Packing list Southeast Asia: what do you have to pack?
Do not forget anything important. You know that feeling, right? That feeling of having forgotten something very important. To make sure that this does not happen anymore, we have listed here our packing list Southeast Asia for globetrotters, travel photographers and backpackers.
Since 2015, we have been traveling regularly for several months in Southeast Asia and each time we perfect our packing list for Southeast Asia and keep it up to date for you.
The packing list is suitable for both short-term and long-term trips. Because you will see that you need exactly the same things for a week as for 6 months or a year.
The packing list is suitable for :
- Long-term travelers
- Backpackers, Flashpackers and ordinary travelers
- Travel to Southeast Asian countries
- Travel to warm countries in general, also outside of Southeast Asia
We'll tell you in detail in this article why we packed certain things. And so that you do not forget anything, we have created a checklist for printing and checking off for you.
Pack right: Our packing tips
We have been living and working independently of location since 2015 and have since been carrying our lives in two backpacks around the world. In recent years, we have pretty much optimized the packing and give you our best tips today on the way.
Less is more!
In our first year, we actually traveled only with hand luggage to Southeast Asia and not for two weeks, but for 6 months! Sounds crazy? But it is not at all.
Of course it is not a problem to get two huge backpacks full. But if you restrict yourself to the bare necessities, you will definitely miss nothing and feel a little bit freer on your journey. Promised.
Surely you know that, too? You're wondering if you should not pack a few more shoes, or maybe the evening dress just in case, and is not it a good idea to take some more towels with you? No, it is not in most cases. You do not need the third pair of shoes, nor the evening dress, unless, of course, you only want to dine in very fine restaurants.
Instead of asking the question, "What do I have to pack for Southeast Asia?", Ask yourself, "What do I really need for my trip?".
What we really need, we'll tell you in this article. We regularly travel between 4 and 6 months in Southeast Asia and really only have what we show you here. Not a tiny bit more.
Do we always travel with hand luggage?
No! Although we still find traveling with carry-on luggage still very charming, it has not proven itself in the long run. This is mainly because our photography equipment takes a bit too much space and weight while traveling and we do not want to miss it.
Without the large amount of technology in our luggage, our backpacks would not be half full. Maybe you do not have that much equipment yourself? Then we definitely want to encourage you to consider traveling with hand luggage.
So you will not forget anything!
When we travel longer, we start picking packing lists a few weeks before departure: a clothes and shoes packing list, a bathing utensils medication packing list, one for technology, a packing list for our photography equipment, and one Packing list for safety comfort.
Writing everything down separately has helped tremendously to sort us out and to determine what we really need from the things. So we could say goodbye to the typical "maybe-need-I-that-ever-on-the-road" thing and completely reduce our luggage to the essentials.
Meanwhile, our own packing list for Southeast Asia has already accompanied us through Thailand , Sri Lanka , Malaysia , Hong Kong , the Philippines , Myanmar , Qatar , Dubai , Indonesia , Laos and Vietnam . We have not missed anything yet.
Incidentally, this not only works with packing in Southeast Asia, but also in Europe. Except that the contents of our backpack differ in some ways from those in this list.
We have also written down our packing list for city breaks in Europe for you. It works not only in Europe, but in every country that has a similar climate. We have them z. B. also used for our travel planning for Japan .
So, and now we get naked and unpack our backpacks for you. Here is our packing list.
At the beginning we show you which rucksacks we have in Southeast Asia. The backpacks are not only practical for the Asian area, but suitable for all trips.
For a long time we both traveled with the Osprey Farpoint 40 , which we highly recommend. The backpack has hand luggage dimensions, but we have sometimes given it up.
Meanwhile, we just have too much technology with us, so we exchanged a 40-liter backpack for a 60-liter backpack. In addition, Jenny has now exchanged her Osprey Farpoint 40 for her Blok Large of pinqponq.
Backpack # 1: Pinqponq Blok Large
The Blok Large is a perfect backpack for hand luggage. It has a laptop compartment on the back, but you can access it separately through a zipper on the side and many other cool features.
The backpack is only available in selected online shops, including Breuninger .
Backpack # 2: Osprey Farpoint 40
We swear by our beloved backpacks from Osprey, the Farpoint 40 , which we once have in blue and once in black. Either we take the Pinqponq as a carry-on rucksack, or just one of our Osprey Farpoint 40.
Our backpack # 3: Travel Trekker ND60 by Lowe alpine
Our second backpack is the Travel Trekker ND60 by Lowe alpine. As with the Osprey, we can unfold the upper compartment completely. Down in the tray also fits a lot relatively pure.
There we stow the "soft" things, such. Our silk sleeping bags, the mosquito net, the yoga mat and our shoes.
The backpack is unfortunately no longer to buy. Basically, we advise you anyway anyway to a smaller backpack. If the 40 liters of the Farpoint 40 are still not enough for you, we still have a great alternative.
The Farpoint 40 has a big brother, the Farpoint 55 . Although this is no longer a carry-on rucksack, it is based on the same principle, except that it has a small kangaroo-style daypack on the back.
We actually decided against it for one reason only. We just do not need a daypack, because we are anyway always only with our camera bags on the way.
Alternatives and additional options
Not everyone likes traveling with backpacks, and in fact we have met some travelers in Southeast Asia who are traveling with a pull box or a backpack pull box.
If you do not intend to travel as a backpacker, then that's a great thing!
- Pulling Case: We both have the Horizn Model M carry-on case and are very happy with it.
- Also cool: backpack pulling case .
- Quite meaningful is this cool daypack .
For Southeast Asia we would always advise you to take a backpack, as the roads and roads here are not really designed to pull a trolley over it.
If you only travel from hotel to hotel and always take a taxi or private driver, a suitcase is certainly an option.
Packing list Documents: Which documents do you need?
In this section, we list all our travel documents. This is, so to speak, the basic equipment of our luggage.
Almost everything can be replaced somehow, but you should not forget the most important documents.
Checklist travel documents
International driving license
Passport photos for visas (if you travel to several countries for which you need a visa)
50 euros cash - to exchange in case of emergency
Insurance Certificate International Health Insurance (online)
Travel Credit Cards : 2 x DKB Credit Card , 1 x Santander Credit Card , 1 x Master Card (withdraw cash in local currency save money)
Why you should definitely pack these documents
Of course you should not forget to pack your passport. That goes without saying. Having a vaccination certificate is always helpful in an emergency.
If you want to scooter or drive, you should have an international driver's license in addition to your normal driver's license. In some corners of Thailand, the z. B. regularly controlled by the police.
All important documents are also scanned on our Google Drive. If something goes away, it's very convenient. You also sometimes need a digital copy of your passport.
Money and credit cards
With German EC or Maestro cards you do not get very far in Southeast Asia. So you either have the choice of taking a lot of cash or using credit cards.
We have opted for credit cards and always have a bit of cash for an emergency.
Wenn du viel unterwegs bist, solltest du dir unbedingt eine oder zwei gute Reisekreditkarten zulegen. Our tip: If you travel a lot, you should definitely get one or two good travel credit cards. We use the Santander 1Plus Visacard and the DKB credit card . We can also recommend the toll-free Mastercard of Advanzia Bank . For us these three cards are the perfect trio and also save us a lot of money, because with these cards we can withdraw money for free worldwide.
Whether this is a good solution for you and what you need to know about these three cards, we have written down in detail in our article The best travel credit card for foreign countries .
Our foreign health insurance
For years, we have relied on the foreign health insurance of Hanse Merkur. The scope of services is in our opinion the best in the market and the contributions are relatively cheap.
We have already submitted one or the other time medical bills and always get everything refunded without any problems.
If you are traveling a maximum of 8 weeks at a time, the simple health insurance for 17 euros a year.
If you, like us, travel longer, you have to take out a long-term health insurance. It costs you 1.15 Euro per day.
To our foreign health insurance for short trips (1 year maximum 8 weeks at a time)
To our foreign health insurance for long-term travel
The insurance certificate is stored online. You simply hand in simple medical bills to the insurance afterwards.
But if you have to go to hospital for several days, which we do not hope for, hospitals usually want to have your insurance information in advance. Then you need the number of the insurance certificate.
Packing list Travel accessories: We swear by these travel gadgets
In this section, we list all items of luggage that fit into the category of order and comfort.
Checklist travel accessories
Panniers - For order in the backpack
Travel Pillows - Make you feel at home
Silk sleeping bags - for well-being and mosquito repellent
Mosquito net + fixing kit for mosquito nets - mandatory in Southeast Asia
Document bags - Order for the documents
Sleep mask - For the photosensitive
Oropax Soft - For a peaceful sleep
Headlamp and / or flashlight - Need more often than you think
Why you should pack these things
The section is very important and also, if the things take away a bit of space in the backpack, we are super glad that we have packed them.
The right mosquito net
Mosquito protection is very important in Southeast Asia. Mosquitoes are not only incredibly annoying, the little beasts unfortunately also transmit diseases such as dengue fever or even malaria.
Even in better accommodations, there are often no mosquito nets and we have our network regularly in use. It's also a good feeling to have a hole-free mosquito net with you and be able to fall back on it when in doubt.
In any case, we recommend that you bring a net box, as you will often - even if there are a lot of people claiming - have no hook over the bed of your accommodation.
Our mosquito net can be stretched on four bands on the long sides and on three bands on the shorter sides. Effectively, you only need about 4-6 ropes to stretch the net.
Another advantage of a box net is that the mosquito net at the end of the bed or at the side does not hang on you and you are not at night with any part of the body directly on the net. Otherwise the mosquitoes will simply sting you through the net. Conclusion: Only a coffered net makes sense for us.
What you must pay attention to when buying a mosquito net is the mesh size. There are countless cheap mosquito nets, but these are usually not suitable for all Southeast Asian countries, since their stitches are not dense enough. In the product descriptions, the mesh density is specified as "mesh" or "sq". You should pay attention to that.
The WHO recommends a mesh size of at least 156 sq. For malaria areas and at least 196 sq. In. For countries with sandflies. Our mosquito net has 1000 mesh.
During our research, we read that such a small mesh density is not suitable for hot countries, as they hardly allow air circulation.
We bought it anyway, because the particularly fine mesh size protects against all types of mosquitoes: Culx mosquitoes (malaria), Aedes (dengue fever, yellow fever, Chicungunya), sandflies and also biting midges.
In addition, there were several positive reviews from travelers who have also used it in Southeast Asia and lo and behold, we have no problems with air circulation and are very impressed with the quality.
The mosquito net is super processed, has proved to be very stable and so much participated. It is also easy to hang up and stowing in the bag is also fast. Also has a relatively small pack size.
The perfect travel pillow
The travel pillow is such a thing that is very important to Jenny because she has been looking for the optimal solution for a long time. There are people who can really sleep on almost any pillow (like Basti) and that's how admirable that is, Jenny can not.
She is a belly sleeper and should you be that, you can certainly understand how difficult it is to sleep on a 30cm high, board-like pillow, it z. B. in Thailand are very often.
She then tried alternatively on her folded sweater or a towel to sleep. Comfort is different.
After a long search, we finally found it and Jenny is now super happy with her travel pillow from Therm-a-Rest. It's not just easy to roll up, it's also really comfortable.
We have the smallest size (S), you absolutely sufficient. Another advantage is that you can just throw the travel pillow in the washing machine, and even in the dryer.
Panniers for order in your pocket
We have also become very fond of our panniers, because we can really bring order into our backpack.
Often we are longer in one place, but in between we travel so that every two days we are somewhere else and have to pack and unpack the backpack again and again.
Keeping it is a real challenge. With the panniers that works quite well and we find everything relatively fast.
Yoga mat for relaxing and training on the go
We both thought long and hard about how we could keep fit on the way. If you travel a lot, are always somewhere else and do sightseeing all day, maybe that's not necessary.
But we actually try to be in one place for several weeks, so we can focus on working. Then we often just sit in front of our laptops and actually move to the door just for lunch and dinner. Healthy is different!
Staying fit is just one of the reasons why we have a yoga or fitness mat in our luggage. If you travel a lot, you also need a method to get down.
For Jenny, this works with yoga and fitness exercises that require a good mat. It was not so easy to find a light and good mat at the same time, but we also found it here.
YOGO, so to speak Yoga to Go, is perfect for our purposes and even Basti uses it for his workout. Incidentally, he uses the app "Seven", which gives you a total body workout for seven minutes.
The YOGO yoga mat is originally from California, how can it be otherwise, but you can order it now in Germany.
Light, so you do not stand in the dark
We actually use our headlamp and flashlight relatively often.
On Koh Lanta z. For example, the way to our accommodation was not really lit and the beach was pitch dark so we had to walk back from the beach bar in the dark.
In Sri Lanka and the Philippines, blackouts are also commonplace, so we were thankful there too about our flashlights.
Another reason to bring a flashlight is that you no longer have to climb out of your mosquito net just to turn off the light. If in doubt, then you are totally destroyed.
Packing list Safety: This is how we protect ourselves and our equipment while traveling
Safety is always an important issue in travel planning. What we can least use when traveling is through incidents like a downpour destroying technology or occasional theft that leaves us without money, credit cards and passports.
For both, the probability can be minimized with little effort. In this section, we'll show you how we're doing.
Why you should definitely pack these things
The category is very important and also, if things take away some space in the backpack, we are very glad that we have packed them.
Pacsafe Travel Safe
Every time we are glad that we have decided to pack the Pacsafe. If you do not know the Pacsafe yet, here is a short explanation: The Pacsafe is a wire reinforced bag that you can tie to a solid object with a steel cord and a combination lock.
Many lodges do not have a safe and even if they have one, most of the time they are not screwed down or simply too small.
We have so much expensive equipment that we are really happy not to have to just leave it lying around in the room.
With the Pacsafe we can at least protect our laptops and credit cards from the typical occasional thieves, because the effort to cut the wire is just too big. Never again without!
Rain covers for the backpack, waterproof bags, a Drysack or alternatively a waterproof backpack are in our opinion an absolute must for every Southeast Asia trip.
Because in Southeast Asia, it does not rain like ours, it usually rains like from buckets. You should always remember that and protect your valuables (especially of course technology) at all times.
Packing list Photographic equipment: We have this photo equipment when traveling
Here we list the most important photo equipment. What else we have in our photo bags, you can read in our detailed article about our photographic equipment for the trip .
If you want to bring even better photos home in the future, we recommend our online photography course .
Checklist of photographic equipment
2 x Sony Alpha 7 ii + lenses
Morley of Hellolulu (Basti)
Norris of Hellolulu (Jenny)
Camera protection wraps - to protect the equipment if you do not have a camera bag
Silica gel pouch - to protect against moisture
Bellows - to clean the camera
B + W Lenscleaner - to clean the lens
Microfibre Screen Cleaning Cloth - Microfibre cloth for cleaning the lens
Anti-static brush - to clean the camera
Why we packed this photo equipment
We are mostly on the road with two Sony Alpha 7ii . Since photography is an important part of our profession, we also travel with professional cameras. Of course, not everyone needs that.
A good and cheaper alternative is the Sony Alpha 6000 , which we have used for a long time and can definitely recommend.
Also very important for us is the Rollei travel tripod, which is perfect for travelers due to its compact size and low weight!
Here are a few cool articles and links to photography that you are interested
Are you looking for the right camera for you? Then read through our camera purchase advice article in which we show you the different camera systems and explain you, which is the best option for you.
Do you have a Sony Alpha 6000 or another Sony camera with E-Mount connection and are looking for the right lens? Which lens is best for you, we explain here: Sony Alpha 6000 Lenses - Overview and our recommendations for E-Mount lenses .
Packing list technology: We are on the way with this technology
2x Macbook Pro - our work tools
1 x iPad - to watch movies and surf in bed or on the plane super suitable
Kindle Paperwhite - a lot of books on one device
Sony Headphones MDR-1000X - Noise Canceling - Genial! We'll never give them back!
2x Airpods headphones - practical in sports, good sound
1TB SSD hard drive - backup photos
Travel adapter - necessary depending on the country
3 port USB charger - for charging various devices
2 x USB cable - also for charging
Power Bank - to charge on the way (Attention: not in the checked baggage, but only in hand luggage!)
What should you wrap up with?
We definitely have more technology and photographic equipment than clothes. But that's a good thing. Because we work independently of location, we are relatively insecure without technology.
Headphones that sweeten your life
Jenny's new headphones save her from any noise when she does not want to hear him and allow her to work concentrated everywhere. Besides, that's her way of just turning off and saying goodbye to her own world when she needs rest.
The great thing about the headphones are also its features. With the Noise Canceling feature, you can easily turn off ambient noise, and with the Ambience Sound feature, you'll miss out on some of the ambient sounds. B. at the airport or at the station despite headphones no important announcement.
And the headphones make it even easier. That may be a very personal problem, but maybe you know that too: you have headphones on, someone says something and you do not hear a word. Then you have to take off your headphones every time. Annoying!
With our new Noise Canceling Headphones, Jenny simply taps with one hand on the outside of the right auricle and then the music is very quiet and you hear what the other has to say. These are all little things, but once you get used to it, you do not want to go without it!
Ordinary external hard drives, so nothing is lost
We only have SSD disks on the way, because we can work directly from them. On the 1 TB SSD we have saved the raw files of the photos and can directly edit our photos with the connected SSD hard drive with Lightroom .
On the 480 GB SSD hard drive, we then again save all images that have been added during the journey. On our video files are stored, so that we can again cut directly from the SSD hard drive our travel videos .
If we have a good internet connection then we will play the photos again on our Synology.
Packing list Badartikel: We travel with these hygiene articles
In this section you will find all our bath products that we have on the way. Again, we are relatively minimalist way and have now found our perfect equipment.
Especially our silicone bottles accompany us from the beginning and we never want to give them back. But more on that below.
Checklist bath products
Osprey Wash Bag - Extremely light and very practical
Silicone bottles - filled with shampoo, conditioner shower lotion / alternative: solid shower gel shampoo, eg. B. Carlos Coco of shower chunks
Sonic toothbrush Sonicare Flexcare - Never again - incl. Travel case
Nail File Nail Clipper
Hairbrush - small and space saving
Aluminum-free deodorant cream from Wolkenseifen - The stuff is really great!
Beard Trimmer (Basti)
30s sunscreen - is usually much more expensive on site!
Lip protection - SPF 50