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How to Pack for Your Trip to Thailand

You're ready to head off to Thailand, but you keep wondering to yourself: "What should I pack?" Don't worry; we've got you covered. Asia Highlights has helped many families plan their dream vacation to Thailand, and we have plenty of wisdom to share with you.

The important things to keep in mind are the time of year and the weather in different seasons and regions, the duration of your travels, the destinations you'll be visiting, and the individual needs of your family members. Everyone is different, so you will need to use your best judgment when it comes to packing for your family.

Absolute essentials include your passports, daily medication, suitable clothing, a raincoat or umbrella, and of course, your camera. While it's always a good idea to carry items like sunscreen, bug spray, and a basic first-aid kit, these are items you can always purchase upon arrival in Bangkok.

Quick Facts

  • Check with your hotel to make sure they provide laundry service. This will allow you to bring fewer articles of clothing, as you can have your laundry done while on vacation.
  • If traveling with children under the age of five, we recommend you bring your own stroller. Usually, yours will be more comfortable than any purchased abroad.
  • Make sure your essentials are in your carry-on luggage – just in case your check-in luggage goes missing.
  • Essentials include your passport, daily medication, suitable clothing, a raincoat or umbrella, a camera, and a good book.
  • Always keep copies of your important documents (such as copies of your passport's front and back pages) with you at all times.

Consider the time of year

It's important to do some research about the weather conditions in your planned destinations during the time of year you will be visiting them. A comprehensive guide for this can be checked by visiting our Best Time to Visit Thailand and Weather in Thailand pages.

It's always a good idea to bring a few articles of long-sleeved clothing (even if you are traveling during the hot season), especially for children, to use as sun protection. Other items such as sunscreen, hats, sunglasses, and mosquito repellent – although useful to pack – can always be purchased upon arrival in Bangkok. Any item that is not an absolute necessity can be easily replaced while traveling. 

If you are visiting Thailand during the wet season, make sure you pack your raincoat, umbrella, and a waterproof cover for your backpack. It can shower unexpectedly during the dry season in Thailand as well, so it might be a good idea to bring these items anyway.

Consider your travel duration

If you stay in Thailand for up to two weeks, do consider minimizing your luggage to include just the essentials. The last thing you'd want to be dealing with when traveling is lugging around a heavy bag from place to place. Pack as light as possible, so you can have peace of mind when vacationing.

It is important to keep in mind that getting clothes washed in Thailand is usually inexpensive. As such, bring clothes that dry fast and don't bring more than you really need.

If you want to bring back plenty of souvenirs for family and friends, consider leaving behind things you don't really need or items that you purchase upon arrival in Bangkok.

Consider the destinations you plan on visiting

In cities in the northern parts of Thailand like Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai, there are some good opportunities for hiking and trekking. While you don't really need hiking boots for these activities, a comfortable pair of waterproof hiking shoes or trail runners will help keep your feet protected, dry, and comfortable.

For beach destinations like Phuket, make sure you've packed a bathing suit, and a few dresses you feel comfortable in.

Another specialty of Cambodia is woven mats: since the temperatures are so high, locals choose to sleep on mats rather than mattresses. The skills of a master artisan are required to make one of these mats, and when it is entirely hand-made, it is a slow process.

Individual needs

If you are traveling with young children, we recommend you have everything they may need to keep entertained and be comfortable during your time abroad. Items may include eating utensils you're used to, as these are less common in Thailand than they are in some other countries.

Do remember to bring diapers and other items like baby wipes and baby powder if you're traveling with infants. While these items can surely be purchased in Thailand, the selection may not be what your baby is used to. As such, we recommend bringing just enough to last a few days longer than the duration of your trip.

We do, however, encourage parents to limit the number of electronics they bring with them during their vacation, as we don't want anyone to miss out on this great opportunity to really experience the beauty of Thailand.

Limiting luggage to essentials

The best way to help yourself limit your luggage is to make sure you create a checklist of your essentials. Pack the most important things you need first, and cross off items that can easily be replaced upon arrival in Thailand.

If you're traveling with a toddler or child under the age of five, the one thing you really can't do without is a stroller. These can be used right until you board a plane. The airline will help you add a tag to your stroller when you check-in for your flight. It will be stored away during the flight and will be returned to you when you land.

If you're traveling with aging parents or people with mobility restrictions, do get in touch with us regarding their specific needs. Based on their specific needs, we'll tell you your best available options. Usually, private cars and taxis can be easily arranged to avoid any inconveniences.

Pack your essentials in your carry-on luggage, as this can prove to be a lifesaver if your check-in luggage goes missing for some reason. This will allow you to survive the first few days of your trip while the airline is locating, or in the process of returning, your check-in luggage.

Enjoy packing as a family

Don't treat packing like a chore; it can be a fun, quality family time. Encourage the kids to get involved by letting them create their own packing list. This will give them some responsibility and allow them some freedom over what they can bring to Thailand. Parents, however, should make sure their kids aren't packing more than is necessary.

Start packing a couple of weeks before your journey to avoid feeling rushed at the last minute. Packing early will allow you to check how heavy your bags are and if you have room for any other items you may want to bring. 

You could even put one of the children in charge of keeping an eye on the luggage when you're at the airport. This will give them an important, albeit easy, job. Be sure to keep all important documents such as passports (and copies of the same) and boarding passes with one of the parents.

Visit Thailand with Asia Highlights

Thailand is a beautiful tropical getaway all year round and you are bound to have a good time whenever you visit. Asia Highlights takes everything, including the weather, into consideration when designing the best possible itinerary for guests.

Tours typically start and end in Bangkok and last approximately 13 days; visiting Bangkok, Khao Yai National Park, Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai, and Phuket.

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