Southeast Asia Packing Essentials


To pack or what not to pack: that is the question. It can be a difficult task, this thing we call packing. From toiletries to shoes there are a host of things you have to fit into your bag. Plus, you most have the correct weight or they will call foul on you at check-in. What makes it more difficult is packing for a place you have never visited before and figuring out what you don’t need and what’s an essential. Southeast Asia (SEA) has both a wet season and dry season which can make packing perplexing because it rains a lot and it’s hot…tricky combination. Lucky for you, I recently just came back from my backpacking trip across SEA and I can let you in on the inside scoop on what to bring and girl, just leave it behind. Here is my list of what I packed for a month while traveling around SEA.


4 Tanks tops

1 Short sleeve shirt (not fond of short sleeves because pit stains aren’t cute)

1 Lightweight knit sweater

1 Open front cardigan with hood (good for cold airplanes and cold hostels)


4 Shorts (athletic shorts are the best)

1 Loose pair of cropped yoga pants

1 Lightweight cargo pants

There are a lot of places to buy cheap clothes so don’t feel the need to over pack with clothes and don’t bring nice clothes because you will sweat and sweat. Those elephant pants and tanks they have in SEA will become your new BFF.


3 Bikinis (tops double as bras…sweet!)


1 Spaghetti string tank top

1 Knit shorts

Underwear & Bras

8 Pairs of underwear (1 pair to wear and 7 to pack)

2 Bras (I only brought one but two would have been nice)

2 Sports bras

1 Bralette (great to sleep in and Calvin Klein has the best ones)


1 Pair of Toms

1 Pair of flip flop (doubles as shower shoes)

1 Pair of sneakers

I did bring a pair of sandals with me but they were worn only once, so I say girl leave them behind. You will partially live in a pair of flip flops during the summer while in SEA.


1 40 – 50L Backpack (I love my Osprey)

1 Casual backpack




Selfie stick


GoPro Hero 4

GoPro floating stick (if you use your GoPro in the water be sure to have it on a stick that floats)

All appropriate chargers

I will say this; after my iPhone was stolen I will never take my phone out of this country again (well, unless I’m moving to another country). Instead I will purchase an iPod touch which is the same as a iPhone but calls cannot be made and it’s cheaper.



Watch (I didn’t bring one and regretted it later on)

1 Necklace

Rings (I have 2 rings I never take off)



Bobby pins

Nike headband

Shawl (great as a blanket, sarong, head cover, etc)

2 Pairs of socks



Toiletry bag

Assorted pain medication

2 Travel size deodorants

Wipes (great for hot days)


2 Travel size toothpaste


Bar of soap

100% Deet mosquito repellent

Tide pin

Finger nail clippers




Cotton balls


Witch hazel

Face wash

Perfume in Travelon container


Burt’s Bees mango lip balm

Hand sanitizer

Tissues (you will use them more than you think)

Natural Hair Sistas

Cowash conditioner

Ecostyler gel

Shea butter moisturizer (I make my own with different oils added)

Carol’s Daughter hair oil

Empty spray bottle

Spray leave-n-conditioner

Silk scarf


Trader Joe’s dark chocolate bars

Trader Joe’s chocolate chip granola bars

Trader Joe’s dried chili mangos

Kirkland fruit snacks

It’s just really nice to have food from home sometimes.


Packing cubes

Travel towel

Pad lock

Plastic bags (never know when they will become useful)

Plastic poncho (this was my saving grace when it started to pour rain out of nowhere)

And that completes my list of everything I brought with me to SEA. Fill free to carter this list to your liking. This is what worked best for me, although I did regret bringing 1 or 2 items with me other than that I needed everything.


One thing I loved having was my Osprey backpack; it made me feel like a real backpacker. One thing I should have left at home, my one time use scandals; they really did serve no purpose.

Happy Travels

One thought on “Southeast Asia Packing Essentials

  1. Shilpa

    Wow, that’s a lot of stuff when you break it down like that vs the picture. This list will be useful for me when I travel to SEA, thanks for the post!

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