Everything you need to know about packing for a trip to Thailand


Thailand, known as the “Land of Smiles,” is a captivating destination that enchants visitors with its rich cultural heritage, stunning landscapes, and vibrant street life. From the bustling streets of Bangkok to the idyllic beaches of Phuket and the ancient ruins of Ayutthaya, Thailand offers a diverse range of experiences for travelers.

With its tropical climate, Thailand is warm and humid throughout the year, making it essential to pack light and breathable clothing. Whether you’re exploring bustling markets, trekking through lush jungles, or lounging on pristine beaches, being prepared with the right essentials can enhance your experience in the Land of Smiles.

Prepare yourself for an unforgettable experience in Thailand, where every moment is infused with intrigue and discovery.





Passport, visa, flight tickets, insurance, local currency cash, credit/debit cards medication (including any prescription, or allergy medications), important numbers, luggage: compact suitcase or backpack and day pack and tips for guides.

Camera, other electronics and chargers, travel adaptor if needed, toiletries, including high SPF suncream, and refillable water bottle (provided by Soca Islands).

Lightweight tops: long-sleeved and tees, shorts, loose-fitting trousers, linen trousers, activewear for hiking, swimwear, sunhat and sunglasses, a light waterproof jacket/poncho, warmer layers for the evenings (when applicable), long tops/skirts/trousers for temple visits, comfortable trainers/sneakers with good tread, and sandals/flip-flops.

Useful extras
Prepaid SIM card (available on landing), an RFID blocking holder for credit/debit cards, long-haul flight heroes: eye mask, neck pillow, noise-cancelling headphones, Thailand travel apps, compact travel towel, and handheld fan.


What to Pack for Thailand – Essentials


Regardless of your point of origin, ensure you possess a valid passport for the entirety of your time in Thailand, plus an additional six months beyond. Safeguard yourself against potential loss by storing a photo of your passport’s inside ID page on your phone and via email. Consider bringing a passport holder as well; it provides a convenient way to organise your essential documents in one secure location, minimizing the need for multiple items to track.

Thailand Visas
The requirement for a visa to enter Thailand varies based on nationality. Citizens from some countries can presently enjoy short visits (usually up to 15 days) without a visa. For citizens from other countries, like the Trinidad and Tobago, an option is to apply online in advance for a single-entry e-Visa, typically valid for 30 days.

Flight Tickets
Be sure to have a hard copy of your flight tickets alongside the digital version on your phone to guarantee coverage, no matter what.

Travel Insurance for Thailand
Ensure you have valid travel insurance for the entirety of your visit to Thailand, encompassing coverage for loss/thefts, medical emergencies, and cancellations. Many insurers will email your coverage details for safekeeping. Additionally, save your insurer’s contact number on your phone for prompt assistance if required.

Currency and Cash in Thailand
In Thailand, the official currency is the Thai baht (THB), which comes in denominations of 1,000 (USD $27), 500, 100, 50, and smaller units. Exchange services are available at official exchange counters with clear signage, as well as at banks. Some hotels and tourist agencies also offer currency exchange services for major currencies into Thai baht. US dollars are commonly accepted in larger establishments such as hotels, shops, and restaurants. It’s recommended to exchange cash upon arrival in Thailand and keep a supply for convenience and emergencies. In some areas, card payment and ATM facilities may be limited, so having cash on hand ensures seamless transactions and enhances the enjoyment of local experiences such as street food and market stalls.

Credit and Debit Cards
ATMs typically restrict the withdrawal per transaction from THB $10,000 – $20,000. Unfortunately, there are no ATMs in Thailand which are fee-free for foreign card holders, except one bank which does not charge fees for a limited specific type of foreign cards.

Medication for Thailand
To prepare for potential medical needs during your Thailand trip, assemble a personalised mini medical kit. Include essentials such as painkillers, DEET-based insect repellent, anti-itch ointment, antihistamines, plasters/bandages, and diarrhea treatment like Imodium. Consult with a healthcare professional about malaria tablets, especially if traveling to rural highland areas. Arrange any necessary vaccinations at least six weeks before departure. Don’t forget to bring along any prescription medications, with prescriptions for each. If you have a medical condition or allergy requiring attention, carry a doctor’s letter detailing the condition and treatment needed. Maintain good health practices while traveling by monitoring food and water consumption, protecting yourself from sun exposure, and preventing insect bites. Remember that tap water is not safe to drink anywhere in Thailand.

Important Numbers in Thailand
In Thailand, dial 191 for police, 1155 (English, German, and French spoken) for tourist police, 199 for fire, 1669 for ambulance and 1672 for the Tourism Authority of Thailand. Your embassy can also provide assistance during emergencies. Be sure to have toll-free international numbers for your credit/debit card and mobile phone providers for cancellation from abroad. Additionally, store contact details for your local embassy in Thailand, as well as for your insurance and flight providers. These preparations can be crucial in unforeseen situations.

Luggage for Thailand
Pack a day bag suitable for hiking and other excursions, in addition to a compact suitcase or backpack. The day bag should have sufficient space for your daily necessities, including a water bottle and camera. Opt for a soft-sided bag for the larger luggage to ensure easy accommodation in transfer vehicles, buses, and trains throughout Thailand.


What to Pack for Thailand – Accessories


Travel Adapters and Chargers for Thailand
In Thailand, plugs generally follow Type A standards, characterized by two flat vertical prongs. Moreover, Type C and Type F plugs, outfitted with two round pins, are commonly used. Travelers originating from countries like the UK, Australia, and New Zealand will need adapters to suit these differences. However, individuals from North America and the Caribbean may find their plugs fitting without the necessity of adapters.

Toiletries for Thailand
Essential toiletries for your trip include deodorant, a toothbrush, toothpaste, and hand gel. Additionally, pack personal items like a hairbrush and razors. Opt for hydrating spray, moisturizer, and eco-friendly bamboo cleansing cloths for added comfort. Given Thailand’s tropical climate, prioritize high SPF sunscreen and lip balm with SPF to shield yourself from the sun’s rays.

Refillable Water Bottle
A reusable water bottle will be useful throughout your trip, from the plane journey to city excursions and beyond.


What to Pack for Thailand – Clothing

Guidelines for Dressing in Thailand Vary Depending on the Season and Location.


Hot  Season Wear
Opt for loose, breathable attire during the summer months. T-shirts, cotton trousers or shorts, and thin long-sleeved tops are ideal. Lighter colors help combat the heat, along with linen trousers. Protect yourself from the sun with sunglasses and a sunhat. Sandals or flip-flops are essential for beach outings, and a light waterproof jacket can come in handy for sudden downpours during the monsoon season.

Outdoor Activities
For hiking and other outdoor pursuits, prioritize light, breathable materials. Cotton t-shirts and lightweight long-sleeved tops are suitable, along with trousers to ward off mosquitoes. Sturdy trekking shoes with good traction are preferable to hiking boots for most trails.

Temple Visits
Thai men and women generally dress quite modestly, and this is especially true if you’re planning to visit a temple. You’ll need to cover your shoulders and knees, so long trousers and long skirts work well. Large colourful scarves and sarongs are popular for temple visits and they can easily be bought in Thailand. You will also need to take your shoes off, so you might want to have a pair of socks in your bag to avoid bare feet.

City Exploration
For exploring urban areas, opt for light, loose clothing and comfortable footwear. Dressier attire may be suitable for evenings out, while warmer layers are advisable for cooler temperatures, especially in northern regions or air-conditioned environments.

Cultural Considerations
Thailand is a conservative country, so avoid clothing that is too revealing. Beachwear is acceptable in coastal resorts, but elsewhere, opt for modest attire.

Clothing Summary
Pack lightweight tops, activewear, swimwear, a light waterproof jacket, warmer layers, modest clothing for temple visits, linen trousers, an evening outfit, comfortable trainers or sneakers, and sandals or flip-flops. Adjust your attire based on the season, location, and cultural norms, ensuring comfort and respectfulness during your time in Thailand.


What to Pack for Thailand – Extras


Prepaid SIM Card for Phone Data
Upon arrival in Thailand, you can conveniently purchase SIM cards with internet packages from kiosks located at the international airport in Thailand. They are also readily available in phone shops across various cities and towns, although sorting it out at the airport is generally more convenient. Typically priced around USD $10 – $20 US, you can acquire a month’s worth of unlimited data. Many bloggers recommend networks like AIS and True for their extensive coverage across Thailand.

Thailand Travel Apps
Several apps can enhance your travel experience in Thailand:

  • Google Translate: These language apps aid communication by translating signs and phrases. Google Translate’s camera function instantly translates text.
  • Grab: Similar to Uber, Grab provides fast and convenient transportation options, including GrabAbike for moto taxis, ensuring seamless travel throughout Southeast Asia.
  • XE Exchange: Simplify currency conversions with XE Exchange, which helps you understand Thai riel prices and exchange rates, facilitating financial transactions with ease.
  • Google Maps and TripAdvisor: Utilise these essential apps for navigation and access to reviews, ensuring you make the most of your Thailand adventure.
  • PassApp: Another popular ride-hailing app in Thailand, offering options for tuk-tuks, taxis, and other forms of transportation.
  • SmartGuide Thailand: Offers offline maps, audio guides, and useful information about popular tourist destinations in Thailand.
  • CamboTicket: Allows you to book bus tickets and transportation services for travel within Thailand, as well as to neighboring countries like Cambodia and Vietnam.


Other Thailand Information


The Climate in Thailand
Thailand’s climate varies across different regions of the country. Generally, Thailand experiences a tropical climate characterized by three main seasons: hot, rainy, and cool.

  1. Hot Season (March to May): During this period, temperatures soar, and humidity levels can be high. The weather is typically dry, with little to no rainfall.
  2. Rainy Season (June to October): The rainy season in Thailand brings heavy rainfall, particularly in the form of afternoon showers and thunderstorms. Flooding can occur in some areas, especially in low-lying regions. Despite the rain, temperatures remain warm.
  3. Cool Season (November to February): This season brings cooler temperatures, lower humidity, and less rainfall. It is generally considered the most comfortable time to visit Thailand, with pleasant weather for outdoor activities.

However, it’s important to note that Thailand’s climate can vary depending on the region. The southern part of the country, including popular tourist destinations like Phuket and Krabi, experiences a slightly different climate pattern due to its proximity to the equator and the Gulf of Thailand. Southern Thailand has a more consistent temperature throughout the year, with a distinct wet season (April to November) and dry season (December to March).


Tipping in Thailand
Tipping is appreciated but not obligatory in Thailand. In restaurants and bars, a 10% service charge is customary but discretionary. Some establishments may include this charge automatically, so it’s advisable to review your bill to avoid duplicate payments.

If you’re on a Soca Islands trip, tipping your Tour Guide and Driver USD $5 – $10 per day is mandatory.

Many Soca Islanders opt to contribute to a collective fund at the trip’s onset, allowing the Tour Leader to distribute tips to restaurant staff, drivers, and additional guides.