Planning a trip to Cambodia and freaking out because you have no idea what to pack? I feel ya. My packing routine consists of me procrastinating for as long as possible, then panicking at the very last moment and throwing whatever I can find in my house at my suitcase. It’s wild. To help you avoid finding yourself in that same situation I’ve prepared this packing guide on what to pack for a trip to Cambodia, decked out with my favourite Instagram photos from my trip to Instagram. If you don’t already, be sure to follow me on Instagram and see all my dreamy travel photos.
Clothing and footwear you’ll need
The heat and humidity in Cambodia are no joke. Stepping off our air-conditioned bus into the scorching heat of an afternoon at Angkor Wat, I realised I was mentally unprepared. It’s important, especially if you’re visiting in the hot months, to pack with this heat in mind.
- Pack lots of light, breathable clothing options. You might like to pack sweat-wicking gear
- I’d recommend packing flowing cotton skirts, denim shorts and skirts and cotton dresses
- Consider packing vest/singlet tops as well as t-shirts and blouses too, if you like
- Make sure you pack comfortable footwear as you’ll spend a lot of time walking; you’ll need a pair of sneakers as well as comfortable flats and sandals
- I recommend you bring a hat or two as well as sunglasses and sunscreen
- You should also pack an umbrella, not just for the rain, but to shield you from the intense sun on those scorching days
- You’ll also need at least two ‘temple outfits’ – this means your knees and shoulders must be covered (scarves won’t cut it)
- Be sure to pack your swimwear so you can make the most of the hotel pool, if you have one
- You may want to pack a few ‘nice’ outfits for special dinners or nights out, high-hells are absolutely not required
Charging station If, like me, you travel with a whole lot of gear that needs to be charged on the regular, you’re going to need more than one power point. Buy one power point converter and take a power board with multiple plug-ins on it. It makes life so much easier! Here’s a look at the type of power plug & outlet type they have in Cambodia.
Hair products Because Cambodia is so humid, I found myself putting my hair up each day. Be sure to pack a few strong hair ties as well as some hairspray so you can tame those wild flyaway’s caused by the intense humidity.
Medicine Bring a small bag packed full of essential medicines with you, bring things like cold and flu tablets, hay fever/allergy medicine, ibuprofen, paracetamol, tums, buscopan and Imodium. People who suffer from hay fever, asthma or other allergies may find the pollution causes them to play up, so keep that in mind. You should also definitely pack your prescription medicines and anything special you may require, like a Ventolin inhaler for asthmatics.
Sunsmart gear You’ll definitely need sunglasses, a hat and sunscreen with high SPF to protect you from the sun’s harsh rays and I always recommend Cancer Council’s sunscreen. Remember, sunscreen is only as good as its user and it’s up to you to reapply during the day to ensure you don’t get burned. Remember, cloudy days mean U.V rays!
Bug spray Be sure to throw in some super strong bug spray as the mosquitos in Cambodia can carry disease and leave you with some very red, itchy bites
Hand sanitiser Uh oh, I hate to be that tourist, but hand sanitizer is essential no matter where you are, even if you’re in your hometown. You never know when you’ll unexpectedly touch something sticky, hairy, wriggly or gross, so be prepared and have some hand sanitiser with you.
Tissues You need to carry tissues with you at ALL times because there’s no guarantee there will be any in the toilets you use. This applies to public toilets as well as rest stops, service stations, hotels and cafes. Be prepared.
Your essentials Pack your beloved brand-name essentials like cosmetics, electric toothbrush heads and feminine hygiene products. Also, pack your environmentally friendly products and products for sensitive skin, as it may be difficult to get your hands on these while you travel. Don’t waste money on travel minis, use refillable 100ml bottles instead! I often fill up those black pots from Lush with my products as they’re re-usable and under the 100ml limit.
Day pack Make sure you have a great pack for your daily adventures. You’ll need something that fits your essentials, like camera, wallet, snacks etc. It also needs t be comfortable, you don’t need a bag that pulls on your shoulders and gives you a sore neck! Matt is obsessed with his Mountain Designs 30L Mountain Pony Daypack and I’m smitten with my Millican Smith ‘The Roll’ Pack 18L (see image below from Laos), also from Mountain Designs.
Visiting a local Hmong village and exploring Luang Prabang in gorgeous Laos. I gotta say, this place is fast becoming my favourite spot in South East Asia! A huge thank you to the team at Mountain Designs for hooking me up with this amazing backpack in time for this trip. It has been a life saver! @airasia @topdecktravel #Topdecker #PhoebeFlysAirAsia #FlyAirAsia #TopdeckAsia @mountaindesigns
My packing tips and tricks
Plastic bags Stash some large plastic grocery bags and small sandwich bags in your luggage, they come in so very handy for storing dirty shoes and clothes as well as bars of soap, wet swimwear or leaky toothpaste tubes!
Tupperware I use Tupperware or similar hard plastic containers to put all my toiletries in. This ensures no leaks will destroy my clean clothes and makes it really easy for me to grab my toiletries in one easy swoop, keep them together in the hotel and makes re-packing easier too. I also use a small container for all my jewellery and another one for electronics like adaptors, cords and chargers. It keeps me organised and stops me from losing things!
Exploring ancient temples in Siem Reap ✨ Want to win my trip for ya self?! Entry is easy! 1. Visit airasiaescape.com 2. Click to vote for your favourite photo from me, Hello Emilie or Jason Charles Hill (obvs, me) 3. Enter your details & submit your entry. And, just like that, you're in the running to win your very own adventure with @airasia, @topdecktravel and @perthairport Good luck!! Be sure to share this awesome comp with your friends 😊
Laundry bag I also pack a laundry bag in my luggage. It just helps me keep track of what’s clean and what definitely isn’t. We’ve all experienced the pain of getting bits and pieces confused and losing track of how many clean outfits you have left, then missing some vital pieces when you put your laundry in.
Air freshener Recently I’ve started putting an air freshener in my luggage and it’s changed my life. I quite often find my luggage starts to smell a bit musty once I start mixing dirty laundry and worn shoes in with my clean stuff, then sealing up my suitcase for a flight. Popping an air freshener in with your luggage makes a world of difference.
Local currency Just make sure you have a little bit of local currency on you, to get you through the first few days after you arrive, on the off-chance, you have trouble taking money out or lose a card. It’s also important to let your back know where you’re going, so they don’t freeze your account when you take money out overseas for the first time. You also might like to read this post on 12 Amazing apps and websites to boost your travel game!
Watch: our “Road to Phnom Penh’ video
Phoebe Lee is a travel writer and award-winning blogger with a love for storytelling. Phoebe creates practical, fun and engaging written content designed to inspire and energise travel-lovers and dreamers. Follow her and Matt’s adventures at home and around the world, right here on Little Grey Box and through Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.