What to Pack For Thailand Adventures
If you’ve decided to venture to Thailand for a break then you’ve made a fantastic choice! From the vibrant city destination of Bangkok, to the island paradise of Koh Samui, or the mountainous area which encompasses Chiang Mai, Thailand is packed with destinations to enjoy and explore. Of course, one of the main questions most people have once they have decided to visit this part of the world is what to pack for Thailand in the first place!
The decision on what to pack for Thailand really depends on two different factors – where you’re going, and when you’re going. This will inform your choice and make sure that you have everything you need to make your trip go without a hitch.
The country is generally split into two areas in terms of visitors, northern and southern. The northern part of the country is mountainous, and this is a fantastic place for those wanting to experience authentic Thai life, and for outdoor exploration. The southern part of the country is probably the most famous, because this is where the idyllic beach life can be found. This is where you will come across Bangkok, and the islands of Koh Samui, Kho Pha Ngan, and Koh Tao, to name just a few. From Full Moon parties to elephant treks through the jungle, with plentiful beach time in-between, this part of the country is extremely well visited.
It’s All About The Weather When Deciding What to Pack For Thailand
Let’s split the two halves of the country into separate areas here. The north has the most definition in terms of season, with November to May offering dry weather and high temperatures, and May to November offering wetter weather, as this is when the southwest monsoon season will play a part. During this time you will need an umbrella and a rain jacket, because rain in the north at this time can be heavy.
In terms of the south of the country, there is a wet season and a dry season, and this will affect what to pack for Thailand adventures. To make things more complicated the east and west coast have different seasonal conditions too! On the west coast, you can expect rain from April to October, when the southwest monsoon hits. On the east coast, the rain comes between September and December. The rest of the time? Hot, extremely hot!
Taking all of this into account, many people consider the best time to visit Thailand to be November to February, when the temperatures are mild, rather than hot.
As you can imagine, all of these differences, make planning what to pack for Thailand quite difficult! This is true, but there are certain things which should be in your suitcase regardless.
Let’s explore this subject a little deeper, giving
What to Pack for Thailand
Many people overlook certain health and safety issues when travelling, but there are certain things you should have in your luggage when travelling to Thailand. These include:
- Insect repellent spray
- Antiseptic cream
- Painkillers – Remember to keep these in the labelled box
- Any prescription medication you need to take – Again, keep these in the labelled box with your name on. Some medications may also need a doctor’s letter, so bear this in mind
- Sun cream
- Toiletries – You can buy many toiletries, such as shampoo etc in Thailand, but possibly not your favourite brands
- Plasters – Everyone gets blisters, whether it’s hot or cold!
- Water bottle – A refillable water bottle is a must for hikes or long days out. Yes, you can buy bottled water everywhere, but having your own refillable bottle means that you don’t have to worry about contamination
- Dry sacs – We mentioned that there is the chance of a downpour when visiting Thailand during a rainy season, and you don’t want your belongings to be getting wet whilst you’re out and about, especially technological items; these handy dry pacs take that worry away
- Day pack – For day ventures out you will be needing a good quality day pack for security and comfort. Remember to look for one which has padded and adjustable shoulder straps and also for anti-theft features, such as RFID technology
- Plug adapters – Depending on where you go in Thailand, it’s best to invest in a universal plug adapter, so you have all power avenues covered
- Umbrella – A small travel umbrella will fit in your bag and won’t take up too much space or weight, and you can easily grab it if there is a light shower or a large downpour
- Rain jacket – It’s a good idea to go for a jacket which has removable sleeves if at all possible, because whilst it may rain whilst you’re out and about, it’s still likely to be warm; there is nothing worse than feeling hot whilst it’s raining and not being able to take off layers to feel better!
- Swimwear and a beach towel
- Clothes for warm weather – Whilst the tourist resorts in Thailand are quite conservative, do show some respect and avoid flashing too much flesh. There are some parts of the country which are off the beaten track, and if you show too much skin in these parts you may offend someone, or feel comfortable yourself. Remember to be respectful in terms of clothing when visiting temples too
- Slip on shoes – You will probably find that you’re taking your shoes off a fair amount, whether it’s to go into a temple, a shop, a restaurant, or on the beach, so slip on and off shoes are a good idea. This is also good for ventilation in hot and humid weather
- Shoes for hiking – Hiking boots are not the greatest idea, because there isn’t going to be a lot of air circulation, but hiking sandals are a good investment. In the north of the country there are many trails you can follow, and you don’t want to miss out because you don’t have appropriate footwear!
- A sweater or hooded top – Even though it’s hot outside, you might find yourself getting a little chilly on public transport or in large shopping malls, thanks to freezing cold air conditioning!
It Goes Without Saying Items
As we are giving you a rather comprehensive list here, we will state the obvious with these items! These are the things that should go in your hand luggage over everything else, and should be packed first. It’s always a good idea to leave copies of your most important documents, e.g. passport, visa, insurance, at home with someone you trust, in case of any lost items or problems.
- Visa (if applicable)
- Travel insurance documents – This includes the certificate and the helpline number. You can keep the other information, e.g. the paperwork which comes with your policy either in your emails or in paper form
- Print outs of any hotel bookings/airline confirmations etc
- Driving licence
- Phone chargers
- Other technological items you may need and chargers for them
- Cash – Be careful how much you carry at one time, it may be a good idea to use an ATM card, but do remember to inform your bank that you’re going to be using your card overseas, to avoid possible blocking of your card
- Cash cards/credit cards
- Cell phone/mobile phone – Look into sim card packages, or whether you can use your current one overseas and use your allowances
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These items will see you through your trip, and will completely answer the query over what to pack for Thailand. Remember to do some research into the best suitcase for your trip, to ensure that you have a lightweight and sturdy companion to store all of your belongings. If you are travelling around the country, rather than staying in one place, e.g. an island retreat, then a lightweight case is even more important.