Bits and Bobs: 8 Travel Essentials for Vietnam

Vietnam essentials: Vietnamese phrasebook, Irish flag, tripod and selfie stick

It’s hard to believe that our June trip to Vietnam is less than 40 days away (I even had a dream last night about missing the flight – that was a nightmare!)

Apart from light clothes, mosquito repellents, overseas plugs and sun cream, there are also some extra bits that we’re throwing in this time around.

Unlike the trip we took six years ago, we’re doing a lot of trekking in northern Vietnam, so we’ll be donning our hiking gear too.

Soft Sandals and Lightweight Boots

They may look a bit battered and bruised but these pairs have been firm favourites.


On the left are my ecco receptor sandals that I got many moons ago. They’re “Men’s” sandals but who cares? They’re comfy as pillows. These are actually not available in the ecco store at the moment, but they do have them available elsewhere. They’re super for both walking, wading, or for popping on after a day trekking.

I actually had an interesting experience with other ecco shoes on my travels once when they went off at the airport and I had to be searched from top-to-toe – I was mortified, to say the least.

My boots on the right are from Hawkshead. Despite the fact that they look pretty big in the photo, they’re actually compact enough and they’re so light! Then again, I am only a size five… But seriously, they’re light and you can’t feel the ground beneath you. They’re waterproof too with Vibram soles.

Tried and tested in the Ring of Kerry, they’re not available from on the Hawkshead website but they do have a selection with sturdy soles here.

The Luggage ScalesSilvercrest luggage scales

The last time we went to Vietnam, we came back with everything from hats to lampshades, to presents and more. Does anyone want a silk painting?

Never mind weighing stuff on the way out, it’s the way back that can really catch you! I got this one from Lidl but you can nab them from plenty of places (just today I saw one lurking in TK Maxx). They shouldn’t be more than €10.

Travel Bottles

It’s amazing what you can pick up in TK Maxx really, (I almost bought a statue of a cat for no reason today), and these bottles came from there too. I really like these green bottles from Ecotools though, because they’re made from 100% recycled material and are earth-friendly.

Ecotools travel bottles
There are usually four bottles in this packet but one of mine went walkies!

You can also easily squeeze them to get stuff out and as purely a style thing, I love that they’re uniformed too. The only thing I don’t like is the bag seal – it doesn’t seal very well and can open up.  You can get them here. That being said, if there’s anything that you own in small bottles, and you’d rather not fork out cash, then absolutely use them.

Vietnamese Phrasebook

“Xin chào!” I have free Vietnamese apps downloaded on my mobile (Wordpower and Learn Vietnamese) which are great for pronunciation but it’s also handy to have a physical copy when you’re out and about, and possibly running out of battery!

Mini-Irish Flag

Not only are we donning our suitcases with the Kerry colours, but we’re going to be even more patriotic with our mini-Irish flag. We actually got ours in the UN in New York (how fancy!) but you can pick these up in most €1 shops.

Portable Tripod

The blue Joby Gorilla tripod wraps around and clings to surfaces.  Photos from a tree? No problem! This one deserved a video to explain it better, so I whipped this up:

Selfie stick

I used to hate, hate, HATE, selfie sticks but, being out and about with my Mom so often, I can see the value in them. Mom doesn’t like how close-up selfies are, so by using the stick we add a good distance away from us. It’s going to get us some amazing shots when we’re trekking around SaPa! Whatever you do, don’t splash out on a selfie stick. I got mine for just €2 in a euro shop and it works grand.

You can read more about our Vietnam trip here.

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Disclaimer: These are all my own opinions from products I have used over the years and I have not been asked by any brands to talk about these products. Anything I talk about I will review fairly and provide an honest opinion on, always.


Hello! Úna-Minh is a journalist, social media consultant and virtual assistant who loves (you guessed it) TRAVEL. She also feels a bit strange writing in the third person so she'll stop that now. You can find out more about me and my Mammy in the about section of this blog!

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  1. Good writing Una, I wish to go to Vietnam one day I absolutely love the food. When I do I’ll get back to your post. Have a pleasure trip to Vietnam

    1. Thank you so much Mira! You definitely should go someday – the flights are expensive but once you’re over there, everything else is so cheap.

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