Packing List

Below is a list of need-to-have things when travel to Vietnam.

Important Travel Docs:

  • Passport (with at least 6 months validity left!)
  • Full Visa Stamp from a Vietnamese Embassy or Letter of Approval to complete Visa On Arrival (VOA) at airport
  • Extra passport-sized photos (will need one for VOA, if you’re doing this)
  • Travel Insurance
  • Vaccinations
  • Your information on backup! Either on a piece of paper or even better, stored in your email, for example: a copy of your passport, your bank account and credit/debit cards information, your bank’s phone number in case you lose your bank cards, your embassy’s address and phone number in Vietnam, the emergency numbers for Vietnam (police, ambulance), your hotel phone and address (if you have booked in advance)
  • Ladies: Sanitary napkins or tampons, if you like to use a specific brand.

Travel kits:

  • Emergency kit, including insect repellent, band aids, triple antibiotic, any over the counter medicines you may use, like antacids, ibuprofen or sleeping meds for the plane ride
  • Medications
  • Adaptor – 220V, 50Hz; 2 pin plugs
  • Toiletries, including:
        Body lotion or oils
        Toothbrush, toothpaste
        Shaving needs (razor, cream, etc.)
        Nail clipper, nail file, foot pumice, nail polish
        Shampoo and conditioner
        Soap bar or liquid soap


  • Camera and batteries or charger
  • Mobile phone and charger
  • Laptop and charger
  • Music player and charger

Other things:

  • Travel guide book, and other reading books or magazines
  • Travel diary
  • Sunglasses
  • Small daypack (for day and overnight trips)
  • Water bottle and helmet (for cycling trips)

Clothes: most of Vietnam is hot but Northern Vietnam can be quite cold from October to January. If you plan to visit during this time or visit the mountain area such as Sapa or Da Lat, bring a coat. Otherwise pack mostly light cotton clothes for the humid summer.

  • Swimsuits: if you are planning for the beach

Footwear: if you plan to walk a lot, bring a pair of walking shoes. Flip-flops are also popular options. However, sandals are recommended if you want to visit pagodas, museums and mausoleums.

This is general advice for travelers. Exceptions may apply to business travelers or those with special needs:

  • Clothes that need ironing: you will not have time, nor will you find an iron or electricity to polish your outfit.
  • Large size shampoos, bathing cream, mouthwash, toothpaste, etc. Unless you aren’t really particular about what to use, because you can always buy these when you get to Vietnam in stores or markets.
  • Jewelry and valuables: avoid wearing flashy and valuable jewelry when you go out, just in case.
  • Raincoats: in Vietnam raincoats are for sale at many street stands are dirt cheap.

Note: Domestic airlines do impose restrictions on baggage at approx 20kg maximum, so travel lightly where possible. Train cabins around the country and boat cabins in Halong Bay have limited space so consider this when packing.