Ultimate packing guide for Vietnam

When it comes time to pack for your trip to Vietnam there are a few things you need to consider. How long are you going for? What season are you visiting in? What accommodation are you staying at?

Our ultimate packing guide has been based on our experience- is a two week trip in April (just before summer kicks in) and having stayed in a variety of accommodation styles (from a homestay to luxury hotels).

Below is a list specific for Vietnam, but click here for a checklist for carry on luggage. You can print this off and tick as you pack!

Click here for a printable version of the below checklist.

Packing for Vietnam

Clothing Packing List

Backpack: If you’re travelling to the Mekong Delta and staying in a homestay then you’ll need a backpack as you’ll be getting on and off boats and suitcases are just inconvenient!

I would recommend using your backpack as your carry on luggage for the flight over.

Waterproof jacket: Depending on your season, you may need to be prepared with a lightweight waterproof jacket. But.. when it rains, it pours! Chances are you’re better off jumping into the closest bar or restaurant to take cover and head out a short while later.

Summer dresses: Obviously for the girls, but you’ll live in summer dresses! It’s hot and humid most of the year- so you’re best to wear comfortable cotton dresses.

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Shorts: If you aren’t a dress wearer then you’ll live in shorts. Try and get some linen shorts or something lightweight to help with the heat.

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Singlets/Tops: Again, to keep you cool! But you can pick up some cotton and linen shirts at the markets over there which are lightweight and very cheap. They will help keep you cool! Hoi An in particular, has a lot of clothing for sale for good prices!

Walking shoes and socks: You will, of course, be doing a lot of walking so make sure you have some comfortable shoes and that, of course, means socks to go with them! You only need maybe two pairs and you can always wash and re-wear!

Swimwear: You will no doubt be doing some swimming! Whether it is at the hotel or in the gorgeous Halong Bay you will need your swimwear!

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Underwear: I shouldn’t need to mention it, but don’t forget your underwear!!

Hat: An absolute must! You will need protection from the sun. If you do forget, you can pick up a traditional Vietnamese hat along the way.

thewelltravelledman packing for vietnam


You will need the usual toiletries plus a few extra bits and pieces. Here is our list.

The usual stuff: Shampoo, conditioner, soap, face moisturiser (preferably one with SPF if you can), toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant and a razor.

Sunscreen: With the sun as hot as it is here, you should apply sunscreen every day!

Mosquito Repellent: You will thank me for this one. The mosquitos are everywhere and if you’re like Jenna – you will be prone to get many… many bites. She forgot to put some on for our half day tour to Cu Chi Tunnels and got attacked massively by mozzies!

Hand sanitiser: You may be caught in a less than ideal bathroom situation where there is no sink and soap! This will come in handy!

Travel tissue packets: Always carry one small tissue travel pack with you at all times. If you’re caught in one of those less than ideal bathroom situations, chances are there will be no toilet paper – this will again, come in handy!

Medical items: Pack things such as band-aids, medicine for a sore tummy, headache tablets and any other medicine you normally take.

Technology Packing List

Camera: An absolute must! Don’t forget to pack some spare batteries so you don’t get stuck with a dead battery.

GoPro: If you have one – remember to pack it along with your handles, waterproof floating handle etc.

Laptop: If you’re like me, you will probably take so many photos you’ll fill up your memory card. I like to download my memory card every second night and back up on the laptop and/or external hard drive. Two reasons, I like to keep them sorted as I go as it takes less time when I get home and secondly if something happens to my camera and memory card I haven’t lost an entire holiday, just one or two days.

Headphones: We each have a pair of the Bose noise cancelling headphones – mainly for the plane but you can use it if you’re doing day trips and have a bit of driving!

Headphone splitter jack: If you don’t know what this is and you travel with someone you should get this! It means you can both plug into the jack and watch the same movie or listen to the same music.

Converter power plug: You will need the correct power plug to charge your devices so make sure you have at least one of these, perhaps getting one that has additional USB charges on the side!

Other tips!

Travel Insurance: Now you may not need to ‘pack’ this, but you should absolutely get your travel insurance sorted before you go. Click here to read more!

Have we missed something off the list? Let us know in the comments below!

“The life you have led doesn’t need to be the only life you have.” – Anna Quindlen




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