Five Things You Should Consider Before Traveling to Thailand

5 Essential Tips for Traveling to Thailand: What You Need to Know Before Your Trip | Haley Andrews Blog


Thailand had been on our travel bucket list for years. After postponing our honeymoon due to COVID-19 back in 2020, we finally experienced this beautiful country in all its glory. From staying in a 5-star hotel in Bangkok to bathing elephants in Chiang Mai, snorkeling in Ko Tao, to kayaking on Cheow Lan Lake – our Thailand adventure was a dream come true. 

If you’re in a similar boat with upcoming plans to visit this beautiful country, there are several things you should consider to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip. This blog post will discuss the top five things you should consider before traveling to Thailand, including:

  • Digital SIM cards
  • Avoiding drinking tap water
  • Researching excursions
  • Learning simple Thai phrases
  • Understanding local customs

1. Digital Sim Cards

One of the first things you should consider before traveling to Thailand is purchasing a digital SIM card for your phone. Thailand has several mobile networks, and buying a SIM card can help you stay connected while traveling. Although you can purchase a SIM card at the airport or any convenience store, I recommend using Airalo. 

Out of the many Digital SIM card options, we found Airalo to be a straightforward application that allows you to purchase a digital sim card for the country or countries you’re visiting. Using an Airalo Digitial SIM card will provide you with a Thai phone number and data plan to use while in the country. Airalo makes reloading data directly in the app easy, with peace of mind about losing your original sim card. Having additional data on the go is especially important if you use ride-sharing apps or Google Maps while traveling without racking up roaming fees. 

Check out this post for an overview of the Airalo Digital SIM Card Experience

Airalo Mobile App | Airalo Webpage

2. Not Drinking the Water

In Thailand, tap water is not safe for drinking. Luckily hotels and resorts are well-prepared and often provide complimentary bottles of water throughout your stay. Make sure you only drink bottled water or water that is purified. Additionally, be cautious when eating food from street vendors, as they may use tap water to clean their utensils. 

We took extra precautions, used bottled water while brushing our teeth, and avoided raw fruits and vegetables that may have been washed in tap water, such as apples, grapes, lettuce, etc. 

3. Researching Excursions

Thailand has a plethora of exciting excursions and activities to offer, but only some of them are safe and reputable. It’s essential to do your research before booking any tours to ensure they are safe and operated by a reputable company. Reading reviews online, speaking with locals, and seeking recommendations from your hotel staff are all great ways to ensure you choose a safe and trustworthy experience.

I recommend TripAdvisor, GetYourGuide, and Viator for researching and booking excursions. You can find more details on these resources in this post: TripAdvisor vs. GetYourGuide vs. Viator: Which is the Best Platform for Booking Excursions?

Check out 6 Tips for Planning Travel Excursions for more advice on things to consider when planning excursions. 

4. Learning Basic Thai Language

While many people in Thailand speak English, it’s always a good idea to learn some basic Thai phrases to help you navigate the country. Some examples include words such as “hello,” “thank you,” and “How much does this cost?” Learning basic Thai terms can help you communicate with locals and make your trip more enjoyable.

The two most common phrases we used were: 

  • Hello – “Sawadee”

  • Thank you – “Khop Khun.” 

Something we learned towards the end of our trip – men will often say “Khrup” at the end of phrases, and women will use “Ka.” For example, if I’m thanking our waitress for bringing food, I would say “Khop Khun Ka,” whereas if my husband were thanking our waitress, he would say “Khop Khun Khrup.” 

5. Understanding Local Customs

Thailand has a rich and unique culture, and it’s essential to understand and respect local customs while traveling there. For example, locals consider it disrespectful to touch someone’s head, as the head is the most sacred part of the body. 

When greeting others, smile when you say “Sawadee” and perform a “Wai Greeting,” where you bow your head and place your hands together in prayer. 

Dressing conservatively when visiting temples or other religious sites and covering knees and shoulders is essential, along with removing your shoes. 

Lastly, showing respect to the Monarchy and Buddhist faith. Both the Royal Family and Buddha are highly revered, and any signs or speech of disrespect would not be tolerated. 

Bonus: Be Mindful of Environmental Impact

As tourism continues to grow in Thailand, it’s essential to be mindful of our travels’ impact on the environment. Be sure to dispose of your waste correctly, do not flush toilet paper or other products, and avoid single-use plastics when possible. 

Thailand is a beautiful and exciting travel destination that offers something for everyone. Remember to purchase a Digital SIM card, avoid drinking tap water, research excursions, learn simple Thai phrases, understand local customs, and be mindful of your environmental impact. Considering these five things before traveling to the country can help ensure smooth sailing and an enjoyable trip. With some preparation, you can have an unforgettable trip to Thailand.




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