Bring one good pair of walking shoes. You can buy sandals or flip flops for $5 in Asia. As well bring along a pair of water-shoes.
INVEST in good walking shoes because you will be walking way more then you do at home. You can buy shoes in the market but they most likely will start pulling apart after a few days. I made that mistake in the beginning, if you don’t have time to get shoes before your trip that’s okay you can usually find them in Asia. In Bangkok the Siam centre has high end shops and a Sports Check!
Read: The best shopping malls in Bangkok, Thailand
Water-shoes are optional but can be essential. Most of the time you have to walk through the water to get to the boat taxi’s on the islands. You don’t want to get stung by stepping on something, if you don’t have shoes you can slide your feet on the bottom to the boat instead. It is also great for when you have to hike through rocks to get to a waterfall (Barefoot is painful).
Leave the extra clothing at home. The clothing you wouldn’t wear everyday and is rationalized as “i’ll wear it for an IG photo” All of those clothes I ended up throwing out within the first week of moving around.
Bring a pair of pants, my favourite pick is a light linen wide leg loose pant. Last time I tried jeans, in my opinion that was the worst thing I could’ve picked because jeans are bulky and uncomfortable. The times you will probably wear them are 1) Airplanes because inside the cabin it’s cold and 2) Money sanctuaries. The monkeys look cute but they’re wild, it’s something you should experience for sure but wearing pants adds a bit of protection from being scratched in the leg. You will also want a sweater for the plane, and boat rides!
Read: Travel Fashion (post coming soon)
Tops: For everyone it’s different but I recommend bringing neutral colour tops so you can style it with different outfits. Bring your favourite tight fitting top, my example for this is the Babaton sculpt knit cropped top. I couldn’t find any shirts that fit tight like that in the markets. A staple is a basic T-shirt you can buy one at your destination or bring your favourite along.
Bring your favourite jean shorts, and a loose fabric pair. Right now I am loving linens or terry cloth shorts!
As for dresses you will live out of them since they are so easy to wear. I also like that you can wear them to the beach but also dress it up for dinner.
Buy a couple bikinis before your trip! (Bring minimum 2) It was hard to find a trendy bikini unless I went to the boutiques. There’s cute ones online but it’s very hard to get it delivered when you’re moving around. I’ve learnt with bikinis is quality over quantity so find a few staple peices you like and that will last. I know you want a different bikini in every photo (so did I) but what ends up happening is the bikinis you bring that aren’t perfect (uncomfortable, fits weird, too overdone, etc) you never end up wearing. What usually happens is you rotate between two daily and one occasionally. For reference the best bikinis to bring is
1) A simple bikini – This is the bikini you can wear everywhere for every occasion. Usually these are one solid color, they can be seamless or have slight texture. Think like a simple triangle bikini (Black, White, Beige, Khaki, Grey, Brown)
2) Another bikini but different color or has a pattern. (Pink, Pastel, Green, Blue)
3) Bikini for pool parties or photo purposes. This is the bikini you try not to wear out and save for photos or events.
For my next trip these are the bikinis on my list: White seamless one piece, Black smocked bikini, Neutral pink triangle bikini, and a Terry towel bikini.
There is a dress code for temples; your shoulders and knees have to be covered. You can buy a sarong in the market or rent it for 20 baht at the temple ($1cad aprox). Pair with a T-shirt or opt for a maxi dress which can also be found in the markets.
Invest in a good backpack! This is so important I bought mine from Sport Check and it has held up amazing. The size is 45L so I can bring it as a Cary-on. My back gets sore after 30 min so I recommend if you can go smaller to a 30L. Don’t cheap out on the main backpack, travel days are always stressful but now imagine trying to catch a flight but your bag gives out. Now I use a 35L laptop bag which will be linked in a newer post.
For a day pack you can pick up one there, depending on how much gear you have is how much space you need (camera’s, gimbal’s, change of clothing, water, etc).
Same goes for a fanny pack, like always everyone is different but most of the travellers would wear one out as it’s convenient to put your phone, camera and cash in. I wore one anytime I went to go eat or shop.
Tylenol This was cheaper in Asia but you can also buy it before your trip.
Nytol Will put you out on the plane ride (bring earplugs and face mask as well for the ride) we slept for 12 hours straight on the plane.
Gravol Helps with motion sickness. You will most likely get motion sickness when in a car. I never get sick at home but in Asia I get start to feel sick 5 minutes in. Taking Gravol before a car ride helps take the sickness away, so always pack some in your day pack. I talk a little more about this in my blog post: Things you should know before going to Thailand.
Imodium Most people recommend bringing Imodium along in case you eat something bad.
For the blondies: Purple shampoo.