Going back for my third time (and Berty’s hundredth time) to Indonesia, I’m confident in saying I’ve finally nailed this packing list. We’ve gone through countless trial and errors (i.e. packing too much stuff, packing the WRONG stuff) and we’ve figured out how to make smarter choices with what we bring. In this post, I’m going to share everything you need for a two week trip, which works in all major cities like Jakarta, Surabaya, and Bali! This list could probably even be applied to the rest of Southeast Asia, although we only have specific knowledge of Indonesia – so here we go!
The Ultimate Indonesia Packing List
I’ve found that in tropical, humid areas of the world, wearing natural fibers is the best. It pulls the sweat away from your body and keeps you cooler! Stick with fabrics like linen, performance fabric, and cotton, and avoid fabrics like wool and polyester. Indonesia is also a Muslim-majority country. Places like Bali and most of Java are generally okay with “summer clothing” and showing skin, but if you are traveling deeper into Indonesia, we would suggest bringing more modest options.
- 2 loose-fitting t-shirts like this one and this one from Lou & Grey
- 2 blouses in neutral colors
- 1 long sleeve blouse/top like this cute button up
- 1 sweater or hooded sweatshirt for transit and mild mornings
- 2 flowy tank tops
- 2 pairs of shorts (faves are these and these which are the perfect length)
- 1 pair of long pajama-style pants
- 1 simple black skirt (this one from Athleta)
- 1 pair of jeans (I suggest loose fitting ones like these from GAP)
- 1 sarong (to use for temple visits and covering up at the beach)
- 1 pair of walking shoes (these are lightweight and flexible)
- 1 pair of dressy sandals (Read More: 12 Best Sandals For Travel)
- 1 pair of shower shoes/flip flops. Multi-purpose, waterproof sandals are essential for beach visits and keeping your feet off gross bathroom floors.
- Light rain jacket
- 2 bathing suits / 1 two-piece and 1 one-piece
Here are a few quick tricks I have when packing for Indonesia:
- Gather items a few days early, and set your clothes out so you can see everything. Anything you’re on the fence about wearing, pull it. You won’t wear it if you’re having second thoughts. (Read More: Tips To Avoid Overpacking)
- Pack in the same color scheme so that you have the maximum amount of clothing combinations.
- Use packing cubes (these and these are the ones we have) to separate clothing into categories for easy locating in your suitcase.
- Force yourself to use a small suitcase. It will limit you to packing only what is necessary. (Read More: How To Pack Carry-On Only)
(This picture was packing for this trip. I will upload a picture of our Indo suitcase soon!)
Make sure you have a proper toiletry bag, like this one by LLBean. It is waterproof and can hang on any hook for easy access. We have the small + medium sizes, but the small one fits just enough shower/bathroom essentials for both Berty and I. If you’re looking for something a little nicer and less camp-y, try this one and this one. Here’s what to put inside…
- Sunscreen stick. We have this mini version so that there’s no excuse not to bring it everywhere.
- Toothbrush + toothpaste
- Mini hairbrush
- Minis of all your favorite face/hair products (Target is a great resource for this!)
- Aloe Vera (mini)
- Bug Spray
- Waterproof watch
- Hat – for sun protection (and style!)
- Scarf – for chilly nights, airports, and again – sun protection.
- Ziploc bags – all sizes. I found these extremely useful when moving around and needing to store wet clothes before they fully dried.
- Reusable tote – essential for pulling together a quick beach bag on the go. Also useful for carrying snacks and other things on long car rides.
- Compartment bags – I have gushed about these in my past packing posts here and here, but these truly are the MVP of any suitcase. I especially love this one, which separates dirty underwear from clean ones. No more guessing!
- Sling bag – great for carrying the essentials hands-free! We have this theft-proof one (which worked great in Paris!) and love this one!
In Your Carry-On
Many airlines don’t allow you to check valuable items like your laptop or camera because of the liability. Therefore, you need to make room to fit the following:
- Passport (+ visa info if staying longer than the free 30 days)
- Paper copies of any reservations (or phone screenshots)
- Power bank – like this one for charging your phone on the go.
- Outlet converter – (we have this one for lots of plugins)
- Extra pair of clothes + socks
- Laptop + Charger
- Phone + Charger
- Wallet + Cash with travel essentials only (leave the rest at home)
- Quart Ziplock of essential toiletries (moisturizer, purell, toothpaste, chapstick, deodorant)
Read More: 30 Essentials For Carry-On Only Travel
Did we miss anything on our Indonesia packing list? What did you bring on your trip to SE Asia? Tell us in the comments below!
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