Part 2: A helpful, A-to-Z list of packing suggestions for Thailand. Below you’ll find helpful gadgets, great bits and pieces for day-trips and enjoying the beach, plus tips for staying safe and comfortable in Thailand’s heat.
O is for Outlander Packable Travel Backpack
This is a very clever piece of packing. It’s backpack when you need it, and no extra weight when you don’t. We’ve all seen “make it tiny” bags before – but this one has the quality of a normal bag, with a lifetime durability promise from Outlander. Its side-pocket for a water bottle is doubly appreciated once Thailand’s sun kicks in.
P is for Private Dancer
A fast-paced thriller along Miss-East-meets-Mr-West-and-now-someone-will-die lines. I agree with press reviews that it offers the best insight into Bangkok’s bar scene – it sits at #1 on my list of books about Thailand. think it’s perfect to read on the plane or the beach.
Q is for Quiksilver Men’s Pierside Straw Hat
I’d wager that girls are more likely to remember to pack a sun hat than guys. Whether I’m right, take this hat as a prize-winner for Thailand: it has a massive brim. A baseball hat or fedora can leave your ears and the sides of your face too exposed (and sun-hat options available on Koh Samui are U-G-L-Y!).
R is for Ray-Bans
Pack your Wayfarers, your Aviators, your Clubmasters – whatever shape and size – as long as they’ve got quality UV protection for your dainty eyeballs. Squinting causes wrinkles! Folding Wayfarers = minimalist packing victory.
S is for Sanuk Women’s Yoga Flip-Flops
In terms of comfiness, these flip-flops mean you’ll:
- walk on an extra-squooshy yoga mat
- that’s strapped to your feet with a t-shirt
Can happy feet get happier? While there are a few tricks to packing the right shoes for Thailand – see them here – these puppies are perfect for all sorts of itineraries: enjoying your resort, relaxing after a tough trek or backpacking session, and so on. If they’re on your feet, I’m jealous.
T is for Travel Tote
A pocket-size, reusable travel tote is ideal for all your random Thailand tasks, like:
- carrying 6-packs of Singha home from 7-Eleven
- stashing your sweater when you leave the airport to head into Thailand’s heat
- carting wet swimsuits and sandy flip-flops back from the beach
Just totally, utterly useful.
U is for Universal Travel Adapter
Thailand has 2 kinds of plugs (details here). While one of them is the same as the U.S., you might find it useful to have a universal adapter in case:
- you meet only round pin sockets, or;
- if you’re stopping in a 3rd country en route to Thailand
Hong Kong and Singapore, for example, have different plugs again.
V is for Vapur Reusable Water Bottle
How much does a bottle of water cost at an airport? Enough to make you bleed! While Koh Samui’s tap water is not potable, I recommend a Vapur bottle as a great travel tool for getting to Thailand. Airports have water fountains galore, so you can cart a flat, empty Vapur bottle through security and then fill up at a water fountain (and on any subsequent layovers that you have). At approx. $3+ per bottle at U.S. airports, a Vapur bottle will pay for itself in one trip.
W is for Waboba Water Bouncing Ball
Yet another way Australians do ‘beach time’ better than anyone. They’ve invented a ball that bounces on water. Whether you’re a competitive couple or are headed to Thailand with boys (of any age), this is the answer for energetic types and how to spend hours/days/weeks at the beach and pool.
A cheeky X, but an X no less. Quality ear-plugs are:
- Great for sleeping on planes, and;
- Indispensable when the Thai temple next to your hotel throws a karaoke party until 4am.
If you hope to sleep on your flight to Thailand – please – add a pair of quality earplugs. Many people turn to sleeping pills, but ear-plugs and an eye mask are the ticket!
Y is for Youphoria Travel Towel
Great for day-trips or long journeys through Thailand – even a surprise spot of rain total, utter, Thai-style drenching downpour!
Z is for Zap-It Mosquito Bite Relief
Yet another product that our readers introduced me to (same with the Waboba ball). Bring along a small tube of hydrocortisone cream and you’re Eagle Scout-prepared for fixing the mosquito bites you’re not going to get (because you followed tips ‘B’ and ‘I’ in part 1).
See these complete trip-planning lists: