What to pack living in Vietnam for 12 months

June 24, 2019
What to pack living in Vietnam for 12 months

1 suitcase & 2 backpacks later…

Packing to live somewhere is completely different than just packing to travel. My clothes were the last things I was worried about, I was more concerned if I would have enough medications and beauty care items. Obviously, this list is catered to me and items I think are valuable, it may be different for you but I highly recommend that you really think about items you use daily back at home because you will want them wherever you are living. Just remember you are going to be living in this place for a long period of time, not just a few weeks.

MOST IMPORTANT- Your ORIGINAL university degree, background police check and a few photocopies of these and your passport. Also a few passport photos of yourself- just in case.

Clothes– The main thing to think about with clothes is what activities will you be doing in them? For me, I will be spending most of my time teaching so I need appropriate clothing for that. I will also be spending time going to the gym and going out for dinner so I need clothes for these types of activities. I’m not going to be going to the beach or swimming a lot but if I travel somewhere I may so I decided to pack one bikini and a light Turkish towel. In regards to shoes, don’t under or overpack. I packed 5 different types of shoes and I think this is a great amount, I only packed the shoes I knew I would wear and were practical.

Kitchen- I packed all my reusable items and also some healthy foods like my super green smoothie mix. I wish I brought my old Nutri Bullet as now I will probably buy a smoothie machine here. I also wish I brought some healthy superfoods like hemp seeds over with me as they are pretty expensive to buy here. You can still pretty much buy anything ever here (even vegemite!) as they have many international food stores but the prices are expensive so if its something you can’t live without bring it over with you.

Medication- I ended up spending around $500 the night before on so many medications I didn’t need. You can buy panadol, eye drops, bandaids- basically everything here and its all fairly cheap. The one thing I am glad I did buy beforehand was probiotics! However, if you have any specific medications like eye contacts, bring them over just in case. For all the common items you can just buy them here so don’t bother packing them and wasting that space.

Beauty Care- Once again a lot of the basic items (hairbrush, comb, pads, toothbrush) you can buy all here fairly cheap. What you can’t buy here is any lotions, soaps, perfumes that may be natural and are from a special shop back home. For me, this was items from Lush, so I packed plenty to bring over with me and it’s going to suck when I run out cause I love their products so much! I haven’t really been able to find any natural beauty products unless it’s been at a environmental store which there are few of.

Technology- This was a lot of items I needed to pack and it all went into my carry on for the flight. I had my camera equipment, laptop, chargers, tripod etc. I recommend you bring it all with you as I left some of my SD cards and hard drives at home and now wish I brought them over to go through. You need to buy a good universal travel adaptor and its also smart to bring over a power board so you can charge multiple items at once. The wall socket here uses both USA and EUROPE adaptors which is pretty handy.

Extras– One thing I wasn’t sure about bringing but glad I did was my humidifier and essential oils! The air quality is horrible where I live and my apartment is so dry from the aircon and I constantly have a bad throat so this is a lifesaver. I also brought some art supplies with me, a few posters and other special items that make my apartment feel like home. A pencil case with scissors, glue, blue-tack is also super handy to have.

Items I wish I brought over but didn’t:

  • Nutri Bullet Blender
  • Herbs and Spices
  • Health Foods
  • A few more going out clothes
  • All my SD cards and hard drives

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