Planning a Backpacking Trip to Thailand

by Travelbag on 23 September 2014, 15:09PM

There is a commonly held belief that backpacking is an easy thing to do. You pack a rucksack, you take your savings out of the bank and you book a last minute flight to Asia or Australia. In reality, things are a little different. The average backpacking holiday is an experience to remember – it involves nature, sunbathing, meeting new people, eating new foods, hanging with new species, doing something new every day. Yet, it can be a uniquely stressful experience if it is not treated in the right manner.


If you are planning a backpacking holiday, to any location in the world, you need to make sure that you are adequately prepared. You need certain tools, documents and accessories in order to ensure that your trip is as safe and stress free as possible. These rules apply to backpacking trips in Thailand too, even though the country is generally considered to be very safe these days. It is a great choice for first time backpackers, as it is extremely exotic without being unfriendly or jarring to an inexperienced traveller.

It is a truly beautiful part of the world, filled with amazing sights and sounds – the experts at Travelbag highly recommend it for experienced and inexperienced backpackers alike. There is something for everybody here – from curious wildlife to azure blue seas, golden sands, magnificent cuisine and some of the most awe inspiring natural wonders on the planet. If you are itching for adventure, Thailand is a great choice – safe, clean, exhilarating, affordable and easily accessible. 


This is our guide to planning (and enjoying) a successful backpacking trip to Thailand.

Chase Those Discounts
It is absolutely true that nearly every price in Thailand is negotiable. This means that it is not rude to ask for a discount. In fact, the general attitude here is something along the lines of ‘if you do not ask, you do not get.’ The list of fixed prices includes supermarkets, department stores and public transport tickets – everything else is open for haggling and potential discounts.

Buy Your Own Water
As with most overseas locations, it is a good idea to drink bottled water. This isn’t because there is anything wrong with the tap water in Thailand, per say, your body just isn’t used to its composition. Fortunately, bottled water is very cheap in Thailand. It can be useful to purchase a large vat of water and then fill up a smaller bottle with it to save money and waste.

intro3Learn to Slow Down
It is important to remember that life moves at a completely different pace in Thailand. It is not uncommon for public transport to break down. In this situation, stay calm and keep your cool like everybody else – you are on holiday, after all. It won’t take long to adapt to the laid back way of life in this part of the world.

Take the Night Train
The night train is a relatively safe and enjoyable way to travel the length of the country. It is no more dangerous than a train in the UK, but do be on the lookout for pickpockets in crowded carriages. It costs next to nothing to buy a ticket for the night train, and it is a great way to experience real life in Thailand.


Dealing With a Funny Tummy
It is completely normal to have an upset stomach for the first week or two of a backpacking trip. It is just your body trying to react to different temperatures and different bacteria, so help it to recover by eating plenty of bananas and lots of mild yoghurt. It is a good idea to avoid spicy food, at least until your stomach settles down. Oh, and remember not to drink the tap water – brush your teeth with bottled water too. 

Finding the Right Sunscreen
Another tip from the experts at Travelbag is to carry your own deodorant and sunscreen. In Thailand, lots of sunscreen brands contain whitening agents – you want to avoid these at all costs. They are quite expensive too, because people in Thailand generally don’t use either very often. If possible, pack deodorant and sunscreen in your rucksack or buy it from the airport.

intro5Carry Toilet Paper
You will quickly find that toilet paper isn’t readily available, at least in public bathrooms, in Thailand. You are advised to carry a little extra loo-roll in your rucksack at all times, in case of emergencies. The last thing that you want is to get caught short in a busy public bathroom stall in the city. 

Experiment with the Lingo
Like anywhere else, the people in Thailand appreciate it when visitors attempt to speak their language. It shows that you are interested in the country, even if you do mangle the words. It can even end up saving you money – learning a few numbers and a handful of negation phrases will usually earn you a warm smile and a small discount from friendly locals.

Have a lot of Fun
The most important advice that we can give you is to simply have fun. A backpacking trip to Thailand is an experience to remember and it should be treated as such. You will stay safe and healthy, if you just use a little common sense – similar rules apply to life and travel anywhere in the world.


For help and advice on planning your backpacking trip to Thailand, or for more information about South-East Asian package holiday deals available at Travelbag - click here, or call one of our friendly consultants direct today on 0845 543 6615. With a helping hand from Travelbag, you can explore the world in safety and security – with a little luxury, for good measure, too.

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