Packing list for Thailand

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This list has been compiled by Volunteers serving in Thailand and is based on their experience. Use it as an informal guide in making your own list, bearing in mind that experience is individual. There is no perfect list! You obviously cannot bring everything we mention, so consider those items that make the most sense to you personally and professionally. As you decide what to bring, keep in mind that you have an 80-pound weight limit on baggage. Although you can get almost everything you need in Thailand, underwear, clothes and shoes in larger sizes may be hard to find here.

One strategy is to pack a box or two with items you probably will not need until after training and arrange for someone to send the boxes to you by once you get to your site. USPS no longer has surface shipping (slow and cheap) so shipping a box will cost about $45-60 (USPS flat rate boxes, 0-20 lbs.).

Riap roiy (appropriate and complete) professional dress for men consists of nondenim pants such as chinos or Dockers, collared shirts (long- or short-sleeved button-down shirts or polo shirts) in conservative colors and patterns, and casual dress shoes. Professional dress for women consists of nice pants, knee-length or longer dresses or skirts and blouses. A slip or camisole should be worn under sheer material, and blouses should have sleeves and modest necklines. If a dress is not form-fitting, people may ask you if you are pregnant, so wearing a belt is recommended. Revealing one’s upper thighs, stomach, shoulders, and cleavage is generally frowned upon, even outside a work setting. All clothing should be clean and neatly pressed. Note that all-black outfits are generally worn only while in mourning.

For both men and women, T-shirts and jeans are fine to wear after hours, and shorts (preferably ones that reach the knee) are fine to wear when working out. Thais do not generally wear shorts in public except in very relaxed situations. Tank tops are not recommended for women. When you are in your own home, however, what you wear is up to you.

General Clothing[edit]

  • Two or three pairs of lightweight pants (jeans can be hot)
  • Two or three pairs of knee-length shorts
  • Four to seven short-sleeve shirts
  • Sweatshirt, fleece top, or sweater (it can get chilly in the cold season)
  • One medium weight jacket
  • One windbreaker or light raincoat (Thais use an umbrella for rain)
  • Three to five pairs of socks
  • Athletic clothes—if you work out
  • Baseball cap or other hat

For Women[edit]

  • Four or five work outfits (see description above)
  • Two to three dress belts
  • Four or five casual shirts (tee or polo)
  • Four or five casual pants, capris, or long shorts
  • Bathing suit (a one-piece or tankini is best)
  • Ample underwear in breathable fabrics. If you wear a bra with larger cup size (C to D+) consider bringing extras.

For Men[edit]

  • Five or six dress shirts
  • Four or five casual dress pants
  • Two or three pairs of lightweight pants (jeans can be hot)
  • Two or three pairs of knee-length shorts
  • One or two neckties
  • One or two belts (one dress)
  • Underwear (cotton is recommended)
  • Bathing trunks (Speedo-style swimsuits are not recommended)

Shoes (Note: It is customary and expected that shoes are removed before entering a house and some offices (including the Peace Corps Office in Bangkok. Lace-up shoes and boots are not recommended.)

  • One pair of dress shoes (loafer style for men and pumps or low heel closed toe shoes with back strap for women) for work and on occasions such as meetings with government officials, funerals, your swearing in ceremony, etc.)
  • One pair of sport sandals (e.g., Tevas)
  • One pair of athletic shoes
  • One or two pairs of slip-on shoes (you will often have to take off your shoes before entering a building)

Personal Hygiene and Toiletry Items[edit]

  • Contact lens supplies (these are available in larger cities)
  • Tampons (local selection is limited)
  • Athletic supports and braces if you need them
  • Universal sink stopper (for washing clothes in the sink when traveling)
  • Travel towel (towels are readily available here, but you may want a travel towel that is compact and packable)


  • Laptop, notebook or netbook (either PC or Mac) - this is almost a necessity for PST - all the resources they give you are in digital form
  • Camera
  • eBook reader
  • iPod-type device (with microphone for recording)
  • USB storage - for copying and sharing files
  • Portable hard drive to store movies
  • Small backpack or bag for weekend travel
  • Guidebook about Thailand (e.g., Lonely Planet)
  • Maps of the U.S. and Thailand
  • Three-month supply of prescription medications
  • Second pair of prescription eyeglasses
  • Swiss army knife or Leatherman tool
  • Small flashlight or headlamp
  • Games (e.g., Scrabble and Uno)
  • Photos of your life in the United States to show to Thai friends - Thais love looking at photos!
  • Souvenirs from home to give as gifts (e.g. magazines coins, postcards, stamps, cool pens, etc.)
  • Plug adapter (type C: europe). Most outlets accept american flat-pronged plugs but in case you travel out side the country. Most electronics are now 110-240v but check each device you bring to be sure. If it is 110 only you will need a voltage converter as well.
  • Collapsible umbrella
  • Contact information for resources in America (former employers, school loan information, colleges, organizations, etc.), which can useful for obtaining materials during service or for applying for jobs near the end of service
  • Credit card (Visa is the most widely accepted), ATM card, and/or traveler’s checks