Travel hacks for a stress-free holiday in Thailand

Travelling to Thailand is fun, but small hassles like getting your phone wet during a beach day or taking wrong turns can ruin your trip in a second. Therefore, to make your trip hassle-free and more time-efficient (and cheaper!), we’ve compiled some of the best travel hacks you can use on your next trip to the Land of Smiles!

1. Choose your airport carefully

Your hometown might have an international airport, but it might be worth it to look up several other airports in your area. Different airports might have different flight fares, so the closest airport to your home might not be the cheapest. The same goes for the airport at your destination. You might want to visit Phuket first, but a flight to Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok may be cheaper (and the cost of travelling between the two is typically very affordable).

Travel hacks you should know
PHOTO: Dominic Wunderlich/Pixabay.

2. Pack smart to save space

Does it seem like there’s never enough room in your luggage when packing for a trip? Good packing skills are essential.

The first thing you should do to avoid a messy suitcase is to choose your outfits wisely and bring only what you need. We understand that it can be tempting to pack everything you might need before a trip, but try to convince yourself that you don’t need fifteen outfits for your one-week vacation. Once you’ve chosen what to bring, learn to roll your clothes instead of folding them. Rolling your clothes into a small tube will not only save you a great amount of space but also prevent ugly creases and wrinkles.

Related news
Travel hacks you should know
PHOTO: Rolling your clothes can save some space. freepik.

3. Find a street food stall with the longest queue

Want to try Thailand’s famous street foods? The best way to find delicious street food in the country is to choose a stall with the longest queue. If everyone is queueing, the food is most likely to be good. In addition, a long queue usually means that the food will be cooked fresh!

Travel hacks you should know
PHOTO: Street food in Thailand. Zeno Bresson/Pixabay.

4. Invest in a reef safe sunscreen

When you’re shopping for sunscreens for your beach vacation, you’re probably looking for something water-resistant, with at least SPF 30 and a broad spectrum. There is, however, a new essential detail you need to add to your sunscreen checklist: reef safe. Protecting the ocean is just as important as protecting your skin. Reef safe sunscreen is gentle on coral reefs and ocean life, so you can have fun in the water without harming the marine ecosystem.

If you’re looking for mineral (or physical) sunscreen, look for something with “reef-friendly” or “non-nano” on the label. As for chemical sunscreen, you should find one that doesn’t contain octinoxate or oxybenzone in the ingredients.

Besides getting the right sunscreen, it’s also essential that you reapply your sunscreen throughout the day, particularly when you’re jumping in and out of the ocean, or you’re constantly in direct sunlight.

Travel hacks you should know
PHOTO: Only use reef safe sunscreen. freepik.

5. Email yourself a scan of your travel documents

Although you’re sure you’ll never lose or forget your passport, bad things do happen. To be safe, email yourself a scan of your passport and other important travel documents. Doing this will make sure that you have a copy of your passport whenever you need it. While keeping a digital copy may not seem important, it can actually save you from loads of trouble in the future.

Travel hacks you should know
PHOTO: cytis/Pixabay.

6. Carry a portable charger

We can’t deny that our phones play a big role in our lives today – it’s your guide, your source of entertainment, your friend, your camera. Since you’ll be on the road a lot during your trip, carrying a portable charger (Power Bank) and a power bank with you can be a lifesaver. Imagine carrying around a dead phone without a charger… Sounds a lot like a nightmare.

Travel hacks you should know
PHOTO: wavebreakmedia_micro/freepik.

7. Don’t forget to protect your tech

Planning to go on a beach vacation? If you can’t live without your phone and intend to bring it to the beach, then be sure to protect it from salt water, sand, and the sun. Remember that even if your smartphone is advertised as water-resistant, it can still suffer from water damage. The easiest way to protect your phone and other electronics from salt water and sand is to put them in Ziploc bags when not in use. If the bag is thin enough, you may be able to use the touchscreen without having to take the phone out of the bag. Alternatively, you can buy a waterproof phone pouch, which might be safer and more practical. A waterproof phone pouch will allow you to use your phone and the camera without worry.

Keep in mind that phones and other electronics can overheat if they sit in direct sunlight for too long. This can trigger a forced shutdown, drain your device’s battery, and even damage its hardware. You can easily avoid this problem by keeping your electronics out of the sun. Keep it in a shady place when you’re not using them, such as in a bag or under a beach umbrella. You can also wrap it in a towel or place it in a cooler that’s free from liquids or ice.

Travel hacks you should know
PHOTO: Tuaindeed/megapixl.

8. Book overnight flights and buses

When travelling long distances on a budget, using overnight flights or buses can save you both your time and money. Think of it like free lodging: you start your journey from Bangkok at dusk and wake up in Chiang Mai at dawn with the full day ahead. You’re on the move while you sleep, so you don’t have to waste your precious daytime on the road, and you don’t have to pay for a hotel for at least one night. It seems uncomfortable, but all it takes is a cosy sweatshirt, great earplugs, and an eye mask. However, before you sleep, ensure that your passports and electronics are secure. It’s unlikely that you’ll be held up by armed robbers, but petty crimes can happen.

9. Hide your valuables at the beach

Keeping your belongings safe at the beach can be tricky, especially if you’re travelling alone. Stash your phone, keys, and cash in the least obvious place to avoid them becoming easy pickings. One way you can hide your valuable items is to put them in a ziplock bag then subtly bury the bag under your beach towel before you swim. Of course, don’t forget to place something on top of your beach towel to keep it from blowing away. Another great way to keep thieves away? Put them in an empty sunscreen container to disguise them.

Travel hacks you should know
PHOTO: Keep your valuables safe at the beach. Matti H/Pixabay.

10. Download Google Maps to use it offline

Data connection in a foreign country can be unreliable, so having backups is always a great idea. That’s why you should download maps from your Google Maps so that you can navigate offline. All you need to have is enough storage on your phone. Search for a place you’re going to visit, for example, Phuket, then select “Download offline map,” and you’re done.

Travel hacks for a stress-free holiday in Thailand | News by Thaiger
PHOTO: Google Maps. Photo Mix/Pixabay.

11. Create a water safety plan

When it comes to having a fun day at the beach, people tend to forget or underestimate the importance of safety, particularly if they’re “just” going to take a dip in the ocean. Whether you’re going swimming, boating, snorkelling, or diving, your safety should be your top priority. When swimming, be sure to avoid areas with rip currents. It’s best to swim only in designated areas where a lifeguard is present. It’s also better to swim with a friend than alone.

If you’re planning to go boating or kayaking, always wear a life vest. Additionally, you may want to create a float plan and file it with a responsible person. A float plan usually includes a basic description of your boat/kayak and your travel route.

Travel hacks you should know
PHOTO: Lifeguard. Paul Brennan/Pixabay.

12. Carry water shoes/sandal

Think flip flops are the best footwear for the beach? Think again. Flip flops can’t really protect your feet from the unbearably hot sand. Lots of people get their feet burned from the sand because of this. Also, you can’t wear it when you’re swimming or surfing, but doing these activities barefoot is not safe as well. You never know what’s underwater; you could step on a sharp rock or other objects with bare feet. That’s why water shoes or water sandals are important. They’re lightweight, with flexible material and rugged outsoles to provide both comfort and protection. Besides, they are great for walking, which would be a lot of help if you are planning on exploring the beach.

Travel hacks you should know
PHOTO: Flip-flops isn’t the best footwear to wear on the beach. pasja1000/Pixabay.

13. Learn scuba diving hand signals

Planning to go scuba diving during your beach vacation? Then be sure to learn diving hand signals. Whether you’re a first-timer or you’ve done it many times before, it’s important to keep in mind that although scuba diving is fun, it can also be risky if you don’t know what you’re doing. Besides learning the basics of scuba diving itself, you should also learn the list of hand signals to use to communicate intentions and give direction. Proper communication with your team or instructor can help maintain safety during a dive.

Travel hacks you should know
PHOTO: Learning scuba diving hand signals is important. lucatelles/Pixabay.

14. Get to the beach early

If you want to spend a quieter time, getting to the beach early can be an option. You can claim the best spot before any other visitors make their way to the beach. Besides, the morning hours when the sun is at its weakest, from 8 am to 10 am, is the best time of day to tan. The sun between 11 am, and 4 pm is at its strongest, which isn’t the best for your skin.

Travel hacks for a stress-free holiday in Thailand | News by Thaiger
PHOTO: Surfing early in the morning before the crowds come. bublikhaus/freepik.

15. Keep a pen with you at all times

Most people don’t bring a pen during their trip because why would anyone need a pen during their vacation? Well, there are many reasons why carrying a pen can come in handy during your vacation. You might need to sign a paper in the immigration office, or maybe you need to note down a detail, and asking a stranger every time you need to do these tasks can be annoying. Therefore, keep a pen in your bag or pocket when you travel. It will save you time, and dealing with documents will be more convenient.

Travel hacks for a stress-free holiday in Thailand | News by Thaiger
PHOTO: Free-Photos/Pixabay.

16. Only use credit cards with no foreign transaction fees

Foreign transaction fees aren’t fun. To avoid being charged an additional fee anytime you make a purchase overseas, look for credit cards with no foreign transaction fees. Having them will ensure that you don’t have to pay extra when you’re buying things during your vacation. Plus, these cards may offer travel rewards, which allows you to collect points to redeem.

Travel hacks for a stress-free holiday in Thailand | News by Thaiger
PHOTO: Credit card. Michal Jarmoluk/Pixabay.

17. Beat jet lag with exercise

Don’t let jet lag ruin your holiday by exercising at certain times of the day. According to Medical News Today, exercising outside in the daytime may counter the effects of jet lag as it can cause changes to your body clock. There’s no indication as to which type of exercise is best, but light to moderate exercises like yoga and jogging can help.

Travel hacks for a stress-free holiday in Thailand | News by Thaiger
PHOTO: Free-Photos/Pixabay.

18. Mark your baggage as fragile

Marking your luggage as fragile can do wonders, whether you actually bring fragile items or not. With a fragile sticker, your luggage is likely to be handled with care or at least properly instead of being smashed or trampled. In addition, luggage with fragile stickers may come on the belt first – so you don’t have to wait too long. So be sure to request a ‘fragile’ sticker at the check-in counter on your next flight, it’s free!

Travel hacks for a stress-free holiday in Thailand | News by Thaiger
PHOTO: dreamstime.

19. Use talcum powder to remove sand

Find your body covered with sand after a fun beach day? Avoid bringing all that sand home by using talcum powder (or baby powder). Washing sand away with water might seem more natural, but it’s actually easier to remove sand with talcum powder as it can remove stubborn sand from all areas of the body. After getting out of the water, the air dries a bit and apply baby powder to any area where sand is sticking. Rub your hands back and forth together at that area to dust away from the sand, and you’re done!

Travel hacks for a stress-free holiday in Thailand | News by Thaiger
PHOTO: Use talcum powder to remove sand from your body. pvproductions/freepik.

20. Download “Grab”

Grab is Asia’s version of Uber. It’s one of the best ways to get around Thailand since you can find it anywhere. While it’s a bit more expensive than a tuk-tuk or taxi, it’s safer and more secure. Besides, the app offers distance-based fees, so the drivers can’t overcharge you. You can also choose your preferred vehicle: a motorbike or car. Motorbikes are great to get around big cities like Bangkok, where traffic can be a big problem. On the other hand, you can also order food and other services that Grabs offers to its users. Alternatively, you can download AirAsia Super App (previously Gojek), which works the same way as Grab.

Travel hacks for a stress-free holiday in Thailand | News by Thaiger
PHOTO: Free-Photos/Pixabay.

21. Learn common Thai phrases

Even if you’re only visiting Thailand for a week, learning the basics like “hello” or “thank you” in Thai can be very useful. It can impress and serve as a great ice-breaker with the friendly locals. “Hello” is sawasdee khap if you’re a man and sawasdee ka if you’re a woman, while “thank you” in Thai is kob Khun khap if you’re a man and kob Khun ka if you’re a woman. Khap/ka doesn’t really have any proper translation in English. They’re added at the end of sentences to show proper respect to the person you’re talking to. Khap is normally used by male speakers, whereas ka is used by the ladies.

Travel hacks for a stress-free holiday in Thailand | News by Thaiger
PHOTO: Jason Goh/Pixabay.

22. Bring a reusable bottle

You can’t drink tap water in Thailand, so bring a reusable bottle with you and fill it up at filtered water stations. You can, of course, buy bottled water, but a reusable bottle is more environmentally friendly.

Travel hacks for a stress-free holiday in Thailand | News by Thaiger

23. Don’t skip travel insurance

Travel insurance might seem like an unnecessary expense, but it’s actually very important. No one wants anything bad to happen during their holiday, but we can’t predict the future. With travel insurance, you can be sure that any mishaps won’t wreak havoc on your wallet. Travel risks like loss of baggage, loss of passports, and even flight cancellations are all covered!

Travel hacks for a stress-free holiday in Thailand | News by Thaiger
PHOTO: Rudy and Peter Skitterians/Pixabay.

24. Don’t ride elephants

Animal attractions are still common in Thailand. While riding an elephant might seem like a fun and memorable thing to do, you should always avoid doing it. The elephants are usually treated badly, sometimes even cruelly. Besides, elephants aren’t meant to be ridden. If you want to see elephants from up close, you can always visit ethical rescue sanctuaries. You can usually help bathe or feed the elephants, which is a lot better than riding them anyway!

The same goes for other animals. If an animal is used as an attraction, or if they act in a way that would never occur outside the gates, you should always avoid them. These poor animals are usually exploited and mistreated.

Travel hacks for a stress-free holiday in Thailand | News by Thaiger
PHOTO: Annie Jenselius/Pixabay.

25. Research local and national holidays

There are lots of festivals and holidays in Thailand. Although they can be fun and offer a glimpse into the amazing Thai culture, they also mean that tourist areas get busier. For example, during Songkran in April, accommodation is more expensive and needs to be booked up far in advance. In addition, some tourist attractions might be closed during these holidays.

Travel hacks for a stress-free holiday in Thailand | News by Thaiger
PHOTO: Songkran. shutterstock.

Hope you find these travel hacks helpful, and you can enjoy your holiday in Thailand with utmost conviction!

If you can’t decide what to pack for your trip to Thailand, be sure to check out our What to pack for your vacation to Thailand article.

Things To Do

Cita Catellya

Cita Catellya is a journalist and writer who covers a range of topics from medical and property to leisure and tourism. Her career began as a copywriter 5 years ago, where she worked with several brands in Indonesia to help them increase their online presence. Cita writes in both English and her native Bahasa Indonesia

Related Articles