Tibet Packing List: What You Need to Bring

Packing List

This is a Tibet packing list to help you prepare for a safe, happy trip to Tibet

…without that horrible feeling when you realize you left something important behind!

Uh oh! Where are my hiking pants?? Or worse — did I forget my passport?!?!

Knowing what it’s like to try to remember everything you need for a big international trip, we developed this one especially for Tibet trips, and have used it ourselves on our last couple of Tibet trips.

We print the list out months ahead of the trip and just start tossing items from the list into an unused corner of the house. 

Over the weeks, the packing gets done with no big stress and it’s actually fun, getting us excited about the trip. 

We hope it helps you too!

If you are planning to visit Tibet, know that no independent travel is allowed, and you must work with a travel agency. We always recommend choosing a Tibetan-owned agency, which hires Tibetan guides only. The simplest way to do this is ask us to connect you to a reliable Tibetan-owned travel agent to plan a great trip for you that also supports the local Tibetan economy and culture.

Tibet Packing List

For a printable version of this checklist, click here for a pdf.  

Documents

  • Passport, with visa
  • Flight/train bookings
  • Boarding passes
  • Hotel bookings
  • Itinerary
  • Photocopies of passport/visa/ID/medical/insurance cards
  • Photocopy of your eyewear prescription
  • List of phone numbers, emails of people/places you may want to contact
  • Optional: Driver’s License, for ID, if needed.
  • Optional: 2-4 extra passport-style photos

Financial

  • Money belt/Neck wallet
  • Cash or traveler’s checks
  • Credit/debit cards
  • Photocopy of credit/debit cards
  • Digital or verbal passwords for your credit/debit card institution

Outerwear

Clothing

  • 3-5 quick-drying t-shirts
  • 1 Lightweight long sleeve shirt
  • 1 Midweight long sleeve layer (maybe a zip-up fleece)
  • 2 Pairs of jeans or hiking pants
  • 1 Pair of warm but light fleece or sweat pants for your room.
  • hermal shirts or long underwear
  • 5-7 Pairs of socks
  • 3+ Pairs of underwear
  • Women: 1 extra bra
  • Optional: swimsuit (ask your agent if there are any hot springs on your route)
  • Optional: bandana

Sun Protection

  • Wide-Brimmed Hat or baseball hat
  • Sunscreen- SPF 30+
  • Lip protection SPF 30+
  • Sunglasses

General Travel Gear

  • Lightweight sleeping bag liner/sleep sheet
  • Small flashlight
  • Travel towel (1 small and 1 medium)
  • Travel lock for your bags
  • Travel size anti-bacterial hand cleaner
  • Ziplock plastic bags
  • Optional: Sleeping Bag
  • Optional: Swiss Army Knife

Toiletries

  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Shower gel or soap
  • Deodorant
  • Lotions, creams
  • Disposable face towelettes
  • Disposable wipes for when you can’t bath.
  • Shaver or razor and shaving cream
  • Nail clippers
  • Comb/Brush
  • Toothbrush/toothpaste/floss
  • Hair thingies
  • Women: Feminine products

Medical/Health

  • Travel medicine prescriptions and/or altitude sickness medication (Consult a doctor)
  • Glasses
  • Vitamins
  • Iodine tablets
  • Small first aid kit, with plastic gloves
  • Pain relievers
  • Diarrhea medicine
  • Laxatives or a fiber like Metamucil
  • Contact lens preparations, eye drops
  • Motion sickness medicine
  • Allergy medicine
  • If applicable: Personal prescription medicine
  • If applicable: Mouthpiece
  • If applicable: Birth control
  • Optional: face mask
  • Optional: Extra pair of glasses
  • Optional: Sleep medication (Consult your doctor and/or travel doctor)

Electronics/Communications

  • Smart phone/charger (note high altitude limits)
  • Camera, batteries, chargers and memory cards (optional: UV filter)
  • Earphones for phone or music device
  • Travel adapters and converters
  • Optional: Portable charger
  • Optional: Laptop/tablet with power adapter (note high altitude limits)

Recommended but optional

  • Personal thermos/flask
  • Small lantern
  • Compact umbrella
  • Light bag to carry as a day pack

Purely optional

  • Solar charger
  • Travel clothesline
  • Travel sewing kit
  • Steri pen
  • Water bottle to fit a steri pen
  • A book to read
  • A guidebook (Lonely Planet Tibet guidebooks have been confiscated by the Chinese authorities)
  • Food from home (Energy bars, jerky, dried fruit and nuts, tea, instant coffee)

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Updated on February 17, 2020. First published on August 17, 2011.

Your Tibet travel advisors, Lobsang and Yolanda

Most people who want to go to Tibet don't know how to get there or who to trust for help. We’re Lobsang Wangdu and Yolanda O’Bannon, and we help make Tibet travel more simple, safe and ethical so you can feel peace of mind about your trip. Learn more about us and YoWangdu here.

Reader Interactions

Comments

    • yowangdu says

      Personally, we would go with a backpack for the times you may have to carry it on a trip. Many/most places you wouldn’t need to, but a suitcase is a drag when you have to carry it upstairs in a place that has no elevator, for example.

  1. Sharon G Morrone says

    Hello,

    I am ready to get specific dates of tours for May or June 2017. Thank you for the list of travel items. It is complete.

    • yowangdu says

      You’re welcome, Sharon. We’re so glad that the list is helpful! If you’re ready to be put in touch with a Tibetan-owned agency, please fill out the Tibet Travel request at this page on our site: https://www.yowangdu.com/tibet-travel/referral.html
      When we get your response to the form, we will refer you to a Tibetan-owned agent who will help you plan your trip in detail.
      Cheers,
      Yolanda and Lobsang

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