Vietnam is a land of exceptional history, tropical islands and emerald waters that are visited by hundreds of thousands of travellers every single year. While visitors travel with many different holidaying styles, trip durations and budgets, there is often a list of must-have essentials to pack for the most enjoyable experience.
Here are ten useful suggestions:
Invest in a high-quality backpack for your Vietnam family tour. This is one item that you shouldn’t skimp on. A spacious, thick-strapped backpack is great for carrying a wide range of on-the-go necessities, such as snacks for the day, sunscreen, a water bottle, a change of clothes, etc. Also, if planning to pick up gifts or souvenirs while on a day-trip, you always have a safe place to pack your items.
A useful addition is the travel cubes that make it easy to organise the supplies in the backpack to avoid constantly emptying the pack to find something.
If you want extra peace of mind when travelling, you can use one of the approved airline locks while the bags aren’t physically with you in times of transit.
Read more: Top things to Do on a Vietnam Family Tour
Enjoy a full night of restful sleep with a pair of ear plugs. Very effective and cheap, they are great for the light sleepers staying in a guesthouse or hotel that has a noisy road outside. Also, the ear plugs are useful for those planning to use the long distance buses or trains.
A stomach bug is a constant risk when travelling in a foreign country where the food is isn’t something you are used to, or you make the mistake of drinking non-bottled water (a simple rule in Vietnam is to only drink bottled water). While most symptoms are likely to pass within a relevantly short time-frame, you may want to pack travel remedies that have the ability to short the recovery time, especially when planning to travel in areas far from a built up town.
If you plan to visit the ancient temples and pagodas across Vietnam, modest and respectful items of clothing must be worn. Modest clothing for the sacred places includes below-the-knee skirts or trousers, and also something to cover your shoulders. Also, keep in mind the temperature of the particular part of Vietnam that you are visiting. For instance, it is best to avoid garments in 100% cotton since this will feel too uncomfortable and hot. The preferred option is clothing in a blend of polyester and rayon.
Read more: Famous pagodas in and around Hanoi
For travellers planning to visit Sapa, Mai Chau, Cao Bang, or any other popular trekking destination, a rugged and durable pair of shoes is desirable to give protection from the elements and hopefully stay blister-free. In addition to practical footwear, it can also benefit to pack a pair of flip-flops, flat sandals, or similar. This type of footwear is quick and easy to take off in the event of visiting a religious building such as a temple, as well as certain restaurants and bars, but also kinder to your feet in the humid and hot weather.
A toiletry bag is a useful addition to keep stuff organised and avoids having to pour things on the floor when looking for a particular item. Plus, a decent toiletry bag is certain to make it easier to pack your supplies in the main backpack.
A lightweight waterproof jacket is a wise decision if planning to take the Indochina tour package during the monsoon season. The rain showers are mostly short lived and the temperature stays hot and humid, so there is no need to pack a heavy raincoat. Even if you do forget to pack this item, there are plenty of street-side traders selling plastic ponchos when the rainy weather arrives.
Pack a high SPF spray or solution to give protection from the sun’s powerful UV rays. Sun protection is especially important for the fair skinned travellers visiting Vietnam at the warmest time of the year. The best time to visit Vietnam can vary with the region visited. For instance, average temperature in the south of the year is between 25° to 35° C year round, while a cooler temperature is possible in Hanoi and North Vietnam with an average of 17° to 22° C lasting from November to April. A wide-brimmed hat is a useful addition if planning a boat trip on the Mekong or other waterways to avoid the dreaded sun-stroke. Also, affordable sunglasses can give further protection against the Vietnamese sunlight that can be quite harsh to your eyes.
First aid kit
A first aid kit with just the essentials is a useful item to pack – you will want disinfectant and plasters for small cuts and blisters. In tropical climates, the small cut can quickly get infected, so it is practical to have a small first aid kit handy for the immediate self-treatment.
Even though malaria is quite rare and hardly ever found in most regions of the country, there is a risk of dengue fever, which is a type of viral infection and an outbreak in an urban area is possible. So, it may be wise to protect yourself against mosquitoes by carrying a high-quality bug repellent. The repellent is best applied first thing in the morning before heading out to visit the sights. Re-apply the repellent in the evening for greater all-round protection. Also, long trousers or skirts can be worn at dusk when mosquitoes are most active to give a further layer of protection.
Additionally, a cortisone cream or tiger balm is a useful remedy to stop the mosquito bites from getting infected. This cream is great at relieving discomfort, swelling, or aches. Not packing the relevant bug repellent can leave you covered in mosquito bits that are certain to be an irritation for the rest of the Vietnam family tour.