One of my favorite countries I’ve ever been to is Thailand–it has everything from vibrant city streets in Bangkok, to gorgeous beaches in cities like Ko Samui and cultural treasures in Chiang Mai. Figuring out what to pack though to this far-off place, which was so different than where I was from was no easy task. My head was spinning when I tried to figure out what to pack. Here are my top tips to help you prepare to travel to Thailand before you go!
Flights are pretty expensive so make sure to book your main flights early and shop around for a good deal. Make sure your passport is valid for 6 months after your return date of travel and be sure to bring copies and email yourself an electronic one too. Book an appointment with a travel doctor as you’ll probably need some vaccinations and possibly malaria medication depending on where you’re visiting. Some vaccinations may require a follow up so be sure to go at least 6 weeks in advance of your trip. Check out the CDC website for the latest health information about Thailand.
Southeast Asia is hot, hot, hot year round. Pack light, breathable clothing–stick with cotton. Trust me on this. Leave plenty of extra space in your suitcase. You won’t feel as bogged down by a huge bag and plus if you need anything, the night markets in Chiang Mai and Bangkok are great. They sell loads of fun clothing. Plus, you can get custom made-to-fit clothing like suits and dresses for next to nothing so definitely take advantage of this.
Don’t Skimp on Toiletries and Medicine
The modern amenities and medicine in Thailand is not quite up to Western standards yet. Although you probably won’t need any of it, I would bring a mini-medicine cabinet. Stockpile over-the-counter meds and a few common prescriptions, which will help salvage your vacation should you become ill. Pain relievers, cold remedies, allergy medication, nausea relief, stomach meds, sunscreen, aloe, hand sanitizer, tissues, and insect repellent will get you through most disasters.
Eat the Street Food
Even this spoiled luxury traveler agrees that the street food in Thailand are where it’s at! Don’t stray from bottled water but do splurge for street eats–especially fruit juices and tropical fruits. I ate this all and was completely fine.
Do Your Research
Finally, get to know Thailand’s culture a bit before you come by reading up on etiquette and learning a few key phrases before you come. Reading a bit about its history will also enrich your trip!