Updated: Jun 1
I first started traveling in South East Asia back in 2005. It was my first backpacking trip ever and also the first travel experience and trust me I had no idea on what to bring along. I have traveled to almost every place in Southeast Asia & central Asia. Best place for outdoor activities, cheap accommodations, and food ''especially India !!!" I love Indian food so much, I was eating like 7 times a day there even tho I was not hungry.
Figuring out what to pack can be tricky for most people, what about if it rain, what about if its too cold, should I bring my swimming wear... But First things first, less is more! Trust me on this. First time I went traveling I was so lost that I almost did not bring anything with me, while boarding on the plane I had only 7kg with me ''They laughed at me at counter asking if I did not forget anything'' And obviously I forgot a lot of stuff that later on I need it to buy what was missing. From experience, there is nothing worse than trudging along with a heavy backpack but not having the essential with you could also be annoying. With that in mind, I compiled this super awesome packing list for Southeast Asia to make sure you don’t forget anything during your journey.
“Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.” Dalai Lama
1- The Backpack
Let me introduce you to your best friend for the next few month ''The Backpack'' and without this little guy, it will hard to go anywhere. In any travel trip the most important object for me is having a good quality travel backpack, I bought inexpensive ones before, cheap & low quality bag will break at one point and you do not want this happening to you when you are in a remote place with no shop around and that its why it is better to be cautious from the beginning. Southeast Asia is made up of multiple islands and rugged terrain, we recommend choosing backpacks over wheeled luggage. Alternatively, you can also choose to get convertible backpacks which convert as a backpack or a wheeled suitcase.
Our Picks for Best Travel Backpacks 2020
High-Performance Backpack for Backpacking : TETON Sports Scout 3400
All in one Adventure Backpack: TERRA PEAK Adjustable Hiking Backpack
Hiking Backpack, Camping Backpack: High Sierra Life is Good Pathway 40-L
100 % Waterproof Backpack Dry Bag: Aqua Quest STYLIN 30L Backpack
2- Choosing the right travel clothes
You not gonna need much clothes while traveling to Southeast Asia. You will find a laundry shop in every single guesthouse that you will stay and one on every corner of the street.($1-$2 depending where you are) You might want to pack a pair of pants for nights or if you intend to do more treks or hikes bring more outdoor clothes that will suit your adventure.
Women and men do not have the same need while traveling the world. I do not want to sound too macho but while traveling with my wife, she always bring 3 times more clothes than me even tho she will not use half of them. The most important thing when choosing the clothing that you will bring is the type of material. if you’re planning on visiting during the summer months, avoid bringing thick hard to dry clothing. Instead, go for quick dry items. Trust me, it will make all the difference.
Woman clothes packing list...
1- Active Shorts | 2. Denim shorts | 3. Boardshorts | 4. Maxi Dress | 5. Short beach Dress | 6. Tank Tops | 7. T-Shirt | 8. Dri-fit Shirt | 9. Beach Cover Up | 10. Long Sleeve Baselayer |11. Yoga Leggings | 12. Hippie Pants | 13. Travel Underwear| 14. Sports Bra | 15. Travel bra | 16. Bikinis (so cute!) | 17.Hat | 18.Travel Scarf | 19. Socks (1 pair for trekking) | 20. Lightweight Rain Jacket | 21. Trekking Shoes (lightweight and low cut) | 22. Flip flops (Don’t bring expensive ones as they are bound to get lost)
Man clothes packing list...
1. Boardshorts | 2. Travel Shorts | 3. Long Trousers | 4. Tank Tops | 5. T-Shirts | 6. Dri-fit | 7. Long Sleeve Baselayer | 8. Travel Underwear | 9. Socks (1 for trekking) | 10. Light Travel Scarf | 11. Cap | 12. Lightweight Rain Jacket | 13. Hiking Shoes (lightweight) | 14. Flip flops
What you bring on your travels will have to match with your travel style is. As I just started being a digital nomad, I tend to pack more gadgets as the regular backpacker would, it will be more heavy for sure but they are gadget that I definitely need. I have Listed below few essential accessories that I recommend you take with you which would vary depending on the length of your trip and where you going. My wife always use packing cubes when packing her bag, I never wanted to do it as I thought it was a waste of time but I tried it during my last Bicycle touring trip and they are pretty handy (Don't tell my wife I said that)
Pacsafe 120L Backpack & Bag Protector, Steel (This is awesome you will love it)
A Universal Travel Adaptor ( This will be always very handy, don't leave without it)
Chasbren Travel Sheet (You will be glad to have one, bed bugs can happen)
Ziplocks (trust me, they will come in handy! I use them while cycling touring as well)
Filtered Travel Water bottle (Water is not always, drinkable everywhere)
Packing Cubes – I swear, Packing cubes have changed the way we travel
FSC travel wallet ( I have been using it for years, so good)
Polarized Sunglasses ( Don't play with your eyes, high quality sunnies is important)
When I first started traveling, I did not own any electronic item at all. Back in 2005 having a laptop or a DSLR was not very common but nowadays it is more affordable. I remember having a Nikon F55 film camera with me and I had to carry all the film and wait to come back home to develop it and hoping that I did not mess it up... Now, if you don t like a photo you just delete it.
I have selected for you 10 items that you may want to carry in your backpack.
LAST TRAVEL TIPS
Transport & Accommodation
When it comes to traveling in Southeast Asia, you are gonna want to travel with locals too,. Flying naturally saves the most time, but for example traveling in the train in India will always be one of my favorite memory.
Transportation: We recommend using 12Go website to view bus, boat, and train schedules ahead of time. We’ve used these websites all over Asia and it saves us the hassle of lining up in travel agencies or bus stations.
If you’re traveling during peak season, you may want to book tickets in advance. And remember, peak season doesn’t only mean the best weather, it means festivals and local holidays that bring people home, too!
Finding Places to Stay in Southeast Asia
Finding places to stay around Southeast Asia is incredibly easy and extremely inexpensive.
Airbnb Travel Tip: If you prefer to stay in apartments or villas, we recommend Airbnb. Check out our full article on how to get $45 coupon code for your booking or simply click here to get our coupon code to apply on your next booking.
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