So we asked travel blogger and Love Local client Amit Gopal of Gopals Bags and Luggage to give us his Top 10 Tips when travelling to Thailand. We know that many Durbanites and South Africans will be making their way to the East this festive season, so take heed of these tips!
South East Asia is a fantastic destination for holidaying and Thailand is no different. Being a backpacker’s haven, Thailand has it all from temples to jungles, to beaches, lots of partying, markets and let’s not forget the street food! July to October is generally their monsoon season and November till December is the best time to make that trip. Make sure you’re aware of the current restrictions imposed because of the recent passing of their monarch!
Here are a few things to pack for your time in Thailand that will help ensure you’re comfortable and ready for your adventure.
1. The basics: Get your flight tickets together, the right vaccinations, travel insurance, hotel vouchers and bust/ferry tickets together. Don’t leave your flights till too late otherwise it will work out more expensive closer to your departure time. Are you going to be scuba diving? Check that your travel insurance you take out covers you for all the fun activities you plan on doing. Don’t forget your passport! It must be valid for at least one year.
2. Take minimal clothes: Thailand is a shopper’s paradise. There are hundreds of markets and boutiques everywhere so pack light and make sure you have plenty of space in your bag to bring things back. Carry decent quality shorts and skirts that can be washed a couple times. Your trip is not complete without coming back with a Singha beer t-shirt!
3. A Sarong: A sarong is a light piece of material and is an absolute essential. It’s perfect for a beach cover up, a pillow, a towel or a light blanket for the plane. You’ll also need it to cover your shoulders or ankles when you visit the temples.
4. Good footwear: You will be doing a lot of walking so it pays to have good footwear to keep you comfortable throughout the day. You should also bring a spare pair of lightweight “formal” shoes if you plan on going clubbing. Sneakers will probably do fine for those outdoor treks.
5. A good backpack: Since you’ll be doing a lot of trekking and meandering, you’ll need a quality backpack to carry everything from water bottles, snacks, curios, your camera and so forth. Look for one that is padded for back and shoulder support because you’ll probably be carrying it for long hours of the day.
6. Your tech: Thailand is beautiful with their beaches, temples, nature and bustling city life. Of course, you’ll want to capture it all on camera! Don’t forget to take your SLR, charger and extra memory cards. Taking your phone with? Don’t forget to switch off your data roaming!
7. Natural insect repellent: Make sure you put on sunscreen and mosquito repellent every morning before you head out for the day, and definitely reapply mosquito repellent around 5pm before dusk, when mozzies tend to be most active. Mosquito bites can be extremely irritating. In the evenings, try cover up your legs to protect them from our little friends.
8. Wet wipes: The weather can be pretty humid meaning both the days and nights can be a sweaty affair. Carry them in your backpack so you can freshen up any time of the day. They can also be used for cleaning your hands before eating or wiping off sunscreen from your face. Throw in a hand sanitizer as well.
9. Re-hydration sachets: Street food is exciting and tucking into some with the locals is an experience on its own. Either way it’s a good idea to carry these sachets in your medi-kit to help you in case you get an upset stomach. They will help to rehydrate you and will provide you with essential salts and minerals that you’ll need to recover.
10. Flashlight: If you plan on backpacking your way, it may be a good idea to throw in a torch. The less touristy areas have limited lights and you may need it for venturing out and about and checking for crawlies under your hostel bed!
You can find out more from the travel and luggage experts at Gopals Bags and Luggage on getting the best luggage for your next trip!!

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