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If you’re considering travelling or even moving to Southeast Asia, you’re probably wondering what you need to take. It can be difficult to know what you’ll need, especially for longer term trips, which is why I put together this packing list to make things a little easier for you. Let’s take a look at what long-term travellers and soon-to-be expats should consider bringing to Southeast Asia.
Obviously you’ll need to take shoes with you, but I recommend bringing a few extra pairs for all occasions. In Southeast Asia, feet sizes tend to be on the small side so if you have larger feet it can be difficult to get hold of cute, good quality shoes. I recommend bringing some comfortable fashion sneakers, sports shoes, sandals, flip flops and maybe some heels for special occasions!
Generally speaking, the sunscreen in Southeast Asia tends to be expensive. I often find that there are few choices, too, so I always bring my own from home when going on a trip. If you’re moving abroad permanently you’ll eventually need to research a good brand in your new country. Still, it’s definitely worth taking a fair few bottles so that you don’t have to worry about it until you properly settle in your new home.
I tend to favor the following brands when travelling. Remember to pay close attention to the levels of UVA and UVB protection and try to bring at least one waterproof option with you for pool days.
I always use a separate sunscreen for the delicate skin on my face – here are a few of my go-to choices.
Often whilst looking for makeup products abroad I’ve found that my favorite luxury items come with a hefty import tax applied making them significantly more expensive than they are at home, even in countries with a much lower cost of living. Therefore, I highly recommend bringing your favorite products and palettes with you to keep you going for a while.
Foundation can be especially tricky because it can often be difficult to find a good shade match in Asia, particularly if you have darker skin or pinkish undertones. I always take a few bottles of my favorite luxury foundations with me when travelling abroad for a long period of time so that I don’t need to bother hunting for a perfect match.
Ladies, if you prefer to use tampons then you should definitely bring them with you to Southeast Asia. Tampons aren’t very popular amongst Southeast Asian women and they can be difficult to get ahold of. Even if you do manage to do so, there will be far fewer options available to you than you’d find at home. Best to just bring your own supply – fortunately, they don’t weigh much!
Towels in Southeast Asia can prove surprisingly expensive, and the quality is often lacking. Of course, if you’ll be staying in luxurious properties then there’s no need to worry. However, if you’re actually moving abroad for a long period of time, I recommend bringing your own towels with you.
Single use plastic is rife in Asia, so help to cut down on waste by bringing your own refillable water bottle. Although you can’t drink the tap water in most Southeast Asian countries, many hotels, homes, restaurants and coworking spaces have refilling stations. This is a great way to become a more eco-friendly traveller.
You will quite literally find millions of pairs of cheap sunglasses at markets around Southeast Asia. However, they won’t offer top-tier UV protection and therefore won’t protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful rays. In fact, knockoff sunglasses can even do more harm than good. The darkness will cause your pupils to expand and let more light in without offering any protection. This is especially important to me because my eyes are really sensitive to the sun after having laser surgery. I always make sure to pack a quality pair of sunglasses to protect my peepers.
Personally, I just find that chocolate in Asia isn’t usually as good as the stuff you find at home. The heat and humidity mean that the chocolate often contains wax which, in my opinion at least, compromises the taste. Of course, how long you can make your chocolate last is really a question of willpower. Still, it might be helpful to have some of your favorite treats to turn to for comfort.
There’s nothing better than reading a good book on the beach. Sadly, in many parts of Southeast Asia it can be difficult to find a good English language bookshop. An eReader, such as the Kobo Libra H20, on the other hand, lets you download a book from anywhere with an internet connection – be it the beach or the airport- and start reading in an instant. Plus, it’s a fantastic space saver, too.
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Your Luxe Lifestyle was founded by luxury world traveler Isabella Garofanelli bringing you the very best the globe has to offer in travel, lifestyle, and wellness.
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