The Efficient Female Carry On Packing List for Vietnam


Vietnam / Tuesday, May 21st, 2019
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As Vietnam is such a long country, you will most likely need to take internal flights in order to see as much as you can in a short amount of time. Why waste money on extra baggage when you can fit everything you need in your carry-on backpack? If you’re thinking “I’m female, I need more space than that!” then think again! Keep reading for the efficient guide on what to take to Vietnam for a 3-week trip.

I recommend taking a Nomatic bag. They’re a perfect size for carry-on, are lockable, and waterproof… just a few features I love.

Side note: I went in June/July.

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Clothes

My rule when packing for an overseas trip is to be able to match any top with any bottom. Stick to the colors that suit you best and tone well with each other then you’re all set!

5x T-shirts

100% cotton t-shirts in 5 different colors. Opt for 100% cotton and no synthetic fibers (such as polyester) to stay cool in this hot and humid climate. Vietnam isn't too strict on covering certain attributes but it's best to be respectful and avoid showing large amounts of cleavage. Bare shoulders are acceptable.

1x Long sleeve shirt

A light blue cotton chambray shirt is my favorite throw-over for cooler nights and sun protection.

2x Skirts or Dresses

A lightweight skirt or dress that doesn't require ironing. Can be above the knees but not as short as a mini skirt.

Loose pants and leggings

One pair of loose rayon pants and one pair of black leggings.

1x pair of shorts

Above the thigh is suitable but longer would be more respectful. A loose fit is the best option for comfort but make sure to avoid denim as it's hot, heavy and bulky!

10+ pairs of underwear

10 seems to be the magic number when it comes to underwear. They don't take up too much space but there are enough pairs to only have to do your washing sparingly.

2x Bras

Whichever colors go well under the shirts and dresses you're bringing.

2x Socks

You'll probably wear flip flops or sandals most days but bring a couple of good pairs for all those hikes you'll be doing!

Pajamas

A singlet and cotton shorts pack down nice and small.

Jumper and waterproof jacket

A lightweight rain jacket is great for those unexpected warm downpours. The hills (e.g. Sapa) can become quite cool even during the daytime and a jumper is recommended.

Tip: Wear both of these on the plane to lighten your pack.  If you're traveling from a warm climate, just wear them when you're checking in your bags.

Accessories

Hat (wide-brimmed) – The Vietnamese sun is hot and harsh!

Sunglasses

Sneakers/hiking boots – ones you can walk all day in and that breathe. (Wear on the plane)

Flip flops

Sandals – A reliable but nice, comfortable leather pair that you don't mind getting a little dirty. I recommend Wiivv Sandals. They're 3D printed to fit your feet perfectly! Check out my review on them here!

Wiivv-sandals

Toiletries

Toiletry bag - lightweight mesh ones work great. A handle is a bonus.

Toothbrush with cover

Travel toothpaste

Lip balm with SPF

Deodorant - roll on

Facewash - under 100mL

Sunscreen - under 100mL

Cotton ear buds - only as many as you will use in 3 weeks

Tissues – just one little packet

Hairbrush (small fold up comb)

Hair oil (or whatever you use to combat humidity!) - under 100mL

Shaver

Contact wearers: Saline, eye drops, contacts and spares, glasses, glasses case

Pads, tampons or diva cup (if needed, or you can buy there)

Shampoo/Conditioner - under 100mL (can easily buy there if your pack is getting heavy)

Hair ties/bobby pins

Medicines – visit your doctor before you go to get necessary vaccinations

Other health: antihistamines, rehydration tablets, insect bite cream, paracetamol, ibuprofen, birth control, period pain medication, gastro-stop, and any personal medications.

Bug repellent

Dirty laundry bag

Wet ones (a few in a ziplock bag) and hand sanitizer

Miscellaneous

Mesh bags – I use different sized mesh bags as compartments within my pack. They’re also a great way to condense your clothing without having to use those vacuum bags. I buy these from Daiso but you can also find them at Kmart, Target, etc.

Eye mask and ear plugs

First aid kit – including band-aids, antiseptic cream, tweezers, nail clippers

Head Torch

Pen/pencil

Quick dry microfiber towel

Trtl Travel Pillow - check out my review of the Trtl Travel Pillow here!

Camera and accessories: charger, memory cards, case, tripod, spare batteries (if my bag is a little on the heavy side I keep my camera over my shoulder during check-in)

Music and compact headphones

Mobile phone, charger and power bank

IPad or tablet - good for movies on budget flights as well as booking accommodation on the road and researching sights. I like to use both my phone and iPad together and prefer the larger screen.

Power adapters – Bring one with a plug inlet and USB inlets so you can charge your phone and camera at the same time (for the rooms that only have one outlet!)

Don’t forget!

Visa – make sure this is organized well in advance to arriving. You can get it on arrival but it will take a few hours out of your trip.

Passport – with at least 6 months left before expiring

Identification card

Credit/debit cards – inform your bank the dates you'll be away before leaving the country

Cash – I exchanged about AUD$50 before leaving. Cash is easily accessible but there are limits on how much you can withdrawal at a time. The airport ATM's were the only place to withdraw large amounts. Don't exchange cash as the exchange rate is very poor. If you're going to get money out at the airport, make sure to transfer when you have internet before you arrive and know how much is in your account. I accidentally withdrew $30 instead of $300 as I got confused by the conversion rate. Download the currency converter app to your phone before leaving home (check if it requires internet to work)!

Take advantage of the 2 bag rule! You're generally allowed a backpack AND a handbag/camera bag which I recommend putting the heavy items in as it's rarely weighed.

Don’t bother...

Makeup – personal preference. I brought foundation and mascara for nights out.

Sports bra (unless you're going running)

Jewelry – best not to bring anything valuable

Jeans/denim shorts – hot, heavy and dry slowly

Is there anything I missed? What are your essentials for traveling to Vietnam? Please leave a comment below.

You may also be interested in my Alternatives to Single Use Plastics when Travelling post or The Best Free Travel Apps to Make Your Life Easier When Travelling!

Planning a trip to Vietnam?

Accommodation in Vietnam

booking.com has over 3300 properties in Ho Chi Minh City including hotels, apartments, and hostels. You get free cancellation on most rooms and a best price guarantee.

Airbnb is an online booking system which connects home owners wanting to rent their homes or a room with travelers who are looking for accommodation. Click here to get $$ off your first stay!

Tours

GetYourGuide has all kinds of tours from food tours to walking tours, and of course, adventurous activities. I've found GetYourGuide has the best range of tour companies to choose from, and you can decide based on the reviews. GetYourGuide is easy to book with, and you can cancel most bookings for free up to 24 hours before they start.

G Adventures’ enthusiasm for travel is matched only by their commitment to those they serve. They provide travelers with the most genuine, life-changing adventure they can whilst traveling responsibly. I went on their tours in both India and Morocco and had the most incredible time on both of those journeys

Travel Insurance

Good2Go Travel Insurance is my choice for travel insurance. I know you'd rather not think about all of the things that might go wrong on your trip, but these things can and do happen. Some of the benefits of being with Good2Go Travel Insurance covers are cancellation of your trip, overseas medical and hospital expenses, 24/7 emergency assistance, rental vehicle insurance excess, and travel delay expenses.

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Packing for Vietnam see exactly what I pack with only carry on luggage. From whereissarahblog.com


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