How To: Pack for 10 Days in Vietnam in a Carry-on

Alright so you’re going to Vietnam and you only have 10 days because dammit there is a lot of world you still have to see! You want to get lost in the chaos of Hanoi, you want to cruise the surreal waters of Halong Bay and you really want to rip down Hai Van Pass on a motorbike. And what will make all of those things easier? Making sure all of your belongings fit in a convenient carry-on! Read on to find out how we packed for 10 days in Vietnam in only a carry-on.

How To: Pack for 1 Week in Cuba in a Carry-on

  • Medium-sized backpack (carry-on) – For this particular trip we used medium-sized 30L backpacks. In our opinion, backpacks are essential for a trip to Vietnam since they are much easier to carry when travelling around. We recommend the Eddie Bauer Unisex-Adult Voyager 30L Backpack.
  • Small foldable day pack (personal item) – Another essential item to our trip were our trusty Stowaway Packable Daypacks by Eddie Bauer. We use them basically every time we travel as they are incredibly versatile.

How To: Pack for 1 Week in Cuba in a Carry-on

The hardest part when packing – not bringing too much clothes! To make sure you wear everything you bring it’s best to pack in outfits for the week and to make sure that all pieces can go together well. Stick with neutrals and choose 1-2 accent colours to compliment your wardrobe. Also, consider the weather as well as the activities you’ll be doing on your trip when packing.

  • 2 pairs of shorts
  • 2 pairs of lightweight pants
  • 1 pair of leggings
  • tops2 linen tanks, 2 cotton t-shirts and 1 blouse
  • 2 light dresses
  • bikini
  • 1 pair of sneakers/running shoes
  • 1 pair of flip-flops
  • 1 pair of Birkenstock
  • 2 pairs of sunglasses
  • 2 lightweight sweaters
  • 1 scarf
  • 1 rain jacket 
  • 1 workout outfit 
  • 1 sports bra
  • 12 pairs of underwear 
  • 4 pairs of socks 
  • 1 small purse

The weather in Vietnam is very humid but surprisingly cooler in the winter months (especially in the Northern parts of the country) so bring lots of layers.

How To: Pack for 1 Week in Cuba in a Carry-on

Similar to Katherine, making sure you don’t pack unnecessary things is key! Everything in your bag should be something you will wear at least once, preferably more (washing machines exist everywhere). The most important thing I think about is weather and activities since you want to be comfortable enough to enjoy them. In terms of fashion and style, light, neutral colours work best with everything, and when in doubt, staple pieces such as plain T’s, light cotton pants, raincoat, etc. will never let you down.

  • 10 pairs of briefs/boxers
  • 7 pairs of socks
  • 2 pairs of shorts
  • 2 pairs of light cotton pants
  • 1 pair of jeans
  • 4 pairs of plain t-shirts
  • 2 sweaters
  • 1 button down shirt
  • 1 pair of workout shorts
  • 1 workout shirt 
  • 1 pair of running shoes
  • 1 pair of boat/casual shoes
  • 1 pair of flip-flops
  • 1 pair of sunglasses
  • 1 swimsuit
  • 1 raincoat

How To: Pack for 1 Week in Cuba in a Carry-on


How To: Pack for 1 Week in Cuba in a Carry-on

I’m only going to list the items that I brought since Katherine and I tend to share things like toothpaste and body/face wash in order to save as much space as possible.

  • Deodorant
  • Toothbrush
  • Contact solution
  • 1 extra set of contacts
  • 1 razor
  • Shaving gel (travel sized)
  • Hand cream
  • Hair wax
  • Lip chap

How To: Pack for 1 Week in Cuba in a Carry-on

  • Deck of cards  Something we now always bring whenever we travel, you never know when you will be stranded at the airport!
  • Travel insurance It’s always good to have in case something happens.
  • Passport/travel documents/visa Make sure that you have a visa (if required) and that your passport is valid for at least 6 months after the date you are meant to enter the country. This will be required before you can even get on the plane so make sure you have all of these details ready before leaving for the airport. Also, have a paper copy of your hotel reservations – they may ask for it at customs/at check-in. For an awesome guide to getting a visa for Vietnam, click here.
  • E-reader/books/magazines
  • Ipod/Iphone and earphones
  • Waterproof phone case
  • Empty water bottle – Great to bring so that you can fill them up at your hotel and bring them with you during the day. This way you don’t have to lug around a huge 2 L bottle with you! We love the Vapur Element Bottle since it’s collapsible.
  • Travel pillow – Our favourite is the Cabeau Evolution Memory Foam Travel Neck Pillow, it’s so comfortable and packs up quite small.
  • Journal and pen – We love keeping all of our memories fresh by writing them down every night in a journal. Plus, having a pen is always a good idea, especially when you need to fill out custom forms at the airport!


What would you bring for 10 days in Vietnam?

Are we missing anything on this list?

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How To: Pack for 10 Days in Vietnam in a Carry-on

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Hi, we're Jordon and Katherine, founders of travel and lifestyle blog World Abound. We're a working couple who hope to be able to say one day that we've travelled the world together, even while still working our 9-5 jobs.

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