Minimalist Packing for Thailand

As I prepare for my 12-day trip to Thailand, I’m excited by the challenge of bringing the least amount of stuff with me, while still being weather-appropriate, comfortable, and looking super cute. I thought YouTube would be a good place for advice…nailed it!  A couple favorites are this full playlist from LightbyCoco and packing tips by Estee Lalonde.

The weather in Bangkok is predicted as hot and humid (about 90 degrees F and 60% humidity). Being a SoCal native, I’ve handled my fair share of heat, but not that kind of humidity. We’ll see how my wavy hair holds up.

My research has led me to attempt bringing just two bags, both of which I will carry on my flights:

1. Carry-on suitcase

I’ve had this green beater of a suitcase for about 15 years and it’s still going strong. It rolls smoothly and is just big enough to carry on, so why replace it? Here’s what I’ll put inside:


  • Black t-shirt
  • Dark grey t-shirt
  • Light grey t-shirt
  • Black & white striped t-shirt
  • Pink tank (wear on flight)
  • White cotton button-up (wear on flight, not pictured)
  • Black cardigan sweater (wear on flight)
  • Rain jacket


  • Green chinos (wear on flight)
  • Black capris
  • Denim shorts


  • Black sleeveless short dress
  • Black & white sleeveless dress


  • Black sneakers (wear on flight)
  • Black sandals
  • Silver flip flops

Other clothing:

  • Animal print scarf (also a wrap or beach cover-up)
  • Bikini
  • Pajamas & slipper socks
  • Bucket hat
  • Socks (3 pair)
  • Underwear (6 pair, not pictured)
  • Bras (2, not pictured)

Other items:

  • Mini first-aid kit with ibuprofen, band-aids, alcohol wipes, anti-diarrhea medicine, etc.
  • Toiletry bag (pictured below) with toothbrush & paste, hair items, a little make-up, menstrual cup, face wash & oil, sunscreen, bug repellent.
  • Travel size hair dryer. I typically wouldn’t bring something like this on vacation, but I’m determined to look somewhat cute, dammit. Although straightening in the humidity will likely prove futile.
2. Carry-on shoulder bag

I decided to bring this bronze tote bag on the plane with all the essentials I’ll need to access during the flights. It will also be used as my overnight bag for a couple nights of the trip and will house my black cross-body purse that I’ll carry with me daily.

  • In the bag: book, journal, pen, snacks, phone charging cord, empty water bottle
  • In the pouch: earbuds, eye mask, tiny moisturizer, lip balm, sleep aid, mints/candy
  • In the purse: passport, wallet, hand sanitizer, tissue, glasses, sunglasses, smart phone

I’ll be doing my family Christmas shopping while on the trip. I expect all of the above will leave me just enough breathing room to cram in those goodies on my return.

(Image: kalexanderson)

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