Let’s not pretend that packing isn’t a total chore, right? Naturally, you want to get excited about your solo trip abroad.
To help eliminate any packing stress and to allow you to focus on the fun stuff (like planning your adventure of a lifetime!), we’ve compiled the ultimate Thailand packing list for a solo traveller.
We’re not going to say you need this list, but we’re not going to say you don’t…
And if you’d prefer to watch, rather than read, check out out this beginner’s guide to Thailand:
Travel to: Book your solo trip this year
Miscellaneous Essentials to pack for Thailand
Whether you’re travelling solo for the entirety of your trip, or maybe travelling part on a multi-day group tour, there are a few things you need in your suitcase or pack.
If you’re travelling solo, it is important to note that sometimes the essentials will not readily be available at convenience stores, and you may not have access to a 24-hour pharmacy. Without being able to ask your trip leader or a friend to help out, there are the essential items you need to pack (just in case of emergency).
- Prescription Medicines: Even if it is a generic medication that is easily found back home, you can almost bet that you won’t be able to access it when in Thailand.
- Pain relievers: While these should mostly be available in Thailand, we suggest that you pack few from home if you know that you have had any reactions in the past to some pain relievers.
- Travel diarrhoea treatment: Yes, we went there. But, the reality is that when that wave of sickness strikes, you’ll want a quick fix – and fast!
See Also: 8 Things to Do in Thailand for Under $8
Other miscellaneous essentials that you need to pack:
- Lifestraw or instant water purifier: Tap water in Thailand might not stand the test of time against your stomach, so to avoid getting ill, you might want a Lifestraw or instant water purifier. Bottled water is incredibly inexpensive, but if you’re looking for a quick fix when travelling in the more remote places, this is the option for you.
- Quick-dry towel: Save space in your suitcase with a small quick dry towel. You never know when you might need it and we can guarantee a quick dry towel will always come in handy.
- Hand sanitiser: Yes, you can buy hand-sanitizers when in Thailand but it never hurts to be prepared.
- Travel converter: Grab one at the airport, and off you go! You might be shocked or surprised by the lack of travel converters to power your device from back home. Save running around local markets in remote parts of Thailand in search of a travel converter and simply grab one at the airport. Many of the outlets in Thailand use a similar prong to those in the U.S. and Canada but they also use the two-prong outlet similar to that found in much of Europe.
- Sunscreen: Don’t be mistaken – sunscreen (or sunblock) is sold EVERYWHERE in Thailand, but sometimes it can be triple the price when sold near popular tourist beaches. Most importantly, there is always the chance that the formula may be different to the same version produced back home. So, if you have sensitive skin just pack it before you go.
- Bug spray: Similar to sunscreen, bug spray can be found everywhere in Thailand, but you might as well be prepared. You might just need it within moments of stepping off the plane.
- Travel cubes: These handy packing units will possibly change your life (we’re not kidding). Whatever backpack or suitcase you decide to travel with, travel cubes allow you to quickly pack or re-pack your clothing while on the road. Plus, for the solo travellers, this can help you to keep all of your items in the once place when staying in shared dorms or hostels.
- Waterproof camera case: Consider investing in a waterproof camera case, maybe even a waterproof phone case to save with messy insurance claims.
- Other important bits: Check that you have your passport, necessary travel documents, itinerary, travel insurance, any personal medication and funds via cash or credit card.
See Also: We Rank 11 of Thailand’s Islands
Thailand has so much to offer that it’s hard to pick just one thing I enjoyed most. If you like culture and history, you can explore a seemingly infinite number of Thailand’s stunning temples. More of a beach person? Thailand’s islands have been unlike any other I have been to. Food, elephants, parties, Thailand really has it all.
You don’t really need much in Thailand, but I was surprised how often I needed a good pair of pants. Sometimes you’ll need them to enter holy places. Sometimes you’ll need them as an extra layer of protection when motorbiking everywhere. They also come in handy when you’re trekking through the jungle with elephants. – Elijah, The Partying Traveler
Clothing to pack for Thailand
Thailand is a shoppers heaven, and if you’re travelling solo it is even better as you’ll have no one to tell you to hurry up when trawling through the markets. These are the pieces you need to pack.
- A rain jacket: This is perfect if you’re heading up north and planning on a few jungle treks. While Thailand is a warm and humid environment, sometimes a light rain jacket is just what you’ll need when the weather changes.
- A sweater: Depending on when you’re travelling, just pack your favourite sweater. We can almost guarantee you’ll hardly need it, but take it just in case!
- Bathing suit: Bathing suits are sold by the hundreds and thousands along each and every beach in Thailand. While you can pick one up for under $7 USD, if you want to head straight to the beach, simply pack one from home. That way, you can save your market time for souvenirs instead.
- Hiking shoes or walking shoes: This is, of course, depends on your agenda. Will you be trekking in the jungle? Then grab your hiking boots. Are you spending more time in Koh Phi Phi or Phuket? Stick with basic walking shoes or sneakers.
- Birkenstocks: Otherwise known as the perfect travel shoe, just be sure to wear them in at home before testing them out on the streets of Italy.
- Comfortable travel pants: Thailand is an inherently spiritual place. This means when visiting temples and spiritual places, your knees will need to be covered. You can easily grab a skirt or pants from a nearby market, but it never hurts to be prepared.
- T-shirts: Keep your best t-shirts at home and pack a few of your favourites. When in Thailand, you can pick up as many t-shirts that you can carry for as little as $3-4 USD.
- Scarf or light shawl: It’s worth noting that the air conditioning can get seriously out of hand on overnight buses or even in some hostel rooms. A light scarf or shawl is perfect to cover your shoulders when the air conditioning threatens to chill you to death or when temple-hopping to cover your shoulders. It’s a win-win!
- Dresses: Aim to pack at least one or two casual or light dresses.
- Sunglasses: If you have an expensive polarised pair that you want to take with you – make sure you’re covered by travel insurance. Otherwise, you can purchase an inexpensive pair when in Thailand.
- A hat: Whether it be a trendy felt hat or a baseball cap, keep your head out of the sun (because no one wants heatstroke when travelling solo in Thailand).
Thailand was such an amazing country, and I have so many fond memories from my visit, but my favorite was going to an elephant sanctuary. I went to a place just outside of Chiang Mai that saves elephants from tourism and logging and gives them the opportunity to have a free life. We got to walk through the jungle with them and help them take a bath. Plus, we got to feed them a ton of bananas. It was a really great experience that I’ll never forget.
As a solo traveler, there were a ton of things I packed on my first trip, but the ones that ended up being the most useful were an anti-theft bag protector, a SIM card, and a battery pack. The anti-theft bag protector was perfect for over night trains and dorm style rooms that didn’t have lockers. A SIM card is a must for me when I’m traveling alone. I like to know that I could always call for help or find directions on a map when I’m traveling solo. It gives me peace of mind so that I never have to worry. The battery pack is a lifesaver if you have trouble finding electricity. I got lost once and used it to charge my phone so I could use my GPS. – Michelle, Full Time Explorer
Looking for more Thailand inspiration? Take a look at these articles here:
- Should I Travel to Thailand?
- 2 Weeks in Thailand for Every Budget
- 7 Active Adventures You Can Find in Thailand
- 5 Unique Experiences You Can Only Find in Thailand
- Best Beaches for Snorkelling in Thailand
Share your essential packing tips in the comments below for other readers to enjoy!