Travel Tips

Traveling in South Asia: Your Ultimate Packing Guide

Traveling is exciting, and exploring new different places is a lot of fun. You have planned to sample all the delicious food in Taiwan, see the breathtaking Wat Phra temple when going to Bangkok, or plan to chill at the Palawan in the Philippines. You have been dreaming about South Asia, but the fact that you need to pack stresses you out again and again. Don’t worry, MyProGuide has summarized the follow the tips that would make you find packing easy. 

The tips below would include packing tips in general but focus on some tips that you need to know such as what to wear, and things to bring while traveling in South Asia.  

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First things first: The art of packing is  “less is more” 

1. Pack light!

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It would be tiring to travel like a mule. Once you make your luggage or backpack lighter and smaller, your trip would sure be easier. Remember not to overpack, count the days and be precise on how many things that you actually need, and asses if you would actually need it or not. 

2. There are things you can buy there:

Clothes, in general, are fairly cheap in South Asia. You can find places in most cities in Southeast Asia that sell affordable clothing, so you could consider packing a bit less and getting your clothes at your travel destination instead. However, as the clothes in South Asia are designed for the Asians in general, so expect sizes to run smaller than normal. 

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3. Have an extra travel bag with you:

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There is no denying that we all like to buy souvenirs and gifts, no matter if they are a gift for yourself or for your friends and family. With all those interesting, cheap, unique crafts you can find in South Asia, you might end up with heavier luggage. Having an extra travel bag will give you some extra space, and don’t need to worry about the quantities of souvenirs you want to buy. 

Smart traveling outfit: what to wear in South Asia

1. Pay extra attention to the weather:

For those who never been to South Asia before, one of the things you might not be used to might be the weather. Yes, sometimes the humidity could be quite intense. You might start sweating simply while merely waiting for the bus even if you are under the shade. Also, if you are traveling in South Asia during winter, the temperature doesn’t get very low, so some sweaters, light jackets, and long sleeves will do the trick. A long jacket or furry sweater would definitely take up too much space of your luggage. If traveling in summer, do remember to bring clothes that can dry easily, in some parts of South Asia, you might encounter a rainy season. But, you can always find a laundry place where you can dry your clothes. Still, it would be easier if you bring clothing that can dry easily.

2. Know the season you are traveling:

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Whether it’s raining seasons or not it would decide what clothes you bring. In most of Southeast Asia, it is hot and dry from April to May. Yet, the monsoons arrive and make it extremely rainy and humid starting from May to October. So, you should definitely avoid packing heavy or thick clothes in your luggage if your traveling during monsoon season. Do bring light clothes that dry easily, and a light waterproof raincoat or a portable umbrella would come in handy.

3. Know and respect the local culture:

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There are some temples in South Asia that you aren’t allowed to enter with shorts or sandals. For example Buddhist temples and Muslim mosques. Therefore, do remember to be respectful to the local culture and have clothes such as long pants or shirts that can cover up your shoulder and legs. 

What to bring: the final checklist before departing

1. Sunscreen is a must:

Beaches are amazing in South Asia. But, remember to do a thorough sun protection. Especially in the summer, if you don’t pay extra care, you would have a high possibility of sunburn or even heatstroke, which will be uncomfortable for the rest of your trip.  

2. Have some medicine and bug-spray along with you:

The humid and warm weather in Southeast Asia is a paradise for mosquitoes, bugs, and insects. Don’t underestimate the serious consequences that a mosquito bite will lead to. For example, mosquito bites often cause infection and disease. It is, therefore, necessary to have bug-spray or herbal insect repellent along with you. 

There is a useful checklist below to help you pack. After making sure what to bring along and going through the list, it not only gets you ready for South Asia but also a safe and secure feeling! 

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  • Your passport / ID
  • Credit cards and cash
  • Phone and charger
  • A universal plug adapter 
  • Foreign currency 
  • Headphones
  • Toothbrush + toothpaste
  • Soap
  • Lotion
  • A traveling first aid kit 
  • Personal medicine/pain killer
  • Deodorant
  • Wet wipes 
  • Herbal insect repellent
  • Sweater and/or jacket
  • Shampoo + conditioner 
  • Extra pair of shoes
  • Hat 
  • Sunglasses 
  • sunscreen
  • Bathing suit 
  • Shoes 
  • Sandals 
  • Light clothing 
  • Long pants and clothes with long sleeves 
  • Raincoat/portable umbrella/light waterproof jacket 
Photo by Harvey Enrile on Unsplash

There you go! Now you’re ready! Whether this is your very first time or the third time in south Asia, do remember to make sure about the climate, pack for your destination, remember sunscreen, etc. So, it’s all set and be ready to experience all the fun, the food, the fascinating culture in South Asia. Enjoy your trip!

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