The Ultimate Female Travel Packing List for Thailand

thailand

See all packing list posts here.

Thailand is a must-visit destination for round-the-world travelers, especially for the cheap prices and beautiful beaches. Even if you don’t pack enough, there are always knockoffs available on Bangkok’s Khao San Road. While most people imagine the humidity of the beaches around Phuket and Ko Phi Phi, the mountains near Chiang Mai bring a totally different experience for travelers. Be sure to plan your trip around Songkran in April, where locals and tourists alike have water fights in the street.

The temperatures soar to the high 90s Fahrenheit in the summer and April is the hottest month of the year in Thailand. If you wait until July to visit, the rainy season begins, which can often derail your travel plans.

Clothing:

3 dressesFor nice dinners and using as swimsuit cover ups. Try the Infinity Skirt on for size.

2 pairs of shortsBetter suited for hiking and more adventurous activities. I would leave the jeans at home.

2 tank tops or T-shirtsThose sweltering days will be best spent in light shirts.

2 brasI usually pack one nude bra and one black bra and it seems to fit my wardrobe well.

5 pairs of underwearMaybe less if you have access to laundry facilities or are packing ExOfficio underwear.

1 light jacketIf you’re visiting the mountains, it can get a little chilly at night.

1 windbreaker/rain jacketIf you visit in July, the monsoon season begins.

2 swimsuitsFollowing the wear one, wash one pattern, two should last you the entire trip.

TowelIf you’re going to be visiting the beaches around Phuket, be sure to bring a travel towel or a Turkish travel towel. Or you can buy one when you get there.

SarongGood to use as a beach cover up or towel or to cover your shoulders in temples.

Shoes:

Closed toed shoesIf you wear flip flops at the Full Moon Party you will only wake up with one! Closed toed shoes like Toms are less likely to get lost.

Flip flopsFor a day at the beach or for hostel dorms.

Nice flats or sandalsFor a night out when flip flops won’t do.

>> Read more about different types of shoes for travel.

Toiletries:

Shampoo/ConditionerTravel sized and TSA friendly.


Soap or Body WashI brought body wash instead, but soap is usually easier to pack if you’re flying carry-on only.


Toothbrush/PasteAlso get a snap-on case so you don’t get anything on your toothbrush.

DeodorantKeep yourself smelling nice!

RazorYou only need one to keep those legs smooth.


BrushTravel sized worked for me.

Hair tiesNecessary to keep the hair off your neck on those hot days.


Motion Sickness MedicineTuk tuk, boat and bus rides can make even the strongest stomach a little queasy!

Birth ControlYou can never be too safe.

Diva CupThe last thing you want on your trip is to be tied down by lady products. The Diva Cup is ideal for this trip since you will be active and won’t always have time to change.

PrescriptionsWhile prescription drugs in Thailand are super cheap, you may want to pack anti-malarial pills.

Book a Viator Tour Before You Go

4 Day Northeast Thailand Heritage Tour

4-Day Northeast Thailand Heritage and Temples Tour from Bangkok – $896.20*
Explore the Northeast of Thailand, commonly known as Isaan with this 4 day Private Tour. The tour starts in Bangkok and covers Korat, Saraburi, Khao Yai, Pimai, Phanom Rung, Muang Tam, Surin, Si Saket and Ubon Ratchathani.

City to Short Biking Adventure

City-to-Shore Biking Adventure on the Gulf of Thailand from Bangkok – $76.19*
Leave the bustle of Bangkok behind for a full-day bike tour along the Gulf of Thailand. Travel by train, ferry and bike from Bangkok to the coast, where you’ll explore the rural coastline by bicycle, breathing in the fresh ocean air. Visit a mangrove forest, look for wildlife, check out the Mahachai Market and refuel with a fresh seafood lunch.

Protection from the Elements:

SunscreenThe sun in Thailand is relentless, so don’t forget to pack sunscreen with high SPF.

HatKeep yourself from getting sunburned and spending the day inside!

SunglassesI brought two pairs, just in case I lose or break one.

Bug SprayTo prevent getting bitten by a malaria-carrying mosquito, pack a strong insect repellent, like Ben’s 100 Tick and Insect Repellent with Deet.

Tech Gear:

LaptopThailand has plenty of cafes with WiFi for those digital nomads who need to get work done.

CameraShow off all the great scenery of Thailand.

Underwater caseThis keeps you from worrying about your camera getting wet on a trip to the beach.

ChargersDon’t forget the necessary adapters for your electronics.

LockIf you’re staying in a hostel, it’s always a good idea to have a lock for your backpack.

iPodNecessary lounging on the beach and long bus rides.

Travel ClotheslineThis saves you the hassle of finding a dryer or lugging around wet clothes.

Other:

Water bottleStay hydrated, especially if you plan on consuming a few buckets.

Books or E-ReaderBring English language books, which can be slightly harder to find. Perhaps a copy of Alex Garland’s The Beach?

Ear PlugsIf you’re a light sleeper and are staying in Bangkok’s backpacker district, you may want some good foam ear plugs to drown out the drunken antics of your fellow travelers.

Eye MaskThe long-haul flight can be rough, so get some shuteye on the way.

Passport and necessary visasVisas are not necessary for US citizens if you’re staying for one month if you arrive by air and fifteen days if you arrive by land.

Deck of cardsWhat better way to make friends at your hostel than over a drinking game?

Travel insuranceBetween Bangkok’s floods of this year and the Red Shirt protests of 2008 and 2010, you never know what’s going to happen, so it pays to be prepared with travel insurance.

More Thailand Travel Tips

ATMs that accept foreign cards are plentiful in the bigger cities, so it’s easy enough to take out baht directly. However, if you feel more comfortable changing over money beforehand, check the current exchange rates to make sure you are getting a good deal. Just be sure to let your bank know you will be overseas.

The further you go from the “tourist” spots, the less likely you are to find English speakers. However, you shouldn’t have any problems communicating in bigger cities like Bangkok, Chiang Mai or Phuket.

Booking ahead? Click here to search for accommodation deals, or try an AirBnb!

Have any packing tips to share? Do it below in the comments!

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Written by Caroline

Caroline Eubanks is a native of Atlanta, Georgia, but has also called Charleston, South Carolina and Sydney, Australia home. After college graduation and a series of useless part-time jobs, she went to Australia for a working holiday. In that time, she worked as a bartender, bungee jumped, scuba dived, pet kangaroos, held koalas and drank hundreds of cups of tea. You can find Caroline at Caroline in the City.

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Gear We Use

Organization

Packing Cubes – Organize your luggage with the lightweight, durable and compressible Eagle Creek Pack-It Specter Compression Cubes.


Backpacks + Daypacks

Pacsafe – Since they come with extra theft-resisting features, Pacsafe bags make you a more confident traveler. We especially love this bag.

Sea to Summit – Of all the Sea to Summit products, our most recommended is the fits-in-your-palm, super packable Ultra-Sil Daypack.


Personal Care

Nalgene Toiletry Bottles – These leak-free toiletry bottles and tubs come in all sizes – even super tiny, helping minimalists pack it all without bulk.

Turkish Towels – They’re thinner than most travel towels, and they actually cover your body! We can’t get enough of Turkish towels for travel.


Clothing

Speakeasy Supply Co. – They make the awesome hidden pocket infinity scarves that are perfect for stashing secret cash, lip balms, and passports.

Anatomie – Anatomie travel pants come with luxury prices, but they offer many benefits for travelers. See our review of the famous Skyler pants.

Travel Resources

Booking Airfare

Dollar Flight Club – Get flight deal alerts for your preferred departure airport. There is both a free and premium version (recommended for more sweet deals). Members save on average $500 USD per flight!

Skyscanner – Skyscanner is our preferred site for searching flights. They offer unbiased search results and are free from hidden fees. You can also book your hotels and rental cars.


Accommodation

Airbnb – Airbnb is the best place to book out apartments around the world. Sign up using this link to get $37 USD off your first stay booking + $14 USD towards an experience booking!

Booking.com – Search for hotels, hostels, and apartments using this one resource. Use it for flights, car rentals, and airport taxis as well.

Hostelworld – For hostels, Hostelworld remains our number one source for booking stays. Choose from straight up hostels, budget hotels and bed and breakfasts.

Trusted Housesitters – Save money on travel accommodation by becoming a housesitter. Housesitters often have extra duties, like caring for pets and gardens.

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Sarah says

    Pretty good list! You should take into account the culture difference though – people in Thailand are big on modesty – most people wear long pants all year and t-shirts at the minimum. While they are well acquainted the farang (white foreigner) in their shorts and tanks, you will make a better impression on people if you show respect for their beliefs. And especially when you are going to tour the Wats, many require long pants/skirts and covered shoulders. When I went I wore really light quarter sleeve blouses and mostly shorts, but had a pair of long pants for days I knew I was hitting up temples.

    • Kaylin says

      At the temples I went to, they had stuff you could rent to cover up if your clothes weren’t acceptable. I also bought a pair of cheap harem pants/hammer pants (loose leg pants with elastic ankles) to cover up at temples as well. I wouldn’t pack 3 dresses as I wouldn’t wear them that often (not really a dress person) but skirts would be a better option esp if they are below the knee bc then they are temple-appropriate and light and airy for touring.

  2. Marge says

    You really don’t need to worry about English books, there’s plenty of little stores where you can buy and exchange English (and even other languages) books for decent prices in the larger cities (in Bangkok you can find anything really). But yeah, an e-reader is still the most practical option (and a lot lighter than all those books)…

  3. Amelia says

    I agree with most of this, but the anti-malaria meds are unnecessary. Malaria has little-to-no prevalence in Thailand; I’ve lived here almost 3 years and don’t know of anyone who’s gotten it. And there’s plenty of insect repellent available here, no need to pack it.

    I would also suggest:
    -A good facewash (as the smog in Bangkok can invade your pores like none other)
    -A small umbrella for rainy season (jackets work too, but the humidity makes them just stick to you)
    -Tums/Antacids just in case your stomach doesn’t agree with all the street food
    -A Thai/English phrasebook – just knowing simple things (hello, thank you, how much?, where, the numbers) can not only help you avoid looking like just another annoying tourist, but can also be very helpful in a lot of situations. It’s also polite, and the Thais appreciate when farangs try to learn some Thai, even if your pronunciation is completely off; it’s the effort that counts. 🙂

    Happy travels!

  4. Haley says

    I’m going to Cambodia for 3 weeks, but I’m curious as to what people sleep in, that also helps prevents bugs if possible?

  5. Dianne says

    A very important item not on your list is 2 pair of anklet socks to wear on your feet inside temples. You must remove shoes to enter wats, who wants to walk barefooted where thousands of other feet have trod? Have a pair of low-cut black socks in purse, pack, or pocket. Slip on the socks when in the wat, take off when putting on saldals.

    Also, capris are much more suitable for Asian countries, shorts are only OK at the beach. Modesty is highly prized in SEA.

  6. Rae says

    This is great. I agree modesty is important but it also just depends on what kind of trip you are taking. I wouldn’t worry too much about sunglasses as they are super cheap and prevalent in Thailand (I bought a pair I have had for a year for 30 baht).

  7. Robin says

    This is a great list… but I would also add that three dresses is too many. If you rent a scooter (which is a TON of fun), you’ll want more capris or shorts. The two dresses I brought with me I have to wear specifically on days I won’t be driving/riding a scooter.

  8. nana says

    Capri pants are an absolute MUST, and you should also pack a pair of sneakers in case you go on a day trip to the forest or a national park. Wet wipes or an antibacterial hand gel will also come handy.

  9. Lysha says

    This list is exactly what I was looking for as I am hopefully heading to Thailand in January next year 🙂
    I was just wondering what time period the list is designed for? Eg A week or two?
    I will be going for about 3 weeks and have read that laundry is cheap but was just wondering anyway 🙂
    Thanks

    • Brooke says

      Hi Lysha, We firmly believe you pack the same amount of clothes for 1 month as you would 1 week since you can wash and re-wear. Our lists are generally targeted to that style of travel.

  10. Alison says

    Not a bad list, but I would probably cut it down, knowing that with all of the markets in Thailand, it is hard not to buy tops, skirts and dresses. One jacket for rain/chill should do it with something underneath for the tops of mountains… It’s Hot in Thaialnd most of the year.
    Also, with regards to temples, especially the Royal Palace and Temple of the Jade Buddha in Bangkok, shoulders must be covered – as well as heels. So either shoes with heels or your own pair of socks. Renting their big shirts is something I can cope with, but not socks.
    My best tip – since you are reared to take your footwear off to enter the temple, a packet of wet wipes for dirty feet afterwards makes you everyone’s best friend.
    Have a great trip!

      • Nana says

        Mykel I’m guessing you might encounter some difficulties with the one-size-fits-all dresses and beachwear sold at the stalls of local markets, but I’m sure you’ll be OK at MBK as there are hundreds of shops there. Finding shoes for my size (I’m a 39) was also a problem but I did manage to find some nice pairs.

      • Keara Jackson says

        Hi Mykel, how was your trip? Did you find it hard to buy anything to fit your size? I’m a UK 18-20 too and am really anxious about travelling.

      • Deidre says

        Hi Mykel, Did you find it hard to buy anything to fit your size? I’m leaving in a few weeks time, and EVERYONE SAYS just buy what you need, but what if I don’t find my size

  11. lucie says

    If you bring a deck of cards, do not play in public. Gambling is illegal in Thailand and sadly, playing cards is not well see.

    • Iheartthailand says

      This is a pretty good list, but there are some important items missing:
      1. A light cotton scarf (handy when sweating, and for covering up on impromptu temple visits)
      2. A pair of non slip sneakers made of waterproof material (i.e. leather, not fabric); sandals are not appropriate for trekking or visiting caves, waterfalls etc
      3. Ankle socks (carry them in your bag and put them on when removing your sandals before entering temples, for hygienic reasons)
      4. A pair of comfy clam diggers (3/4 pants) and a pair of long shorts (on-the-knee); short shorts are only appropriate for the beach; jeans are not suitable for hot, humid climates
      5. Anti-bacterial wet wipes (you’ll be needing them constantly)
      6. Diarrhea stoppers; these will help you get through long flights or train rides until you can reach a doctor/pharmacy
      7. A neckroll
      8. A pillow case (I always use one when staying in budget hotels)

  12. Arielle says

    This is a great packing list! Super helpful. What did you all use for a daypack? I was thinking about a crossbody type bag to use as my purse. Any ideas?

  13. Kathy H says

    I am now packing for 40 days in Asia, May 8,2014 to June 18 . Thailand, Laos,Vietnam, Cambodia,China, Tibet.
    This was a wonderful list. Can you give any suggestions about luggage, if the size is one and a half inches bigger then suggested size, will I have trouble? What is the dress code for eating out in fine restaurants?
    Thank you Kathy

  14. Jenny says

    Hi this has been so helpful! I am going to sea dec 2014 for 3 weeks and am looking at only taking a rolling / convertible backpack type carry on but I read that Singapore air which my carrier only allows one carry on at 45 ” linear BUT max 15 lbs. Even the lightest bag is going to be at least half that ! How does one handle this?

  15. Inge says

    I’m traveling to Phuket. Want to know. Do I take bug spray from home or can I buy it there? How do I know which one? It’s my first time going.

  16. Kate says

    This was so helpful, including all the comments. Feeling less stressed about it all now. Thank you, thank you, thank you :)!!!

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