How NOT to Overpack for Your Thailand Vacation

Ok, let me set the scene for you:

Girl is born and raised in Hotlanta (Atlanta, Georgia). Girl grows up and moves to Thailand. Girl think’s she will be fine because she grew up with Georgia summers. Girl gets heat rash first week in Bangkok and realizes she never knew heat until she lived in Thailand.

I get it! Packing can be frustrating! Especially when you are traveling to the other side of the world. So, what have learned about my wardrobe since living in Thailand? Less is cooler, polyester doesn’t display sweat, and an umbrella is my best accessory (rain or shine). But seriously, this post is to better prepare you for your trip to Thailand. There are items you will need to bring, items to leave behind, and items you can get here! And make sure you read til the end so you can get your Free Packing Checklist 🙂

What you NEED to pack & why:


The sun is intense, and I don’t care how much you want a tan, you will get burned! Even if it’s only 30 SPF, put it on.

Thin Scarf/sarong

For temples, you will need to cover your shoulders and knees. Having something you can throw on for the temple and off when you leave is convenient.Also, for flights, buses and taxis you can use it as a blanket.

Comfy slip-on’s

Like most Asian countries, it is customary to remove shoes when entering homes, places of business, temples, etc. It will make your life a lot easier if your shoes are easy to take off and put on.

Maxi skirt/dress

Again, for temples you need to cover your knees, and since you have your shoulders taken care of, a maxi dress can easily be knotted to the side when outside the temple and let down while inside the temple.


I don’t know the reasoning, but many hotels do not supply conditioner. Soap, yes. Shampoo, yes. But not conditioner. I don’t know about you, but my hair feels like straw if I skip this part of my shower routine.

Tote bag

It’s not very convenient to travel back-and-forth between sightseeing and your hotel, so you will need to take items with you for the day.


Because it’s hot and you will sweat.

*Light rain jacket- This is really for travels between May-November (rainy season).

What to get in Thailand:

Sani – wipes (many public bathrooms do not have soap)

Tissues (many public bathrooms don’t have toilet paper)

Mozzy spray (leave your deet at home! The mozzy spray here works like a charm 😉

Activated charcoal(for Thai tummy)

What to leave behind:

Jewelry- Minimal is better because (I know it’s redundant) it’s too hot.

Heels- In the city the sidewalks are a death trap. In the country there are no sidewalks.

Reusable water bottles- I know it sounds like a terrible thing for me to advise against saving the earth, but the water here isn’t safe enough to drink. Even “refill stations” are not held to any health code and are not to be trusted.

Jeans- Yes, this American wardrobe staple is not necessary here. You know why.

Tennis shoes- They will get dirty and be hot. If you plan on doing any hiking, you will want to bring shoes that can double as water and hiking shoes (as most hiking trips involve a waterfall).

I hope this gives you a better idea of what you truly need when visiting Thailand. For your free itemized checklist, click the link below!

Here’s your list! (Check it twice):

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