The Ultimate Thailand Packing List

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Photo: Mimi Slawoff

On our June visit to Thailand, we visited cultural attractions in Bangkok, small fishing villages and Koh Chang, an elephant-shaped island.  With such diverse activities, our Thailand packing list included quick-dry clothing, bug spray and accessories for the humid climate, and sudden rain showers. While Thailand’s monsoon season is generally July – October, during our early June visit, we had good weather. But it’s always a good idea to be prepared for anything.

In addition, a Thailand trip requires various miscellaneous things to make life easier while traveling. For example, I can’t emphasize enough that tissues (for toilet paper) and hand sanitizer are a must to pack. Public restrooms often don’t supply these basic items.

Like many frequent travelers, I start with packing cubes. I find this helps me stuff more things in my carry-on. Plus, they definitely keep my clothing and other items organized. My favorite is the ebags Hyper-Lite Travel Packing Cubes on Amazon. The set of five or seven in assorted sizes has strong zippers.

Thailand Packing List: Basic Travel Essentials

  • No matter the destination, I always travel with a carry-on, backpack and a small day pack (stowed inside my carry-on).
  • I really like my water-repellent Kroser backpack, which has a pocket for my iPad, and a USB port (power bank not included). It also has a leather strap to attach the backpack to a roller bag. It’s one of my favorite features!
  • Carry a day pack. Be prepared with a water bottle, tissues, credit cards, snacks and other items for daily outings. If your kids are older, they can carry their own small backpacks filled with snacks, water, etc.
  • Packable rain jacket (or poncho) and hat. I almost always travel with my Columbia Women’s Switchback III Waterproof Rain Jacket. It folds up small and keeps me dry in rainy weather.
  • Hand sanitizer.
  • Wet wipes.
  • Again, bring lots of travel tissue packs for public restrooms as these basic items are rarely supplied.
  • Platypus Ultralight SoftBottle with Push-Pull Cap. Or the Playpus SoftBottles with Closure Cap.  If you have access to clean water, these bottles are great for sightseeing, hiking, and travel in general. When empty, they fold up small to fit in your pocket or backpack.
  • LifeStraw Personal Water Filter removes bacteria and parasites.
  • Hydro Flask Water Bottles are another good option. They keep drinks hot or cold.

Thailand Packing List: Clothing

Appropriate attire for visiting temples includes closed shoes and long pants or a sarong or skirt to cover your legs. Photo Courtesy: Pixabay

In general, summer clothing is what you’ll need for most activities, especially when island-hopping.

  • Quick-dry travel wear is perfect for Thailand’s humid climate and rainy season. For example, pack breathable long pants, shorts, capris, t-shirts, tank tops, and dresses. In addition, bring swimsuits and swimsuit coverups.
  • Temple attire. When visiting Bangkok’s temples, proper etiquette requires covering up arms and legs. Be sure to wear long pants, capris or skirts and shirts with short or long sleeves. A sarong or scarf is ideal for covering up. This is an essential tip when visiting religious sites around the world like the temples in Bali.
  • Footwear. Slip-on or closed shoes are recommended for sightseeing and visiting temples. But bring flip-flops for the beach and hotel pool. Keen and Teva make good waterproof walking/hiking sandals in several styles for kids and adults. Quite versatile and comfortable, the shoes are ideal for trekking on city streets and sandy beaches.

Toiletries

  • Toothbrush
  • Antibacterial toothbrush cover
  • Toothpaste
  • Antiseptic mouthwash.
  • Deodorant
  • Moisturizer/body lotion
  • Shampoo/conditioner
  • Shower cap
  • Hairbrush
  • Conair compact hairdryer. It has dual voltage and folds for travel.

Travel Tips & Products for Staying Healthy

A first aid kit is necessary for minor cuts, bites, and sprains. Photo Courtesy: Hans Braxmeier, Pixabay
  • No one wants to get sick on a trip. But it can happen. Staying hydrated and packing some basic first aid items is important.
  • Pedialyte Advanced care Hydration System (powder packets)
  • Stomach medication like Immodium
  • First-aid kit containing bandages, Neosporin, alcohol prep pads, and gauze pads or gauze roll.
  • Tylenol or Ibuprofen
  • Dramamine
  • Sunscreen
  • Mosquito repellent

Miscellaneous Travel Items

Thailand Packing List for Kids

Sunscreen and sun-protective clothing are among things to pack for kids on a Thailand trip. Photo Credit: Michelle Maria, Pixabay

Thailand Packing List: Devices for Electronics

Sometimes it’s easy to overlook the small things that make a big difference. In Thailand the power plugs and sockets are of type A, B, C, F and O. The standard voltage is 220 V and the standard frequency is 50 Hz. Some appliances like hair dryers have dual voltage and don’t require a converter. However, many, if not most electronics will require a voltage converter.

  • International power adapter. Thailand has a few different power outlets so bringing along a universal adapter is handy.
  • BESTEK combo travel adapter/ voltage converter is compact and has USB ports to charge multiple devices.
  • Chargers. Bring chargers for your phone, laptops, kindles, and other electronics. Although you can find them in Thailand, why waste time and money when you can bring your own.
  • Power bank. Taking lots of photos and videos drain your phone’s battery. A power bank or two keep your electronics conveniently charged.
  • Waterproof phone case. There are many brands, such as this JOTO pouch. These are super handy for the beach, riding in a boat or walking in the rain.

Thailand Travel Tips

Posters in Thailand illustrate what is and isn’t appropriate attire. Photo Credit: Mimi Slawoff
  • Before you go, buy travel insurance to cover any unexpected changes to your itinerary.
  • Get cash (local currency) from ATM machines.
  • For WiFi, there are a few options. Buy a SIM card, which is very cheap in Thailand. Or keep your phone on airplane mode and use free WiFi when available. Use your wireless carrier’s travel pass.
  • In Bangkok, the MBK Center (one of many big malls) sells comfortable lightweight pants. (I wish I’d bought more!) It’s a good place to buy essentials and souvenirs. There are also ATM machines there.

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