Vietnam Packing List [Travel Essentials & What to Pack for Vietnam]



Known for sparkling rivers, stunning beaches, and enchanting Buddhist pagodas, the South Asian country of Vietnam on the South China Sea attracts thousands of tourists to its beautiful land every year.

Being one of the most traditional countries in that part of the world, Vietnam has been known for its otherworldly charm that has but little to do with the fast and mundane lives of the West.

So, check out our extensive read about the Vietnam packing list, right away!

Tip: Check out our complete first-timers guide to planning a trip to Vietnam and our travel gear section here.

What to Bring to Vietnam?

Before we go well into the details about outfits, it’s imperative that you all about the absolute essentials which you would have to keep at hand at all times during your trip.

Hoi An Basket Boat Tour Vietnam

So, here’s what to pack for Vietnam!

1. The kinds of travel bags

It’s no secret that Vietnam is a place of absolute elemental beauty, fraught with rugged terrain and dense woods with uncompromising grounds. It would be foolish to expect smooth roads or city streets for most parts of this country.

Since you could expect to travel mostly on foot in Vietnam, especially if you aren’t at one of its bigger cities, it’s only wise for you to opt for a well-padded, weather-resistant backpack for the purpose.

Although you could find so many plush and comfortable variants in this department, an ideal alternative could be wheely bags and easy-push, lightweight convertible trolleys that allow you to carry them as backpacks easily on your trips.

Hoi An Ancient Town Vietnam

2. Personal care and hygiene

Well, it goes without saying that these are the very first things that you should pack for your trip to anywhere! And, in our opinion, for a place like Vietnam, you better not leave it to luck or anything of that sort to find a place like Walmart or something when you’re going to be trudging along the countryside.

So here’s a brief list of all the things that you need while packing for Vietnam!

For women

Check out our recommendations for personal care and hygiene for women:

  • Everything related to feminine hygiene including sanitary pads, an extra pack of tampons or menstrual cups, hygiene washes and wipes.
  • Your own soap, shower gel, shampoo and sanitizers
  • Mosquito repellant and for very good reason (at all times!)
  • Pretty much everything associated with skincare from moisturizer to lip balm and everything in between!
  • A sunblock with high SPF and PA as you’re going to be traveling a lot. This is a pretty important thing for either gender.
  • Makeup (because can’t travel without that)
  • Your own toothpaste and toothbrush, manicure and pedicure kits
  • Body talc, facial wipes, and deodorant
How to get from Hanoi to Halong Bay

For men

Check out our recommendations for personal care and hygiene for men:

  • Soaps, body gels and shampoo
  • Skincare: moisturizer, lip balms, etc.
  • Sunblock with high SPF and PA (because men need it too!)
  • Wet wipes, an extra pack of tissues
  • Shaving and grooming kit, a handy nail cutter and files, etc.
  • Sanitizers
Hanoi to Sapa Day Trip

3. Medicines and first-aid kits

Now even if you did miss out on a thing or two from the personal hygiene slot while packing up, make sure that you don’t miss out on any of what we’re going to discuss right now. Packing a proper first-aid kit and med-pack should actually be at the top of your list.

And these are all that you’d require to make your kit:

First-aid kit

Check out our recommendations for first-aid kit:

Tailored Dress made in Hoi An Vietnam - Hoi An Tailors


Check out our recommendations for a medi-pack:

You could also keep a resuscitation kit at hand that would include everything from the mask, pocket airways, and resuscitation bag.

Victoria Hoi An Vietnam

4. Travel electronics

Check out our recommendations for travel electronics:

5. Other accessories

Check out our recommendations for other travel accessories:

6. Travel documents

Check out our recommendations for travel documents that you may need:

  • Passport (should be valid for the next six months from your arrival or entry in Vietnam)
  • Your Visa
  • Return ticket (immigration officer might just ask to see it)
  • Accommodation confirmation
  • Travel Insurance
  • Photocopies of your Visa and passport

What to Wear in Vietnam & What to Pack

So this is actually the most challenging part of the packing list for Vietnam. As we’ve already mentioned, this traditional country abides by certain strict rules when it comes to the correct Vietnam attire and anybody coming into their land is expected to respect the cultures of the country, especially while traveling to holy and sacred places.

Phap Tran Hoi An basket boat tour

Although there are no restrictions as such for western clothes in that sense, the only thing to avoid primarily is showing skin all that much.

Some of the basics that your packing list for the Vietnam trip should include are:

For women

Check out our recommendations for what to pack for Vietnam for a woman:

Indochina Junk Halong Bay Relaxation


Check out our recommendations for swimwear:

  • Could pack two regular and two sports bras
  • Two pairs of bikinis if you’re going to hit the beach
  • 5-6 pairs of underwear

For men

Check out our recommendations for what to wear for men:

  • A pair of travel shorts, preferably with a lot of pockets and two pairs of regular shorts
  • 4-5 cotton T-shirts with one athletic one (you could also pack a couple of tank tops)
  • A pair of long trousers
  • A thin long-sleeved shirt
  • 3-4 pairs of socks
  • A couple of pairs of lightweight swim shorts
  • A pair each of hiking/walking shoes or boots, closed shoes, flip-flops/sandals
  • A security/waist belt
  • Check out our recommendations for men’s travel gadgets here
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Packing for kids

If you’re traveling with kids to Vietnam, there could be a few stuff that you may not get there easily. In these cases, do include the following in your Vietnam packing list:

  • All of their medications along with prescriptions
  • Cotton clothes
  • Entertaining or recreational stuff (toys, coloring books, tv shows to watch, storybooks, travel books, etc.)
  • Toilet papers and wet wipes
  • Rubbish bags (avoid littering!)
  • Comfortable footwear, swimwear, floaters, and goggles
  • Sunblock for kids
  • Sufficient supply of underwear, hats, water-bottles
  • Detangling hairspray, hair ties, and combs
  • And their own suitcase because every kid needs one!
Vietnam Markets

Additional Information for Vietnam

Check out our recommendations for additional reading for before you venture out to Vietnam:

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Jolene Ejmont

Originally from South Africa, now living in Australia, Jolene is a wife and a mother to three beautiful daughters. Together with her family, she is embarking on a journey towards changing her current stress-filled life to one focusing on her dreams and her passion for travel. She wants to share her stories in the hope to inspire you to chase your own dreams!