Travelling to Thailand is one of the most incredible experiences in one’s life. Still, packing for an extended stay in a foreign country with a climate that is unknown for you can be rather complicated. Over-thinking can lead to over-packing, and you do not want to end up with a bunch of things you will not use or wear. Even worse, because of all the irrelevant items you can pack, you may forget to bring some of the most important ones. This requires some serious planning. If you are overwhelmed with all the “should” and “should not” of the preparation, we will help you with some travel essentials.
When packing clothes for a Thai holiday you have to have in mind the Thai dress code. Though the rules for tourists are a little bent, you should respect the local culture and try to dress modestly (knees and shoulders covered when you are not on the beach). Since the climate is pretty hot and humid, you should choose linen, light cotton or light-weight viscose rather than any other fabric. Depending on how long you are staying, pack at least to swimsuits, cover-ups, laundry, couple of cotton t-shirts, tank tops, dresses, skirts, Capri pants and shorts. Make sure you have a cardigan with you, just in case it rains.
If you have some beauty or skin care products that you are addicted to make sure you carry them with you, because it is hard to find some Western-based brands. One of the most important things to pack is a mosquito repellent. If you are using organic products, pack them, because it is quite impossible to find them in Thailand. Thai shops have sunscreens in a limited selection of SPF numbers, so bring your own with you. Though Thai pharmacies are well-stocked, consider packing a small first aid kit, just in case.
You will need a couple of pairs, though you can go by with just one – flip-flops. Because in Thailand it is appropriate to take off your shoes before entering into temples, homes and some stores, they are the most convenient. Closed-toe shoes are great for longer walks through the city and flying. If you are planning some hiking adventures, pack your running shoes. On the other hand, if you want to dress up for some evening dinner a pair of nice sandals is a must (they can be flat).
Note that Thailand utilizes 220 volts, 50 Hz. If you are from USA or Canada, where people use 110 volts, you should check in advance will those items work, though many of them are dual-voltage, so probably you have no reason for concern. Some electronic items you should pack are power adaptors, sockets, plugs and external battery charger for your phone. If you have a phone with a great camera, you do not have to pack a camera. Laptops and tablets are optional.
A flight from New York to Thailand lasts about 17 hours and from Sydney to Thailand about 7 hours. Either way it is quite a long period. To make those hours more fun, you can amuse yourself with fun videogames, such as the ones you can find on Poptropica. If you are more of a traditionalist, you can pack a book or, why not go through Thai dictionary and learn some basic phrases? It could be fun. You can also bring a lot of magazines and an iPod. If you bring your laptop, you can even make an in-flight movie marathon.
In the end, the one thing you must not forget to pack is your adventurous spirit. The Thai culture, scenery and cuisine are unique experiences, and you have to be willing to embrace them. Enjoying on the beautiful beaches is logical, but once you are there you must not miss the opportunity to dive deep into the local culture, learn some traditions and try the local dishes.