Southeast Asia Packing List

So you’re going to Southeast Asia?! I’ll admit it, I’m equal parts excited for you & envious that I’m not joining you. Breathtaking beaches, moonlit parties in the jungle, bustling cities, delicious street food, cheap accommodation and cultures that educate and inspire…I just can’t get enough! This subcontinent is one of my favorite areas on Earth and (speaking from personal trial & error) is one of the least complicated places to pack for. This Southeast Asia packing list is set to get you all the deets, my top gear reccs, & links directly to the items that I love!

Southeast Asia Packing LIst


I highly recommend a backpack over a suitcase here. Southeast Asia is full of backpackers on long or short term, adventure-style trips. You will stick out like a sore thumb if you roll up to the hostel with a wheely bag. Not to mention, not all streets are paved and some don’t have sidewalks, so the ability to carry your bags on your back is a lot more practical.

These are a few of the brands that I have used, trust and personally recommend:

I also recommend a day pack like this one by Fjallraven (an eco-friendly and sustainable brand), or this one from Cotopaxi (a company that does a ton of charity work), as well as some sort of hip pack or small purse.

If you’re a die hard wheely-bagger, this brand makes some durable options.

Prefer a duffel? No worries, so does my partner. We love the quality of Kodiak leather!

Still unsure? I got you covered-

I wrote an entire article breaking down how to choose the perfect piece of luggage for any adventure (including SE Asia).


Because everyone has their own outfit and travel styles, I can’t get too specific with clothing, but I CAN share what I found most useful during my months in SEA (Southeast Asia).




Southeast Asia Packing List pro tips:

1 Laundry shops are very easy to find and cost very little. No matter the length of trip, I recommend packing for enough clothes for about 7-10 days & do laundry as you go.

2 Quick drying is key. Heavy fabrics take up more space & take too long to dry. Not ideal if you have multiple stops planned on your adventure.

3 Leave a little room in your bag for clothes that you buy while traveling. Cute & cheap clothes are aplenty in Southeast Asia!


It’s best to keep this one simple (like all the packing for Aisa, really). Shoes take up a lot of space in a backpack, and honestly, you don’t need much.


No need to over stock up on all of these products as you will be able to purchase most of them in Asia (although a little label translation might be neccesary), but this is a good place to start.

These items tend to be expensive or difficult to find, so definitely bring them along:


The first time I explored SEA, a lot of this stuff didn’t even exist. But now that it’s here, we can use it to get those incredible shots, save our batteries when we need them most, find entertainment on long busses & more!

Hello underwater action shots!

The exact camera I use & love!

My lightweight & easy-to-use laptop.

Noise blocking & comfortable wireless headphones.

DON’T FORGET The chargers for all of these electronics!

***Speaking of chargers, you will need a power bank and outlet adapter too!***

Travel essentials:

If you forget anything, make sure it’s not something from this list. Trust me on this one, everything on this portion of the packing list will come in handy at some point (especially for those longer-term SEA tours).

You might laugh at these next few, but trust me, you would be surprised at how often these items have saved me while traveling!

Southeast Asia Packing List takeaways:

1 Southeast Asia is almost guarunteed to be hot. Even on rainy days, it will still be hot (plus humid).

2 Pack light. Seriously. I offer this advice often, but it’s especially true for SE Asia. No one enjoys lugging an overstuffed pack around in the heat.

3 If you didn’t bring enough clothes or you forgot something, you can buy it there. Probably for very cheap.

Check out these posts to help you plan your Asia trip:

Southeast Asia resource books:

There's always more to explore: