I write a lot about not letting the weather stop your travel plans because there’s never a perfect time to go. If you decide to skip places because of rainy season, then you are going to miss most of Southeast Asia – and trust me, you don’t want to do that! The key is to be prepared for the weather and you’ll be able to roll with it like a local.
Rainy Season Travel Gear
Rain doesn’t matter if you have packed the right gear. I’ve traveled to and lived in very wet environments, and here is some of my favorite rain gear I take with me when I know I’m going to run into the rain!
Croc Ballet Flats
I hate Crocs, I hate the look of them. However, I love the ballet flats that they make – mainly because they don’t look like Crocs, but they have the benefit of Crocs. I owned a pair when I lived in Saigon and I wore them every day because they are a perfect piece of rainy season travel gear. It doesn’t matter if they get wet or muddy, just rinse them off. Plus, they were comfortable, AND they look cute!
I know what you are thinking, an umbrella is a luxury when you travel and takes up valuable space. But it’s one of the pieces of travel gear that I ALWAYS pack. An umbrella is actually probably useless in a huge downpour in Vietnam – however, for small showers, it’s great when you travel. I love the travel size ones as they are the size of an eyeglass case and take up very little room and come in really handy if it’s raining. In addition, umbrellas aren’t just for rain! They are also great for really hot environments to keep the direct sun off of you too!
I think the best rain gear you can have in Vietnam is just a simple poncho. It gives you the most mobility, and is small to fit in your suitcase! Plus it’s what all the locals wear! In addition, I always use ponchos when hiking, I prefer them over expensive raincoats and pants because they not only cover your body, but they also cover your backpack and camera gear. In one easy process of putting on a poncho, you and your backpack are completely covered!
Or try the disposable ones!
Don’t forget to protect your DSLR camera with a LensCoat RainCoat! RainCoat provides protection for your camera and lens from the elements like rain, snow, salt spray, dirt, sand and dust while allowing you easy access to the camera and lens controls. I’ve shot in the pouring rain with a RainCoat on my DSLR and never had any issues with wet equipment. It’s made of a lightweight waterproof, breathable poly tricot material that is small and takes as much space as a pair of socks in your bag!
Dry sacks like this Earth Sack are great daypack for wet environments. I used them in Vietnam for Rainy Season all the time! I also regularly use them when I’m kayaking and I take gear with me I want to ensure stays dry even if I tip the kayak! I normally carry two – a small one for my smartphone, and a larger one for my DSLR camera.
This Earthpak one is really sturdy – I took it with me to Antarctica and it was great to have on the zodiacs in rough waters!
Marmot Eclipse Raincoat
If you aren’t a poncho person or want to travel with an umbrella, then try a lightweight and breathable Marmot Eclipse Raincoat.
Versatility is the name of the game in travel gear – and this Eclipse rain jacket can serve many purposes! Use it as a regular jacket, wind jacket, or as a rain jacket. It has been my main travel jacket for a few years now!
Sierra Designs Cagoule Jacket
What is a Cagoule you ask? It’s a lightweight, hooded, thigh-length waterproof jacket – perfect for hiking in the wind and in the summer months where you are hiking with shorts. This pull over jacket is big enough to likely cover your pack and your shorts. It’s like a sturdy poncho in a way and I like those for summer hiking and storms. Plus – it folds up in itself when you aren’t using it!