Traveling to Vietnam: My 5 Day Must Bring Checklist

A week later after posting this article, I and my wife will head out and travel to Vietnam for a quick getaway. It’s a long overdue trip after a couple of hectic months from our day jobs and now we’ve finally decided to unwind and have some Vietnamese coffee for ourselves.

So, I think it’s just appropriate for me to write a post about the things that I will be bringing and all the necessary items for at least 3 to 5 days out of town trip.

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Here are my 20 item checklist that I need to sort out before heading out!

  • Itinerary: It’s usually my wife’s job to print out all the itineraries. I just ask here what activities we’ll be having for the day. She knows that I love doing street photography so she pretty much considers that for our trip. Anyway, itineraries for me are just guides so we don’t stray away when we decide to go off the grid. Oh, get a map!
  • Camera:  I bring either two film cameras or a combination of an analog and a digital camera. Most of the time it’s the latter but for this trip, I wanted to focus on shooting more film so I’m bringing my M6 and my Om-4Ti loaded with some fresh Ilford and Kodak films.
  • Films: I’ll be bringing about  7-8 rolls of films, 5 Ilford HP5 and 3 rolls of colored films, one of which is a redscale film, all kept in my white JCH case.  I received all these colored films as a price from a local contest I joined. Yeah, I don’t shoot a lot so these are enough for me for a 5-day trip.
  • Light Meter: Although my M6 has its own meter, I prefer a handheld Sekonic L-308s to get a general reading of the light.
  • Batteries/ Chargers: It’s self-explanatory, but yes. Very important to bring your chargers and extra batteries.
  • Notebook, a pen, and a marker: I always bring these whether I’m going out of town or just the average daily walks. I write my ideas here and notes just for me to keep track of the film and subjects I’m photographing.
  • Torch Light: I bring this with me every time we travel. You’ll never know when it’ll come handy. Funny story though, when my wife and I went to Mt. Ijen, Indonesia, My torch ran out of power. So always bring extra batteries!
  • Emergency kit: this is important, take note of that! We all wish for a smooth accident free experience but sometimes things as such are innevitable so it's always good to be prepared.
  • Shirts, Shorts, Underwear: Since we’ll be there for 5 days, I decided to bring 5 sets of shirts, shorts, and undies. I could bring less and just wash the soiled ones in our hotel bathrooms but I don’t want that hassle.
  • Rain Jacket/ Sweater: I have the worst tolerance to low temperatures. I know Vietnam wouldn’t be so cold but our hotel rooms may so I’m securing myself. The rain jacket is also an essential.  It may come in handy when the weather turns sour. Oh, I’m not a fan of umbrellas too.
  • Bags: I’ll be bringing 2 types of bags. 1st  is a larger Sandugo mountaineers bag where I keep all my stuff that is supposed to be left in the hotel room anyway. These are the chargers, all my shirts, etc. My 2nd bag is a Think Tank Retrospective 5. It’s my trusty messenger type bag which I will be bringing all day wherever we go. This is where I’ll be packing mostly my cameras, films, and small necessities for the day.

Others:

  • Passport and all travel documents (my wife got that covered)
  • Wallet with ID’s
  • Watch
  • Mobile phone
  • Lens pen
  • Rocket blower
  • Universal adapter
  • Toiletries
  • Cap (can't live/leave without it)

*Unfortunately, I can't bring my tripod with me because we did not book a flight with check-in luggage and bringing the tripod with me as a hand carry item is not allowed. So yeah, probably no long exposure for my other Instagram.

My main goal is to bring only what I need (Yes, I need two cameras) for the trip. Traveling light is key and although I think I overdid with the shirts that I will be bringing, they would pretty much all stay in the hotel room and I’ll only be bringing a smaller bag with me throughout the day. But above everything else, We want to enjoy this trip and I’m excited to spend a couple of days with my wife in Vietnam! I’ll keep you posted!