OUR BUCKET LIST: GUIDE TO PACKING FOR BACKPACKING IN THAILAND

With lush mountains, picturesque waterfalls, delicious street food, and a welcoming, laid back culture, Thailand has long been a desirable destination for backpackers from all over the world. Every year, thousands of travellers and holiday makers travel to Southeast Asia to experience the many wonderful sights and experiences Thailand has to offer. From floating markets and night bazaars to beautiful temples and breath-taking national parks, there’s an exciting experience and a fond memory to be made around every corner in Thailand.

With so much on offer, it’s no surprise that backpacking and Thailand go hand in hand. No matter what region or city you visit in Thailand, chances are you’ll bump into a fellow traveller soaking up the joys it has to offer. If you can’t quite tell, we’re fans of this gorgeous country and want to encourage backpackers - be it solo travellers or even families - to visit this beautiful part of the world. To help you along, today we’ve assembled a handy guide to backpacking in Thailand, with a focus on what to bring, what to consider when planning, and how to pack.

HOW TO PACK A BACKPACK FOR THAILAND

As with any backpacking trip, there is a non-negotiable list of items that you must take to ensure your safety and wellbeing. These include (but are not limited to) hygiene products, first aid, protective clothing, and documentation. Below, we’ve broken down the absolute essentials that will form the basis of your pack, before diving into specifics for Thailand a little further.

Hygienne essentials Health and Safety essentials Clothing Essentials  Tech Essentials Documentation
Travel toothbrush & paste or powder Lightweight first aid kit Rotation of lightweight breathable t-shirts, shorts, and leggings / trousers Device such as a phone or tablet Passport / ID
Hand sanitiser Mosquito repellent Durable walking sandals or breathable walking shoes Charging leads Relevant visas / travel documents
Wash flannel or face cloth High SPF sun cream Sunglasses Self-charging power bank Medical insurance documents
Wash bar Padlock Seasonal wear (see more below) Thai electrical adapter Proof of required vaccines
Self-filtering water bottle

 

PACKING FOR THAILAND: SEASONAL SPECIFICS

Generally speaking, Thailand is a hot country that experiences a range of moderate to high temperatures throughout the year. It has three seasons including the cool season (November to February), the hot season (March to May), and the rainy/monsoon season (June to October). The impact of which can be felt differently whether you’re visiting the north or south of Thailand. Below, we’ve pulled together a list of clothing essentials to help with each season. However, prior to travel, be sure to check the typical seasonal weather conditions of your specific backpacking route.

The Cool Season

The Cool Season in Thailand is still considerably warm, with the ‘cool’ temperatures sitting at around 17-20°C. This is considered a great time to visit Thailand, especially in the north, as it is less humid and the temperatures can be a little more comfortable for those who can’t tolerate extreme heat. The cool season can get a little cooler at night, and for that reason, we recommend the following in addition to your normal rotation of breathable, lightweight clothes:

The Hot Season

As you might have guessed, the hot season is when Thailand is at its warmest, with temperatures going up to 40°C. With less chance of rain (until the end of the season), the hot season often attracts beach lovers in the south of Thailand. If you’re backpacking in the hot season, be sure to bring the following as well as your normal breathable, lightweight clothes:

  • Swimwear
  • Quick wicking vest tops and/or t-shirts
  • Flip flops
  • Quick wicking performance shorts
  • Culottes / loose fitting trousers

The Rainy Season

Typically a very humid time of year, the rainy season can prove a little unpleasant for backpackers, particularly those who are trekking and exerting a lot of energy. As it’s a less popular time for tourism, the rainy season can be more affordable for backpackers (though Thailand is already relatively affordable all year round, depending on your trip). If you’re visiting during the rainy season, be sure to pack the following items:

  • Packaway waterproof jacket
  • Packaway waterproof trousers
  • Waterproof walking shoes
  • Backpack rain cover
  • Waterproof pouch to store electronics
  • Compact umbrella
  • Quick drying, breathable athletic wear

PACKING TIPS FOR BACKPACKING

As we’ve touched on in previous guides and articles, it’s important to plan out your pack in detail before you set off. This includes choosing every single item you plan to bring and deciding the order in which you’re packing those items. Don’t forget that your bag is your lifeline, and you’ll be carrying it with you throughout your backpacking adventure.

Consider the areas you will be travelling in Thailand and do research in advance, taking into consideration the climate and geography. For example, if you visit the North, you’ll encounter the gorgeous mountainous region with plenty of hiking and natural sightseeing. The south of Thailand is far more beach focused and tends to be hotter, making it ideal for those who love beach holidays, water-sports, and coastal walks. Planning out a route in advance can prove very beneficial, and there are plenty of predetermined routes online from previous backpackers, complete with tips and reviews.

No matter where your Thailand adventure takes you, we’re confident you’ll have the experience of a lifetime. Happy travels!

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