Meg’s Southeast Asia Packing List & Budget – 2 months

Packing is by far the worst part of traveling. The WORST I say! There is always that fear that you won’t bring that crucial item you will need when you are deep in the jungle (or getting ready for a night out in a trendy capital city).

Golden rule: Less is more.

Plus, I love buying stuff during my travels. Nothing says I’m more worldly than you like a purse from a country you’ve never visited.

Where am I going again? Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Thailand.


My packing is easier than usual because it will be INSANELY hot and stickily humid in Southeast Asia. That means no bulky jeans or fleeces will be weighing me down. Yippee!

My itinerary is a mix of cities, beaches and hiking in malaria filled jungles, but basically I will be wearing the same thing every 5 days. It will be rainy season and therefor I do need to pack for the regular afternoon monsoon.

My Packing List


  • 7 tank tops
  • 2 t-shirts
  • 3 dresses (Because I’m a lady)
  • 1 pair of shorts
  • 2 pair of black tights (For airplane rides & yoga)
  • 2 swimsuits
  • 10 pairs of underwear & 3 bras & 2 pairs of hiking socks
  • 1 light scarf (cover up for temples)
  • 3 pairs of shoes: Salomon Trail Runners, 1 pair of flippie-floppies and sneaker flats

Practical Stuff:

  • Outdoor Research Ditty Bags (Must for living out of a backpack. Shirts in one bag, dresses in another, etc)
  • Number lock (Because I lose those little keys too easily)
  • Travel towel
  • Mini-speaker
  • 16 GB USB
  • Headlamp
  • Swiss army knife (I rarely use this but when I do, I’m very happy that I have it)
  • 4 books (Next trip, I’m investing in a Kindle)
  • Camera
  • iPhone (with SurvivalPhrases podcasts – Basic Vietnamese & Thai)
  • Small backpack for day hikes
  • Sleep mask & earplugs

Rain Gear:

  • Mini-umbrella
  • Waterproof Outdoor Research Kayak bag
  • Patagonia rain jacket (the joys of traveling during rainy season)

Health Stuff:

  • Copy of travel vaccines
  • Emergency-C
  • A bag full of malaria pills, I-have-to-run-to-the-bathroom-right-NOW pills, antibiotics, ibuprofen, etc
  • My favorite green tea (I’m not exactly sure why I’m bringing green tea to Asia but…. I am.)

What I’m not bringing:

  • Netbook/Tablet – So I’ll be blogging from internet cafes around Asia when I can. I am determined to keep this baby up to date but I’m warning you that the photos will be untouched.


This is always an important part because I feel like so many people don’t get out an explore the world because they feel like it is beyond their financial reach.

  • Daily Budget: $30/day
  • Flight to Asia: $1,200 on Southern China Air, Seattle –> Hanoi, Bangkok –> Vancouver, BC (it was cheaper than flying back to Seattle)
  • Flights within Asia: $450
  • Adventure Travel Insurance: $150 from (policy covers elephant rides)
  • Travel Clinic Appointment & Prescriptions & Vaccines: $460 OUCH! I forgot how ludicrously expensive the US healthcare systems is for the uninsured. (Is it 2014 yet?)


  1. Lisa B · June 13, 2013

    Enjoyed your packing blog – got me laughing!! Too true, especially the part about people thinking it is too expensive to travel. Slurp some noodle soup for me!!! Lisa B

  2. k2 · June 20, 2013

    Great to see you writing here. I shall be along with you in spirit, I love Asia and miss it already. Enjoy. You are loved in the PNW. -k2

  3. Tiffani · August 8, 2013

    loving all of this!! how did I not find your blog a long time again! can’t wait to share stories with you whenever you return! xoxo

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