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My Top 5 Travel Essentials for Southeast Asia

1. Comfy Walking Sandals (Chacos) I once wrote a horrible blog solely on my love for Chacos. I never posted it…for good reason…but my love for Chacos still prevails. Chacos, Tevas, or any other comfy walking/hiking sandals are a must when traveling in warm climates. Having comfy sandals that you can walk in for hours without discomfort is key to having a good trip! Honestly, if you have great hiking sandals, there is really no point in bringing any other shoes on your trip! If you’re like me, you’ll end up wearing them the whole time! Moreover, hiking in Southeast Asia often involves streams and puddles, so I would choose Chacos over gym shoes to hike in. (If Chacos are a bit out of your price range, try looking on Poshmark for good deals!)

(http://www.chacos.com/)

2. GoPro I bought my GoPro about 5 years ago to make wakeboarding videos, and now it is one of my favorite items to take with me traveling. Small, lightweight, durable and an awesome HD camera, the GoPro is perfect for adventure travel. Many phones these days have amazing cameras, but if you love making videos, and want some great action shots without having to worry about getting your phone/camera wet or breaking…the GoPro is for you! If you are on a budget, there are plenty of GoPro knockoffs that work just as well for half the price. I have read great reviews about the Yi 4K, and have even considered purchasing it once my GoPro dies…though its about 6 years running and still works great!

3. Linen Pants Traveling around and living in SEA, I live in linen pants. People in South East Asia do not usually wear shorts. Most of my Vietnamese friends wear jeans...even in the hottest months. If you’re traveling to more conservative countries with a hot climate, linen pants will be your new best friend… I don’t go anywhere without them!

(Me (right) pictured in my trustee army green linen pants in Sri Lanka). Please also notice that we are both wearing Chacos, as they are the best hiking sandals in the world.

4. Foldable/Packable Backpack I always try to pack light, and so foldable/packable bags come in so much handy! When I am taking short weekend trips, I am sure to bring a foldable bag or backpack. For Christmas, my cousin got me a foldable backpack, and I know that I am going to take it with me everywhere! While big backpacks are useful and fit a lot, small backpacks are great when you are heading out on day trips and only need a few things. It is a pain to take everything out of your main backpack, so you might as well carry a small pouch that unfolds into a day bag...how convenient!

(https://www.golyteoutdoor.com/products/)

5. Debit/Credit Card with no Foreign Transaction Fees This last travel item is a great way to save money and travel worry free! Some countries have outrageous fees to take out money in ATMs you don’t belong to. For example, in Thailand, most ATMs have at least a 6 dollar fee…and that’s not including the fee that your debit card may have. Thus, using debit cards like Charles Swabb, that refund you the money foreign ATMs charge and have no foreign transaction fees, is a huge money saver! I would also suggest to get a credit card that has no foreign transaction fees. I use the Capital One Venture Card as much as I can when traveling—I don't have to worry about getting charged a fee, and the card's points have already helped me pay for several of my flights back and forth from Vietnam.

Happy Travels!

- Danie

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