Vietnam Packing List: What to Pack (2023 Guide)

Wondering what to pack for your trip to Vietnam? We were in the same boat once, and after a reader asked us this question, we decided to put together this complete Vietnam packing list guide.

Both Anna and I traveled all over Vietnam for 2 months, and as our long-time readers will know, it’s actually where we met, so the country is one of our favorites.

What to Pack For Vietnam?

As we say in all our packing list guides, do not overpack. Similar to other Asian countries, you really don’t need to take a lot with you. I personally rode a motorbike across Vietnam so I have added certain items to extra lists when applicable.

When planning to visit Vietnam, it’s important to consider the weather and the types of activities you’ll be participating in. Vietnam experiences tropical weather, with hot and humid temperatures in the summer months and cooler, wetter weather in the winter.

As a result, lightweight, breathable clothing and comfortable walking / hiking shoes are a must. Additionally, depending on your itinerary, you may want to pack items such as swimwear for beach activities, or rain gear for trekking in the North.

Lastly, don’t forget to bring along necessary items such as sunscreen, insect repellent, and a hat to protect yourself from the sun for your Vietnam trip! Although you can buy things like sunblock locally, we recommend bringing a brand that you’re already familiar with as there aren’t a lot of options.

Now, without further delay, here is a complete recommended packing list for Vietnam for both men and women.

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Choosing the Right Travel Bag for Vietnam

For any trip that I plan, the first thing I do is decide on what travel bag to take with me. Like most countries in Southeast Asia, Vietnam is rugged. Even in large cities, don’t always expect even pathways and sidewalks.

Visiting places like Hanoi, Hoi An, Sapa, or even Dalat offer you a huge variety of terrain and climates.

This is why we recommend backpacks which will give you a lot more mobility when moving around. In this table below, you can find some of our recommended backpacks for travel. If you have a bad back as I do, I also recommend getting a convertible backpack/wheely bag.

This will allow you to wheel your bag for the most part and carry it around when needed. We’ve been personally traveling with Osprey for the last few years and absolutely love all of their products. If you want more options, click on the button below to see our full guide on the best travel backpacks.

ProductProductFeaturesPrice
Osprey Farpoint 55
Osprey Farpoint
- Carry On Compatible
- Opens like a suitcase
- Padded Straps
- Recommended for Men
- Has a sleeve for electronics
Read Reviews
Osprey Fairview
Osprey Fairview
- Carry On Compatible
- Opens like a suitcase
- Padded Straps
- Recommended for Women
- Has a sleeve for electronics
Read Reviews
Nomatic Backpack

Nomatic Pack
- Multiple compartments
- Padded Straps
- Waterproof Material
Read Reviews

Vietnam Clothing Packing List

For the most part, Vietnam is a hot country! Even during monsoon season, expect to sweat despite the continuous rain. While there are some places in the country that relatively have cooler weather, it’s best if you plan what to pack around the heat and humidity.

Additionally when packing for a trip to Vietnam, just keep in mind that lightweight, breathable clothing such as cotton dresses, shorts, and tops are the best to combat the hot and humid weather.

Comfortable walking shoes are a must, as you’ll likely be doing a lot of exploring on foot. If you’re planning on visiting the beach, don’t forget to pack swimwear and sunscreen.

Other essential items to bring along include a hat for sun protection, insect repellent, and a lightweight rain jacket for the occasional rain shower.

Listed below are some of my recommended items for visiting Vietnam. These are the items that my partner Anna used to pack for Vietnam so our recommendations have been tried and tested!

vietnam-packing-list

Women

mens-southeast-asia-packing-list

Men

Editor’s Note: Check out our Vietnam Travel Guide featuring the best things to do, places to stay, and what to eat.

Accessories: Packing Essentials

What you bring on your travels to Vietnam will depend on your travel style is. As we are digital nomads, we do pack/carry more gadgets than the usual backpacker, so feel free to leave a few of the items out of your list.

Southeast-asia-packing-list

If Riding a Motorbike in Vietnam:

Riding a motorbike in Vietnam is a popular and convenient way to explore the country. However, it’s important to be prepared and bring along the necessary items to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

Some essential items to bring with you include a valid international driving license, a full face helmet, comfortable clothing, and a map or GPS device. Before setting off, make sure to familiarize yourself with local traffic laws and the road conditions, and always ride with caution to ensure a safe and memorable trip.

Here are some of the essential items that I brought with me during my 3 week motorbike trup across Vietnam.

Related: Travel Accessories: Must Have Items to Help You Travel Like a Boss

Travel Electronics

Bringing electronics when traveling to Vietnam can be useful for staying connected, capturing memories, and making travel easier. However, it’s important to consider the local conditions and regulations when deciding what to bring.

Power outlets in Vietnam are typically 220V, so you may need a voltage converter and plug adapter. It’s also a good idea to bring a backup battery or portable charger to ensure your devices stay powered.

For security, consider investing in a compact travel safe or padlock to keep your electronics and other valuables safe. Before leaving, make sure to check with your service provider about international roaming and data plans to avoid any unexpected charges. If you’re planning on traveling for longer, we recommend picking up a local sim to help you navigate around Vietnam.

Read: Best Travel Cameras: How to Choose the Perfect Camera 

vietnam-packing-gear
If you’re not a pro blogger/ photographer, we suggest to keep the electronics to a minimum.

Toiletries List for Vietnam

Women

Men

Again like we say for other countries when packing for Vietnam focus on which activity you will be doing most of.

If you are planning to ride a motorbike across the country take a few spare t-shirts that you won’t miss after the trip (trust me, you won’t want to wear after your trip!)

Transport  in Vietnam

Transportation in Vietnam is diverse and affordable, with a variety of options available depending on your budget and destination. The most popular forms of transportation include buses, trains, taxis, and motorbikes.

Buses offer a budget-friendly way to travel between cities and are convenient for those who want to avoid flying. Trains provide a comfortable and scenic way to travel, especially for longer journeys.

Taxis are a convenient option for those who prefer a private mode of transportation, while motorbikes are a popular choice for those who want to explore the country at their own pace. Whatever you do, just make sure you agree on a price before hand!

For those traveling to more remote areas of Vietnam, researching the transportation schedule ahead of time is important.

When it comes to booking buses, trains, or boats, we recommend using either Bookaway or 12Go website. You can easily look up schedules and book things on the go which is super handy, especially when traveling during peak seasons.

Accommodation in Vietnam

There are loads of places to stay in Vietnam for all types of budgets. There are hotels, hostels, guesthouses and more, all available for your booking at a much lower price than Western countries (win!).

Read our complete guide on where to stay in Vietnam.


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Tom Rogers

Chief of Adventure

Tom is the co-founder of Adventure in You and has been traveling the world for the last 9 years, living in 5 different continents. He is a passionate about adventure travel, entrepreneurship, and digital marketing. His advice on travel, gear, and building businesses have been featured on Foundr, Business Insider, Forbes, Yahoo! Travel and more. Wherever he is around the world, he can be found riding motorbikes and navigating his way through mountains and jungles keeping his mum perpetually worried

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