A complete packing list!

Packing for your trip to Southeast Asia is indeed a challenge. Even though Southeast Asia does not require too much packing, still, many upcoming students want to tear their hair out from not having a clue of what to bring. Do not worry! We at Asia Exchange have compiled the ultimate packing list that will hopefully make it easier for you. Here are 10 things you should bring when studying in Southeast Asia:

Travel essentials placed on the floor
Here are a few travel essentials you need to pack for your next adventure! Photo by Thomas Martinsen / CC BY 

1. Light Cotton Clothing

It is important that you read up on the local weather to find out what the climate´s like in the country where you will study. Is it summer or monsoon during your exchange semester? It is also important that you are mindful of the local culture! To make sure you will survive the weather changes and respect the local culture, a good advice is to bring clothes that do not and do cover your shoulders and legs. Bring clothes that are light weighted and breathable. We say no to jeans! Bring chinos instead.

A white t-shirt and black background
Bring clothes that are light weighted and breathable. We say no to jeans! Photo by Chuttersnap / CC BY 

2. Copies of All Your Original Documents

Before you travel you should have made several copies of your original documents. When you later arrive at your study destination, keep the originals in a secure location and use the copied documents as much as you can. For example, in Indonesia, you can travel around with a copy of your passport, which lowers the risk of getting your original one stolen.

A red passport on a white table
For your own safety, do not forget to bring copies of your original documents. Photo by Annie Spratt / CC BY 

3. Bring an Adapter

The electrical systems in most Southeast Asian countries are not the same as in, for example, Europe. The voltages might differ depending on where you will study. Using an adapter not only makes you able to charge and use your devices in the new place but also helps to avoid any damages to your beloved device (or the landlord’s wall).

You might also be interested in: Top 5 Hidden Gems in Asia

 4. Extra Debit or Credit Card

Too many times have students gotten robbed or forgotten their bankcard in the ATM machine, leaving them without money for a couple of days or even weeks. To avoid getting yourself in this situation, you should at least bring two different debit or credit cards and store one of them in a secure location.

A hand is holding a wallet with a credit card inside
Always bring an extra debit or credit card. Preferably from different banks! Photo by OliurCC BY 

5. Unlocked Phone

In order to find your way around or to just be available for others to reach you, your phone will be a Godsend. That is why you need to make sure you unlock it before traveling and buy a cheap SIM card equipped with 3G. If you travel around you will most likely have a hard time to find good WIFI and your 3G will be a lifesaver. Turn your phone into a hot spot and you are in business!

An iphone and a red book on a white surface
Turn your phone into a hot spot and you are in business! Photo by Benjaminrobyn JespersenCC BY 

6. Hard Drive

A hard drive is a good backup plan, you can never fully prevent your laptop from either not crash or not get stolen. You should always have a travel security plan, and a hard drive will ensure you do not lose any precious data. Would it not be heart breaking if you work on an essay for days, and suddenly you have to rewrite it just because you did not have a backup plan? Do not make that mistake, is not worth it!

A girl is covering her eyes with two hard drives
Remember to have a backup plan! A hard drive will ensure you do not lose any precious data. Photo by JC Gellidon  / CC BY 

7. Extra Luggage

It is always a good idea to have extra luggage because you will most likely bring back more stuff to your home country than what you came with. So, leave space in your luggage in order to minimize future struggles.

A brown leather bag on a rock
Leave space in your luggage in order to minimize future struggles. Photo By Alvaro SerranoCC BY 

8. Hand Sanitizer

The most unpleasant traveler’s malady must be diarrhea. It is important to discuss how you can prevent it as diarrhea can cause severe dehydration. Hand sanitizer lowers the risk of getting stomach infections and it works immediately and effectively in order to kill bacteria and most viruses. To avoid Montezumas revenge, traveler’s tummy, Delhi belly – call it what you will – use hand sanitizer before and after meals but most importantly; after being in the bathroom!

9. Power Bank

Power banks are probably the best phone accessories in which you can invest! The struggle is real whenever you are on an adventure and want to take some epic photos but you cannot because your phone has died. A power bank will help you to be ready to always capture the moment.

An iphone cable on a white surface
The struggle is real whenever your phone dies. Avoid it by investing in a power bank. Photo by Adam Birkett / CC BY 

10. Travel Insurance

We know that you might think ”wow, booooring!” or ”Well, that is obvious!”. We get it! However, it is important that we stress out the importance of having a travel insurance! Period. Do not make the mistake of having to fork out for medical treatment and let that ruin your semester abroad! Do your research and get a steady coverage for the unexpected. Like we mentioned earlier at point six; always have a travel security plan!

Find out more about studying in Asia or New Zealand 

Asia Exchange is a Finnish company providing study abroad opportunities in Asia Pacific for students from all around the world. Want to get travel tips and new blog posts straight to your inbox? Subscribe to our monthly newsletter! If you have any questions about studying abroad, feel free to contact us! We’ll get back to you!

This article was written by our Digital Marketing Coordinator Fabian! 


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