The ultimate South East Asia Packing list (free download)

Hi! I`m Malina. I am a solo traveller and photographer from Germany and right now I am on my biggest solo travel adventure in South East Asia! It is my second time backpacking in this corner of the world, so I wrote together all my (backpacking) essentials for Southeast Asia and created a full packing list (with little boxes to tick of what you packed) for you, that you can download in the end of this post for free

But first, here are my favortite products and things that made my life easier! As well as my camera equipment!

The right backpack:

I tried several backpacks, but   now I found the perfect one. It’s called the Nova 60, it’s big enough to fit everything and even has space for more things (believe me you will bring things from South East Asia home:))

It has a good adjustable back, a belt, great quality, many pockets, and the best feature is that you can open it like a suitcase, so you never need to take everything out and make a mess, but can just open it comfortable.

It’s from a German start up company called jour next and you get get it on their website or on amazon. 

Day bag:

Next to my main backpack I always bring a hand language backpack in which I carry my camera equipment and electronic devices during the flight. But even if you don’t bring a camera, I still recommend you to bring a day trip for tours and for food and drinks. No specific recommendation here, just anything that works for you!

Packing cubes

A must have. Taking cubes help you to stay organised while traveling. They also compress the clothes, so it’s easier to pack and you save a lot of space! I use these:

Bum Bag

On my first trip, I brought one of those thin money fanny packs, but later I realised that a normal bum bag was more comfortable as I could still keep my money save in the bag pocket, but I also had enough space to pack my portable charger and phone. I personal use this one, as it has a „secret pocket“ on the back side. 

What clothes to bring? This depends of where exactly and when you go. But, don’t overpack! There are many laundry services all around, that will wash and dry your clothes within 24hours. Also, there are way too many great shops, so better leave some space for new clothes. 

  • Tshirts
  • Tops
  • Shorts
  • Skirt/dress
  • Bathing clothes
  • Flipflops 
  • Light long pants (you can also buy them there)
  • (Sport clothes)
  • A small rain jacket: 
  • Underwear
  • Sun hat!!
  • Pyjama

Bring your own necessities! A lot of products you can buy in Asia have whitener since they want a light skin! So be aware if you buy skin care products or sunscreen!



Lock for hostel lockers

If you are staying at hostels, many hostels expect you to bring your own lock. I recommend you to take a number lock, since last year it happened that a girl in my dorm locked her key inside her locker and couldn’t access it for two days until they had to break the locker. there are some good and cheap ones on amazon like this one:

Microfaser towels

I made a mistake and only brought a beach towel instead of two towels. A lot of hostels don’t have a shower towel for you or you need to pay extra. So if you want to save money, bring your own bathroom and beach towel. To save space and keep your bag light, take Mikrofaser towels. My recommendation:

Thin sleeping bag

MY PERSONAL MUST TAKE. Some hostels had not the cleanest blankets or they expected you to take a sleeping bag for under the blanket. I loved having my own sleeping bag under the hostel, since I felt more comfortable and save in it. its like a little save space that is with you in every hostel. I use this one:

Ear plugs and sleeping mask

I out those together, because it fullfills the same thing: a good sleep in a hostel. If you are sleeping in a room with other people, ear plugs and a sleeping mask can be very useful.


Key chain alarm

This one is especially for the solo travellers! It’s a small key chain alarm that you can pull in case of emergency and it will make a very loud noise! I have it with me all the time. 

Universal adapter:

South East Asia has different sockets than we have in Europe for example. There is an adapter that has all types of sockets and you can even charge several things with it.


A girl on TikTok recommended to take carabiners and I loved this advice. I honestly used them almost every day. For example to clip flipflops outside of your bag after a beach day, or beach clothes that are still wet. You can get them anywhere, but here is as always an amazon link:

Neck pillow for overnight journeys

Overnight journeys are a very common thing in South East Asia. I brought an inflatable neck pillow, so it wouldn’t take any space in my backpack and never regretted my decision.

Portable charger

One of the most important things to bring was a portable charger, so many times my phone died while I was somewhere outside and this charger saved me. I have a pretty big one that cares my phone about four times but if this is too much to carry for you, just bring a smaller one.

Do not buy: mosquito spray

On my first trip, I brought this expensive mosquito spray that I bought at home and I know that many people do the same. But, you can buy a way cheaper one in Asia, that is (in my opinion) even better. In Bangkok for example you can get it in any 7/11 (a supermarket) at every corner. 

A good travel farmacie is important. Until now I was really lucky on my trips and never got seriously sick, but just for the case (and especially for South East Asia) I will always bring some medicine. 

A very common thing in South east Asia, especially in Indonesia is food poising or Bali belly. 

So what I am bringing is, medicine for stomach issues, pain killers for headaches and else and medicine in case I get a cold. 

Note: I am not a doctor and I recommend you to get advice on what to bring for your needs from a real doctor before your trip!

Stomach issues:

  • Coal tablets
  • Probiotics


  • First aid kid: click here
  • Plasters
  • Bepanthen wound healing ointment: click here
  • Fenestil in case of reactions or mosquito bites


  • coughing pills
  • nose spray
  • vitamines 

This part is only relevant for people interested in capturing their trip or the camera equipment that I personally use and bring on a trip. 

Equipment bag:

My camera: Sony a 7iii

My Gopro:

Travel tripod:


click on each page -> hold -> save

Save travels everyone! 

small note: this post contains affiliate links 

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