Vetnam is among the top attractive destinations of the world with a number of breathtaking landscapes, delicious street foods and friendly locals. And no matter how many times you travel, it’s always helpful to write down the items you should and shouldn’t take along. The following packing list covers not only must-have items but also what is no need to bring for a hassle-free trip in Vietnam.
- Passport and Visa: Two important things for all abroad trips. Make sure that your passport is valid for at least 6 months from your planned stay. A travel tip is that you should bring along photocopies of your passport and visa in case you lose their originals.
- Travel insurance : Considering that you may run into unexpected misfortunes which may be an accident with your legs while climbing, for example. Vietnam health care service is good but it is also expensive. Besides, travel insurance will be helpful in case your flight is cancelled or other hassles. Do not forget to keep its printout with you!
- Money in cash : As you will buy foods, drinks along the street and other things in small stores, keep enough cash if they don’t accept your credit cards. However, you could bring some other kind of credit card as a backup like VISA and Master card which are widely accepted in Vietnam. If you'd like to know more, read our post MONEY IN VIETNAM & HANDY TIPS: Banks, ATMs, Cards, Currency Exchange, Vietnamese Bills
- A Vietnam SIM card : You can buy it at the airport when arriving in Vietnam. It is more convenient than going to a telecom store. For more information, read our post SIM CARD, WIFI, DATA PLAN - ULTIMATE GUIDE TO STAY CONNECTED IN VIETNAM
Nothing beats soft shell bags or middle-sized bags if you are traveling by buses and trains around regions in Vietnam since they can be easily fit into the overhead compartments.
Daypacks or backpacks – other options for short tours around cities. They make it easier to carry a water bottle, snacks, sunscreen and other essentials with you all the time. And you can keep your souvenirs you buy in your bags without any extra plastic bags.
- The kind of clothing you choose to bring to Vietnam sometimes depends on which places you go to. Generally, during summer (May to October), it is hot and quite humid in Vietnam but temperatures will ranges from 17 to 22 degrees Celsius in cool season – November to April.
- If traveling in summer, it is advisable for you to bring light package with cotton or linen clothing which helps beat the heat and makes you stay dry and comfortable.
- T-shirts and jean shorts may also be packed to help you feel cool.
- AVOID denim or heavy fabrics because you may be bathed in sweat and they do not dry quickly as well.
- For the rain or cool season, light rain coat or plastic poncho is highly recommended due to its convenience when you spend on cycling or motorcycling tours around cities without getting wet.
- As you will do daily walks, it is lightweight walking shoes that let your feet free and well protected. A pair of flat sandals is also a good choice in your packing list which is for short-distance walk at night.
- Standard shoes which are designed for trekking or outdoor activities are unnecessary if you are not a professional trekker.
- Do not forget to get some flip flops if you want to go for sunbathing in the beach.
- It could be beneficial to bring some rolls of toilet paper with you while traveling to Vietnam. Though hotels or restaurants are equipped with toilet facilities, hardly may you find toilet paper in bus stop restrooms or camping areas.
- For sweaty days or long hikes, a small towel will keep you dry.
- A hat and sunglasses help you block UV light and protect your eyes from strongly shining sunlight in Vietnam.
- Sunscreens are obviously needed. As Vietnam, a Southeast Asian country, experiences a high UV index so the sun ray can affect on your skin. Sunscreens with SPF of at least 30 are suitable for your trip during the summertime.
- Insect repellent is also a must-have. Tropical climate in Vietnam is a “good chance” for insects such as mosquito to proliferate and you may be extremely angry when getting bitten all the time.
- Power adapters should be included in your packing list as most Vietnamese hotels uses a variety of different 2 or 3 pin plug sockets.
- Chargers and power bank are also needed for your electronics. They are very helpful for long bus or train.
- A smart phone, camera and other electronic devices are must-have items. You will take a lot of photos; sometimes you need something to entertain or phone can be used to book transports on the Grab app or to search on Google maps in case you get lost.
- Memory card with at least 32GB is also needed for backing up photos and videos during the trip.
- A guide book – You will need it to find important information about hospitals, places for money exchange and etc. Do not forget to get the updated version of a guide book since the date of locations or phone numbers of places will have changed.
- Location information – before traveling to Vietnam, you should look for and take note of everything about Vietnam such as the address, phone number of your hotel, local maps, public transportation routes, entertainment and so on. Being knowledgeable of your place makes your better and full trip.
- The above list tells you what should be included in your package. And please remember the lighter it is, the more convenient you will be in your trip. You become freedom and flexible to move quickly through airports without buying extra luggage, for example. Let’s check out the list of stuff you should move out.
Too much clothes and shoes
- It’s no need to bring so many pants, jeans or some other casual clothes. Even you stay in a 4 or 5 stars hotel, short and T-shirt still can make you feel like home thus you can buy (except extra size) or make it here cheaply.
- A pair of fasten sandals with good gripping soles is enough for you to walk for miles.
- As simple as possible as 24 hours laundry service is mostly available in your hotel or other places nearby. For example, if you have a 10-day trip in Vietnam, clothes for 3-4 days are enough.
Forget about rain gear, toiletries and etc while packing for Vietnam trip since most of those things can be purchased in convenient stores, groceries or supermarkets with low price. A small tip for you is that Vietnamese hotel receptionists are fount of knowledge. If you tell or describe to them what you want to buy, they will know where to get it.
You do not have to put all the medicines in your luggage. Instead, you can take pictures of the prescription medication that you’re on or the medicines that you tend to bring along then get them from a pharmacy when you arrive in Vietnam. What if you don’t know where to buy it? Ask the receptionist. In the other hand, medicines only heal your health problem when you’ve already got sick.
Some items that are illegal such as: drugs, cocaine or weapons which are absolutely prohibited. And also must not bring pornography, CDs, DVD or immoral literatures if you don’t want to “be annoyed” by the airport customs.
Leave all your valuable jewelry at home if you do not want to feel stressed on your trip. In case you must bring it, don’t flash your jewelry, cash or expensive camera around. To be honest, some of your stuff is probably worth at least a month wage to a local.
Food is not absolutely needed. Vietnam is a heaven of food. You can find all sorts of food around your planned stay. There’s a fact that many tourists came to Vietnam and had a whopping percentage of their memories of the country are food-related. So don’t miss out any chance to try Vietnamese food and if you want to try it but don’t know where to start, check out on our Best of Saigon Street Food Tours by Motorbikes or post VIETNAM FOOD BUCKET LIST.