When my boyfriend said we’re only bringing one backpack each on our three-week trip to Thailand, I definitely panicked! I thought to myself, “How in the world am I going to cram three weeks worth of clothes, makeup, and everything I need into a carry-on backpack?”. There was no way!
I was dreading this.
I looked up the average weather for when we were going to be in Thailand (Dec-Jan) and knew it was going to be HOT and MUGGY with a chance of small bouts of rain. I figured that I needed at least enough clothes to get me through one week and to bring clothes that I could re-wear if needed.
Here’s what I ended up packing:
4 tank tops, 2 t-shirts, 7 pairs of underwear, 5 pairs of socks, 2 pairs of shorts, 1 yoga capris, pajamas (shorts and a t-shirt), 3 bathing suits, 1 casual dress, light-weight rain-proof North Face Jacket, water sandals from REI, and flats. I wore a long-sleeve shirt, leggings, and flip flops on the plane.
Hygiene and Medicine –
3 oz shampoo, 3 oz conditioner, Neutrogena face sunscreen, minimal makeup and makeup remover wipes, deodorant, razor, heat protector and travel size hair straightener, hair gel (for the curly days that my hair would not want to straighten due to the humidity), toothpaste/toothbrush, birth control pills, Doxycycline (which I had prescribed for Malaria prevention), Ciprofloxacin (Doctor prescribed in case of a diarrhea emergency), Pepto Bismul tablets (for the non-emergency bathroom issues, comes in handy!), DEET bug spray, hand sanitizer, and TOILET PAPER.
Important Documents –
passport, driver’s license, debt and credit card, copies of passports of all who were traveling with us, and cash.
phone and phone charger, camera and battery charger, sunglasses, small purse for while we were out and about, and a notebook/journal.
When it came to deciding what clothes to wear I ended up bringing items that would be inter-changeable. I could mix and match almost every piece of clothing that I brought. I was able to find really lightweight razorback tank tops that were loose so I was able to re-wear them at least once before needing to send them out for laundry. Also they did not need to be layered! Remember, it is about 88 degrees with 99% humidity – you do not want to have to wear a undershirt/tank top underneath your clothes! Light and loose is the way to go! Plus, hardly takes up any room in your backpack!
I am also go glad I brought my waterproof North Face Jacket because we did encounter rain here and there! And with the humidity, if you get wet you are going to be damp ALL day long! It was also nice to have some nights too because it did get a little chilly a few nights that we were in Thailand, especially up north in Chiang Mai. I am so glad I decided to stuff that to the bottom of my backpack. If you don’t end up needing it, great! At least it’s there in case you do and you’ll be glad you decided to give up a small amount of space for a lot of comfort if it’s needed!
When it comes to hygiene products you really don’t need to bring too much at all! There are 711 stores literally on every block in every town in Thailand. 99% of the hotels we stayed in provided shampoo and conditioner so when you run out of your first bottle you can easily replenish your supply for free! We ended up ditching the idea of bringing sunscreen (though I did still bring my face sunscreen, I love that stuff and didn’t want to have a huge breakout while I was there! Plus, it comes in carry-on size!) because sunscreen is something you can quickly purchase at a 711. So why take up the space if you don’t need to? One note about sunscreen: make sure there is no bleach added to it! You will notice quickly that there are a lot of beauty products designed to whiten your skin in Thailand so watch out for that!
As for why I brought hand sanitizer and toilet paper, please read Important Hygiene Tips. Bringing these two items were a life saver!
Why bring so many documents? Our routine once we got there was to keep everything in 2 locations – one on you and one in the safe in the hotel room. We did this in case 1 set got lost or stolen. Here’s what I personally did with my documents: my passport, credit card, and everyone we were traveling with passport copies I put in the hotel safe. My driver’s license, copy of MY passport, and debit card I kept in my purse on me when we were out and about. I liked this system and would use it in all my future travels.
A journal. Trust me, just bring it. When you are going on a trip to a location that is so unfamiliar with different cultures and crazy new experiences you’ll want to write it all down. Especially if you are going for an extended amount of time. You start to forget all the fun little details that you experienced during the day and people you met because each day is so packed full of exciting things that you forget the details of your amazing adventure! I brought a small notebook with intentions to write down what I did every single day I was there. I’ll admit, there were days when we had downtime that I sat down to write and realized I was 5 days behind! But reading back jogs my memory of things that I otherwise would have completely forgot. Even if you just bullet point main experiences that happened throughout the day, it’ll be worth it when you look back at it years later!
Below is a link to the exact journal that I bought! It was so fun to fill out during the trip! I also brought a lined notebook to write more detailed notes about my day-to-day adventures!
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