

1 sarong – Useful for the beach/pool and covering up at temples.



Shoes

1 pair of jandals

1 pair of sandals

1 pair of running shoes

1 pair of converse


Toiletries and Medical Items

You can pick things up that you need such as shampoo, soap, toothpaste and almost anything else in Southeast Asia very cheaply, so I always pack travel-sized toiletries when I can.

Mini shampoo and conditioner

Mini facewash

Deodorant

Toothbrush, small toothpaste, floss

Mini soap/shower gel

Hand sanitizer – An essential always in my day bag.

Moisturiser – I go for one with a high SPF.

Sunblock – A small bottle, again high in SPF.

Small night cream

Chapstick

Makeup – Just the bare minimum as it's really hot and humid in most parts of Southeast Asia and you’re likely to sweat it off!

Face wipes – Super refreshing if needed and to help remove any makeup.

Feminine products

Insect Repellent

Small comb and hair ties

Prescription medications – Including antibiotics.

Shaver

Basic first aid items – Plasters, panadol, antiseptic cream, safety pins, small scissors, Immodium, cold medicine.

Tissues – Many public bathrooms don't provide toilet paper so always carry a pack with you!

Multivitamins

Antimalarial medicine – Talk to your doctor ahead of time if you might need it, as well as any vaccines.




Electronics

As a travel blogger and vlogger that will be working from there, I have a few essential electronics to bring with me. If you are just visiting for a holiday these are totally optional. You may just want to bring your phone, a small camera and maybe an IPad/tablet.

Cellphone

Laptop

Hard drive

Headphones

Camera 

GoPro

Memory cards and extra batteries

Portable phone charger

Mini tripod

USB stick

Any required cables/chargers

(You can find what particular camera gear and electronics I use in my Shop section).




Travel Essentials

Passport – Make sure it’s valid for at least 6 months past the end of your trip.

Money – It's always handy to have some local currency upon arrival but you could always get this at the airport. It's a good idea to travel with a backup ATM and credit card, kept separately from your main wallet.

Travel insurance – Essential! I use the 1Cover comprehensive plan.

Passport-sized photos – For any required visas.

Copies of travel documents: Booking confirmations (some have a tendency to get 'lost'), travel insurance, passport, visas.

Plug adapters – if you don't already have one you can pick one up there.




Accessories 

Sunglasses

Basic jewellery – Just a few pieces that I wouldn't care if they were lost. It's usually just one pair of earrings, one necklace and some bracelets to layer.

A light scarf – I like to have this for the plane and it can also dress up an outfit for a night out.

Backpack and day bag –  My backpack is my carry on bag which will have my laptop in it. I can also use this for longer day trips. My everyday bag is a smaller satchel type purse that can cross over my body and fit everything I need in.

Hat – It's so easy to burn when you're out in the sun all day!




Extra stuff!

Earplugs and eye mask – I'm a very light sleeper so these are essential for me.

Book – One of my favourite things to do is to read a book by the pool or beach.

Refillable drink bottle

Small umbrella – Handy to have if there's a random downpour.

Washing powder – For washing clothes in the sink as needed.

Lock or two – Useful to lock your valuables when out and about for the day.

Notebook and pens – I love to journal my days and jot down thoughts and plans.

Canvas bag – Great as a pool/beach bag or to take out when shopping.


Note - I am mostly staying at Airbnbs and hotels, but if you are going backpacking and staying in hostels/guesthouses then I'd suggest also packing a sleeping bag liner and a pillowcase.

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That's everything in my Ultimate Packing List for Southeast Asia! Do you have anything else you would add to this list? Let me know in the comments below, I'd love to read them.

If you would like to check out some of my favourite travel gear, essentials and wanderlust inspiration items, check out my shop section!

I also recently filmed a chatty video for YouTube of everything I'm packing for this trip.
Feel free to give it a watch if interested.



Happy Travels,

The Benefits of Backpacking


There are some really great benefits of backpacking, which is why so many people do it every year. It's a great experience to have at least once in your lifetime. To be able to wander freely with no rigid plan and do as you please every day is a priceless and fun way to discover a new place.
If you’re thinking of making the trip, but need that final push- here are a few reasons why it’s a good idea to give backpacking a go:


You Meet The Best People

A lot of the time when you go backpacking you tend to stay in places that you might not otherwise have entertained, like hostels with huge rooms that you’ll be sharing with people you’ve never met before.
This might seem like an intimidating prospect if you’ve never done it before, but the truth is- you’re going to have the time of your life.
I have made the best of friends on my solo travel adventures. My only advice is if you're a female and not comfortable with sharing a room with the opposite sex, then book a hostel that has female-only dorms.
The best thing about backpackers’ hostels is that everyone is there for the same reason – because they love travelling and seeing the world, and because they’re looking for a little adventure, just like you.
If you want to, you can still spend most of your time by yourself, just you and your guidebook, but if you’re looking for some people to go exploring or partying with, then other backpackers will be the ideal companions. It's such a great opportunity to connect with people through all walks of life from all over the globe.




It Encourages You To Be Independent

There’s no better way to learn real independence than by travelling by yourself. If you’re young, you might not have been away from home much by yourself before, so going backpacking will help you figure out that you can sort out everything by yourself, and that you know how to spend time alone without feeling as though you’re about to get eaten alive by your own thoughts.
If you're going travelling- chances are you’ve worked hard to save money, you’ve checked out sites like thebackpackerlifestyle.com to figure out what exactly you’re going to need, and you’ve realised that actually- you can do anything you want to.
It's a wonderful and very freeing feeling and really helps you to grow more confident. Travelling solo through Europe certainly helped me to become a more confident person. You learn so much on the road by yourself and you grow stronger. There are bad times as well as the good but it's all experience and afterwards I felt that no matter what life threw at me I could deal with it. If you go in with a positive attitude and mindset then those little things that do go wrong won't bother you.




The Costs Are Low

One of the best things about backpacking is that- especially if you go by yourself, it’s easy to keep your costs down. If you’ve never learned to budget before, then now is absolutely the time to start. Make sure that you don’t go over the amount of money that you assign yourself for each week – ending up in financial dire straits is not the best way to spend your awesome backpacking trip.
Although you should be aware of how much you’re spending, you should also make sure that you aren’t too stingy – you should fully experience the places that you go to and treat yourself to some great meals and sightseeing trips. Not wanting to fork out the money to go whale watching or something else equally cool is the sort of thing you’ll regret for the rest of your life.
But overall while you are backpacking you can get cheap accommodation, if you eat locally then food and drink costs will be low, and transportation costs are low if you make the most of local public methods like buses and trains to hop from place to place.
Depending on where you travel to is also a big factor. Places like South-East Asia and Eastern Europe are a haven for budget travellers as you can literally live comfortably on $20-$40 a day.




You Can Choose What You Do

Another excellent benefit of backpacking is that you can decide exactly what you want to do. You have the freedom to choose where you want to travel to, whether it's hopping around Europe, stomping through cities, soaking up history and culture or spending days on a beach in Thailand. Although it’s important to have some sort of a plan (you don’t want to run out of money before you’ve paid for your flights home!) you can afford to be flexible and see where each day takes you, instead of assigning each day a number of activities like you might if you were going on a regular holiday.
Going backpacking gives you the time you need to really explore the rest of the world – it’ll broaden your horizons and you’ll return home at the end of the trip feeling brighter and more inspired. That, my friends, is what it's all about.




You Will Learn Something

This is a solid guarantee and the first reason to get out and see the world. You will learn something that you never knew before, and whether it’s something about yourself or the outside world, backpacking is an opportunity to soak up stuff that you would never find by just sitting at home.
You might discover that you have a gift for reading maps and signposts in German or that your new favourite food is a bowl of Vietnamese noodles- whatever it is, it’s worth the trip.


If you need one more benefit from backpacking it’s this- it’s fun. Even the parts you don’t enjoy at the time, waiting around for that bus, a rude receptionist, the rip-off bar – that’s all going to be part of the laughs when you get back home and tell everyone about it.
Just enjoy the journey!

Have you ever been backpacking or are you wanting to in the very near future?

Happy Travels,
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*This post contains affiliate links and images that are not my own.

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