What to Pack When You’re Moving to Southeast Asia


  1. Heather says:

    What about insect repellent? I really like Off Family Care Unscented Spritz. It worked great for me while I was in Asia and doesn’t reek like some of the others. Sunscreen is also a must. Other items I was glad to have with me were a hat and linen pants.

    • Alana Morgan says:

      Insect repellent is good – though you can find it over here. If you want something particular of course bring it from home. That said, I brought several things of repellant over when I first came a couple years ago and don’t think I went through them all.

  2. Monica says:

    Great tips for packing. I second your tip about packing underwear. I don’t even have big boobs but trying to find a bra in Asia is a nightmare!

    • Alana Morgan says:

      Such a hassle! In Thailand you can either buy a cheap small (small) one on the street just by looking at it, or go to department store…and at the store the sales girls hover around you while you don’t know what you doing or looking for…I hate it!!

  3. Maddie says:

    My partner and I are travelling to SEA in March for quite a while and we will be teaching English in an orphanage while we are in Chiang Mai. Such a helpful list! Thanks for the tip about underwear & tampons, will make sure I stock up before we leave. 🙂

  4. Mary says:

    If you don’t want to bring hundreds of tampons with you a menstrual cup is so much less hassle! A friend reccomended it to me for travelling and its brilliant. There are a few different brands but I’ve tried ‘Diva cup’.

  5. I am sending you the BIGGEST hug for writing this! It is exactly what I needed to read.

  6. LaDonna C. says:

    I recently stayed in Chiang Mai, Thailand for 4 months. While I would be in agreement with the majority of your article, I would only disagree with the clothing issue. Everyone mixes and matches over there. The Thais, at least, have a very free sense of style. An office job or similar employ would call for Western style dressing, but most of the Thais I lived with working the exact same fashions as was sold in their markets, including the harem pants, they just don’t limit themselves to either or. I think it might be more how you rock them, then the fact that you ARE rocking them.

    • Alana Morgan says:

      Haha – I like ‘a very free sense of style’, it’s true – you’ll see people at the same place in club attire and pajamas. That said, they do focus a lot on clothing and appearance, especially in certain situations, and while they probably wouldn’t point out to a foreigner that they’re clothing is inappropriate, there are definitely expectations. Also just depends on the situation though – at the high school I worked at we had a pretty strict dress code we had to adhere to – down to the color we wore on which day – but at a day care center I could wear wear jeans and be okay.

  7. nikki says:

    This article is just what I was looking for! I have a one way ticket to Bangkok in 2 days and plan on backpacking for around 6 months! I am 20 years old and have never left America before and my dream is finally coming true! So shout out to all you solo female travelers out there scared to death but finding the courage to just go!!! I can’t even count how many of my friends have said “There’s no way I could ever do that- I’d be way too scared”. My response- “SO AM I! And I love it, that’s why I have to do this!” Sending love and positive vibes to all you girls (and guys) taking the adventure! Looking before you leap is over-rated! 🙂

    • Alana Morgan says:

      Have a WONDERFUL trip and let me low if you have any questions about Thailand!

    • Tricia says:

      Nikki, I am Intrigued- how did it go?? Thank you for your positive vibes, and I’m sending some right back at you! 🙂 I finally found the courage to go to Thailand for a TEFL course, purchased a 1 way ticket, only to realize I need an exit ticket to obtain a visa. Any advice regarding this would be appreciated.
      This article was so helpful!!

  8. Bethany says:

    So great and helpful! Thanks!

  9. veena says:

    I love your line about realizing how ridiculous travellers look! The harem pants are pretty popular in India as well – especially in the north – and I used to always feel like an ass walking around with friends who were wearing them. I’m sure they’re comfortable, but some of the patterns and colours you get here are just outrageous.

    And I totally feel you on the bras and underwear! The quality of women’s undergarments in India is atrocious, and that is always one of my staples whenever I return to the States. I feel so bad for my friends here sometimes, because the quality and comfort levels are just so bad.

    Great list and suggestions!

    • Alana Morgan says:

      The harem pants are super comfortable especially when traveling in hot places – I definitely wore them throughout India. But I would like to think I at least chose had more ‘tasteful’ ones 😉 I think I’ve bought one bra in Thailand…never again.

  10. Really useful information. I was very confident that I know what I need to pack for my trip to Asia, but apparently I have no idea! I am so happy that I stumbled upon this blog! I love this post. I will definitely bring 2 deodorants and enough bras with me! 🙂 Thanks!

  11. Mikayla Welsch says:

    Thank you for your post! I’m planning my move to Thailand for the beginning of the next year and I’m already organizing some aspects of my journey. It’s still too early for packing, but I’ve already done some lists, and your advices and information at all are of a great help for me. I can now figure out what I will really need for my travel like clothes, cosmetics, shoes and which items are going to be completely unnecessary. Greets!

  12. Becca says:

    Hey! This was very helpful. I’m moving to Thailand to teach English also. I was just going to bring a check in and a carry on roller and day pack I already own but I’m rethinking. Should I get a large backpack and ditch the carry on roller?
    Thanks for advice

    • Alana Morgan says:

      Hey Becca – how exciting! It’s always tricky figuring out what luggage to take on an extra-big trip or move… What I’ve usually done is have a big backpacking backpack and collapsible duffel bag that I check, then have brought a small rolling bag as my carry on item, that way I have a big bag to use for longer trips and the carry one to use for shorter. The duffel I can fold down so it doesn’t take up any space when I’m not using it. Hope that helps..? Good luck!

  13. Alicia says:

    I have been advised to just find a tailor to custom make bras for me while there. What do you think?

  14. Erica Harman says:

    This article (although you may have written it awhile back) has came just at the right time for me and my family. We are planning a nice trip here and there’s always that wonder of what to bring and what to expect. Thanks for filling in the blanks for me!

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