My Packing List for Thailand

My Packing List for Thailand

My Packing List for Thailand

I’ve spent the last few weeks selling, donating, and giving away pretty much everything I own. As freeing as this was at first, it has started to get really hard! There are just so many things I feel I need to have with me – especially when it comes to clothes. I’m not very stylish – in fact, I tend to wear the exact same thing almost every day. But it’s nice to have the option to maybe wear something a little different. It’s a little comforting.

I originally had planned on bringing an 80L backpacking backpack with me to Thailand and filling it about 3/4 full. In preparation I had started laying out everything I own on our living room floor. When one of my housemates saw it he was shocked at how little stuff I now had to my name. Turns out, it was still way too much stuff.

I started looking around on the internet for packing advice and stumbled upon a site detailing what to pack for pretty much every locale. It’s a pretty large article and very thorough – definitely worth reading if you’re planning on any kind of extended stay. Halfway through it convinced me to get a smaller backpack. I (fairly impulsively, in hindsight) headed over to REI and picked up an REI Lookout 40 – it’s significantly smaller (half the size!) and I was pretty concerned it would be too small – but online reviews said it wasn’t. Turns out they were kind of right. I still had to figure out how to do without about 20% of what I thought I needed. Here’s what made the cut.

My Packing List for Thailand


A ShirtJeansHanes Boxer BriefsWorkout Shorts Swimming Trunks Normal Shorts
  • 5 t-shirts
  • 6 pairs of underwear
  • 2 pairs of jeans
  • 1 pair of swimming trunks
  • 1 pair of workout shorts
  • 1 pair of khaki shorts


iPad WiFi 16GBKindleMacbook Pro
  • Macbook Pro
  • iPad
  • iPod
  • iPhone 4s (with GSM and CDMA)
  • Canon Powershot
  • Kindle
  • Mighty Mouse
  • Outlet converters


Various Travel Documents
  • Passport
  • International Drivers Permit
  • Copies of Passport and Driver’s License
  • Checkbooks for 3 checking accounts


ToiletriesContacts and SolutionRazor Blades and Electric ShaverBasic Medicine
  • The usual (toothpaste, deodorant, etc.)
  • 6 months of contacts
  • Nail trimmers and tiny scissors


Pacsafe Luggage Travelsafe 12L Climbing PackPackTowl UltraliteLaundry BagFirst Aid and Outdoor SurvivalCocoon Travel Sheet


NotebookBusiness CardsGogglesPrescription Glasses Earbuds Cards Mighty Mouse
  • Business cards
  • Playing cards
  • Notebook
  • Thai language book
  • Swimming goggles

All-in-all it’s a total of 44 items that I own (not including transient things like toothpaste, razor blades, and floss and I’m considering power cables as part of the item). I plan on buying a few things once I get to Bangkok, brining myself up to a much more reasonable level – probably similar to Colin Wright’s 72 things when he started out.

I leave for Bangkok in a little over 48 hours. Think I’m missing anything?


I’m now in the terminal and unfortunately without my backpack! EVA Air decided to be strict about the 7kg carry-on limit and so I had to check my bag – I hope I see it again. On the bright side, I bought an awesome new messenger bag, a Timbuk2 Command Laptop Messenger, and didn’t get ripped off when I had to buy it at SFO! So far, I’m pretty happy with it holding my laptop, iPad, and the Steve Jobs biography.

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6 Responses to “My Packing List for Thailand”

  1. great post, thanks for taking the time to write it
    Stiltner Kyung recently posted..1My Profile

  2. kristie says:

    I[‘ve been reading your blog and couldn’t help but notice there are no posts about me.

  3. David says:

    At the risk of sounding like a luddite is a laptop, tablet and e-reader not surplus to requirement? Then again I don’t know what your requirement is so all I can really say is it is more than I am taking :p

    I was worried about taking a 40L bag but if you can fit your list in then hopefully I should be fine too.

    • SteveJohnson says:

      Hi David!

      The laptop, tablet, and e-reader are definitely not necessary for most. I needed to have a laptop and tablet handy for work and it was a bit of a pain at times having to lug around the extra 10 pounds of digital equipment.

      You can easily get by with a 40L backpack and bring well over a week of clothes if you ditch the electronics. Enjoy your trip!

  4. Barry says:

    Thanks for the article, we’re currently updating our packing list and wondered if you had any thoughts? Particularly on the electronics section!


    Thanks for sharing and any comments!

    • SteveJohnson says:

      Hey Barry, I think your list looks great!

      The only thing I would suggest is perhaps swapping out the 1TB hard-drive for something lighter and perhaps smaller (like a few 256GB thumb drives) – unless the external drive is super light, of course.

      And since you have quite a few expensive things on you, it might be wise to invest in something like the Pacsafe Travelsafe (linked above). It gave me a lot of peace of mind when I had to leave my computer, phone, etc. in a dodgy room with an equally dodgy door lock!

      Safe travels! 🙂

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