During 9 months travelling I realized some things I packed were completely useless in Southeast Asia and some made my backpacker life way much easier. This is a list of my travel essentials:
- Tiger balm
You can find it everywhere in Southeast Asia. It is a great mosquito bite relief and also good for headache and stomach ache.
- Off! Active repellent
The most efficient one as it has the ingredient deet.
- Motion sickness pills
Useful when travelling through bumpy roads or unstable boat trips. Don´t buy them at home as they are extremely cheap in pharmacies across Asia.
A must if you are staying in a hostel room or a private room near the main roads or animal farms. I found the wax ones the most efficient type.
- Sleeping mask
Necessary when sleeping in a share accommodation, camping or don´t have proper blinds, which are very rare in Asia. A must on night buses as often they leave the lights on throughout the trip.
- Frontal light
Holding the phone as a torch is tiring when you are looking for something on your bag late at night on your hostel room. Definitely more useful that you might think at first.
- Microfiber towel
I took two and was so grateful as most hostels don´t provide towels or charge you to use them. They dry so quickly and take no space on your bag.
- Toilet paper roll
It will save you from using the buckets provided in 99% of the toilets I found on the restaurants, bars, etc…
- Coconut oil
The best for hydrating the skin and hair, relief sunburns and I have been told by fellow travelers that is also good to repel sand flees.
- Fanny pack
Keep your passport, money and phone safe and handy while traveling. Is not common but sometimes there are thieves in the night buses, specially Laos.
- Packing organizers
The best way to keep your clothes in order. Will save you lots of time while packing.
- Metallic water bottle
The safest and best way to enjoy the free water refills provided in some hostels. Water refills at the shops are half the price than a new bottle. Also it is not advisable to use more than once the plastic bottles as they can get full of germs and bacteria when are exposed to high temperatures.
Super useful to attach to your backpack your water bottle, your trainers or sandals, your travel pillow, etc…
- Pocket Knife
Just make sure you keep it in the check in baggage when flying.
- Power bank
Super useful in endless travel journeys or when there is a lack of electricity in remote places. Ensure is 20.000mAH so you can have enough for a few charges.
- Waterproof backpack cover
It will help you keep your backpack dry and clean. The one in the picture costs 8€ at Decathlon: https://www.decathlon.co.uk/rain-cover-for-large-backpack-id_8356615.html