When I set out my suitcase to pack for a two-week-plus trip to Thailand, I just stared. We were spending 5 days in Bangkok, 3 days in a rural town, 4 days on an island, and then had a lot of travel time on either end. We also had a wedding in the middle of all of this (but I purposely did not pack anything specific for that, knowing that we would go shopping in Bangkok).
I knew that I needed comfortable clothes that I could wear during 90+-degree days with high humidity, so almost everything I packed was cotton. I packed everything by location into my packing cubes for ultimate organization. Here’s my
Packing List for Thailand:
Things to Pack for Thailand: Clothes
Linen shorts, 2 maxi skirts (love this one – I brought it in 2 colors!), and a couple of cotton dresses (like this tank dress and this ruched dress) were perfect choices to take for everything from hanging out at the hotel pool to visiting tourist attractions. Tank tops (I brought 3 of them) and a couple of cotton t-shirts (these are my favorite) in neutral colors went with all of the bottoms I brought.
A cropped top for one night out was a fun change (worn with the maxi skirt). And my trusty chambray shirt (like this one) was great for our flights from Bangkok to Hat Yai and back, or when we were in air conditioning. Like I mentioned, while we were in Bangkok I bought an outfit for the first day of the wedding (and the second day of the wedding was already covered, since I was wearing a traditional Thai outfit that was waiting for me at the hotel).
Things to Pack for Thailand: Shoes
I brought a pair of nude shoes to wear to the wedding that I knew would go with any dressier outfit. My favorite flip flops, a neutral flat, and casual sneakers packed well and were all well-worn on the trip for everything from beach days to touristy days.
Things to Pack for Thailand: Swim
We spent four full days on an island, so I packed four swimsuits with pieces that I could mix and match, a couple of coverups (I already told you how I’m kind of obsessed with caftans lately), and a lot of sunscreen. I also took along a hat that packs well and a rash guard, knowing that we might be snorkeling under the sun. (Even if you won’t be visiting an island, you’ll want to bring swimsuits if your hotel has a pool!)
Things to Pack for Thailand: Accessories
I brought minimal accessories on this trip, and I stuck to the basics: a couple of simple rings, my monogram necklace, and one statement necklace. A scarf (love this one!) not only helped when I needed to throw something over my shoulders in more conservative areas, but it also doubled as a “blanket” when traveling in an air conditioned van (kind of a shock to the system sometimes!). As far as makeup, I didn’t go crazy with how much I packed. I knew it was going to be upwards of 100 degrees everyday, so my most important item in my makeup bag was my favorite mascara that stays on for a full day.
Years ago, when I first went to Europe, my mom bought me a duffel bag that zips into itself (similar ones here and here, and this company makes similar ones that are super sturdy). I brought that along, since I knew we would want to bring back souvenirs. (It also helped out when we left Bangkok for the first time: We left the duffel bag at the hotel with some items we had already purchased. We went back to the same hotel at the end of our trip for a night.) Gatorade packets were a necessity on the really hot days that we were out all day. I also brought along a small bottle of Woolite. Some of my travel companions sent out their laundry, but I am sensitive to detergents, so I brought my own, as well as a travel clothesline. And don’t forget a travel journal!