One basic advice: travel light. A medium-sized luggage and a small backpack should be more than enough during your trip to Vietnam. Most of the things you might need are available in Vietnam for prices cheaper than in Europe, so only bring what is necessary. In addition, on domestic flights, you are only entitled to 20kg of checked baggage and 7kg in hand-carried luggage.
Due to the possibility of bad weather, we also recommend you to bring some plastic bags in order to pack and protect your belongings.
Most hotels allow you to leave your luggage after checking out of your room. You would be able to pick them back when needed. To avoid problems, put a tag with your name and address (your own address or the address of your travel agent) on each one of your bag. Security checks are very strict at airports: avoid putting in your cabin baggage items such as knives, scissors, spare cells and batteries, liquids, explosives... Please be aware that all your luggage will be routinely scanned (if you arriving by plane) every time you take the plane.
We also advise you to bring the following:
Clothes and Accessories
- Light clothes and a vest during spring (from March to May) and fall (from September to November)
- Light clothes for the summer (June to August): shorts and T-shirts + and one pair of long pants and a long-sleeves shirt to visit temples or to be used at night if you visit mountainous areas
- Warm clothes: a coat, jerseys, gloves, caps and scarves are must-haves for winter trips in Northern Vietnam (mid-November to February)
- Swimsuits for trips to Ha Long Bay, beach breaks and for swimming in lakes and waterfall pools
- Shoes/sandals that are suitable for walks and also easy to take off (it is common to have them removed when you enter pagodas or private houses) + several pairs of socks
- A poncho or a light raincoat
- Sun cream, hat and sunglasses
- Mosquito repellent
- If you are planning to trek: don’t forget to bring appropriate shoes
If you spend a night in a homestay, bring along your toiletry bag: towels, soap, shower gel and shampoo, toothbrush and toothpaste, disposable razor and shaving foam.
You will find towels and toilet paper in every hotel. However, if you don’t find them to be suitable for your use, it should be pretty easy to buy it at cheap prices once you are in Vietnam. It is also the case for shampoo and soap.
We advise you to bring a small first-aid kit which should include medication to provide some relief from minor health issues like headaches, diarrhea, pain, etc. It can also be useful to bring disinfectant with you.
Travelers following a regular medical treatment should make sure that they bring along enough medication for the length of their stay. We also recommend to bring separately the patient information leaflets in order to have the scientific name of the active substance: indeed, if needed, it would be easier for local pharmacists to identify the correct medication.
If you bring syringes/needles for medical reason, please ask your doctor to make a medical certificate (in English); it can be difficult to go through customs with it without having such document.
If possible, you can bring a prescription in International Common Denomination, which can be read and understood by every doctor everywhere around the world.
Nevertheless, if you don’t want to carry too much, please note that you should find what you need in local drugstores.
Do not forget the most important: your passport and visa, your flight tickets and your travel insurance.
Remember to check the period of validity of your passport (at least 6 months validity after leaving the visited country) and the date of validity of your visa. You can enter the country later than the allowed entry date but you cannot enter earlier nor leave later than the date indicated on your visa.
Make sure that you keep photocopies of your passport, visa and airplane tickets (or scans for electronic use, saved in an USB key of in your mailbox). It can prove to be very useful in case of loss or theft.