Five Essential Items to Pack for a Trip to Malaysia: Don’t Leave Home Without Them

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While you can buy just about anything in Malaysia, you’re still better having these things with you when you get there

I travel to Malaysia from Thailand several times a year, and during all those times I’ve visited I’ve learnt about five essential items you should pack to take with you if you want to be fully prepared when you get there.

While you can buy just about anything in Malaysia, and particularly in its capital city Kuala Lumpur, packing these five items will simply make sure you don’t have to go shopping for them when you get there. After all, why waste some of your vacation time if you don’t have to.

Pack an Adapter – If you’re staying in a three-star hotel or lower, you’ll need to pack an electrical appliance adapter.

On my first trip to Malaysia, I stayed in a three-star hotel and was surprised to find the Malaysian plugs were three-prong plugs for 220-240 volts unlike the two-prong Thai plugs.

Buy a universal adapter to take with you on a trip to Malaysia, as this will allow you to plug in laptops, recharge cameras and batteries and use a hairdryer. If you stay in four and five-star hotels however, you won’t need an adapter as these hotels are all wired for 110-volt electric appliances, and hairdryers will be supplied.

Related: How to find a cheap but lovely hotel in Malaysia

Pack an Umbrella – Sure, it’s likely to rain while you’re in Malaysia as it has a monsoon climate, meaning it rains often. The main thing you’ll want to use the umbrella for, though, is not the rain but the excessive heat and sunshine.

Being outside anywhere in Malaysia for more than a few minutes can be absolutely unbearable, especially if you hate heat. Under the cover of a standard umbrella, you can literally lower the temperature by 10 degrees and also shade your skin from the burning sun. Pack a folding, lightweight one that easily fits into a small purse or backpack.

Pack Clean Underwear and Panty Liners – For men, pack plenty of pairs of clean underwear and carry a pair with you (plus a plastic bag for your dirty ones) at all times. If you’re not used to a hot, humid climate, you will sweat in your unmentionable areas like you would not believe.

Going to a restroom and changing your underwear midway through the day (and sometimes even more often if you’re outside a lot) can make the difference between being comfortable or extremely sweaty in the nether regions.

For women, pack clean underwear and a couple of packs of ultra-thin panty liners. You can change your underwear just like the guys can, but the ultra-thin panty liners offer extra protection from sweating and will keep your panties dry.

Plus, you can peel one off your undies and replace it with a clean, dry one every time you visit a restroom. In extreme cases, getting sweaty and wet in those unmentionable areas can give you a heat rash and sometimes an infection, and that’s the last thing you want on a vacation.

Baby Powder – Whenever I visit Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, I always have a travel-size plastic container of scented baby powder in my bag everywhere I go.¬†Again, Malaysia is extremely hot and humid and you know, when even the Malaysians are sweating, it’s incredibly nasty out there.

Using baby powder around your nether regions every time you go to the bathroom can stop you getting a heat rash. You can also use the powder under your arms, on your chest and your back and under your bra strap to prevent rubbing and irritation.

Plus, using copious amounts of baby powder throughout the day makes you smell nice so, when you’re standing on a Malaysian train squashed in with 50 other people, no one is trying to move away from you as you smell so bad.

Pack Packets of Tissues – Carrying packets of tissues around with you is essential in Malaysia. Not only are they great for wiping the constantly accumulating sweat off your face but they’re vital when you go to the restroom as, other than in major shopping malls, few toilets in Malaysia provide toilet paper.

Sure you can use the water hose to wash yourself off, but you’ll still want to dry yourself with tissues, and not have to head out of the bathroom with a wet rear end.

You can buy just about anything in the way of clothing, toiletries, medicines, shoes, insect repellent for evenings – anything you might need to make your stay in Malaysia more comfortable – once you’re settled in and have found your bearings.

But, arriving with these five things will mean, once you’ve checked into your hotel and are ready to head out and explore, you don’t have to waste time finding shops that sell any of these five essential items.