16 Top Indonesia Packing List Items + What to Wear & NOT to Bring (2019)

Updated on April 25, 2019 by Asher Fergusson

What should I bring on my Indonesia trip?

Indonesia is a beautiful country with sandy beaches, some of the best waves for surfing in the world, and an abundance of sea life to discover in its waters.

Whether you are looking to relax or go on an adventure, you can find it all in Indonesia. So when you are thinking of what to pack, follow this complete packing guide!

We cover what to wear in Indonesia, what NOT to bring and general FAQs. Enjoy your trip!

1) Melatonin – If you don’t like feeling jet-lagged on your trip this natural sleep aid will help to reset your sleep cycle and help you to adjust to a new time zone.

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2) Travel Scarf – A scarf has multi purposes while you are traveling. It’s a pillow on a plane, a shawl to cover your shoulders for temples, and even a secret place to store your passports, cash, and cards.

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3) Compact Day Bag – It’s super useful to bring a bag that can fold into a small pocket while traveling. This one is great because it is lightweight and water resistant which makes it perfect to carry your things.

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4) Camera Lens – Rather then lugging a professional camera with you, this nifty gadget will allow you to take wide angle and zoomed in shots just by attaching it your smartphone.
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5) Video Camera – From riding on scooters through the jungle to scuba diving with abundant sea life there’s a lot that you will want to capture on camera. The GoPro is a great choice to get those action shots which also can be used in the water up to 40 meters deep.

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6) Collapsible Water Bottle – Indonesia is hot and you will want to stay hydrated by carrying water with you. This collapsible bottle makes it easy to carry around, is shatterproof, and BPA free.

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7) Waterproof Bag – Whether you plan on relaxing on the beach, go swimming or do any other water sports, it’s useful to bring a waterproof bag to carry your thinks. Best of all this one comes with a camera case that protects your phone from water damage.

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8) World Nomads Travel Insurance – Stay safe while traveling by getting insurance. World Nomads is popular with travelers because they cover a range of activities from snorkeling to horseback riding as well as trip cancellation and protection for your gear.

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9) Power Adaptor – Indonesia uses 220 volts which means you may need a power adaptor if you are coming from countries like the US or Canada. This device also includes two USB ports which means you can charge more devices together at the same time.

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10) VPN – Many countries in Asia will restrict your access to certain webpages like Facebook and Netflix. A VPN will give you access to everything on the internet worldwide not matter where you are traveling to.

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11) Microfiber Towel – A microfibre towel is lightweight, and takes up little space in your packing which is great to travel with. If you have plans of staying in hostels, many will not provide a towel so you will need to bring your own. Also this towel dries very quickly which makes it super useful to have at the beach or for any water activities.

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12) Sunscreen – Indonesia has a hot, tropical climate which means you need to protect yourself against the sun. It will be more difficult to find while you are there and more expensive so it is easier to pack some with you.

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13) Travel Backpack – Always choose a backpack over a suitcase when you are traveling to countries in Southeast Asia as there are many unpaved roads which makes it difficult to carry your things if you have a suitcase. The Osprey Farpoint is popular with travelers and if you want to pack minimally the 40L is all you need which as a bonus doesn’t require you to check your bag. If you are looking for something bigger, don’t go over 70L. Key features of the backpack include a lockable main compartment, multiple compartments, and a lifetime warranty.

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14) Travel Guide – Get the best recommendations on where to sleep, eat and things to do with any type of budget using Lonely Planet’s travel guide.

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15) Sandals – The majority of your time is going to be spent in sandals so you should bring a pair that is comfortable to wear for a long period of time and sturdy. Women and Men

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16) Bathing Suit Women and Men – Indonesia has some stunning beautiful beaches with crystal clear water that you have to take a dip in. For women, the most popular option is a bikini and for men it’s board-shorts.

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Other packing list items to consider bringing to Indonesia

For more ideas of useful items to pack, check these out.

What Should I Wear in the Indonesia?

Indonesia is a tropical, hot climate year round which means you should choose clothing that is light, breathable and with moisture wicking abilities. Materials like cotton, linen, and rayon are great choices.

The most common clothes for women are shorts with a tank or dresses. For men, it is shorts with a tee shirt or tank. Just make sure to have a good pair of sandals with you.

On beaches, bikinis are the most popular choice for women and board shorts for men. A sarong and microfibre towel are also good to bring along. Make sure to protect yourself from the heat by wearing sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses. If you plan on doing a lot of snorkeling it may be worthwhile to bring your own gear.

If you plan on visiting any of the temples in Indonesia, make sure your shoulders and knees are covered.

While exploring busy towns and cities don’t wear flashy clothing and jewelry. Keep your things protected by wearing an RFID cross body bag or storing your cash and cards in a money belt.

What NOT to take to Indonesia

1) 🚫 DON’T OVERPACK – You will only need one pair of pants and a sweater. The rest should be summer clothes that you can wear for a week. Plenty of cheap laundry service will be available in all hostels.
2) 🚫 DON’T BRING heels – Many of the roads are unpaved and dirty so it’s completely unnecessary to lug around heels.
3) 🚫 DON’T PACK warm materials – This is a tropical country and you will feel very uncomfortable in clothing made of materials like denim, polyester, and nylon.
4) 🚫 DON’T TAKE expensive jewelry with you – Bringing expensive things will make you a target for pickpocketing and scammers.
5) 🚫 DON’T BRING tops that have plunging necklines or expose the midriff and avoid short shorts and skirts – The majority of the country is Muslim and wearing clothes like this will be considered disrespectful and attract a lot of unwanted attention.
6) 🚫 DON’T PACK a jacket – If you are visiting in the rainy season, the country is still hot so an umbrella and/or rain poncho will be better.

Packing correctly for Indonesia weather

Indonesia has two distinct seasons but can vary a bit depending on if you are visiting in the Northern or Southern region.

The wet season typically begins in October or November and will run during December, Janu-ary, February, and March. During this time, the average temperatures range between a low of 73.4 °F and a high of 84.2 °F. Although it is the wet season, it normally doesn’t rain throughout the day. Instead, you can expect thunderstorms that will last for a few hours typically during the early morning or late in the evenings. Make sure to pack an umbrella, rain poncho, and water-proof shoes. It’s also good to have a sweater for the cooler mornings and evenings.

The dry season starts typically starts in April and includes the months of May, June, July, Au-gust, and September. This is the best time to visit with frequent hot, sunny days and great visi-bility underwater. This is also peak season where places like Bali, Lombok, and the Gili Islands are flooded with tourists and prices increase. During these months the temperature ranges from a low of 73.4 °F to a high of 87.8 °F. Make sure to wear plenty of sunscreen and bring a hat and sunglasses. Dress in light, moisture-wicking clothing. Shorts and a teeshirt or tank are the most popular choices amongst male and female travelers.

10 Frequently Asked Questions about travel in Indonesia

1) Do I need a visa?

For many countries like the US, Canada, the UK and Australia, you can enter Indonesia without a visa for 30 days as long as your passport is valid for 6 months beyond the date of your arrival and that you have two blank pages.

2) Is Indonesia safe to visit?

In general, Indonesia is a safe country to visit. Scams and theft are common crimes particularly in Bali and Lombok, so do not leave your valuables somewhere unsafe and just be aware while exploring busy areas. Make sure before your trip to check with your national government advi-sory for the latest updates.

3) Can I drink the water?

No, you should drink only boiled or bottled water.

4) What currency is used?

In Indonesia, they use the rupiah. Make sure to bring cash for your trip especially if you are going to more remote areas where ATMs are nonexistent.

5) How much money should I bring?

If you are on a budget and plan to stay in hostels and eat cheap meals budget for $32/day. If you have a midrange budget plan for $70/day and luxury travelers can expect to spend a minimum of $145/day.

6) Where can I surf in Indonesia?

Indonesia is known for its surf sites and Lombok is a surfers paradise. For beginners, head to Kuta beach where you will find plenty of surf shops and locals offering lessons.

7) Where should I go for yoga and meditation?

Everywhere in Ubud, you will find yoga studios and meditation rooms. A popular spot frequented by travelers is The Yoga Barn, which offers a wide variety of yoga and meditation classes, as well as hosting retreats, wellness activities, and even accommodation.

8) What’s the best way to get around to different islands in Indonesia?

If you are up for some island hopping, either boat or air is best. Just make sure to check the prices because oftentimes budget airlines are cheaper and faster to take than by boat.

9) Where are the best dive sites in Indonesia?

Indonesia has a ton of sea life and excellent opportunities for some amazing scuba diving. Some places you should visit if you’ve got scuba diving on your agenda includes Raja Ampat, Wakatobi Islands. Komodo Island. Banda Island, and the Togian Islands. Go from April to October where visibility is at its best.

10) Should I tip?

Tipping isn’t mandatory but some places like nice hotels and restaurants will include a service charge on your bill. If you want to tip you can add 5-10% off the total bill and just round up in taxis.

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