So you’ve just booked your plane ticket to go backpacking in Thailand. The feeling of excitement that you rushes through you as your get the ticket confirmation email is magical. It’s official, you are going!
I remember feeling butterflies in my stomach thinking about all of the amazing things I would see and do in a place that is so different from where I live. But that excitement quickly turned to worries as there was a lot I needed to do before I hoped on that plane.
I wish at the time I had a checklist of things to do before going to Thailand so that I could get all set for my trip as quick as possible. So I figured I’d save you guys time by putting together of a list of things that you need to do before you embark on your trip. That way you can focus on being excited for your journey through the land of smiles! So here is your Thailand backpacking checklist..
1) Get Travel Insurance
When backpacking in Thailand, you absolutely should get travel insurance. Why? Because anything can happen while you are there, especially since backpacking puts you in so many adventurous situations. If something does happen and you don’t have insurance, you could be spending thousands of dollars in medical costs. With travel insurance, your medical expenses will be covered and you’ll feel better knowing that you are prepared for the worst.
I recommend World Nomads for travel insurance as they are the only insurance company aimed at backpackers. They have a list that covers things that might happen in many different adventurous situations. For example, if you got injured while trekking with elephants which is a very popular tour in Thailand, World Nomads will provide coverage whereas other travel insurance companies would not.
To summarize, World Nomads is the best travel insurance for backpackers. Here is a link to their site: WorldNomads.com
sebaiknya anda beli asuransi , jika anda berpegian untuk bisnis ataupun melakukan perjalanan yang panjang untuk menghindari hal yang tidak di inginkan
2) Get a good Backpack and packing essentials.
As a backpacker, you gotta have a backpack. A rolling suitcase simply won’t do. Thailand is a place where having mobility is key. When everything is on your back, it is easy to get around without lugging around a suitcase. For recommendations on a good backpack and packing list, check out our article on What to Pack for Backpacking Thailand.
3) Book your first couple nights at a Hostel
When I travel, I don’t like to book too much as it is more fun to be spontaneous rather than following a big plan. However, when you are travelling for so many hours on an airplane, it makes sense to have your first couple of nights booked so there are no worries when you land, you can just go straight to your hostel and get some rest.
4) Get a general idea of where you want to go
You will most likely be going to Bangkok already since it is where most people fly into. I would say only a couple days needed there. I would highly recommend checking out the north which turned out to be my favourite part of Thailand, particularly Chiang Mai. Pai was very cool as well and only a few hours ride from Chiang Mai.
5) Save enough money to cover your expenses
Many people ask me, ‘how much money do you need to backpack in Thailand?’ After your plane ticket, around 1.000 bath per day would be a comfortable amount to have. This will cover your hostels, food, transportation between cities, excluded light souvenirs, occasional tours, etc. Put aside an extra couple hundred dollars just incase you need it.
Here is a cost breakdown of things you’d buy in Thailand :
Beer from 7-11
Restaurant food – sometimes
Hostels – (cheaper hostels in the north)
6) Make copies of your passport to carry with you.
In the event that you lose your passport, things will be a whole lot easier if you have a copy of your passport to take to an embassy. I would suggest having 3 or 4 copies and putting them in different places. One in your main backpack, one in your wallet, one in your daypack, etc. Then also take a picture of your passport too so it is on your camera or phone. Missing passports are a common occurrence, but if you are prepared for it, it won’t be as much of a hassle.
7) Get money switched over to Thai Baht, and let your bank know you are going to Thailand.
The local currency in Thailand in Thai Baht. It is a good idea to get some Thai Baht ahead of time so you are not scrambling at the airport to convert your currency. Around 5000 baht would be a decent start, though I started with 8000. It depends how much you are comfortable with carrying on you. I would also bring one or two american $100 bills. You can easily switch American money in Thailand to baht. Its a good idea to have incase there are problems with your bank card. Might be a good idea to have two separate cash cards too incase you lose one.
Make sure you also tell your bank you are going to Thailand and when you will be there. They will put a note on your account so your card will not be declined when trying to pull money out in Thailand. If you don’t tell your bank ahead of time, your bank account might freeze when you try to pull out money which can definitely cause a lot of unnecessary headaches that can be avoided.
8) Check Visa info for your home country.
Most backpackers going to Thailand will get a free 30-day Visa when they arrive, however it is best to check based on where you are from. You can find this info on embassy websites. If you are staying in Thailand for longer than the visa you are given, you can always do a visa run by going to a surrounding country such as Laos, and then re-entering Thailand to get a new visa issued.
9) Open your mind, say yes, and be outgoing!
This last point is more for when you start your trip, but equally as important since it will dictate the kind of trip you will have. If this is your first backpacking trip, you may experience a bit of a culture shock as many do. Instead of repelling it, try and take it all in with an open mind. Try new foods, learn about the culture, and go for new experiences. Someone at the hostel asked me if I wanted to go for dinner, I said yes and it resulted in a fun night with drinks and meeting lots of people. A hostel owner asked me if I wanted to go along with other guests to a music festival. I said yes and it ended up being one of the most memorable nights of my trip. At the end of the day, you want to make the most of your trip, so say yes to going out and seeing this amazing country. Finally, be outgoing. When you see people, smile. Say hello to people at the hostels. Include other people by inviting them along for meals. Just trying to be a little more social goes a long way as you will end up meeting a ton of people from all over the world. When I look back at my trip, one of the best parts of it were all of the cool people I met along the way. After all, shared experiences are the best.
After you’ve done these 10 things, you can relax as all you have to do next is jump on that plane and enjoy the trip of a lifetime! Got friends going to Thailand too? Share this article with them by clicking on the share buttons below!
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