Thailand Essentials: 12 Picks for a Perfectly Packed Purse

Thailand is a great place to visit with so many diverse things to see and do. From hiking through a lush jungle to laying on the beach, or experiencing the exciting vibe of a big city, it’s a country that truly offers something for everyone. 

If you’re like me, when possible you like to prepare ahead of time for any situation, and coming to Thailand is no exception. With such a huge variety of terrain and weather, it’s best to carry some essentials with you at all times, especially since you’ll be taking a bazillion Instagram photos to make all your friends back home super jealous of your amazing trip! 

Here are a few must-haves:

1. SunscreenIMG_4668

I know, this is a bit of a no-brainer, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve forgotten to add this crucial step into my beauty routine and have gotten burned as a result-literally. Thailand is tropical for Pete’s sake. I should know better. When visiting, apply sunscreen and apply it often. The sun here is very strong and almost always out. Also, use extra caution if you’re on the water as the reflection of the sun will burn you even faster.

2. Bug SprayIMG_4650

As beautiful as our lush, green land is, it’s home to bugs you never even knew existed. But mosquitoes are your main concern. Don’t skimp on the bug spray. Suck it up and use the strongest stuff you can find. If possible, make sure it has Deet. As of now, I’ve heard of three cases of Dengue Fever here in Bangkok, two of these people I know personally and from what I’ve seen, it’s not a mosquito-borne disease you want to take home as a souvenir. Trust me on this one. It’s nasty!

3. An Umbrella-Ella-Ella(sorry, I just couldn’t resist)IMG_3717

Weather here in Thailand can be extremely tricky to judge. Sunny one minute and monsoon rain the next. I’m not exaggerating here people. If you see even one dark cloud approaching, brace yourself because you’re going to be soaked within the next 5 minutes. It’s crazy how fast torrential rain can arrive. Your trusty umbrella will be handy for not only rain but for the intense sun as well. Make it a cute prop for a photo op or something, but don’t leave this one out of your purse.

4. A HatIMG_4663

Another threat here in Thailand is heat exhaustion, especially if you aren’t used to this kind of humidity. Of course, I don’t know if one can EVER get used to this kind of heat and humidity. Do your noggin a favor and protect it from not only the heat but also from those strong, sunny rays.

5. WaterIMG_4670

Again, probably another no-brainer. But the no-brainer that I am, I always forget this one and end up super thirsty-every.single.time. Tap water here is not safe to drink, and although there are lots of convenience stores that sell water, they never seem to be convenient when you need them. I suggest investing in an insulated water bottle that will keep your refreshing beverage cold for a long time. Because, when you’re drenched in sweat like you will me, it’s gonna happen…hot water just won’t do the trick.

6. SunglassesIMG_4644

I don’t know if we are actually closer to the surface of the sun here or not. I’m not a scientist after all, but it is so bright and sunny here, it certainly seems like we are. So invest in a cool pair of shades. You’ll get a lot of use out of them here, and will be quite the mysterious lady with your hat, umbrella, and sunglasses. Who knows, maybe you’ll be mistaken for a movie star. I say if that happens, just go with it. 😉

7. A FanIMG_3906

You may laugh, but I’ve had a fan come in handy so many times here. Sometimes in the hot season the heavy, humid 95-degree air just sits unmoving like a sweaty weight upon your entire body. It’s nice to have a way to move it around and at least pretend like you are a bit cooler by waving a fan in front of your face. 

8. CashIMG_4658

Many markets and rural locations only accept cash so make sure you always have plenty on hand. On a side note, pick-pocketing and purse-slashing are sadly a reality in many places here so make sure your cash is secured safely. I’ve had to use cash here more than any other place in the world, and you wouldn’t want to pass up those must-have elephant pants you find at the market due to a lack of funds.

9. A Cover-upIMG_4665

If you plan on visiting a temple, you’ll need to make sure your shoulders (and sometimes even your legs and feet) are covered. Bringing a large scarf or something of the sort will save you from having to buy or rent one at the temple. Thailand is still a very modest country so having the ability to cover up is always important. Again, if you play your cards right, you’ll totally be adding to the movie star vibe.

10. A SweaterIMG_4657

Ok, I know this one sounds weird. You may be thinking, “why the heck would I possibly need a sweater when it’s a thousand degrees outside?”. Just hear me out. You obviously don’t need the sweater when you’re outside, it’s when you go inside that it will come in handy. Tooling around town in shorts and a cute little tank top is great until you go inside and the a/c is blasting arctic air. Cold air on a sweaty body…not fun. Proven fact.

11. TissuesIMG_4642

Grab yourself a little pocket pack of these lifesavers especially if you’re traveling to more rural parts of Thailand. Some locations only offer the basics (especially roadside stops), meaning you’re gonna get a squatty potty. In some of these places, you would be really uptown if the squatty potties even flush so you know you most likely won’t have the luxury of being offered toilet paper by an attendant at the door. Enter the use of said tissues. You’re welcome!

12. Hand SanitizerIMG_4652

Again depending on where you go, soap is not always readily available. Trust me, after using some of the aforementioned bathrooms, you’re going to want to clean your hands somehow. So hand sanitizer or even sanitizing wipes can be a lifesaver.

There you have it. All the must-haves to put in your purse for your next trip to Thailand. Add them up with all the other things you want to carry with you, and you may need a bigger purse. But bring these essentials and you’ll be fully prepared for anything our amazing country brings at you. 

Now go forth with your new found knowledge. Pack that purse, get out there, and get ready to explore. And make sure you tag The Bunch Abroad in all those amazing Instagram photos you movie star, you!



  1. You always make me laugh! Great tips for looking like a movie star and surviving the heat of Thailand. By the way, you look mahhhhvelous!


  2. Too bad you didn’t post a pic of the lovely “elephant pants”. I know you’ll find this hard to believe, but I resisted buying a pair even though most of the ladies on our trip did. The pants are comfortable, cute and cheap and look good on anybody. Have you heard about the White Temple (aka Wat Kong Khum) in the Chang Rai Province? It wasn’t on our itinerary, but one of group members had read about it. Our tour leader made sure we stopped for a visit on our way to Chang Mai. It was totally worth it. Another place we visited was the White Palace Museum in Bankok. This is where the previous King & Queen’s treasures are housed. I’m going to stop myself now because there are too many wonderful memories from this trip. I’m sure you don’t need any suggestions.

    BTW, is the King’s Mother still alive?


    1. I truly need you to come be my tour guide! I did my first tour in Bangkok last Friday and will start posting pictures on Instagram this week. The Grand Palace was incredible! I have so much more to see! Thanks for reading Pam! ❤️


  3. I need to come to you. I miss your home, your hugs, your chats, your amazing cooking… and you make me feel at home just being with you!


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