17 Top Asia Packing List Items for 2021 + What to Wear & NOT to Bring

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Updated on March 2, 2021 by Asher Fergusson

Asia is a vast and fascinating continent, home to some of the world’s oldest and most unique cultures. Depending on where you’re headed and how long you’re staying, it can be tricky to know what to pack for a destination with so many different things to do and see!

We’ve put together this Asia Packing List to help you navigate your way through this incredibly beautiful and diverse continent more easily. Our list includes sections on what to wear in Asia, what NOT to bring, and answers to all your Asia FAQs.

What to Pack for Asia – 17 Essentials

1. Asia Power Adapter

Asia Power AdapterYou’ll have a hard time plugging in your electronics in Asia without a reliable power adapter! Be prepared as you travel from country to country by bringing an adapter that works all over. This one is awesome because it works in over 100 countries and comes with a lifetime warranty guarantee!

View on Amazon.com ➜

2. Lipstick-sized portable charger

Lipstick-sized portable chargerA lipstick-size portable charger will be a real lifesaver throughout your travels in Asia. The last thing you want is for your smartphone or camera to run out of battery at an inconvenient time. Be prepared by tossing this handy backup battery in your purse or daypack and use it to recharge your devices as needed.

View on Amazon.com ➜

3. Neck Wallet

HERO Neck WalletKeep your most important belongings organized and secure by wearing them in this handy neck wallet tucked safely beneath your shirt. Keep your smartphone, passport, credit cards, cash, and more out of reach from pickpockets by using this convenient neck wallet when you visit crowded and touristy areas.

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4. Jet Lag Relief

Jet Lag Relief PillsDepending on where you’re coming from, Asia can be a long way from home! When you’re crossing endless time zones, you won’t want to lose your first day of vacation. Prepare for and combat the unpleasant symptoms of jet lag with these homeopathic jet lag relief pills. We swear by them!

View on Amazon.com ➜

5. Packing cubes

HERO Packing cubesPacking cubes are every savvy traveler’s must-have item. They’ll help you avoid overpacking and will keep you organized. This set comes in different sizes, so you can keep your similar items together in their own cubes. They also come with cases specifically for shoes and laundry!
View on Amazon.com ➜

6. Pashmina Shawl

Pashmina ShawlA pashmina shawl will come in handy more than you think in Asia. Whether you want to enter a temple or holy place, are in the mood to spice up your outfit, or want to keep warm on a chilly evening, you’ll have endless occasions to use a lightweight shawl or wrap.

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7. Virtual Private Network (VPN)

virtual private networkA VPN is super useful, and can really be a lifesaver when you’re traveling in Asia. It’ll protect you against hackers if you connect to WiFi in public places and it can be used to get around paywalls on popular news sites. A VPN will also allow you to access websites from home if information is censored in the host country.

View NordVPN.com Options ➜

8. Windproof Travel Umbrella

travel umbrellaIt is likely to rain AT LEAST once during your trip to Asia, so come prepared! This windproof travel umbrella is perfect to toss into your daypack because it packs down small but extends wide when open to cover up to two people. Trust us, you’ll be glad you remembered an umbrella!

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9. Activated charcoal

Activated charcoalActivated charcoal will almost definitely come in handy during your visit to Asia. The continent is filled with unique spices and cuisine, and you’ll surely want to try it all! If you eat or drink something that doesn’t sit quite right, however, be sure to take these activated charcoal pills to expel the toxins in your body and keep you feeling healthy.

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10. Electrolytes

ElectrolytesI can’t stress enough the importance of bringing along electrolytes for your trip to Asia. When you’re exploring in the hot sun all day, you’ll definitely need to replenish the vitamins your body has lost. Electrolytes will also help in the case of food poisoning and will even help cure a hangover!
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11. Sturdy Sandals

Sturdy Sandals Sturdy sandals will likely be your footwear preference during your time spent in Asia. Weather throughout the continent tends to stay mild during the entire year, and you’ll want sturdy, breathable shoes like these that will be comfortable to wear while you’re out and about exploring.

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12. Asia Travel Insurance

Asia Travel Insurance Getting Asia travel insurance before you leave for your trip is of the utmost importance. You’ll be far from home and you never know what can go wrong, so it’s best to make sure you’re covered in case of emergency. We never travel without World Nomads, who offer awesome and affordable plans with lots of coverage.

View their plans at WorldNomads.com ➜

13. Affordable Underwater Camera

Affordable Underwater CameraIn Asia, you’ll have lots of opportunities to partake in watersports and activities, and you’ll definitely want a reliable underwater camera to capture all your favorite memories! This one is super affordable, plus it’s compact and durable which is perfect for travel.

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14. Daypack

DaypackA daypack will come in handy every day of your trip in Asia. Use it for your daytime activities and excursions to carry everything you need with you while leaving the rest of your belongings safely in your accommodation. This one’s large enough to carry your water bottle, umbrella, snacks, change of clothes, and more!

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15. Long skirt

Long skirtA long skirt is a great way to withstand the heat in Asia, plus it will help you to remain modest when entering temples or holy sites throughout the region. This one is lightweight and breezy and will easily fit in your luggage or daypack to throw on quickly over your shorts if need be.

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16. LifeStraw Water Bottle

LifeStraw Water BottleYou’ll need to stay hydrated during your trip to Asia, and there’s no better way to do that than by bringing along a handy reusable water bottle. This one has a built-in filter to ensure the water you’re drinking is safe and clean. It’s also a great alternative to spending tons of money on single-use plastic water bottles.

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17. Swimsuit Cover Up

Swimsuit Cover UpDon’t forget to pack a trendy swimsuit cover up for your trip! You’re likely to spend a lot of time in and out of the water in Asia, so be prepared to throw this on over your suit after a dip to easily move on to your next activity.

View on Amazon.com ➜

Other Asia packing list items not to forget


What to Wear in Asia

Asia is a vast region full of many different landscapes and climates. Quite a few parts of Asia require more modesty than others, particularly when visiting religious or holy sites, so you’ll want to be prepared with at least some conservative set of clothes.

Don’t forget your rain gear, as you will more than likely have the opportunity to use it! If you’re headed to a mountainous region, remember to bring plenty of layers and some good hiking shoes, too.

What Should WOMEN Wear to Asia? – (Click to expand)

Below is a sample women’s clothing list. (All items link to Amazon.com for your convenience).

Women will want to dress for the weather and the season in Asia, all while keeping in mind cultural norms and customs, which may require women to cover their shoulders and knees when entering temples and holy sites. Regardless of the season, women traveling in Asia will want to bring a good pair of sturdy shoes that are well broken in, as you’re sure to do a ton of walking and exploring!

What Should MEN Wear to Asia?– (Click to expand)

Below is a sample men’s clothing list. (All items link to Amazon.com for your convenience).

Men traveling in Asia should dress for the season and the specific location where they’re headed. In general, men should come prepared with sturdy sandals and/or hiking boots, as you’ll definitely be doing lots of walking in cities, towns, and over unique terrain. Wear whatever you’re comfortable in, but try to avoid looking like an overt tourist with things like fanny packs and Hawaiian shirts.

Most Asian countries only have two seasons, the wet season and the dry season. Due to Asia’s proximity to the equator, most of the continent is mild to hot during the entire year. You’ll want to be prepared for a bit of rain regardless of when you visit, so don’t forget a rain jacket and an umbrella! Also be sure to bring a pair of sturdy, breathable sandals so you’ll be ready to do plenty of walking and exploring.

WET SEASON – June, July, August, September, October:

It’s no surprise that during Asia’s wet season you can expect an abundance of rain! This is the off-season for tourists and temperatures are warm and humid. Don’t completely write off travel during this period, as it typically tends to rain heavily for a few hours at specific times every day, leaving the rest of the day open to enjoy.

DRY SEASON – November, December, January, February, March, April, May :

Asia experiences more tourism during the dry season as temperatures tend to be a bit cooler and there is less rain. Don’t expect the weather to get too cold, though, unless you’re headed into a particularly mountainous or high altitude region.

How to dress for different activities in Asia – (Click to expand)

Beaches – Asia is home to some of the world’s best beaches. Be sure to bring a swimsuit, cover-up, flip flops, and plenty of sun protection.

Exploring Cities – Asian cities are super unique and there is definitely tons to explore. Be sure to wear comfortable walking shoes and breezy clothes that can withstand the heat. Don’t forget a daypack so you can carry your rain gear and plenty of water, too!

Temples – You’re bound to encounter a wide variety of temples during your time in Asia. Be sure to dress respectfully by covering your shoulders and knees, and wear shoes that can easily be slipped off and tossed in your daypack or left outside, as many temples will require.

Nightlife – Asia is home to some of the craziest and most lively nightlife in the world! Be sure to dress for the weather and the venue on your nights out. Some higher-end clubs and bars won’t allow entrance to men who aren’t wearing long pants, a collared shirt, and closed-toe shoes, so prepare to look nice depending on where you’re headed.


What NOT to bring to Asia

1) 🚫 DON’T PACK a hairdryer: The humidity in Asia is such that any hair drying you do will quickly be reversed. Plus, you run the risk of ruining your devices because the voltage in Asia will be different than what your dryer can handle, and voltage adapters rarely work.

3) 🚫 DON’T TAKE a winter coat: Unless you’re planning a trekking trip up into the mountains, you will likely have no need for a full winter coat during your visit to Asia. Opt for layers instead, which are versatile and will be much more useful for you.

5) 🚫 DON’T BRING full-size toiletries: One of the best ways to get around the continent is by flight. Avoid having to dump out full-size liquids as you fly from place to place by using travel-size toiletries that can easily be refilled or replaced.

2) 🚫 DON’T BRING expensive valuables: Don’t risk your expensive jewelry or electronics getting lost or stolen during your trip to Asia. Only bring the items that you absolutely need and leave the rest safe at home!

4) 🚫 DON’T PACK too much stuff: There’s so much to do and see in Asia, and you’ll likely be exploring many different locations. Pack as light as possible so you can easily move from place to place without worrying about overstuffed, heavy luggage.

6) 🚫 DON’T TAKE a regular towel: A regular towel is bulky, heavy, and takes forever to dry. Instead, opt for a lightweight, compact quick dry towel which will make your life as a traveler so much easier!

What clothing should I NOT wear to Asia? – (Click to expand)

Don’t wear flashy or expensive-looking clothes and jewelry during your visit to Asia, as it makes you an easy target for pickpockets and theft. Overtly touristy clothes, like Hawaiian shirts, fanny packs, and clothing with the American flag pattern will also put you into the spotlight for thieves. Leave your winter coat at home, as you likely won’t have a need for it unless you’re headed to the mountains.

FAQs about Asia travel

    1. Do I need a visa to travel to Asia?

    Depending on where you’re headed, you will need to check ahead of time whether or not you’ll need a visa to enter the country. Some countries will allow you to purchase your visa at the airport upon arrival but others may require you to have a visa before, so be sure to leave yourself plenty of time to get what you need before you go.

    2. What’s the best way to get around Asia?

    Busses are definitely the cheapest way to get around Asia and they go nearly everywhere. However, distances are far and you’ll be putting yourself at risk for traffic accidents and other safety hazards if you go this route. Flights are typically inexpensive and are the fastest and safest way to get around the continent.

    3. Is Asia expensive?

    Many Asian countries, particularly in Southeast Asia, tend to be very cheap, especially compared to the United States. However, places like Shanghai and Singapore are more expensive, so you’ll need to budget for your specific destination before you leave.

    4. Is Asia safe?

    Parts of Asia are safer than others, and different threats affect different regions of the continent. In Southeast Asia, the biggest risk factors tend to be petty theft, pickpocketing, and traffic accidents, while other parts of Asia are hotbeds for terrorism. Do your research before you go to be aware of the precautions you should take for your destination.

Other Asia packing lists you may like…

Annapurna | Bali | Cambodia | China | India | Indonesia | Japan | Nepal | Philippines | Southeast Asia | South Korea | Sri Lanka |Thailand | Vietnam

Also see our Oceania packing lists…

Australia | Hawaii | Kalalau Trail | Kauai | Maui | New Zealand

Please note: We have over 200 packing lists covering practically every popular travel destination in the world. Access them all on our packing list overview page ➜