A trip to the Thai islands can invoke all sorts of images. From crystal blue waters gently lapping the golden sand shores to hedonistic all night raves, there really is something for everyone. Many travel here to enjoy a relaxing vacation away from work for a couple of weeks and as places like Koh Samui and Phuket can boast plentiful luxury resorts for tourists it is ideal to enjoy some much needed R&R. Adventurous travellers won’t be content with staying put and will doubtless be keen to explore some hidden gems off the beaten trail, and as there are many lesser known islands in both the Andaman Sea and Gulf of Thailand there are ample opportunities to do just this. But before jumping on a jet and flying off to the Land of Smiles it is important to tick off some of the things on our checklist below:
- Check visa requirements – this may seem obvious but forgetting to do this can stop tourists from getting past check in, even if they have a ticket. The requirements vary between nations, and often it is possible to get a visa on arrival if the trip is under 30 days and a return ticket has been booked. Those who are planning on an extended jaunt will need to look into other options, such as 60 days tourist visas that can be obtained from overseas embassies.
- Purchase some local currency – Thailand has plenty of ATMs capable of taking foreign cards and foreign exchange points are available throughout the country but who wants to get off a plane, fatigued with jet lag and make their first priority a trip to the bank? Exchanging enough money for the first few days is a sage idea for holidaymakers, as it will give them time to settle and become acclimatised to their new surroundings without the burden of changing money bothering them.
- Book ahead – to avoid disappointment make reservations as early as possible. The south of Thailand is a popular region with increasing numbers of tourists every year so ensure hotels and activities are reserved in plenty of time. The same attitude should be taken for plane tickets to get the best deals. Travellers from Down Under, for instance, can get cheap flights to Australia if they book in advance and shop around. This will leave more money for the holiday and all of the luxuries available.
- Make an itinerary – when time is limited it makes sense to plan ahead to ensure nothing is missed out. While it is virtually impossible to see everything, by doing research online and speaking to friends individuals can produce ideas about where to head, hence making a travel plan will ensure there is time for everything. A two week vacation isn’t a great deal of time, thus spending it efficiently will be important.
- Pack appropriately – Thailand enjoys a tropical climate, which more often than not means intense sunshine every day. This makes it shorts and t-shirt weather mostly, and consequently packing the sunscreen will be prudent. But it is also crucial to heed cultural advice and cover up when entering any religious buildings, such as temples, so some light trousers and shirts will be wise inclusions. Furthermore, during the monsoon season violent rain storms can sweep in without warning, so a portable umbrella is advisable.
A trip away to the tropics is often a dream holiday due to the images of paradise it conjures up, and an idyllic getaway can be enjoyed if a few basic preparations are made to maximise enjoyment while minimising chances of problems.
About the Author:
Sofia Walton is a freelance writer from Flight Centre, one of the leading providers of cheap flights to Australia. They also have a selection of packages for hotels and cruises to choose from.