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Things you need to do before you move to Thailand



Joanna Horanin

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Last updated at 23/04/2024, 08:45

Hi, I'm Joanna, the author of The Blond Travels. In the worlds of Thailand and Portugal, I feel like a fish in water - and it's no coincidence! I've been exploring Thailand for over a decade, and I've settled in Portugal for 6 years now. My mission is to support Dreamers - just like you - in discovering these fascinating countries and helping those in love with them find their own place on Earth, preferably for good! Let's uncover these unique corners of the world together.

I know that you’re dreaming of moving to Thailand. No wonder! A lot of people want to live in a country where the sun always shines, people are nice and costs are low. Moving to the Land of Smiles isn’t difficult at all. That is when you prepare accordingly, of course.

I lived in Thailand for a couple of years. My move took me 6 months due to my personal problems. From today’s perspective I could have done it in 3 months, or less.

Below you will find a list of things that you need to do before you buy your ticket. Being well prepared is half of success and I hope that thanks to this post you will be able to get ready in no time.

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    Your move to Thailand – start from….

    …writing a good, old list. Create an Excel spreadsheet or your a calendar, where you will write everything you think is important to do before you leave.

    Below I have given you some things you need to remember about. If you have kids, a car, a mortgage then sort out any necessary formalities way ahead of the leave date. Close unfinished projects, meet your friends and family or buy a good suitcase. Don’t put away anything until the last minute. This way you will avoid unnecessary stress.

    Things you need to remember about before you move to Thailand

    As you can see, there are not that many of them. All points are very important to me and every time when I move somewhere, I know that I need to check information in this order. If you think you can add some more things to the list, please leave a comment. I will be glad to find out what other people think is important.

    Check costs of living

    Of course, you need to know how much life in Thailand costs. The north is cheaper than the touristy south, but it’s far away from the coast. Bangkok is expensive comparing to the rest of the country. However, people earn more here (it’s good news for future teachers in Thailand) and the choice of entertainment is better.

    Create a budget. How much are you able to pay for an apartment? How much do you want to spend on food? How much can you afford and how much do you want to save? Add it up and then add 20% on top – that’s your monthly budget.

    Choose the best place to live

    Now compare your budget to different places in Thailand. First, think of what you want to do there. Do you prefer mountains or a beach? Do you like big cities or small towns? Are you looking for peace and quiet, or entertainment? Thailand offers everything and the choice is wide, so give yourself some time to think about it.


    Time for some serious stuff. Visas in Thailand are a complicated subject. The whole process might be long, or short depending on what you want to do in The Land of Smiles. Remember that you can always contact the embassy near you.

    Buy your insurance

    A good insurance is very important. As a healthy person going to Thailand for a short period of time, you can get normal travel insurance. However, if you’re going there for a bit longer, then it’s better to think about medical insurance. It’s more expensive, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.


    Go to your nearest travel clinic and get necessary vaccinations. In one of my posts, I have mentioned the vaccinations I took before going to Thailand. If after reading it you still don’t know which ones to choose, then talk to your doctor.

    Learn the language

    When you are moving to a different country, it’s worth trying to learn some basic words and phrases. Thai people love when a foreigner tries to speak their language. Learn how to say: thank you, hello and excuse me. That’s enough to get you started.