The only packing guide you’ll ever need for Southeast Asia!

It’s hard to know what to pack for a trip to Southeast Asia sometimes! This post will hopefully help you out.

Sometimes, it’s a nightmare deciding what to pack for a trip overseas. We made numerous lists, packed and re-packed numerous times, and in the end we still didn’t use all the stuff we took. So here’s a list of what we would recommend taking to Southeast Asia for a trip (not including the things we didn’t use, of course!).


  • Backpack – we took 55L Macpac Pegasus packs – they’re travel packs (front-opening rather than top-opening), and were fantastic. We didn’t take the clip-on day packs because they were too small for us.
  • Day pack – I took a Macpac Kahu 22L backpack, and Shaun took a Dakine 25L backpack.
  • Handbag – I didn’t want to carry a backpack around all the time, so I took a Pacsafe Slingsafe Handbag which worked really well – nice and comfy to wear and didn’t show marks!


  • Trainers – we each took a pair of running shoes, and Shaun also took a pair of Nike Free Runners.
  • Sandals – I took Teva Zirra sandals which were fantastic. When I started to get blisters from my trainers on our 50km trek I swapped to these sandals for the last two days and they were great.
  • Jandals – both of us had good old Havaianas!


Petra: 3x singlets, 3x tshirts, 2x short shorts, 1x long shorts, 2x jeans (for cold buses and Hong Kong), 1x soft shell jacket, 1x cardigan, 1x raincoat, 2x merino long sleeve tops, 2x bikinis, 1x beach dress, 1x 3/4 sleeve linen shirt (for temples), 1x linen capri pants

Shaun: 3x singlets, 2x tshirts, 3x shorts (board shorts that doubled as swimwear), 1x jeans, 1x soft shell jacket, 1x jumper, 1x raincoat, 1x polypropylene long sleeve top


  • Quick drying towels
  • Sarong/wrap (for temples, the beach, cold buses)
  • Waterproof bag for camera, phone, wallets etc. when at the beach
  • Inflatable neck pillows
  • Duct tape/electrical tape
  • Swiss Army knife
  • Travel hair dryer
  • Sun hat
  • Plug adaptors (ours had 2 USB ports on it which was great for the iPhones)
  • Laundry liquid in a small bottle
  • Silk sleeping bag liners
  • Head torch
  • Pegless clothes line
  • Roll of toilet paper
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellent
  • Hand sanitiser
  • Pens
  • Diary

First aid kit

This is quite important when travelling to places like Myanmar where healthcare is hard to come by (and I’m not sure whether you’d want to use it!).

  • Doxycycline (for malaria)
  • Probiotics (kept the Delhi belly at bay for most of the trip!)
  • Nurofen/Panadol pain killers
  • Imodium
  • Anti-nausea tablets
  • Electrolyte sachets
  • Band aids
  • Blister blocks
  • Antiseptic cream (we had Betadine)
  • Antibiotic cream (we had Bactroban)
  • Tweezers
  • Cotton buds
  • Sterile wipes
  • Gauze pads
  • Medical tape
  • Crepe bandage
  • Cigarette lighter
  • Antihistamine tablets
  • Safety pins
  • Disposable gloves
  • Antacids
  • Itchy skin cream (hydrocortisone or ‘Soov’ – for insect bites, rashes etc.)


  • Small bottles of shampoo and conditioner
  • Bar of soap in a snaplock bag
  • Toothbrushes and toothpaste
  • Deodorant
  • Extra supplies of hair ties and hair pins
  • Small selection of makeup (2x mascara (including 1 waterproof), powder, bronzer, eye liner) – I used the mascara every day but didn’t wear the other stuff at all for the whole time we were away!

Camera gear & electronics

See this post for the camera gear and electronics we take travelling.

So it was quite a big list, and our bags were pretty full before we’d even set off from home! It was hard to know what we would and wouldn’t need, so hopefully this post can be used by other travellers who are in the same situation as we were!

P&S xx


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