In my previous post, I have listed items included in my 2014 bucket list, among them some places I want to see. As I look back in an article I wrote around October 2012, my dream vacation would be in Thailand, my country’s neighbor. Incidentally, the City of Smiles is also included in this year’s bucket list, and after wishing for this paradise getaway to take into picture, I finally made up my mind to start 2014 in the Kingdom of Thailand.
Now that the destination is finally chosen, it is time to do the next and crucial step – preparation. This can make or break your holiday vacation so better not skip or take this for granted. As I am currently in my dream escapade, let me give you a list of some important things to prepare, study, and remember before going to Thailand.
Tips and Things to Prepare
Save for your trip. This is the first thing that you should do if you are planning to go on a vacation. Having a good holiday does not mean that it have to cost you an arm and leg, but you still need some savings for accommodation, local transportation, meal, and pocket money.
Grab cheap flights. It is no brainer that flights booked ahead of schedule are cheaper than ones bought few days before the departure date. I suggest scout at least a month before for affordable and/or promo fares from various airlines.
Book hotels in advance. From 5-star hotels to backpacker lodge, it is better to reserve your room before you arrive, especially if you are planning to go on peak season. Thailand is known for having its cheap hotel rates so I don’t think there is nothing to worry about your budget.
Plan your itinerary. This, I think, is the best and most interesting part in preparation. In here you can list down the places you want to visit and activities you want to do. Be realistic, though. Try not to fill your day with too much activities as these will only tire you at night and probably the day after.
Brush up on Thailand’s culture, history, and language. Whenever I go to a new place, I try my best to know more about my destination first. It will help you appreciate and understand more the heritage sites, national symbols, and words spoken once you landed in the country.
Travel light. Easier said than done, I know. For women, this is a usual struggle as I think it is inherent in us to overpack (laughs). However, many fashionable clothes and accessories can be found in shopping malls and weekend markets all over Thailand, so it is better to hoard there and use up the remaining space of your luggage.
Bring appropriate clothes. Thailand is a tropical country and usually hot, so you’d better not bring your winter clothes with you. Kidding aside, better pack your most comfortable summer clothes, best swimwear, and some long pants or skirts (as these are needed whenever you go see temples).
Pack comfortable footwear. I need to separate this from the entry above as I want to emphasize how important shoes and slippers are in your trip. If you plan to visit heritage sites, mountain peaks, etc, you need not bring stiletto heels. J
Bring your camera and SD cards. Who doesn’t want to save memories and beautiful sceneries in photographs? Don’t forget your charger and SD adapter though.
Optimize the use of your smartphone. Phones will be your best friend in this trip, trust me! With Google Maps and Navigation installed, you can be confident that you can arrive in your destination (98% of the time). Charge your phone and bring charger, spare battery, and powerbank, please.
Study Thailand and Bangkok Maps. Though Google is always at your service, it is also better to familiarize yourself with the road maps of Thailand, especially Bangkok. The names might be long and difficult to pronounce, but it will surely help you especially when you are asking for directions (or lost).
Get ready to take public transportation. Unless you will get a rent-a-car service, it is better to take public transportation to and from Bangkok. Aside from doing what the locals do, you will be able to have new experience riding with the Thais and enjoying sceneries as you pass by. Take your pick from BTS, MRT, taxi, jeepney, or tuktuk – all can give you a pleasurable ride while cruising through the streets of Thailand. My current favorite is the pink taxi with pink interior!
Be prepared to have an ultimate gastronomical experience. Even in my home country, I like Thai food and it was no surprise that I fell in love with the authentic version of the cuisine. There are too many different traditional dishes to choose from. A warning though. Most dishes that I love are spicy so ready your tongue for that touch of zing!
Those are my tips if you ever want to travel to Thailand or dreaming to go there in the future. It might look lengthy, but I assure you that based on my experience, these things are quite helpful. If ever you need more information about traveling to Thailand, the Internet is just there to help you. There is no excuse for you to have a bad holiday vacation. Failing to plan is planning to fail, right? So what are you waiting for? Go get your travel planner and start preparing now!
Do you have any plans to go travel soon? Where? How are you preparing for this trip?
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