Updated on December 13, 2022 by Axel Hernborg

Axel Hernborg

Are you worried about what to pack for your trip to Vietnam? Could you use some help and some smart tips? That’s exactly what you get in this complete guide to packing for a trip to Vietnam.

If you scroll down you will come across a packing list for a trip to Vietnam. Here you will find both the absolutely necessary, the essential and the more useful.

Packing list for Vietnam – here’s what you can do

Your feeling may be that Vietnam is a sunny paradise every minute of the year. However, this is not really true. If you want to do more than relax on the beach, you may need to pack more than just swimwear and sunscreen.

There’s more to Vietnam than sun and sand. Much more. Culture, temples, river cruises, boat trips, big city, rural tours, adventures in the Mekong Delta – there is undeniably a lot to see and do in this exciting country.

With a few different activities on the schedule, you’ll also need to pack a few different things. Luckily, we’ve taken that into account in our packing tips. See our complete packing list for a trip to Vietnam here!

Packing clothes for Vietnam – the basics

  • Underwear
  • Socks
  • Tops
  • T-shirts/tops
  • Long sleeve shirt (Use a Dapper Street discount code to get a good price)
  • Shorts/skirt (not too short)
  • Summer dress
  • Linen trousers/cotton trousers
  • Leggings
  • Yogabyxor
  • Exercise clothes
  • Skirt
  • Dress
  • Flipflops/sandals
  • Shoes for walking/jogging
  • Men’s shoes/heels/ballerina shoes
  • Sun hat/cap
  • Scarf/bandana
  • Thin jacket against rain

Package list for excursions

  • Functional clothing that breathes
  • Lightweight and comfortable backpack
  • Backpack rain cover
  • Waterproof jacket (Use a Berghaus discount code to get a good price)
  • Long sleeve slightly warmer sweater
  • Comfortable, slightly more durable shoes/Sandals with closed toe
  • Water bottle
  • Small umbrella
  • Binoculars
  • Mosquito spray

Clothing and gadgets for the beach

  • Sunglasses
  • Swimming goggles
  • Swimwear/swim shorts/bikini
  • Rash guard
  • Wetsuit
  • UV clothing
  • Sarong/beach dress
  • Bathing shoes
  • Microfiber towel
  • Beach towel (Use a Dunelm discount code to get a good price)
  • Beach bag
  • Wet bag
  • Dry bag
  • Snorkeling equipment

Medicines, hygiene and pharmacy

  • Shower gel
  • Hair care
  • Deodorant
  • Face care and skincare (Use an AllBeauty.com discount code to get a great price)
  • Things for shaving
  • Oral hygiene
  • Sun protection factor
  • Lip balm with sun protection factor
  • After sun
  • Plasters/chafing plasters
  • Medicines for an upset stomach
  • Fluid replacement
  • Painkillers
  • Wet wipes
  • Sleeping pills/melatonin
  • Hand sanitizers
  • Mosquitoids
  • Cream against insect bites
  • Contact lenses/glasses
  • Sanitary products
  • Medicines (and prescriptions!)

Smart gadgets and electronics

  • Guide to Vietnam
  • Travel adapter with multiple USB sockets
  • Toiletry bag
  • Bluetooth speakers
  • Tablet
  • Headphones
  • Ear plugs
  • Camera with SD card
  • Powerbank (Use a Currys discount code to get a great price)
  • Travel cushion
  • Soft water bottle
  • Packing bags/packing cubes
  • Pad lock
  • Small first aid kit
  • Travel journal (and pen!)
  • Silver tape

Travel documents and money

  • Passport (check validity!)
  • Copy of passport
  • Visa (optional)
  • Conditions for travel insurance
  • Important phone numbers
  • Bank cards/credit cards
  • Some cash (USD)

5 smart tips for packing for Vietnam

Packing for travel

Maybe you’re completely satisfied with our packing list. You might already be packed by the time you read this! Perhaps you’re curious to find out more about how to pack smart for your trip to Vietnam?

If you agree with the last statement, keep reading! Here you can read about the importance of mosquito repellent, how you should dress in public places and that a good power bank can be your best friend on holiday!

Respecting local customs and traditions

The Vietnamese are a proud people. They are also conservative when it comes to matters of dress. What does it mean? This means, among other things, that many eyebrows will automatically be raised if you show too much skin.

Travelling to Vietnam when it’s really hot? Are you just going to lie on the beach? Then you can fill your suitcase with sleeveless tops, dresses, miniskirts and short shorts.

Want to do something else too – like visit temples, visit markets and see what the big cities have to offer? Then you’ll need clothes that cover your knees and shoulders and are also a little more conservative.

Don’t forget the mosquito spray!

It’s pretty mosquito-proof almost everywhere in this big country. It can be particularly difficult in inland fields and along rivers and streams. Mosquito spray or mosquito repellent is therefore a must!

But, can’t you buy mosquito repellent locally in Vietnam? Of course you can. There are just a few small problems with doing so.

One problem is that you have no idea if the mosquito spray you buy will work on you. It’s all about how the product reacts to the skin. Another problem is that your skin may not like some of the ingredients in the mosquito repellent. Besides, mosquito repellent is expensive in Vietnam!

Keep your pack in order!

No matter how you tour Vietnam, you’ll soon have a lot of dirty, dusty and possibly damp clothes to deal with. It’s no fun mixing the used with the clean and fresh.

You would do well to have some sort of system for the dirty laundry. An alternative is to use an ordinary plastic bag. A better alternative is to use packing cubes/packing bags. Not only do you separate clean from dirty laundry – you also save space for souvenirs!

Money and bank cards in Vietnam

Vietnam is fairly modern in many ways and ATMs can be found here and there in cities. However, in order to withdraw money from an ATM, your card must be “open” for withdrawals abroad. Make sure you arrange it before you leave home!

What currency is used in Vietnam? The currency is called dong. However, it is possible to use US dollars in many places. A small amount in Dong and a small amount in USD is the perfect way to start your stay.

Buy a really powerful powerbank

On your trip to Vietnam, your tech gadgets will probably get hot. Here are some examples of use, maybe you can think of more. We’re guessing you will:

  • Listen to music on bluetooth headphones
  • Watch movies on tablet
  • Take more photos than you can count
  • Listen to your favourite music via a Bluetooth speaker
  • Looking at battery-guzzling maps with GPS

In short, you need electricity, and quite a lot of it. You may not always be a metre away from a wall socket, so a powerbank comes in handy.

A powerful powerbank of today has a capacity of around 20 000 mAh. It is enough for quite a lot. By comparison, the capacity is enough to charge a newer smartphone at least six or seven times. If your powerbank has multiple USB sockets, that’s obviously brilliant. Then you can charge several gadgets at the same time!