Ready to embark on your Thai adventure? We’ve got your back with the complete Thailand Packing Guide for those who believe less is more. Whether you’re chasing waterfalls in Koh Kood, beach-hopping in Koh Phangan, or soaking up the vibrant street vibes in Bangkok, we’ve curated a fuss-free list to keep your luggage light and your spirits high. Say goodbye to overpacking stress and hello to breezy, easygoing travel vibes. We hate lugging around heavy luggage with stuff you’ll never use, because who doesn’t?
We won’t tell you how many pairs of socks to bring, but rather give you only the essentials to keep that backpack lightweight!
THAILAND QUICK FACTS
- Capital City: Bangkok
- Language: Thai, English widely spoken
- Currency: Thai Baht (100 Baht = $2.81)
- Visa: Check your requirements here
- Best to travel: Dry season runs November to April and is relatively less humid. Rain season is generally May to October, the hottest time between March and May
- Transportation: On the islands, a scooter is the easiest way to get around. For city to city; plan and book your journey through 12GoAsia
- Safety: Thailand is one of the safest countries in Asia, nevertheless always keep an eye on your belongings, don’t get involved with drugs. Be careful in traffic.
Thailand Packing Guide
Bags & things
- Thule Landmark Travel Bag 40L. We will never buy anything else! 40 liters is more than you think. It comes with separate storage unit for your computer and a hard shell top part to store valuables or electronics. It is also a front loader as opposed to a top loader, which is so much easier to pack and unpack. Most importantly it still qualifies as carry-on for most airlines!
- Vacuum Travel Bags. We know everyone loves the packing cubes, and so do we for short trips, but the vacuum bags safe so much space in your bag, it’s a game changer. But what about the pump, you might say? We don’t carry that, once it’s time to pack up, we load up the bags, sit on them to push the air out and zip ’em right up.
- A Day Pack. It’s a ride or die kinda thing. I love Fjällräven backpacks. They are durable, weatherproof, flexible and come with a lifetime guarantee. I’ve taken mine across the world and it doesn’t have a single loose stitch.
- Hanging Toiletry Bag. We each have one of these and while they may look small, they carry everything we need. Remember, less is more! It comes with a hook to hang anywhere and keep your stuff dry.
- Shampoo and Conditioning Bars. If you, like me, don’t want to rely on hotel amenities but also don’t want to lug around big bottles, bars are the perfect solution. And yes, they work!
- Sunscreen. Reef safe, of course. We do bring this from home, as sunscreen can sometimes be hard to find, but is an absolute necessity for our pale skin! Also, reef safe isn’t available everywhere.
- Menstrual products. Especially if you use tampons or cups; bring them. They are very hard to find. Pads are readily available everywhere.
- Make-up. If at all. The only things I bring are this eyebrow pencil and mascara.
- Travel Toothbrush & paste. Gotta always feel fresh!
- Wet Wipes. For those travel days when there is no toilet paper on hand.
Things to leave at home:
- Insect repellent. The local stuff is always much better in our experience.
- Laundry soap. You can get laundry done everywhere for a few dollars. Why go through the trouble of doing it yourself?
- Jewellery. You could only loose it.
- Travel Adapter. Make sure your electronics from home work. This universal one works everywhere.
- A powerbank. A necessity for when you’re on long trips without being able to charge your phone anywhere.
- Your headphones. I’m an over-ear gal, and I don’t buy expensive ones either.
- Your cellphone and its charger!
- A travel friendly camera. We don’t really use anything other than our iPhones, but if you’re a better photographer you might consider a handheld camera over a DSLR when thinking about your space left.
- An e-reader. I love my Kindle, and before the Kindle days, I would carry around heavy books. I’m an avid reader that reads a book a day on holiday so that adds up! With my e-reader I’ve got hundreds of books on hand that don’t weigh a thing.
- Your computer. I work on a MacBook Air (I love my Mac, and it’s lightweight!) but there any many cheaper options out there.
Things to leave at home:
- Your Chromecast. You can watch anything on or offline on your phone anyway.
- Bluetooth speaker. We brought it, didn’t use it once. When we wanted to listen to music, we listed through our headphones and took a moment for ourselves.
- An external harddrive. Brought it, didn’t use it. Especially if you bring a laptop. We use cloud storage and it serves us fine.
- Water shoes. Remember you didn’t want to wear them as a child? Yeah, me neither. But nowadays, they are lifesavers on pebbled beaches and rocky shores. I wear these closed-toes ones.
- Waterproof phone case. Perfect for taking photos during water activities and not having to panic about every splash!
- A Travel Towel. The quick drying, thin kind!
- Strappy sandals. For when your flipflops won’t cut it but you don’t want to bring heels or shoes.
Things to leave at home:
- Dry bag. You will get one when you rent kayaks or have a water excursion.
- Snorkel gear. Unless you’re super attached to your own, you can rent or borrow them everywhere. They take up a lot of space in your bags.
But what about medication? We found that everything is so readily available, and pharmacies on every street corner, we stopped carrying medical kits. Granted, we have strong stomachs and have only needed a bandaid or a painkiller here and there. If you’re worried, bring it!
It’s easy to over-pack. You don’t need heavy denims, three dresses, heels or eight t-shirts. I even only bring one bathing suit. Bring things that are easy to combine, and think of your goals. Not a hiking person? Then don’t bring clumpy shoes.
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