Ultimate Thailand Packing Guide (Plus FREE Checklist)

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Thailand Packing Guide: What You Shouldn’t Forget on Your Packing List

First off, congratulations on booking your trip to Thailand! Thailand was the first Asian country we visited, and we fell in love instantly! We learned that packing for Thailand is very different from other places we’ve visited. With that being said, I wanted to create a Thailand packing guide of items that can be easily overlooked by women and men!

This ultimate Thailand packing list will not include the traditional 2 shirts, 3 pants, a bathing suit, etc, but instead items that are easy to forget or items that are hard to get once you are in Thailand.

Additionally, I have added a free Thailand Packing List Checklist that you can print out. You will find that at the end!

Longtail boat ride in Krabi, Thailand with limestone cliffs
Longtail boat ride from Railay Beach

Disclaimer –  This post contains affiliate links. I may receive a commission at no additional cost to you. Disclosure.

Toiletries to Pack for Thailand

First starting off with toiletries you won’t want to forget to add to your Thailand packing list.

Sunscreen

In Thailand, it can be hard to find sunscreen without whitening agents. Basically, the products are designed to make skin white, which is a cultural thing. We always use Blue Lizard Australian Sensitive Sunscreen SPF 30 or Juice Beauty SPF 30 Sport Moisturizer since they are both safe for coral reefs.

That is also not to say you can’t find sunscreen in Thailand, but it is also one of the more expensive products in Thailand. I always recommend bringing your own if you can.

Juice Beauty Sunscreen in the sand at beach

Shampoo and Conditioner

You most certainly can find shampoo and body wash in Thailand, but sometimes, it can be hard to find conditioner. Furthermore, you may not find the brand you like to use. I bring my own shampoo and conditioner everywhere I go and fill it up in my little travel refillable bottles.

Clear Toiletry Bag is a travel essential

Deodorant

Believe it or not, deodorant is not a very popular item across Asia and is usually more expensive to buy. I use Tom’s of Maine Natural deodorant. I mainly use it because I like to use natural products that are not tested on animals. It works well enough, but sometimes, I have to reapply more than once a day. Anyway, it is best to just bring your favorite brand from home.

Related: Top Thailand Travel Tips to Know

First aid Scar Reducer/ Neosporin

If you end up with some scratches, it’s almost impossible to find a cream that will help reduce scarring. It’s always good to just have a little tube! BTW- this advice was given to me by a Chiang Mai ex-pat who stockpiles them every time he’s back in the States.

Wet Wipes

If you are used to western toilets like me, you are used to always having toilet paper. Well, this is not the case in all of Thailand. The toilets here will either be squat toilets or toilets with a water hose. What do both of these toilets have in common, you ask? NO TOILET PAPER. Therefore wet wipes will be your best friend!

Is this the case for every toilet? Nope, but I promise you won’t regret having the,

Furthermore, wet wipes are nice to wipe down your hands and or face. Thailand is super humid.

Antibacterial Hand Sanitizer

You can never go wrong with having a small travel hand sanitizer! In general, I bring this on all my trips.

Feeding baby elephant a banana

Razors

You can definitely get razors in Thailand, but the quality may not be what you’re used to. I always pack my razor with me anyway, so I truly can’t speak to how good or bad the razors are, but it is a common item travelers mention they wish they brought to Thailand with them.

Related: Best Places to Stay in Thailand

Medicines

I recommend this on every packing list I make, so it is no different for this Thailand guide. Always pack medicines you are used to taking. Think allergy medicines, asthma, cold and flu, stomach remedies, electrolytes, etc. Something I have learned after traveling full-time is that many countries will not carry the same medicines you are used to taking.

I had taken a quick trip to urgent care, and they did give me charcoal pills and some nausea medicine, but I would have preferred the stuff I was used to.

Bug Spray

You will definitely want to bring bug spray with you that has DEET. We used OFF Deep Woods Repellent that has 25% DEET, but now I use the wipes.

It has become very easy to get this in Thailand, but it is a little more expensive, and it likely won’t be a brand you’re used to. Plus, you don’t want to arrive and make your first stop at the store to look for bug spray and get bit up on the way over.

Railay beach with limestone cliffs. woman facing ocean in black bikini

Accessories to Pack for Thailand

Next, let’s cover some of the accessories you will want to add to your packing list for Thailand.

Reusable Waterbottle

Since the water is not safe to drink, a reusable water bottle such as Lifestraw or a water sterilizer such as Steripen will help reduce waste and can even save you money.

Travel Backpack or Camera Bag

My LowePro Camera bag backpack became one of my favorite traveling accessories. It not only carries my camera and several of my lenses but also has room for my computer and cosmetic bags.

It also has a weatherproof cover attached, which was not only perfect during the rainy season in Thailand but overall great to keep on, so I didn’t have to worry about people trying to open the zippers! Win, win! But, I know we are not all carrying a ton of camera gear, so I also recommend Osprey Daylite backpack.

Wading to the Ferry in Indonesia with my LowePro Pack
Wading to the Ferry in Indonesia with my LowePro Pack

Quickdry Towels

Quick Dry Towels was one thing we wished we had packed with us! We now bring our Dock and Bay towels everywhere! They are extremely compact, dry super quick, and are sand resistant. We have 2 sizes (L), which I think is a good size. On top of that, Dock and Bay package their towels in eco-friendly packaging.

travel towels

Universal Adapter

Not only are universal adaptors great for Thailand, but they are also great for general travel! This universal adaptor allowed us to visit the UK, Europe, Egypt, and Southeast Asia with no problem!

Travel Converting adaptor

Sea Bands

If you are planning on visiting any of the islands or beaches of Thailand, I also suggest a motion sickness remedy. I used to go on boats all the time with no issues, but Thailand was the first place I ever experienced sea sickness on our Thailand Island Hopping tour. At first, I thought I had gotten food poisoning. Anyway, I got sea bands that I believe help a lot.

Long Tail Thailand boat in Krabi
EarPlanes and Sea Bands

Camera Gear

As a travel blogger, I often get asked about camera gear. I use a Canon mirrorless camera that comes everywhere with me, my GoPro 7 (great for underwater photography in Thailand), my iPhone, and a DJI Mavic Air 2 drone. You can learn more about my camera gear here!

Additionally, to protect your camera gear and electronics, I’d recommend having a dry bag and a waterproof phone case! You can buy a dry bag from Thailand, and you can’t find room for one. We did exactly this and have used it ever since.


Women Thailand Packing Guide

Now that we got the general items out of the way, here are some specific items for women to pack when traveling in Thailand.

Bamboo island clear water beach is a must with 4 days in Krabi thailand
Bamboo Island

1. Sandals

In Thailand, it’s required to take your shoes off when visiting temples and even entering into some stores. It is best to have sandals that easily slip off. We visited Thailand during the rainy season (May through October), so we wanted to find shoes that were also water-resistant.

I got Teva sandals for rainy days. They were so comfortable since we did so much walking. While they might not be the cutest, you will actually find tons of people with similar sandals (so you won’t stand out). They have a really good grip on Thailand’s slippery pavements unlike traditional flip flops.

This style of sandal is trendy in Thailand. I promise you won’t be the only one wearing Tevas.

These sandals also worked perfectly as water shoes for when you have to wade through the water to the longtail boats! Overall, they are also not as bulky as other water-resistant sandals.

If you want something a little cuter, you can get Birkenstock sandals that are waterproof. I have the regular sandals that I love, and I hear good things about the waterproof option.

What shoes to pack for Thailand
Wearing Teva Sandals at the Grand Palace in Bangkok, Thailand

2. Shawls & Long Dresses/Skirts

Thailand has a conservative dress code, especially when entering temples. I would recommend keeping a shawl in your bag to cover your shoulders, since you will likely be wearing tank tops. I would suggest packing long dresses and skirts. Not only do they follow the dress code for temples, but they are also much cuter and 100% better than wearing pants!

Chiang Mai Temple in Thailand that is bluish grey with metallic details. Women in front facing temple with purple shall covering shoulders, blue long skirt and long blonde hair.
In Chiang Mai, Thailand

3. Feminine Products

If it’s that time of the month, it can be difficult to find tampons in a variety of sizes if you use them. This is especially true for those who have a heavier flow. Make sure you pack plenty, just in case. Many women have switched to menstrual cups for traveling. I haven’t personally tried them yet.

4. Raincoat

Don’t travel to Thailand without a raincoat during the rainy season! It is not uncommon for rain in your forecast since Thailand has a tropical climate. You will be glad you have it! You could also consider a poncho or travel umbrella. I used to pack a travel umbrella in the past, but now I just go with a raincoat.

We got caught in a downpour in Krabi and a consistent day of rain in Bangkok. I’ve debated with people who say no to raincoats, but from my personal experience, I disagree. May wearing it feel a bit like a steam box, maybe, but I was happy to have it.

Wearing raincoat in Thailand Packing guide
Rainy Day in Bangkok by Chinatown

Men Thailand Packing Guide

Next, here are some items you may want to consider adding to your packing list for men traveling to Thailand.

1. Shoes

For men, I recommend these boat shoes if you’re not interested in sandals. These are similar to the ones I got my husband. Unfortunately, the ones I got him are no longer available, but the ones I linked have good reviews.

2. Clothing

Although Thailand is crazy hot, it is best to pack lightweight T-shirts where your shoulders are not showing. In most temples, everyone’s shoulders must be covered. If you visit the Grand Palace in Bangkok, you will need to wear pants. I would recommend buying a pair of the “elephant pants” and putting them in a little drawstring backpack just in case you need them again.

Whatever you do, do not buy them at the Grand Palace. They are over-priced there! Pack lightweight shorts, and you will not find a need to pack jeans. It’s hot!!

Elephant Pants in Thailand

Other Items to Add the Your Thailand Packing List

Now that you know some of the basics, here are some other items I always love to pack when traveling.

  • Vacuum Compression Bags (my best travel hack to fit a lot of clothes in a small bag)
  • Comfortable sneakers for hiking
  • Hair Brush
  • Belt
  • Hair products (especially if your hair doesn’t do well with humidity)
  • Socks
  • Undergarments
  • Airtags (a must for me to know where my luggage is)
  • Passport
  • Driver’s License (especially if you are planning on renting a scooter)
  • Travel Insurance (I went to Urgent Care in Thailand, and I used Allianz)
  • Sun hat and sunglasses
  • Carbon Monoxide Detector – Not all hotels have them.
  • Portable Power Bank Charger
  • Light Day bag for the beach, hiking, or just traveling around to hold your things

What I don’t recommend bringing is expensive jewelry, high heels, or anything too fancy. Thailand has a laid-back culture and casual dress code.

Thailand Packing List Check List

Thailand Packing List Wrap-up

This wraps up my packing list for Thailand! You should now have an idea of all the additional items you need while traveling in Thailand.

If you found this Thailand Packing Guide helpful, I’d appreciate it if you could share it below!

Thailand Packing List
Photo of author

Samantha Oppenheimer

Samantha Oppenheimer (Sam Opp) quit her corporate marketing job in 2018 to travel the world and become a travel writer, blogger and content creator. She loves experiencing authentic travel experiences, photography, and nature. Sam shares helpful travel itineraries, travel tips, budget tips, and travel advice from her personal experiences. You can also find Sam's words featured in large publications including Mirror, Thrillist, and Well + Good.

10 thoughts on “Ultimate Thailand Packing Guide (Plus FREE Checklist)”

  1. This is an extremely helpful list! I’ve been wanting to start using shampoo and conditioner bars so I’ll have to check out your suggestions. Do you like one brand more than the other?

    Reply
  2. As a current expat in Thailand, I have to say I agree with this list. Thankfully, the pharmacies here in Thailand are amazing and I found that medicines can easily be found. Hand Sanitizer is hard to find and sunscreen is ridiculously expensive. Great comprehensive list!

    Reply
  3. Super helpful list – one of my best friends went to Thailand a few years ago and I was so jealous. It’s been a dream of mine for a while.

    Reply
  4. Thanks for this guide! I pretty much used all of these things when I was in Bangkok so this is useful for a first time traveler there

    Reply
  5. Very useful guide for first-timers to Thailand, especially those who are not familiar with the South East Asian weather 🙂 Thank you for sharing!

    Reply
  6. What a thoughtful list! Some of the items did give me a double-take since I’d not have thought of it – Quickdry Towels and shawls for instance, so useful yet I’d never remember them!

    Reply
  7. Great tips! Thanks so much for sharing, especially for including a quick men’s guide as well! This will be great when my Husband and I travel!

    Reply
  8. YES to bringing sunscreen! China is the same thing, sunscreen, lotion, etc all contain whitening products – and even if they label doesn’t say it, I’m still skeptical haha. I also love my quickdry towel, it’s probably one of the most useful travel products I’ve invested in.
    Overall, I like that this is a good list of things that people might not think about before going to Thailand – very useful!

    Reply

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