It’s difficult to go into detail when it comes to a completely accurate Thailand packing list but if you’re wondering what to pack for Thailand then apart from the essentials there are also some things you’ll want to consider bringing with you.
In Thailand there is one thing you can count on and that’s the fact that it’s going to be hot, or at the very least quite warm, just about every single day of the year.
Sure, there might be some few rare periods where the temperature dips a bit lower than usual but typically that’s not something you have to worry about.
As long as you have a good idea on what essentials you should bring knowing what to pack for Thailand isn’t difficult at all and with this straightforward packing list you’ll be able to keep track of everything you need for any time you spend in one of Southeast Asia’s most beautiful and affordable destinations.
What to Pack for Thailand
If you’re someone like me that gets bitten a lot by mosquitoes then you’re definitely going to not want to forget bringing some bug spray along with you to Thailand.
Mosquitoes can be found in abundance pretty much everywhere you go and unless you want to get covered in bites and be itching all the time then you’re going to want to pack more than one bug spray with you depending on how long you’re traveling for.
For any trips around a week in length you’ll only need one can but if you’re going to be spending an extended period of time in Thailand and exploring Southeast Asia then you’re going to want to bring two or three different cans of bug spray to help keep those pesky insects at bay.
The reason I recommend bringing more than just one can is because bug spray is quite expensive in Thailand, not always readily available and it’s likely that they’re not going to have the specific kind that you like to use so it’s always a good idea to bring your own and have some backups as well.
I personally prefer using the OFF! Deep Woods Insect Repellent because I find it to be very effective at keeping away mosquitoes and other annoying insects when I’m sitting outside or spending time outdoors during the mosquito season.
Another good choice would be the Repel 100 and this actually comes in a smaller and more travel friendly pump bottle if you’re looking for something portable that’s going to last you just for a few days.
A Rain Jacket
Even if you’re traveling to Thailand during the dry season you’re bound to encounter some rain and if you’re traveling during the wet season then it’s going to probably be raining every day you’re there.
No one likes getting wet and even the best travel umbrella is only going to keep you dry for so long and if you want to be able to stay completely protected from the rain and other wet elements then I would recommend picking up a quality rain jacket.
Rain jackets are going to keep you dry during a downpour and they can even help keep you warm if it’s breezy or chilly outside without having to pack a larger, less practical jacket with you.
I would recommend going with something higher quality that comes with pit zips and any form of improved ventilation to help prevent you from sweating too much when you’re wearing the jacket and to help keep you dry when you’re walking around and exploring a new city.
Long Sleeve Shirt or Light Sweater
Personally, apart from a long sleeve cotton shirt or a button down shirt I would never consider bringing a sweater to Thailand.
However, I know that some people get cold even if it’s fairly warm outside so if you are someone that’s always shivering even during the summer then you might want to consider bringing along a light sweater.
Sure, there are some days were the temperatures can drop quite low so having a light sweater could potentially be helpful a few times throughout your trip.
You definitely want to avoid traveling with something too heavy because it’s not going to be needed in Thailand and it’s just going to take up more space in your bag than you should need to sacrifice.
It gets so hot and humid in Thailand, especially in major cities like Bangkok, that it’s a huge pain to travel around wearing shoes with thick socks.
Not only is it uncomfortable but you’re also going to have to take your shoes off quite often to enter temples, cafes, restaurants, massage parlors and even if you visit someone’s home.
Sandals are going to keep your feet well ventilated and help to prevent them from becoming too sweaty when you’re walking around and I would recommend looking for some high-quality sandals or even a pair of slip-on shoes that offer enough support and comfort for you during the long days you spend on your feet.
You might also want to consider something waterproof if you’re going to be spending a lot of time on the beach.
Heavy waterproof sandals or a dedicated pair of swimming shoes is great if you’re on any rocky beaches or if you’re doing some hiking near the sea and they’re also good to have for visiting waterfalls, rivers and other outdoor water based natural areas.
A Water Bottle
With such high heat that you’re going to experience when you’re in Thailand you’re definitely going to want to bring along your own water bottle so you’re able to stay cool and hydrated throughout the day and into the night.
You could just buy new plastic water bottles wherever you go on a regular basis but there are so many different places to refill your own bottle for such a low price that it doesn’t make sense to constantly have to duck into the local shop to spend more money than you need to on a 500ml or 1L disposable plastic bottle.
I’ve written an article on some of the best travel water bottles that you might want to take a look at if you’re looking for something suitable to bring with you.
Alternatively, you should also consider bringing along a dedicated water purifier because tap water isn’t always going to be the best quality for you to drink and of course it’s better to be safe than sorry when you’re drinking water in a developing country.
When it comes to sunscreen for travel I actually recommend the Biore Aqua Rich SPF50+.
I like it because it’s not as greasy or thick as some of the other options and it really helps to keep my skin protected from harmful UV rays from the harsh Thailand sun.
Similar to with bug spray, sunscreen is a lot more expensive in Thailand and it’s likely that they’re not going to have the specific brand that you like to use.
If you’re planning on spending a lot of time at the beach you’re going to want to keep your skin protected from the harsh sun rays and you should remember to pack at least a bottle or two of your favorite sunscreen before you go.
I recommend using something 45 SPF or higher just to avoid getting burned more easily and to help keep your skin protected but even something with less SPF strength is better than nothing.
Also, if you’re spending a lot of time on the beach be sure to remember to drink water quite often and to split your time between the direct sunlight in the shade so you don’t overheat or dehydrate too quickly.
Whenever you visit Thailand you’re going to be spending every day there in hot or uncomfortably warm weather so you’re going to want to come prepared with comfortable, light and quick-drying clothing.
When it comes to the best packing list for Thailand some of the things you’re going to want to bring should include:
- 3+ T-shirts
- 3+ Tank tops
- 2+ Shorts
- 1+ Quick drying t-shirt or tank top
- 1+ Gym shorts
- 3+ Dresses or skirts (for women)
- 4+ Quick drying underwear
- 2+ Socks (for serious hiking or air/train/bus travel)
- 1+ Bathing suit
- 1 Lightweight running shoes
These are some of the more important basics that you want to take with you and apart from this list there isn’t too much you’ll need except for maybe a light sweater, rain jacket and any of the other items that I’ve covered in this post.
Keep in mind that if you don’t want to have to go through the hassle of doing any laundry while you’re abroad or you’re someone that puts a higher emphasis on dressing fashionably then it’s likely that you’ll be traveling with a few more items but this is a pretty good basic list to start your packing list with.
Bathing Suit and Travel Towel
Many people visiting Thailand are visiting for one reason and that’s to spend their vacation relaxing and soaking up the sun on the beach.
A bathing suit and quick-drying travel towel is definitely going to come in handy if you’re going to be doing any swimming.
There isn’t a specific bathing suit that I would recommend for either men or women, just go with your favorite 1 or 2 from home, but when it comes to the best travel towel I’d suggest going with one that’s quick drying, lightweight and not made from any cotton or heavy materials.
Without your own towel will be stuck having to buy one in Thailand or you’ll have to go through the hassle of renting one which is just an unnecessary cost that you shouldn’t have to put up with.
Plastic Bags or Dry Sacks
The rainy wet weather, if you’re not prepared, could actually damage your smartphone, laptop, camera or any other devices you’re traveling with if you don’t take the precautions to protect them from water or moisture damage.
This is a lot more likely to happen if you’re traveling with a backpack and you don’t have a waterproof rain cover for it but it’s still possible that moisture and water can get into your suitcase if you’re traveling with more standard luggage as well.
Nothing is worse than running through the rain to catch your train or to make a flight and opening your bags just find that your smartphone, camera or any other device that you have has become wet or is even seriously damaged from moisture.
During the rainy season especially if you’re going to want to make sure that you bring along either Ziploc bags or dry sacks that you can put your important electronics in to protect them from any water damage or moisture.
In the end it’s always better to be safe rather than sorry and it’s super easy to just stuff some plastic bags into your backpack or suitcase just in case you need them when you’re abroad.
A Travel Daypack or Camera Bag
When you’re walking around exploring Bangkok, Phuket or any other city in Thailand it’s a good idea to use a daypack for travel or even a camera bag to store all of your gear and anything else you have with you.
This way you’ll be able to better keep your gear that you travel with on a daily basis safe from pickpockets or purse snatchers and you can also make sure that everything is organized, like your water bottle, camera, sunscreen, smartphone and anything else you have all in one place.
A dedicated daypack is also a good idea to use when you’re visiting the beach and you can also keep it with you during the day so that you can have access to any snacks or fresh water whenever you need.
Surprisingly in Thailand they use two different types of plugs.
They use ones that are identical to the ones you’ll find in the United States and Canada but there’s a chance you could come across the type C outlet that is very popular in most of Europe (the one with the two circle prongs).
To be safe you’re going to want to bring along a travel adapter so you can use your tech devices or anything else that needs to be powered with the outlets that you’ll come across in Thailand.
Canadians and American travelers don’t need to worry about this as much but if you’re visiting from somewhere else then you’re going to want to double check to see if you’ll need an adapter to get everything working properly.
Travel Wallet or Passport Holder
Staying organized when you’re travelling abroad helps to make sure that you aren’t as likely to lose your passport or any of your other belongings.
When you’re travelling in Thailand it’s a good idea to use a passport cover keep your passport safe and in one easy to access spot whenever you need it and you shall also consider using a travel wallet to help keep your credit cards, foreign currency, and other travel documents organized.
You can stuff these into your backpack so that you don’t have to have your wallet or purse out in the open and not only is this going to help you keep track of everything more easily but it’s also going to help prevent anything from getting stolen or accidentally dropped during your trip.
I recommend checking out two of the articles here on my blog for some helpful recommendations:
Bringing along some packing cubes for travel are going to help you continue with the trend of staying organized when you’re traveling.
I’m a huge fan of using packing cubes because I can organize everything by type and wearing preference rather than just stuffing everything into my backpack or suitcase and having to dump it all out whenever I want to grab something to wear.
They hardly take up any extra space and I can use them to compress my clothes and accessories, which actually gives me more space for things like souvenirs or anything else I need to travel with.
I even use a single cube for my laundry so that I don’t have to mix clean clothes with dirty clothes and this makes it easier for me to keep everything clean when I’m on the road.
Check out my eBags packing cubes review to see why I prefer using those over all of the other different kinds available.
A Quick Recap
Here’s a quick recap of this Thailand packing list:
- Bug spray
- Rain Jacket
- Long sleeve shirt or light jacket
- Sandals or slip on shoes
- Water bottle
- Summer clothes (scroll up to see the complete list)
- Bathing suit
- Travel towel
- Plastic bags or dry sacks
- Daypack or camera bag
- Travel adapter