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What We Pack For Southeast Asia

open suitcase full of items

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Luggage

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International Carry-On (20 inch) with 4 Wheels - Because this carry-on is technically almost 22 inches with the wheels (those bags with 4 wheels are rarely practical for international carry on), It is fine for International Flights and sometimes needs to be gate checked for the very small prop engine planes. Sometimes it makes sense to carry a hard sided bag, whether it’s for camera gear, computers, or anticipatory fragile souvenirs. This price is hard to beat.
grey backpack
Economical Personal Item Size Backpack/Daypack - You will love this daypack both for every day carry purposes and as a personal item (because everything does not fit in a purse). Pair this with a 20 inch or smaller rolling bag - some travelers do this for carry-on only travel.
15 Inch Underseater by Ciao. 4 lbs makes this a great personal item option. You'll be amazed at what thus will hold. Best coupled with a backpack (carry-on size).
Checked Rolling / Soft-sided and rugged Expedition-style Duffle by Gonex70L Water Repellent Wheeled Travel Duffel Luggage with Rollers 25 inch, Olive Green

Inflight Amenities

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passport cover and travel document case
Passport Cover with Vaccine Card Slot - Find one with a bright color so it’s harder to lose. Consider putting an Apple Airtag inside. Travel Document Case - Not to be confused with a passport cover. You will put your passport in its cover inside the document case along with other printed documents you will need during your travels. Don’t forget to take a photocopy of your passport and vaccine card and put those items inside your luggage.
compression sock
Compression Socks - A tried and true brand to keep your circulation flowing.
foot hammock
Foot Hammock - One of our most popular items for Economy Class travelers. This will save you from excessively swollen legs, we promise.
black noise cancelling headphones
Noise Cancelling Headphones - An excellent option from Anker for about a third of the price of those Bose (which we love too).
back seat organizer
Seat Back Pocket Organizer - Keep all of your inflight gadgets in one place saving your seat mate from having to get up every time you want an item out of the overhead bin.
travel blanket and hoodie
Travel Blanket with Hoody - When you aren’t quite comfortable with that thin fleece blanket in Economy Class, this is a great solution for those chilly long distance flights. You will love the hoody when you just want to sleep and not be interrupted.

Organization

There’s nothing better than a well organized travel gear system. Here are a few of our favorites:

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packable daypack
Packable Daypack - A great way to carry your sunscreen, camera, water bottle OR bring it along in your purse for shopping excursions. This brand has plenty of pockets and lots of room for whatever you buy at the market.
duffel bags and cubes bundle
Packable Duffel & Cubes Bundle - These are a bundle version of the above cubes and duffle items.
Clean/Dirty 2 Sided Packing Cube Eagle Creek’s two sided packing cube is perfect for storing your dirty clothes on one side and clean clothes on the other. We like to keep swimsuits and beach wear on the clean clothes side but you can organize it however you choose.
Compression Packing Cube Set with Laundry Bag - We love these compression cubes both for space saving and organization. Try our hack of either getting a couple sets and color coordinate your cubes’ contents or use some painter’s take and write on the cubes what is inside. This laundry bag that is included is perfect for gathering your dirty clothes to take them to the laundry shop.
blue duffel bag
Packable Duffel for Souvenirs - This is a tried and true travel hack. The 60L is a great item to bring along. Keep it all packed up in its pocket pouch until you are ready to pack your souvenirs for the flight home. You are allowed two checked bags on International Flights so make sure you do most of your shopping at your last stop.

Tech + Electronics

You won’t get far without your chargers and adaptors. Depending on where you go, you may or may not need converters. Ask before you buy!

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power strip
Universal Travel Adapter by Bestek 220V to 110V Voltage Converter with 6A 4-Port USB Charging and UK/AU/US/EU Worldwide Plug Adapter (plug comes with Type C (Bali and EU) on cord and US adapter which works in US and Thailand. A must if you wish to use appliances such as hair straighteners, dryers, and some chargers while abroad. Cheapest by $5-$10 and a reputable brand.
charging hub
Universal Outlet Converter - Not necessary for our travelers only going to Thailand (our plugs fit into their outlets).
electronics organizer
One of two options we really like for keeping your electronics organized
portable charger
Power Bank with Battery Life Display - Anker isn’t the only name in the power bank game. We love this less expensive version and have never had an issue with it’s operation. In fact the digital display with battery percentage remaining is super practical for travel.
gray electronics organizer
The second of two electronics organizers we really like
short charging cables
Short Charging Cables - All of your cables don’t have to be 6 feet long. These shorties are perfect for recharging your items on the go.
Ereader
E Reader – This is an unbeatable price! These are great for the flight which will be dark most of the journey because they have their own light source.

Clothes + Shoes + Accessories

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A few of our tried and true tropical clothing options for women.

neck scarf
Cooling Neck Scarf - The brand we use is out of stock so we will give this one a try. Great for hiking or just days on tour, this is a great way to cool off (that and a quick trip into a 7-11)
black sandal
Crocs LiteRide Stretch Sandals - A practical option to be used as a walking shoe, a beach shoe, or an evening shoe. Very lightweight and fast drying.
light blue denim shorts
Light Denim Beach Shorts - Too short for temples and palaces, these can be worn around Thai islands and resorts.
brown pants
Royal Robbins Adjustable Travel Pants - Whether you need a long pant for the flight or capris allowing for a cooler option, this pant is your two in one go to.
scarf
Scarf (for Temples) - A scarf is a travel essential, especially for counties where you will visit temples. It works as sun protection, an air conditioner blocker, or an accessory for a fancy dinner. Light colors are recommended to beat the heat.
blue water socks
Water Socks - These are great for jumping on and off the longtail boats and for walking in shallow water.
barefoot trail shoes
Minimalist Barefoot Trail Shoes - If you aren’t sure if you want to back sneakers, try those lightweight minimalistic barefoot shoes with traction.
tankini
Tankini - A simple tankini, practical for pool or beach.
Prana Corissa Dress - This wrap around dress is a great travel dress choice.
orange sandal
Cushion Slides (for flight) - A newer spin on the old Birkenstock Arizona slide. These are cushiony and very inexpensive.
long cover up dress
Short-Sleeved Beach Dress/Cover-Up - This longer beach cover up is a great option for locales where cultural differences require a bit more fabric.
beach_coverup_skirt
Beach Cover Up Skirt - A Rip skirt knock off that’s perfect for lunch by the pool or at a beach side cafe. It has quick dry material and is very light weight. Great to wear on the boat too.
orange long sleeve shirt for women
Women’s Long Sleeved- Roll-Up Gauze Wrinkle Free Button Up. Perfect for Temple Days.
Beach CoverUp - A longer coverup works well for shopping after a day at the beach without a costume change.
haiku purse
Haiku Crossbody Purse - We love this brand for their well made eco products and this is a great bag at this price point.
Rain Poncho - It usually always rains in Asia, but in rainy season, don’t get caught without your poncho.
uv_protection_blouse
UV Protection Travel Blouse - We are excited about this one. It doubles as a beach day shirt and a temple day outfit. Check out the cooling vent in the back!
Royal Robbins Bergin Skirt - A great travel skirt. Note that it is too short for temple use.
tan beach hat
Foldable Sun Hat - Just bring a hat. Baseball hat or anything. You will need it in the tropical sun.
tan fanny pack
Carthartt Fanny Pack - A well made brand and great do to purse replacement. If you are careful, there’s no need to worry about it being stolen.
black sports bra
Boody Body EcoWear Women's Padded Shaper Bra Organic Bamboo Wireless Seamless Light Bra W/Removable Padding Soft Comfortable

Men’s Best Bets

white long sleeve shirt for men
Cotton and flax make this a cool and comfortable long sleeved option for temples or dressier days in tropical climates.
We love these wider mesh caps for hiking or just keeping the sun off your face. They are a much lighter option to trucker hats.
men's gray hiking pants
Mens Hiking Pants Convertible Quick Dry Lightweight Zip Off Travel Safari Pants
teva_sandal
These Tevas with hiking sole are a great two in one option for minimalist packers.
sunhat with string
A cooling sun hat with mesh vents can be wetted on hot days. Can't beat this price!

Toiletries

From bug spray to dry shampoo, we’ve got the items you might not think of listed here

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TOILETRY & MEDICINE KIT Hanging Toiletry Kit - We find the best travel toiletry bags can be hung. Whether you are sharing a room with someone or just have limited counter space, the hook lets you get your items off the sink countertop and keeps them organized for when you need to pack up and head to the next destination.
Multi Symptom Imodium – You’ll probably need this at least once during your trip. Cipro is readily available in Boots or other pharmacies in Southeast Asia, so if you find yourself using more than 3 of these tablets, you might want to switch to Cipro to be safe.
sun bum sunscreen
Reef Friendly Sunscreen (Face SPF 50) - Always use Reef Friendly products and when you can, rinse off when entering the ocean. Let’s respect our fish friends.https://amzn.to/3w73aqR
electrolyte drink mix packets
Electrolytes – Whether it’s because you are dehydrated from the heat or from stomach or health issues, you will appreciate having these in your toiletry kit.
sun bum face mist
Sun Bum Original SPF 45 Sunscreen Face Mist 3.4 oz.
eco friendly sun creme
Reef Friendly Sport Sun Crème - Always use Reef Friendly products and when you can, rinse off when entering the ocean. Let’s respect our fish friends.
Saint Claire's herbal pastilles
St. Claire's Organic Herbal Pastilles, (Ginger, 1.5 Ounce Tin, Bundle of 3) | Gluten-Free, Vegan, GMO-Free, Plant-based,
Eco Friendly Mosquito Repellent - On occasion, we will make you our special insect repellant ($10 for 3 oz), but in a pinch, this is an excellent brand.
motion sickness wristbands
Motion Sickness Bands, Nausea Wristbands for Car Sickness, Relief Wristbans for Mornig Sea Flying Travel

Other Gear + Gadgets

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yellow dry bag with black strap
Dry Bag for Island Hopping - It you plan to go snorkeling from a boat, we recommend bring one of these along. And check out the water bottle holder!
reusable shopping tote with butterfly pattern
Loqi Reusable Shopping Tote - A great price on the #1 packable tote. You will find this item extremely necessary.
blue neckband
5000mAh Battery Operated Neckband Fan. Might be worth a try if humidity is an issue.
TSA 3-1-1 Liquid Pouch Quart Size (International Carry On)
T S A approved travel lock
TSA Approved Travel Lock - You will need a couple.
pink and white refillable water bottle
Refillable Water Bottle with Filter – You’ll love this budget friendly Brita bottle with a filter. Filtered water is always available in our hotels so just refill your bottle every morning before setting out for the day. Another tip is to purchase an extra large sized water at 7-11 (or the equivalent) and refill your bottle and another’s. The less plastic we purchase, the better we serve the countries we visit.
airpods
Use your AirPods on the plane. Bluetooth Transmitter Receiver 2-in-1 for Airplanes Boats Treadmill Gaming
packable beach blanket
Beach Blanket - Packable - A new item on our packing list, but at this size and weight, why not? Use it to sit on the grass or take it to the beach instead of a sarong, because those take a week to dry in the humid climate.
cafe bustelo instant coffee
Instant Coffee Packets – Hotels in Asia come equipped with water boiling kettles with tea and instant coffee. There’s never enough if you are a true coffee drinker (and you may not like the weak flavor of Nescafe or similar.
Picaridin Mosquito Repellent Lotion comes in these individually wrapped packets of small bottles (and spray). Not reef friendly.
hero clips
Hero Clip (2 small on sale) - If you haven’t heard of these, check this out. Use them for hanging your bag up in the public toilets or on the minivan.
Murphy's mosquito incense
Murphy s makes a few finds of anti mosquito incense products. Tried and true are the coils and these Insence Sticks. DEET Free with Plant Based Essential Oils and 2.5 Hour Protection.
micro fiber towels
We recently discovered these Matador knock offs and live them for the price. Microfiber towels for a variety of activities when carrying a hotel pool towel is just too bulky cumbersome. (Snorkeling and diving, waterfalls and rafting, beach days, to name a few.)