Packing for our Thailand trip

I think I am getting better with packing for holidays - whether it is for local breakaways, camping or most recently, for our holiday in Thailand. I still overpacked ( rolling eyes) by putting in all my light lacy throw-overs because I prefer my "Sauls" arms to have a wee bit of covering. Believe me, those lacy tops stayed put in the luggage bag for the duration of our trip!  

We use Jiffy self-locking  bags as our packing cubes, a cheaper version of the material cubes you can buy. The Jiffy bags are transparent and vacuum seal as well, creating more space in  your luggage bag.

Our travel wardrobe

I  think we worry unnecessarily about what to wear when going on holiday. All the clothes you usually wear when you run errands or when you go out, would be just perfect for Thailand as well. If you intend dining at an upmarket restaurant or want to visit a smart club, you can pack in dressy shoes and a fancy outfit. We however,were just going to do regular activities that required no special dress code.

Thailand's weather is humid, very similar to subtropical places like Durban, for example. The heat can be unbearable if you are not used to sticky weather. Cotton, linen and polyester blends worked well for us. Sunscreen is essential even if it is overcast in Phuket. When the sun beats down, a hat is a great comfort.

Your travelling wardrobe will be determined by what you feel most comfortable wearing.

Anything goes as long as you are comfortable.

I chose to wear mainly sleeveless dresses because they are functional and versatile. That was the best decision I made because anything on my arms, made me perspire like crazy. Sasha, our daughter, packed in mainly shorts and a dress or two, I think. Basil's basic wardrobe consisted of chino's and the odd shorts. I packed in about five scarves to add some pizzaz to my dresses and to double as headscarves or covering for the shoulders. I also packed in my denim jacket for travelling in the taxi's or plane where the air conditioning can make the air chilly.  Two pairs of shoes plus a pair of flip flops will be sufficient. In fact, I wore my hiking sandalls 90% of the time and alternated these with my flip flops. The only accessories I took along were one colourful beaded necklace and a pair of huge earrings to add pizzaz.

Leave all socks at home. Repeat: leave all socks at home.  Even secret socks will be an irritation!

All snazzy with hat, sleeveless dress and favourite beads.

The big debate: do you pack in your own clothes or do you shop till you drop?

When folk hear that you are going to Thailand, they advise you not to take too many clothes with and rather shop in Thailand. There is some truth in this statement, but there is a catch. There are clothes galore - at the local markets and at the more upmarket shopping malls - IF you have not been blessed with my plus-size physique! Sasha and Basil were swept away by all the possibilities while I was thankful for packing my very own, well-fitting dresses brought from my wardrobe in Cape Town!

Your toiletries and first aid kit

Don't overpack in this area. If possible, pack your toiletries in travel-friendly containers. Pack essentials like deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrushes, earbuds, toilet soap, shampoo, hairbrush, body lotion and so forth. As part of your first aid kit, pack all your regular meds, immodium (which we forgot ), mosquito spray, antiseptic cream and your health supplements.

It is essential that you boost your immune system because you never know when you can become sick. I usually take a disprin the day before I travel and the day I travel as a precaution. I also take magnesium tissue salts to assist with circulation and I wear flight socks to help with swelling.

Basil and Sasha came down with food poisoning that struck like lightning and I had an episode as well. Thankfully, our hostess in Bangkok treated us with a Chinese herbal tea, Ya Hom, that helped to settle both the nausea and the diarrhoea.  Other people swear by drinking apple cider, activated charcoal. Just be prepared by having electrolytes and one of the remedies that people recommend.

The miracle tea, Ya Hom , that helped us overcome the food poisoning.

Your day backpack when doing sightseeing

I prefer travelling around with a day backpack stocked with the following comfort items: wet wipes, baby powder, hand sanitiser, a small facecloth or towel, enough bottled water and tissues. The daypack also becomes a practical shopping bag when you inevitably buy the odd item. It is also useful to pack in your power bank, especially if you are going to be out the whole day. This backpack also doubled as my carry-on while travelling.

Of course, you will have your money and phone in a separate money belt or moon bag, close to your body and secure enough to prevent it from falling off or being removed perhaps.

The secret is to have all the essentials with you and if you forget anything, the Family Mart store is a stone's throw away from most establishments in Thailand.

What else would you say should form part of any traveller's packing list?


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