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.
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.
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!
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
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.
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:
Check out our recommendations for first-aid kit:
- Gauze pads (a minimum of 4 by 4 inches)
- A small pack of adhesive bandages
- Two large gauze pads (8 by 10 inches)
- A gauze roller bandage
- Two triangular bandages
- Antiseptic, wound cleaning agents such as betadine
- Scissors and tweezers
- Two elastic wraps, adhesive tape, and a splint
Check out our recommendations for a medi-pack:
- Sterile gauze pads
- Medicines for stomach problems
- Analgesics and pyrigesic
- Meds for cough and the common cold
- Vitamin C tablets
- Antiseptic ointments and sanitizers
You could also keep a resuscitation kit at hand that would include everything from the mask, pocket airways, and resuscitation bag.
4. Travel electronics
Check out our recommendations for travel electronics:
- Multi-port chargers
- Your phone and its respective charger
- Laptop or iPads and their respective chargers
- Headphones and headphone splitters (if you’re traveling with someone)
- Your camera (obviously)
- Wires and data cables
- Data cards
- Power banks (really important!)
5. Other accessories
Check out our recommendations for other travel accessories:
- Packing Cubes
- Sleeping bags and sheets
- Water coolers, preferably with a water filtration system
- Large flashlights
- Smaller LED flashlights
- A microfiber towel
- Sunshades! (a must)
- A Vietnamese dictionary on your phone
- Headwear (if you plan to ride a bike)
- Ziplocks (immensely important!)
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.
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:
Check out our recommendations for what to pack for Vietnam for a woman:
- Cotton shirts (pack at least 1)
- Dresses (pack a long and a short one)
- Shorts (pack two sports types and a regular/denim type)
- A pair of leggings (could be used underneath a skirt)
- A long sleeve (useful for places where you’d need to cover yourself up)
- Socks(3-4 pairs depending on where you’re going, especially if you’re planning to visit North Vietnam in the winters) (check out our recommended compression socks for travel here)
- Walking and hiking shoes
- A lightweight sarong or a big scarf which you could use with leggings at sacred places
- A pair of walking or hiking shoes
- A pair of flip-flops or casual sandals
- A lightweight rain jacket
- A security/waist belt
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
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
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!
Additional Information for Vietnam
Check out our recommendations for additional reading for before you venture out to Vietnam:
- Check out our 5-day itinerary for North Vietnam here
- Find out the 10 best places to visit in Vietnam
- Take a look at 10 best tour packages in Vietnam here
- Read about our recommendations for best resorts and hotels in Vietnam