Traveling to Laos needs a little preparation but there’s nothing to worry about – one way you can enhance your trip to Laos is by packing well. Find out what to pack for Laos travel here in this quick guide to the clothes, medications, electronics, and other things you need.
While this is a general guide, your packing list for Laos will of course depend on the type of trip you are making, and your own individual style of travel. Backpacking around Laos will require a lighter bag, and when you are traveling in luxurious style you can add additional items to your luggage. Pack your bags for an amazing trip to Laos that you won’t even forget.
What Bag Do You Need for a Trip to Laos?
When traveling to Laos, whether you are backpacking or taking a tour, you will need a strong, high quality bag to carry all your belongings. You are likely to be traveling by bus or minivan, and your bag will be unloaded and loaded many times. You’ll also want a small day pack for hiking and day trips, as well as a money pouch or bag that you can wear unobtrusively under your clothes.
Documents and Essentials for a Trip to Laos
You will, of course, need a passport for travel to Laos and you should have six months of validity left on this passport – check for visa requirements before you go. It is also a good idea to arrange for travel insurance, and make sure that the insurance actually covers you in Laos and will also cover you for any extreme sports or other activities you may take part in. If you want to hire a car or a motorbike you will need your driver’s license. Make photocopies of all these documents and store them either in your email or in a storage online system like dropbox.
Staying Healthy in Laos – What to Pack
Take prescriptions for any medication you take on a regular basis and carry sufficient medication for your trip. You will usually be able to get medications in Laos without a prescription but you may need it to show immigration or to get the right name for the drug.
You’ll need good quality sun protection, although you can buy sunscreen in Laos. If you have a favorite brand or you have sensitive skin, bring your preferred sunscreen with you. You will also need a lot of bug spray. Again, you can get insect repellent in Laos but if you find one that works well for you it is a good idea to bring this with you, as quality varies in Laos.
Take a small first aid kit to Laos so you have access to essentials even when you may be far away from a store or the shops may be closed. Include basics like painkillers, Band-Aids, antiseptic cream, etc.
Bring some antibacterial hand wash and wet wipes for cleanliness. You could also take some water filter tablets.
What to Wear in Laos
Packing your Laos wardrobe will be affected of course by your individual style. But you will definitely need to bring some good quality walking shoes or sandals. Clothes should be lightweight and it is a good idea to bring a few changes of clothing that are easy to wash and dry, if you are going on any treks. Laos is quite a traditional country and you should know that tight and revealing clothes are not generally recommended, apart from when you are in an expat area. It is also worth remembering that it is very cheap to get your clothes washed in Laos so you shouldn’t need to bring too many changes of clothing.
Laos is hot and humid most of the year so you will want to take clothes that are made from natural fibers so your skin can breathe and you keep cooler. Take some light layers for the evenings if you are in the mountains.
Take your favorite sunglasses because while you can get sunglasses in Laos they are more likely to be imitation glasses and may not have the full UV protection you are used to. Leave valuables at home and don’t take any expensive jewelry as this is really not worth the stress.
Remember that both women and men need to be well-covered when visiting temples so take some long pants and long-sleeved shirts to wear when you are visiting these places.
Practical Items for a Laos Trip
Ear plugs are a good idea – particularly if you are staying in cheap guesthouses or hostels. You should also bring padlocks to secure your bags in hostels. A small flashlight comes in handy in case you are in a remote area or there is a power cut. And you may need an adaptor if you are using electronic gadgets in Laos.
Find out more about what to pack for Laos and other Asia destinations at PhuketOn. Check out PhuketOn for travel tips and more.