I just recently returned from a trip to Thailand. While I’ve got my packing routine pretty down pat, packing for Thailand requires a few things I don’t normally pack. I trade in heels for Havaianas and hair spray for bug spray. Here are 8 things to pack for Thailand:


1 Off Smooth and Dry Bug Spray, $5.48, Walmart
I’m an advocate for all-natural products too but in my experience, they don’t work. And I get eaten alive by mosquitoes. Seriously eaten alive. The bites swell and the itching is oftentimes unbearable. So, I pack my bug spray and use it sparingly. I’ve never needed it in Bangkok but up in Chiang Rai, the mosquitoes were out in full force.

2 Rina Scarf, $49.50, Banana Republic
A scarf is always a travel essential (starting with the always too chilly airplane) but it’s especially necessary in countries like Thailand where covering up as a show of respect is expected before entering temples.

3 Neutrogena Makeup Remover Towelettes, $5.97, Walmart
The hot season in Thailand runs from March through to June, with April and May being the hottest. In hot weather, it’s always good to have makeup wipes on hand to keep your skin feeling clean and refreshed. But more importantly, I like that these wipes help you clean your face quickly when time is limited (as it always seems to be when I’m traveling!)

4 M&Ms, $1.29, Walmart
I admit it: I have a sweet tooth and when I’m traveling in Asia, I find it hard to satisfy. I love mango and sticky rice for dessert as much as the next gal but it’s not exactly chocolate cake. My solution: I throw a bag of peanut M&Ms into my bag to get my chocolate fix when I need it.

5 After Bite Itch Eraser, $4.59, CVS
See Number 1. Mosquitoes love me. I hate mosquitoes. Alas, the mosquitoes win and I’m left to fight the itch. After Bite is an absolute essential.

6 Slim Pool Green Havaianas, $26, Havaianas.com
Flip flops are an essential in hot countries like Thailand and I love Havaianas. Cute, comfy and available in so many colours and patterns, you’ll wear these all over the place. Just be careful – they can be quite slippery in the rain.

7 Stripe Foldover Maxi Skirt, $29.99, Gap
Keeping cool is essential in the hot Thailand heat but so is covering up (again, mostly when visiting temples). A cotton maxi skirt like this does double duty: Keeping you cool and comfy on hot days while also keeping you covered without feeling like you’re melting.

8 Tresemme Dry Shampoo, $4.99, Target
Dry shampoo is my latest travel essential. When I’m traveling, I hate having to worry about my hair and when you’re on the go, dry shampoo can rescue you from many a bad hair day. At the very least, it can tide you over until you have time for a proper wash.

What are your essentials when traveling to Thailand?

13 Comments on 8 Things to Pack for Thailand

  1. Johnny Jet
    September 29, 2014 at 10:28 pm (10 years ago)

    Great job! You rock

  2. Kim
    October 1, 2014 at 2:06 pm (10 years ago)

    Loving #4, Natalie! I agree. It’d be hard to satisfy a sweet tooth with just sticky rice 😉

    • Natalie
      October 1, 2014 at 2:14 pm (10 years ago)

      Haha – glad you like it, Kim! I’m just being honest. I love trying local dishes and I actually do love mango and sticky rice … but when you’ve got a chocolate craving, it doesn’t hurt to have a secret stash of M&Ms!

  3. Mary
    October 2, 2014 at 7:28 pm (10 years ago)

    Uhhh where is the sunscreen? That was my must-have-or-die item for Thailand (definitely don’t need the scarf).

  4. Mary
    October 2, 2014 at 7:33 pm (10 years ago)

    Definitely agree with you on the bug spray and after-bite, though!

    • Natalie
      October 2, 2014 at 7:46 pm (10 years ago)

      Hi Mary – agreed, sunscreen is a must, too. I couldn’t include all the must-haves; these are just a few of my essentials. I find a shawl always comes in handy when visiting temples and you need to cover up bare shoulders. And the bug spray and after-bite … I learned from my first visit to Thailand NOT to leave home without them! 🙂

  5. Lauren
    October 15, 2014 at 1:11 pm (10 years ago)

    I’m soooo with you on the M & M’s. I also pack a light rain jacket that I can roll up in my bag because when it rains in Southeast Asia, it’s intense!

  6. Elle Gray
    November 16, 2014 at 12:21 pm (10 years ago)

    A scarf is definitely essential in Thailand…you can use it to cover your arms before entering a temple or cover your hair when it’s raining…however, I wouldn’t bring one. I would buy one there! So many beautiful colorful options. I recommend the night market in Chiangmai or the Jim Thompson silk house in Bangkok. They are good gifts when you come home too

  7. Janet S
    January 27, 2015 at 8:44 pm (9 years ago)

    Not the kind of list I was expecting … but GREAT ideas all of them! Thanks for the unusual but useful suggestions 🙂

    • Natalie
      January 27, 2015 at 8:47 pm (9 years ago)

      Haha – thanks, Janet. Glad you found it useful!

  8. Gail
    January 27, 2015 at 8:57 pm (9 years ago)

    #6 Or Old Navy flip flops for only 2/$5 also in different colors. It is very similar to your Havaianas and very comfortable. I use flip flops all the time and since they’re so cheap, I just leave a pair in my luggage.

  9. Emily27
    July 8, 2015 at 12:41 pm (9 years ago)

    Great round-up! Love all of your suggestions especially the M&Ms LOL

  10. Wendy
    August 8, 2015 at 9:05 pm (9 years ago)

    Hi Natalie, Great tips – love your style. Were you in Thailand during monsoon season? I am researching a potential trip and just wondering about the rain.


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