Southeast Asia Packing List Toiletries

Categories Planning, Southeast Asia3 Comments

Southeast Asia Packing List Toiletries and First Aid Kit


  • Toothpaste – easily bought everywhere
  • Toothbrush – we used vibrating manual toothbrushes as our electric one was too heavy to bring
  • Hand sanitiser
  • Suncream and Aftersun – bring as much as you can as the quality is poor in South East Asia and it is much more expensive.
  • See-through travel wash bag. We went with Osprey wash bag carry on’ this was good quality and got our liquids through the airport.
  • 100ml liquid containers
  • Tweezers, nail clippers, scissors
  • Hairbrush/comb
  • Earbuds/Q-tips
  • Contact lenses and solution if needed (Carl opted for monthly reusables to save space)

Toiletries Carl packed:

Example toiletries for men
  • Deodorant – I used a combination of Crystal Rock (similar product on deodorant which lasts ages and is really effective, and Loccitane ( which has a really nice smell and is long lasting. This combo lasted me 6 months. Spray deodorant is much more expensive in South East Asia than at home and does not last as long.
  • Soap – I started with ‘soap in a soap box’ for saving space as it was a 3 in 1.
  • Shampoo – See above, but I found that most hostels/hotels had small bottles of shampoo and I just kept refilling them. 
  • Shaver – Philips One Blade. I took this with 2 blades (one blade lasts 4 months). It comes with different size attachments and allows shaving without water and shaving foam.
  • Hair product – I took American Crew ( as it lasts well but grew my hair so kept it back in a band most of the time. It is hard to find hairspray so if you use this bring it with you.
  • Moisturiser if you use it.

Toiletries Sasha packed:

Example toiletries for women

I used one large packing cube to store all of my toiletries and used smaller bags/pouches to keep them organised so I could easily grab what I needed:

  • Make-up – Not essential by any means but I packed some. I rarely wore this during the day and with a tan it is not really necessary. However, for the times we went to a bar or restaurant in the evening it was nice, as a blonde, to have visible eyelashes and eyebrows again. I  packed a mascara, pencil eyeliner, concealer, shimmer highlighter stick (a Soap and Glory one for eyeshadow and cheekbones), and an eyebrow pencil. I also took a tiny sample bottle of my favourite Yves St Laurent foundation to cover up inevitable sunburn emergencies as it is light weight and a small amount goes a long way. It lasted a long time when used in small areas and not as full coverage. I did not bother with eyeshadow or lipgloss and did not miss it.
  • Hair serum – I used argon oil ( which is good but I do not think this was strong enough for my curly and highlighted hair being in the sun every day. Maybe coconut oil or a SPF protector spray would have been better. I use a lot of conditioner but my hair still dried out and broke off.
  • Lots of hairbands (I don’t know how so many can disappear)
  • Lush solid shampoo and conditioner bars – these lasted 3 months and I bought small bottles after this at around $1 a time.
  • Deodrant – I really dislike the feel of roll-on but it lasts so much longer than spray
  • Facewash – suncream and pollution is not helpful for clear skin, so take a cleanser for oily skin to make up for this. I really wish I had taken an exfoliator as well as I decided to save space but ended up buying one anyway and it was really expensive.
  • Face Moisturiser – light weight one for face (I brought a night cream but it was too thick for my skin which became more oily in the hot weather and the use of suncream than at home)
  • Body moisturiser
  • Makeup wipes/baby wipes – I missed these when they ran out
  • Veet wax strips – these were perfect for bikini line maintenance (anything more and you should use beauty salons. I saw waxing services in most cities but they were more expensive than at home). The outer two strips would get a bit melted but those in the middle of the pack were fine. One strip could be cut into smaller ones and one big pack lasted the whole trip. I used a razor for legs/arms using shower gel instead of shaving foam.
  • Nail file
  • Tampons/Pads/Diva Cup – I opted for a Diva Cup which worked perfectly for me and  I also took a handful of tampons as a back up. I kept a look out in all the shops and pharmacies we went in to but could only see pads on sale which are not as practical in hot weather or for activities.
  • Chafing Gel – you do get used to the constant heat (and resulting sweat) after a while, but this really helps in the beginning if you find you tend to suffer from chafing in hot weather. Boots sell one from Champney’s intended for sports (sold as a male product only for some reason) and this worked great with just a small amount.
  • I didn’t bother bringing nail varnish or nail varnish remover as you can get a mani/pedi for cheap everywhere if you need one.

First aid kit

Pharmacies could be found in most places we went to and it was very cheap to buy all of the below, though we brought most of this with us from the UK. Everyone will have different needs but here are some reccomendations:

  • Antiseptic gel/wipes/iodine (cuts and mosquito bites can get easily infected as pollution is an issue in most places)
  • Lugol’s Iodine ( for its many health benefits, heals up cuts well and 2 drops can clean 1 litre of water
  • Plasters (cuts can get easily infected as pollution is an issue in most places so they should be covered up)
  • Painkillers
  • Stretch bandage, tape, safety pins in case of emergencies
  • Insect Repellent – the only one we found that worked really well was called ‘Off‘ ( in an orange canister available in Laos and Cambodia. We found it on Amazon but it is more expensive. For us, all others we tried paled in comparison to this including expensive deet ones from home.
  • Bite cream (we did buy tiger balm but this was not as good as antihistamine cream)
  • Antihistamine tablets for bites and stings
  • Rehydration sachets (these can be easily bought everywhere)
  • Diarrhoea tablets and Constipation tablets (different eating patterns, dehydration and unusual food can play havoc on your system)
  • Sea/travel sickess tablets (if you suffer)
  • Indigestion/heart burn tablets
  • Optional: Sleeping tablets for long journeys
  • Optional: Anti-fungal creams if you tend to suffer in humid places (feet can be especially susceptible)
  • Optional: A good multi-vitamin to make up for a less varied diet

Read on… ‘Southeast Asia Packing List  – Tech and other items’

*Disclaimer: We have added affiliate links in this post to save you some time if you want to look at any items in more detail. However, we recommend you shop around for the best deals and for items that to suit your needs as we were able to find some good discounts by doing this.

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