Backpacking in Thailand, is definitely an experience. In fact, it was my first experience with the backpacker lifestyle. I quickly discovered what I actually needed and what I didn’t. Trying to travel efficiently and with the least amount of weight is the goal.
In preparation for my trip, I was a little overwhelmed with what I should and shouldn’t bring. After all, you have to carry your things around everywhere. I thought I did pretty well - I wore literally everything once, maybe more and used most everything I brought along.
There were definitely some must-have items i found were lifesavers. I actually felt like my packing and preparation kept me super prepared for all of my travel needs.
MUST PACK LIST
- Lock - This is a must have. You’re going to want to safely secure your items in the lockers at hostels. No one wants to come back to missing items. Take a light one, though - don’t get caught with extra weight.
- Foldable Day Pack - This came in super handy when i needed to carry around more items during the day that wouldn’t fit in my cross body bag. It folds down super small to pack easily in your backpack.
- Microfiber Towel - Especially when backpacking, you don’t want to lug around a large towel or worse be caught at your hostel using their “we’re not sure how clean these are” towels. This kind dries super fast and packs really small.
- Extra Cash - If you don’t want to worry about your credit/debit cards abroad, bring extra cash. It is way easier to quickly exchange to Thai Baht and a good number of places I went to didn’t accept cards.
- Downey Wrinkle Release -Guaranteed, you’re clothes will be wrinkled from being squished in your backpack. This stuff works miracles.
- Scarf/Sarong - Girls, if you don’t have one, pick one up when you get there. They are super cheap. I carried one around daily and it came in so handy for those times you need to cover up your knees or shoulders in the temples or even as a blanket in those overly-blasted ac areas.
- Packing Cubes - As an super organized person, packing a backpack with all of my things made me a little anxious. These cubes kept everything so organized, allowed me to consolidate and made it extremely easy to find what I was looking for. No more digging around blindly inside your backpack.
- Bug Spray - In Thailand, no one is immune. Bring bug spray with deet. You still may get bit but it’s way better than going without it.
There were also items I brought along that turned out to be added weight. These are the things you don’t need to bring:
- Electrical Adapters: Literally everywhere I stayed and went had universal sockets, including the airplanes I traveled on.
- Mini Surge Protector: I always carry a mini surge protector with me so that I only have to use one adapter and then I am able to charge all of my electronics at once. Not necessary and just added weight.
- Jeans: Especially if you're going during the hot seasons, jeans are bulky and take up a ton of space.
- Bulky jackets: Like jeans, you may not even end up needing to wear it.
- Reusable Water Bottle: You’ll just end up purchasing water bottles, so this just takes up valuable space.
I’m so glad I was able to try out backpacking. Not sure its the type of travel I prefer, but it was an amazing experience none-the-less. Maybe I’d take a rolling suitcase next time because a heavy backpack makes you way more exhausted, especially if you take unnecessary heavy items.
Yours Truly // Shannon