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5 Protective Essentials to Pack When Traveling to Sunny Southeast Asia

Last updated on December 28th, 2023 at 05:08 am

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Southeast Asia (SEA) is one of the sunniest regions on the planet, as It lies close to the equator. It gets sunshine all year round, perfect for travelers who enjoy warm weather and related activities like swimming and surfing. However, temperatures here often hit a dangerous 100 degrees Fahrenheit during the dry season. Excessive sun exposure can lead to sunburns and skin irritation, so it’s crucial to pack essential items for sun protection. You must not forget these even when you’re packing light for convenience. After all, these items are relatively small and lightweight, so they’ll fit in your hand carry.

For maximum sun protection when traveling Southeast Asia, pack these essentials:


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The eyes are one of the most sensitive body parts. They’ll quickly get sunburnt if you don’t protect them from the sun. This condition is called photokeratitis, which makes you feel discomfort and pain in your eyes, keeping you from exploring and other activities.

Prevent this by packing polarized sunglasses that shield your eyes from the sun’s rays. They also reduce glare, allowing you to appreciate SEA’s beauty fully. The polarized sunglasses from Oakley are made with the latest technologies, particularly PRIZM lenses that enhance color and contrast—perfect for admiring the changing colors of the sky during the sunsets in Boracay, Philippines. Their Sielo sunglasses have a mixed material frame that’s durable and lightweight for leisure and adventure.


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Even if your hair covers your scalp, did you know that your scalp can get sunburnt? Its symptoms include redness and pain, causing much discomfort. Avoid this by bringing a wide-brimmed hat that can cover your head and shield your face from the sun. Choosing one with UPF protection is also best to ensure its fabric reduces UV radiation absorption.

Solbari’s Traveller Broad Brim sun hat has a UPF50+ rating, the highest sun protective rating available that can keep your scalp safe. Its wide brim also guarantees that your face and nape are protected, especially during activities that involve lots of outdoor walking, like touring The Grand Palace in Bangkok, Thailand.


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Sunscreen is a non-negotiable when visiting places with a sunny climate, as it keeps you from sunburn. Nonetheless, consider getting reef-safe sunscreen. This type of product will protect you from sun damage; they also don’t contain harmful chemicals, like oxybenzone, which can kill corals, so you won’t harm marine wildlife when swimming. Besides, you wouldn’t want to harm the corals in Bali, for example, which are recovering from erosion and bleaching.

The Hawaiian Tropic Mineral Sun Milk body lotion packs a UV protection level of SPF 50 that’s high enough to keep you from getting sunburnt when applied as instructed. It’s also available in travel-sized bottles, making it easy to pack.

Sun-protective clothing

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Even if you wear sunscreen, it doesn’t mean that it’s okay for you to bare your skin under the sun for a long time. You can still experience skin irritation and even increase your risk of developing skin cancer, so invest in sun-protective clothing. While UV light can penetrate the micro holes in ordinary clothes, these sun-protective clothes block them better. This is perfect for countries like Malaysia that get up to six hours of direct sunlight daily.

Coolibar offers a variety of sun-protective clothing, including shirts, shorts, and arm sleeves. Their clothes also provide UPF50+ protection, guaranteeing safety under the sun.

Closed shoes

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You’d think you’d want to wear flip-flops or sandals when traveling in Southeast Asia. After all, who wouldn’t want to enjoy the feeling of soft sand between their toes when strolling along Nha Trang in Vietnam? Still, your feet are prone to sunburns, making walking painful. As a result, you might have to cancel your other activities to rest your feet.

If you spend most of your time at a beach, packing water shoes will protect your feet from the sun. Similar to the ones that people wear when kayaking, these serve a double purpose by preventing sunburns and cuts from rocky paths. The Speedo Surf Knit Pro has soft mesh uppers that are comfortable to walk in. It also has sturdy outsoles, so you won’t feel the heat when walking on hot sand or paths.

Protecting yourself from the sun is vital to enjoying your trip to SEA destinations. Don’t forget to include these essentials in your packing list!

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