Southeast Asia Packing List | Backpacking Essentials Asia in 2022 - A Broken Backpack (2023)

Backpacking Southeast Asia soon? In this guide, we’ll help you figure out what to pack for backpacking Southeast Asia. We’ll divide our Southeast Asia packing list into different sections to help you pack everything you need.

When it comes to packing for Asia, it may be challenging at first – especially if this is your first backpacking trip to Southeast Asia!

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Without further ado, let’s start with the basics.

Southeast Asia Packing List | Backpacking Essentials Asia in 2022 - A Broken Backpack (1)

Contents hide

(Video) WHAT TO PACK FOR LONG TERM TRAVEL IN 2022 (carry-on only) | Regrets + Tips

Best Travel Clothes For Asia

Choosing A Luggage For Southeast Asia

Getting Ready For Your Trip To Southeast Asia

Final Thoughts On Backpacking Essentials For Asia

Medical Supplies & Travel Insurance

The first thing to pack for Southeast Asia is a few medical supplies and good travel insurance. If you’re planning on traveling long-term, I’d recommend Safetywing. That said, you can read our guide on long-term travel insurance to help you decide.

When in Southeast Asia, you should make sure to be careful with what you eat. After all, having a completely new diet could lead to digestion problems.

After being in Bali for so long everybody seems to know what a “Bali Belly” is. We’ve all been there, struggling with a dodgy stomach and running for that toilet that suddenly seems to be super far!


Between the toilet marathon and the flu caused by a pretty powerful AC, there is a high chance that you’ll get sick at some point.

You shouldn’t have to tiptoe around what you eat because you have a big adventure planned for the day. Travelan helps you to enjoy all your experiences while traveling – including the food.

Travelan is a packing essential, especially while traveling in Southeast Asia, as you can avoid the expected and unexpected stomach issues that come with the territory. You can take one capsule before your meal and let Travelan do the rest.

Make sure you bring a first aid kit that includes tablets for headaches and stomach troubles.

Of course, if you ask me, I’m not always prepared for the worst but it can be quite easy to find a pharmacy with the medical supplies you might need abroad.

If you’re about to board a plane or an overnight bus with a dodgy stomach you might not have the time to run to the pharmacy!

I met many people who hurt themselves while they’re abroad and of course, you could be luckier than them or than me! We can’t prevent everything though!

What if you break your tooth, if you get a naughty bladder infection or if you crash your scooter? It can be quite hard to avoid infections in Asia. A minor cut can become pretty nasty quickly!

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Wondering Where To Buy What You Need For Your Travels In Asia?

We love how convenient Amazon is. Do you?

Best Travel Clothes For Asia

Make sure tohave comfortable clothes for traveling to Asia. Think of tank tops, elephant pants, and fluffy clothing. In fact, they are pretty popular amongst backpackers!

Good news – you can always shop for a new travel wardrobe in Southeast Asia knowing that many other people will also buy some of these trendy comfy clothes.

You should also pack comfortable travel clothing prior to your trip!

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(Video) Hostel packing list UPDATED 2022 version - essentials for backpacking

Accessories To Survive The Tropical Weather In Southeast Asia

Grab your straw hat, your sarong, your sunnies and put a bit of sunscreen on and you should be ready to hit the best beaches in Southeast Asia!

Let’s talk about what to pack for Southeast Asia. You know you want to bring all the essential backpack supplies for your upcoming trip!

(These links could bring you to Amazon)

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Camera Gear & Tech

Unless your phone takes pretty good pictures already, you might want to consider bringing a camera with you while you’re in Southeast Asia.

I personally always travel with my GoPro and with a few accessories such as a head mount, tripod and underwater case. If a GoPro is a bit out of your budget you could also check out alternatives for underwater cameras.

You should also consider bringing a power bank to charge your phone and other gadgets, especially when you’re on a plane or a long bus ride.

If you work online or if you like to travel with a laptop, you can always find cheap and convenient travel laptops that won’t take too much room in your backpack. Read more on how to choose the best laptop.

Southeast Asia Packing List | Backpacking Essentials Asia in 2022 - A Broken Backpack (5)

Choosing A Luggage For Southeast Asia

There are a few things to consider when choosing a piece of luggage to travel to Southeast Asia.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself to help you decide:

  • Do you prefer to travel with a carry-on only?
  • Are you on a budget?
  • Do you have back pain?
  • What do you feel more comfortable with? A suitcase or a backpack?

These questions are important because the answer can influence your choice.

For example, if you can pack light, having a carry-on can be a smart choice. But, if you prefer to travel with large quantities of liquids, or if you have too much stuff to bring, you may want to bring a check-in luggage.

Then, if you are on a tight budget, you should know that some airlines in Asia charge for check-in luggage. That said, the price can be much higher, so if you’re on a budget, traveling with a carry-on luggage will save you money.

Now, if you have back pain, or if you don’t feel comfortable traveling with a backpack, you may want to pick a suitcase instead. Having a suitcase in Asia can be problematic if you travel by motorbike, but if you’re not planning on traveling around with a scooter, the suitcase can work too.


For several years, I traveled with a carry-on backpack (33 litres) and it was perfect for my needs at the time.

Eventually, I changed my luggage and had a backpack with wheels which was the perfect mix between a backpack and a suitcase.

But now that I have more equipment for work and that I work out a lot, I need to bring more stuff with me when I travel. I now travel with a check-in suitcase as well as a day backpack.

If you decide to travel with a backpack, you can read about the best waterproof backpacks or the best backpacks with wheels here.

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Alternatively, you’ll find information about a beautifully designed carry-on suitcase below.

Let me introduce you to the Road Runner Carry-on with a laptop pocket. It’s a great choice for long-term travelers and digital nomads.

This luggage has a front compartment with a laptop sleeve that provides easy access to your laptop and a lock for it so could keep your laptop secure.

It’s made by aerospace-grade Bayer Makrolon® Hard Shell which is light and durable, and water-resistant to protect your items.

It includes dual locks that are TSA-approved. We are talking about a combination lock and front-pocket lock. There are ultra-quiet 360° durable spinner wheels, making it easy to maneuver and allowing movement with small resistance.

Finally, this suitcase is suitable for most aircraft overhead compartments.

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Take a look at the different types of luggage available on Level8. You can also get 10% off using our coupon code: ABROKENBACKPACK10

Getting Ready For Your Trip To Southeast Asia

Here’s a quick Asia checklist of what you need to prepare before going to the next country in Southeast Asia:

  • Do you need a visa? If so, do you need to apply at the embassy or can you do it online? (If you’re heading to Cambodia or Vietnam, I already wrote about their visas!)
  • Do you know anything about the popular scams in this country? Better be safe than sorry!
  • Do you need a flight out of the country as proof of onward travel?

Final Thoughts On Backpacking Essentials For Asia

There you go, you have it – your complete backpacking Southeast Asia packing list. By now, you should know exactly what to pack for your trip to Southeast Asia.


Want more backpacking tips? Read one of the following blog posts:

  • Easy recipes for backpackers
  • Tips for staying in hostels
  • Thailand or Bali
  • Cheapest places to visit in Asia


What do you need to backpack Asia? ›

Good travel shoes are backpacking must haves
  1. Flip flops. Flip flops are a must for any Asia backpacker's travel packing list and Reef is the best brand. ...
  2. Thailand rope sandals. ...
  3. Long skirt and pants. ...
  4. Biker shorts. ...
  5. Comfortable bras. ...
  6. Hat. ...
  7. Rain jacket. ...
  8. Sarong.
13 Sept 2019

How much do you need to backpack Southeast Asia? ›

Plan to spend between $600 and $1400 per month, depending on your travel style. Budget backpackers sleeping at hostels and eating street-food can easily travel in Vietnam for $20 a day. The only activity requiring you to splash out on cash is a Halong Bay tour. Mid-range travelers will spend $35–$45 a day.

How much would it cost to backpack Asia for 3 months? ›

Note: To make a relatively accurate budget calculation for your South East Asia trip, plan for $50 – $60 per day for a couple, which equals $1,500 – $1,800/month. Plan on $35 – $40 per day for one person travelling, which equals $1,050 – $1,200/month. Now You Have a Southeast Asia Backpacking Budget!

When should I backpack Asia? ›

In general, the cool, dry season lasts from November to April across mainland Southeast Asia and the Philippines making this a good time to visit Thailand, Vietnam or Indochina, while Indonesia and Borneo are drier from April to October, and Malaysia offers year-round sun on one coast or the other.

What do you need to go to Asia? ›

To do this, you must have a passport in order and, generally, with a minimum validity of six months. The allowed time of visit is between 15 and 90 days, depending on the territory. For other countries such as Laos, Cambodia, Brunei, Vietnam, and Myanmar, you will most likely need a visa.

Is it safe to backpack in Southeast Asia? ›

Southeast Asia is an incredibly safe place to backpack and travel — even if you're traveling solo, and even as a solo female traveler. Violent attacks are rare. Petty theft (including bag snatching) is the most common type of crime in Southeast Asia, especially around popular tourist landmarks.

How do you backpack around Asia? ›

11 tips for backpacking Southeast Asia
  1. Plan around the weather. ...
  2. Get off the beaten track. ...
  3. Try the street food. ...
  4. Budget carefully – but have the odd splurge. ...
  5. Learn from the locals. ...
  6. Embrace the great outdoors. ...
  7. Make time for temples. ...
  8. Get high.

Is Southeast Asia cheap? ›

Southeast Asia is home to many different cultures, making it ideal for a wide range of experiences. Not only is it one of the cheapest places to travel to in the world, but its friendly people, great nightlife, delicious foods and diverse landscapes mean there's no reason for you to not want to visit.

How can I spend 2 weeks in Asia? ›

South-East Asia 2-week itinerary for budget travellers
  1. Day 1-2: Bangkok, Thailand.
  2. Day 3-4: Chiang Mai, Thailand. Bangkok to Chiang Mai: ...
  3. Day 5-6: Angkor Temples, Cambodia. ...
  4. Day 7-8: Phnom Penh, Cambodia. ...
  5. Day 9-10: Don Daeng, Laos. ...
  6. Day 11: Hue, Vietnam. ...
  7. Day 12: Nha Trang, Vietnam. ...
  8. Day 13-14: Ho Chi Minh (Saigon), Vietnam.
31 Aug 2018

Where can I backpack in Asia? ›

What are the best backpacking destinations in Asia?
  • Jordan. Jordan doesn't sound obvious at all when you think about backpacking, but this country is very suitable for this! ...
  • Cambodia. ...
  • Sri Lanka. ...
  • Laos. ...
  • Philippines. ...
  • Indonesia. ...
  • Malaysia. ...
  • 2 Vietnam.
13 May 2022

Are Packing cubes good for backpacking? ›

Yes! Packing cubes will make your backpacking trip so much easier. Your backpack will stay much more organised and you won't need to turn everything out onto the floor to find your toothbrush at the bottom of your bag!

How much money do you need for 6 months in Asia? ›

Average costs for Southeast Asia

On a longer trip, plan on spending about $35/day for one person on average, or about $1000/month. That's traveling as a backpacker, using budget accommodation and eating mainly local food. This number does not count pre-trip expenses.

How much money do you need for backpacking? ›

How much money should I save for my backpacking trip? Teaming up with another backpacker can save lots of money on hostels. As an approximate guide, I generally allow about $2,000 (£1,000 / €1,500) a month when backpacking around the world.

How much money do you need for 3 months in South America? ›

A good rule of thumb is you'll need about $1100 a month for traveling on a budget in South America (for one person). Of course, your average could get a lot lower if, say, you end up staying in a rural village in Bolivia to volunteer.

How much do you need to backpack around the world? ›

So, How Much Does it Cost? In general, you should expect it to cost between $25,000 to $35,000 per person to travel around the world for a year. This rough estimate comes from reading travel budgets of other bloggers, various travel planning resources, and our own experience. This is just the midrange.


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