So it is official, you are going to Southeast Asia. You feel anxious but ready. You are trying to be organized, but everything seems to be too chaotic. You are trying to plan your travels at the same time you are trying to figure out where to throw a farewell party. Time goes by fast.
You check a list that was created month ago and you are frightened. Nothing is done. Vaccination. Passports. Adapter. Fuck! How can time go so fast? Ok, let’s focus. One item by one. But where to start? I am losing all my confidence if I leave without forgetting something it is gonna be a miracle!
I felt like this for like a month before leaving to Southeast Asia for 6 months. I was thinking that I can pack like a pro in an hour and of course, I could. But it was the part when I had to put everything together that took most of my time. So this is just a small heads up to all of you who feel miserable, lost and frustrated. You can do it, just read the list below, see what is still missing and put a check mark next to every item that you are done with. Happy packing!
1. Passport & visa
The most important thing when traveling abroad. Make sure you have a passport that will not expire in next 6 months. Sometimes it would be a good idea to even have a second passport. Some countries allow that. It can be handy if you are planning to visit countries that do not like each other. Or it might be helpful for example in Thailand when motorbike rental wants a passport as a deposit.
Check online countries you are planning to visit and their visa requirements. For me as a Czech citizen, I had to arrange a visa to Myanmar and Vietnam online. To Cambodia and Laos, a visa is arranged on arrival. In Indonesia and Thailand, you can stay for one month without a visa. In Malaysia, you can stay for 3 months without visa.
2. Money & credit cards
Make sure that you pack some cash to exchange it for local currencies. Euros and dollars are exchangeable in all Southeast Asia countries. In addition to that check on your credit cards the expiration day as well as a withdrawal limit you have. Another useful tip would be to warn your bank that you are traveling to those countries, thus they will not have to worry about withdrawals abroad.
As you are traveling to exotic countries, some vaccinations are recommended by doctors. Among those useful ones are Hepatitis A/B, Typhoid fever & Rabies.Check with your doctor which one you need and also get an international vaccination card to take with you.
4. Travel insurance
Do not forget to arrange a travel insurance while abroad. Also, check the coverage of insurance especially if you are planning on diving or other extreme sports. Also, do not forget to take an insurance card with you. This card usually include an emergency number in case of something happens.
5. International driving license
As you will probably need to drive a motorbike or a car, an international driving license is a must. Two types exist – one year and three-year international license, thus check at the office, which one you need. Usually you can rent a motorbike without an international driving license, however, when you get stopped by police, they want to see it.
You won’t need to take the whole closet with you. The less you take the better. You will find out that you are wearing a swimming suit and pair of shorts and shirts all the time anyway. Laundry service is usually on every corner, thus you don’t have to be afraid of not having anything to wear. Just do not forget to take a jacket, long sleeve shirt and long trousers with you, as it can get chilly sometimes. Also, a raincoat would be a good idea, especially if you are coming to Asia during a rainy season.
2 pair of shoes is sufficient unless you are planning some serious hiking. In that case, I would recommend adding proper trekking shoes to your sneakers and flip flops.
You are probably planning to take a camera, smartphone, notebook or iPad with you. Make sure that you have all necessary chargers and universal adapter with you as every country might use different electricity sockets. Also make sure that you take your electronics in a handbag to make sure, that it will not get broken or stolen.
9. Medicine kit
Even though it is quite easy to buy any kind of medicine in Southeast Asia, it is always good to have some basic medicine on you. I always pack pills for a headache, digestive problems, and flue. Also, plaster for blisters and peroxide for cleaning wounds is a good idea.
10. Hygiene and cosmetics
Again, it is quite easy to buy all kinds of cosmetics abroad, so take what is REALLY necessary for you. The other thing I recommend to take from home is tampons as they are not easy to get in some countries, eg. Indonesia or Myanmar. Do not forget to take a sun cream protection and lip balm. Mosquito spray can be bought in every country of Southeast Asia for a cheaper price.
Hope you liked the article and you managed to pack like a pro! Happy Travels and don’t forget to share this post or PIN the picture below for later.