Solo traveling is all the hype nowadays and there are a number of reasons why you might want to try it too. For one, traveling alone allows for more flexibility in your itinerary. You can go anywhere and be as spontaneous as you want – you can even go on a last-minute trip if you feel like it.
If you are stressed, traveling alone is also a good opportunity to unwind, reflect, and meditate. It is a great opportunity to pamper yourself and have some me-time. If you are an extrovert, traveling alone can also be a good opportunity to meet a lot of people and make new friends.
While traveling alone can be daunting at first, a number of countries are friendly to first-time solo travelers. One such country is Thailand. Here is how you can make traveling to Thailand alone for the first time easy and enjoyable.
As when traveling to any other country, packing all the essentials performs a big part in making your trip as hassle-free as possible. Make sure to bring the following:
Thailand is one of the easiest countries for foreigners to visit given its multitude of visa exemptions. Thailand offers a 30-day tourist visa exemption for passport holders of certain countries and a 15-day exemption for tourists entering Thailand from neighboring countries.
If you are from a country not included in the tourist visa exemption scheme, you may still enter the country without a visa if there is a bilateral agreement between Thailand and your country. Alternatively, you may apply for a visa upon your arrival in Thailand.
To determine whether or not you need a visa to enter Thailand, check this link.
Aside from your visa or passport, make sure to bring your flight tickets and travel insurance, as well as scans or photocopies thereof.
Buy your flight tickets and travel insurance months before going to Thailand to avail of discounted rates.
Make sure to also bring scans or photocopies of your visa or passport, credit or debit cards, driver’s license, and birth certificate. These will come in handy in the event that you lose the original during your trip.
While there are a lot of pharmacies in Thailand, it is advisable to bring your own prescription medicines just in case the same are not available in Thailand.
If this is your first time to visit Thailand, it is best to either print out a map of the city you’d be staying in or to buy a map upon your arrival.
There are a lot of money changers and ATMs in Thailand so you don’t need to have a lot of cash on hand, but it is best to have some cash for fares and making small market purchases.
It is best to travel light in Thailand. Bring only the essentials and just shop for clothes and toiletries when you get there as goods are very cheap.
Thailand is a tropical country, making a number of diseases rather common in the country. To avoid contracting any diseases during your stay, make sure to get vaccinated at least eight weeks before your intended visit. Usually recommended are vaccines for Hepatitis A and B, tetanus, and typhoid.
You can check here for a more extensive list of vaccines you could get before traveling to Thailand. Check with your Passport Health Travel Medicine Expert for personalized recommendations depending on your itinerary and health condition.
As previously mentioned, it is best to start looking for flights months before the date of your intended trip so as to avail of promos and discounts. You can check SkyScanner or Kayak to compare ticket prices, find cheap airline tickets, and find out about promos and deals.
It is also advisable to get a comprehensive travel insurance so as to protect yourself in the case of injury, accident, or similar other unforeseen circumstances. Thailand is relatively safe for solo travelers, even for females, but it is still advisable to be prepared.
Whether it is your first time to travel to Thailand or your first time to visit alone, it is advisable to plan your itinerary in advance. This way, you wouldn’t have to wander around aimlessly when you get there, especially when you are staying for only a few days. Check here and here for must-see places.
There are a lot of accommodations in Thailand, but the majority is located in Bangkok, Surat Thani, Phuket, Chiang Mai, and Hua Hin. There are hostels in beach areas, but they are not as many as those located in the urban centers.
For more diverse accommodation options, you can check AirBnb. If you’re traveling to Thailand during peak season, try booking accommodations before going there. Alternatively, you can scout for lodging once you get there or meet with fellow tourists and agree to share a room.
The things you should pack will, for the most part, depend on your itinerary. If you want to go to a beach destination, for example, then you will have to pack your swimwear and other beach essentials. If you want to stay in the city, then you would want to bring comfortable clothing and sturdy shoes.
Again, most of the things you will need can be easily purchased in Thailand and at affordable prices, so keep your baggage light. A sturdy, waterproof backpack will often be enough, especially if you intend to visit a lot of different tourist spots during your stay.
Regardless of your itinerary and what you intend to pack, make sure to bring with you the travel essentials we listed earlier. For your convenience, keep them in a separate waterproof container which you can easily place in your purse or body bag. This will lessen the likelihood of you losing them.
Inform a friend or relative about your itinerary and where you intend to stay so they know where to find or contact you in the case of emergencies. This is a good precautionary tip to anyone traveling solo to a foreign country.
If you’re not from Southeast Asia, then Thailand’s culture might come as a shock to you. Thus, it is best to do a bit of research on the country’s customs before going there so you know what to expect and how to behave accordingly. While Thais are friendly, it is still advisable to be polite during your stay.
When traveling alone to a foreign country for the first time, it is extremely important to be prepared and well-informed. Packing all your essentials and booking your flight and accommodations early will allow you to enjoy your stay and focus on having a good time.
How about you? Do you have any tips for first-time solo travelers to Thailand? Share with us your tips and let us know what you think of this article in the comments below. And if you like this article, please share it with your friends.