The Ultimate Packing Guide for Thailand
Packing for Thailand is relatively simple since the weather stays pretty much the same all year (with the exception of a few rainy months.
It’s easy to pack light when you never need heavy outerwear or big hiking boots!
Here is your guide to pack for Thailand like a pro...
Ditch the roller suitcase for a backpack
Thailand is a large country with endless amounts of sites to see. If you’re traveling to Thailand, you are most likely exploring many cities. Some are more rural than others, without the luxury of paved roads.
It is much easier and faster to carry a backpack and cruise from point A to B than to wear out your suitcase wheels through crowded dirt roads. I suggest getting a 35L-60L pack, depending on how much you are bringing. It is also smart to get fitted for your pack before you buy. Backpacks are an investment.
You want to make sure you’re comfortable for the long haul. I’ve had mine since 2009.
Flip flops (or slip on shoes) are a MUST
Taking off one's shoes before entering a home, temple, or even a restaurant is common practice in Thailand.
You will find yourself taking your shoes on and off multiple times a day. Why not make it as easy as possible? I recommend a comfortable and supportive pair of sandals like Birkenstocks or Rainbows.
No doubt you’ll be doing a lot of walking. Or, opt for something waterproof and be extra prepared for the casual rainstorms.
A sarong is so right!
A trip to Thailand isn’t complete without visiting a few famous temples.
When you do, you must dress modestly. Shoulders and knees should be covered as a sign of respect when entering a Temple. Although many Temples have relaxed their standards due to the high volume of tourism, we should still be responsible travelers and show respect.
A sarong is a simple way to cover up your legs before entering a sacred site. Wrap it up like a long skirt, and you’re ready to go in! Sarongs make great beach towels too.
I recommend buying one in Thailand at a local market where you will find no shortage of beautiful and unique sarongs – and of course you'll be supporting local businesses.
Reusable water bottle
This should be a packing item anywhere you go!
It’s about time we stop consuming water from a bunch of plastic bottles. Although the water isn’t safe to drink from the tap, you can refill your reusable bottle with filtered water for cheap in Thailand - I’m talking cents!
Sunscreen and bug spray...all day, every day
No matter what time of the year, Thailand’s climate is hot and humid.
The lovely combination that makes this country so lush and paradisal also attracts mosquitoes. You want to come prepared to battle both the sun and the bugs, so bring plenty of sunscreen and bug spray. Both tend to be expensive in Thailand so buy it before arriving.
All natural bug repellents like All Terrain Herbal Armor work well and are toxic-free for your skin and the environment.
Pro Tip: If you do use a repellent with deet in it, make sure to put in on your skin after the sunscreen and not before it. Reversing the order can cause an uncomfortable skin rash.
Thailand may be hot all year, but get ready for some occasional serious downpours, especially between the rainy season months of June to October.
A light rain jacket or rain shell is enough, but make sure to waterproof your gear as well.
A couple of dry sacs for your camera/electronics and a rain cover for your backpack is always a good idea.
Type C converter
Many outlets in Thailand are the same as those used in the U.S and Canada, but some also use outlet Type C, which is commonly used in Europe. It'd be a good idea to bring this specific converter with you or buy a universal converter if you travel frequently.
Learn the language
Downloading apps like iTranslate or just carrying around a Thai/ English dictionary the old fashion way can help you get by with minimal effort.
Learn the greetings, the numbers, and common phrases in Thai, and the locals will show you their appreciation.
KHOB KHUN KA (Thank you!)
Other suggested packing items:
- A quick dry towel
- A warm sweater for travel days when the A.C is roaring
- A hat
- Athletic shoes
- Yoga pants or quick dry athletic wear
- Anti-itch cream (Tiger Balm is a Thai favorite)
- Aloe vera
- A day pack
- A secure purse/cross body bag
If you forget something, don’t worry - Thailand has amazing shopping at very reasonable prices.
Check our our article about elephant conservation in Thailand.
Interested in coming with us to Thailand? Click here for all of the details!