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Packing for Thailand


If you are wondering what to pack for Thailand then you have come to the right place as in this post I am going to share with you our Thailand packing List.


With Thailand’s year-round warm weather and its casual vibe, it is very easy to travel light when packing for Thailand.  With a good carry on only size back pack and our essentials for Thailand list you will be all set.


Whether you are packing for a 2 week trip to Thailand or even 1 week or 1 month, I recommend you take the same amount of clothing.  It is so much easier if you take less and travel lightly.  Even as a family it is not too difficult to pack lightly and I am going to show you how in this post.


Click here if you want to find out more about doing carry on only luggage.


In this post I will show you all the things to bring to Thailand, including the best backpack for Thailand, essential toiletries, electronics, the best clothes for Thailand as well as what shoes to wear in Thailand.  I will also give it all to you in a printable Thailand travel checklist!


What to pack for Thailand – Thailand Packing List


Best Backpack for Thailand – and other bags


One of the best Thailand backpacking tips I can give you is to ensure you have the right pack.  Having the right pack as well as good packing cubes and toiletry bags will help organise all the things to pack for Thailand as well as keep your items tidy whilst you travel.


  • Carry on only sized backpack – for the best backpack for Thailand I recommend either the Cabin Zero (read my review here) or the [easyazon_link identifier=”B06X194J4S” locale=”US” tag=”thrifamitra04-20″]46L Osprey Porter[/easyazon_link].  Andy uses the Cabin Zero and I use the Porter – we both love them.  For kids you can get a smaller CabinZero or the  Osprey Porter 30 liter.   Myla uses the Jammer pack from Kathmandu 28 litre pack (click here if you want one for your kids too).  We find Myla’s smaller pack makes the best day pack for Thailand when doing day trips. Everything in this packing list will easily fit into these packs.  Click on the links to find out more about these these packs.  [easyazon_image align=”right” height=”200″ identifier=”B06X194J4S” locale=”US” src=”https://thriftyfamilytravels.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/41QdmYcsUHL.SL160-1.jpg” tag=”thrifamitra04-20″ width=”160″]


Looking for the best backpack for travelling carry on?  Click here to see our full guide for the best backpacks for travelling carry on.


  • Packing Cubes –  (click here to see some I like). [easyazon_image align=”right” height=”160″ identifier=”B00XLSZWF6″ locale=”US” src=”https://thriftyfamilytravels.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/51g4UPdCfbL.SL160.jpg” tag=”thrifamitra04-20″ width=”160″]


Click here to read more about how to use packing cubes.


  • Toiletry bags – I use multiple smaller ones – this is much easier when doing carry on only luggage as you can squeeze little bags into smaller spaces much easier than a great big bulky toiletry bag. [easyazon_image align=”right” height=”160″ identifier=”B01IE06448″ locale=”US” src=”https://thriftyfamilytravels.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/41P4anYPPgL.SL160.jpg” tag=”thrifamitra04-20″ width=”160″]


Headed to Thailand?  Read about Krabi here.




Wondering what to pack for Thailand backpacking in terms of clothes?  The best clothes for Thailand are light weight clothes.  The good news is there are super cheap laundromats everywhere in Thailand so you don’t need to pack a stack of clothes.  For your Thailand packing, just take the essentials, there is no need to take any more than a few days worth of clothes.


See below a list for both females and males for what to pack when travelling to Thailand.






  • 3 x dresses – this is personal choice – but I find in the hotter weather, light dresses are the way to go.  I like the kind pictured here.  Dresses are my Thailand travel essentials; [easyazon_image align=”right” height=”200″ identifier=”B01K4DOO68″ locale=”US” src=”https://thriftyfamilytravels.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/51LfuQOwoZL.SL160.jpg” tag=”thrifamitra04-20″ width=”160″]


  • 1 x shorts – I am not really into shorts – but if you are and want to take more – swap some dresses out for shorts;


  • 1 x leggings – perfect for plane flights or in areas where it may get a bit cool at night;


  • 2 x swimmers – if you won’t be swimming on consecutive days, 1 pair will do;[easyazon_image align=”right” height=”200″ identifier=”B01GDRVRNC” locale=”US” src=”https://thriftyfamilytravels.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/41Xvy4jXR1L.SL160.jpg” tag=”thrifamitra04-20″ width=”200″]



  • 3 x bras  – 1 x black, 1 x white/nude and 1 x strapless;


  • 5 x undies;



  • PJs.




  • 5 tops  – a range of tank tops and t shirts that will cover your shoulders – merino tops are perfect for the warm weather as they keep you cool and don’t smell; [easyazon_image align=”right” height=”200″ identifier=”B01IJMF5SW” locale=”US” src=”https://thriftyfamilytravels.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/41CumFr4L8L.SL160.jpg” tag=”thrifamitra04-20″ width=”150″]


  • 3 shorts;


  • 2 swimming shorts – if you won’t be swimming on consecutive days, 1 pair will do;


  • 5 undies;


  • 3 in 1 rain jackets and;  [easyazon_image align=”right” height=”200″ identifier=”B00YS3IV74″ locale=”US” src=”https://thriftyfamilytravels.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/41JLxD5AsFL.SL160.jpg” tag=”thrifamitra04-20″ width=”160″]


  • PJs.


What shoes to wear in Thailand


What shoes to wear in Thailand depends upon your personal preference and the sort of activities you will be partaking in.  At the very least the best shoes for Thailand is a good quality walking sandal.  You may like to consider a pair of basic thongs / flip flops and some joggers as additional shoes to wear in Thailand.


  • Thongs / Flip Flops – whilst I prefer to wear sandals for Thailand a pair of flip flops are perfect for beach or pool days;[easyazon_image align=”right” height=”200″ identifier=”B00YDIV9FK” locale=”US” src=”https://thriftyfamilytravels.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/41DX4pZzNWL.SL160.jpg” tag=”thrifamitra04-20″ width=”200″]



  • Hiking Boots / Joggers




Below are the toiletries you will need to mark off your Thailand backpacking checklist.


If you are just packing essentials for Thailand and using carry on only luggage you will need to transfer liquids and creams to small clear bottles under 100 ml.


  • Sunscreen– the best sunscreen for Thailand is one with a high SPF – I prefer the spray on sunscreen;[easyazon_image align=”right” height=”160″ identifier=”B00B81XR1Y” locale=”US” src=”https://thriftyfamilytravels.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/51eoLSxjWzL.SL160.jpg” tag=”thrifamitra04-20″ width=”85″]


  • Bug spray– you will need a high deet concentrate;.[easyazon_image align=”right” height=”160″ identifier=”B0054NFYDG” locale=”US” src=”https://thriftyfamilytravels.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/41vxgfq9CLL.SL160.jpg” tag=”thrifamitra04-20″ width=”54″]


  • Minimal make up – this is totally optional – I usually just take mascara – you don’t need foundation it will melt off anyway;


  • Hair brush, hair ties and clips – no need for anything fancy in Thailand just a few hair bands and bobby pins is all I take.  No need to take hair straighteners and hair dryers, certainly not essential for your Thailand packing checklist;


  • Toothbrush and toothpaste;


  • Deodorant– a small roll on is better as it takes up less room;


  • Hand Sanitizer– great for cleaning hands before meal times, highly recommended for your Thailand travel essentials list;[easyazon_image align=”right” height=”155″ identifier=”B00U2KYUAY” locale=”US” src=”https://thriftyfamilytravels.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/61LAfVCnusL.SL160.jpg” tag=”thrifamitra04-20″ width=”160″]


  • Razors and shaving cream;


  • Wet wipes– more so for families – but I love these for all cleaning all sorts of things – definitely on our Thailand travel packing list!;


  • Toilet Paper (optional) – I always like to have a roll-on hand quite often you find toilets in Thailand with no toilet paper, up to you if you think its one of the things to take to Thailand;


  • Medication – any medication you are taking on a daily basis, plus medication for kids – all other medication can be purchased as needed;


  • Shampoo & conditioner;


  • Body wash; and


  • Moisturizer – for face and body.




  • Cameramemory cards (get the biggest you can afford for loads of photos), camera accessories and camera charger.


  • Selfie Stick – ok I know some people think this is self indulgent but there are great for taking happy snaps of the entire group when traveling.  I recommend getting a one with a tripod and remote so you can sit it on a table and take a nice photo of the group rather than the typical close up selfie.  We have the Cygnett selfie stick (click here if you want one too). [easyazon_image align=”right” height=”107″ identifier=”B00WGOFPNA” locale=”US” src=”https://thriftyfamilytravels.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/31qUme3CfML.SL160.jpg” tag=”thrifamitra04-20″ width=”160″]


  • Phone and phone charger – I recommend buying a local sim card with data once you arrive.


  • Laptop and cords – clearly optional – but if you are a blogger or need to work whilst you are travelling you will need this.


  • Power Bank– keep all your devices charged.  I recommend getting one with at least 3 outlets so you can charge multiple devices at once or one like the Anker PowerCore20100.  I also recommend getting one that can be charged as it chargers devices at the same time.  We use the Premium Jackery (click here if you want one too) one and find it great.[easyazon_image align=”right” height=”160″ identifier=”B00EA1P8OI” locale=”US” src=”https://thriftyfamilytravels.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/31W6NRF45wL.SL160.jpg” tag=”thrifamitra04-20″ width=”160″]


  • Headphones– I recommend wireless ones for kids so they can listen to their ipads without annoying everyone either on the airplane, airports or in your hotel room.


  • IPad and charger – an essential for the travel with kids packing list – great for keeping the kids (or yourself) entertained on long flights.





Here are the essential documents and other similar things to carry while travelling to Thailand:


  • Passports
  • Visas if necessary
  • Drivers License
  • Credit Card/s
  • ATM Card/s
  • Travel Insurance documents
  • Flight Documents
  • Hotel Documents
  • Transfer / Tours / Activities Documents
  • Travel Itinerary
  • Foreign Currency
  • Wallet / Purse
  • Pens – you will need these to fill out the various documents at the airport




And lastly the other things to take to Thailand backpacking:


  • Hat


  • Sunglasses


  • Wallet / purse – I also take a few coin purses with me so I can separate my home currency from the international currency


  • Hand bag– when I travel I leave my usual hand bag at home and take a smaller bag which I can easily put across my body – this makes it harder for bag snatchers and allows you to have your bag in the front of your body for easy access to your money. I also like to ensure its big enough to carry my camera and various documents.[easyazon_image align=”right” height=”200″ identifier=”B01KMMD5N4″ locale=”US” src=”https://thriftyfamilytravels.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/51Y46i2mPqL.SL160.jpg” tag=”thrifamitra04-20″ width=”200″]


Click here for a full guide on the best cross body bags for travel for both men and women.


  • Kids toys – don’t take too much – there will be some much going on that they don’t need much.  We just take a few reading books, colouring in books and pencils and 1 special doll.  We use to take far too much and Myla just didn’t play with it all.


  • Jewelry – certainly not necessary when considering what to pack for Vietnam, but I love my costume jewellery so I usually pop in 2 necklaces and 2 sets of earrings which match the clothes I pack.


  • Neck Pillows– only for for long flights where you are likely to be sleeping – otherwise leave it at home as they are super bulky.  Make sure it can easily attach to your luggage so you don’t have to carry it. [easyazon_image align=”right” height=”200″ identifier=”B00KDNSNVM” locale=”US” src=”https://thriftyfamilytravels.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/51Z4KlL5yVL.SL160.jpg” tag=”thrifamitra04-20″ width=”200″]


  • Drink Bottles– you can’t take filled water bottles through customs, so take empty ones and fill them up after clearing customs, then you don’t have to worry about waiting for the air hostesses to bring you water during the flight except to refill your bottles.  I recommend you buy yourself some good quality no spill drink bottles. We use the drink bottles from the Contigo range.


  • Stroller– if this is necessary make sure it is light weight and folds up tightly.


I have turned this Thailand packing list into a printable checklist.  I love it, print it off and packing is so much easier.   Get your packing checklist here. I am sure this list will be helpful to both single backpackers as well as those looking for a traveling list for family.


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Thailand Packing List What to pack for Thailand

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