The Land of Smiles: Gap in Thailand

From remote villages to modern cities, sacred ruins to tropical islands, this 8 week program traverses Thailand, exploring the wonders and riches of this ancient kingdom at the heart of Southeast Asia.    Our spectacular route journeys from East to West, North to South and offers the highlights of the “Land of Smiles”, one of the world’s travel destinations.  Dip your toes in the Andaman sea and traverse through tea plantations and hilltribe villages in the foothills of the Himalayas.  Explore the history, encounter traditional cultures, immerse  and learn to live like a local, and while contributing to community development projects, you’ll gain a profound understanding of the region,  the people and your travel mates, while making memories for a lifetime.

2024 Departure Dates

Sept. 8 – Nov. 3, 2024 Available Enroll Now
Program Profile
  • Country:


  • Department:
    Gap Year
  • Duration:
    8 Weeks
  • Max. Students:
  • Ages:
  • Cost:
    $12,200 plus Airfare
  • Service Hours:
Program Profile
  • Country:


  • Department:
    Gap Year
  • Duration:
    8 Weeks
  • Max. Students:
  • Ages:
  • Cost:
    $12,200 plus Airfare
  • Service Hours:

Carry-On Luggage

A small backpack is the best carry on bag and will be useful on your program day-trips.

  • Passport and Wallet + Money *Travel Wallet that can be hidden under clothing is a good idea. 
  • Photo Copy of Passport (2 additional photocopies should be carried in checked luggage)
  • Sunglasses
  • Journal and Pens
  • Books (trade with buddies)
  • Water bottle (refillable, durable, and empty)
  • Medications 
  • Camera – Thailand is a wet environment so please have a good case that keeps your camera safe from elements like rain and dirt. Be aware that cameras can easily get broken, lost, or stolen when traveling so only bring a camera which you are prepared to part with.
  • Computer (optional)
  • Travel documents and emergency contact information

Make sure everything you pack in your carry-on complies with the new carry-on regulations of the TSA. 

Checked Luggage

A medium sized duffel bag or large backpack work best. Wheeled bags are OK as long as they are medium sized and can easily be carried like a duffle over rough terrain.

Please bring at least a few outfits that can get dirty or destroyed for service work or adventure activities.


  • Underwear (5-10)
  • Socks (3-8) 
  • T-Shirts, tank tops, and sports shirts (10) – 3-5 cotton t-shirts + 3-5 quick dry shirts (like capilene or polypropylene) and 3-5 tank tops
  • Long Pants 1, suggested to have 2 lightweight and 1 jeans or similar.   *Non-cotton pants that zip off into shorts are wonderful for conserving weight and also adapting to changing temperatures.
  • Long shorts or board shorts (3)
  • Rash guard (long sleeved)
  • Light-weight Long Sleeve Shirts or light sweatshirt (2) 
  • A soft-shell jacket- Soft shell jackets are windproof and water resistant and are wonderfully versatile – a light-weight rain jacket works well
  • Sandals and/or Flip-Flops *it is highly recommended to have a pair of strap on sandals that will not fall off in water (Teva or Chaco brand sandals work great)
  • Hat (1) for sun protection
  • Shorts (3-5) -Please be conservative regarding length. 
  • Swim Suit (2-3)
  • Athletic Shoes – (1) Shoes that dry quickly, you can hike short distances in and protect your   feet are best. Shoes will get wet, muddy, and dirty.
  • Chacos or flip flops
  • Towel – Large travel towels are great!
  • One nice casual outfit for going out or meeting with community members
  • Pajamas (1)
  • Quick dry clothes are very useful since it can be very muddy and rainy and you will be outdoors quite a bit.


TOILETRIES (Please pack all items that could leak in a PLASTIC or ZIPLOCK bag, these can be bought in country if you forget)

  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Body wash
  • Face wash
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug spray (35% DEET recommended)
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Contacts
  • Contact solution
  • Foam earplugs
  • Personal med kit
  • Deodorant
  • Wet Wipes
  • Razor/shaving cream


  • Flashlight/Headlamp w/ Extra Batteries (to read at night or in the case of power outages)
  • Personal snorkel gear (well-fitting personal mask, snorkel and fins will be much more comfortable)
  • Watch or Clock with an Alarm (waterproof watch)
  • Heavy Duty Garbage Bags (2) *for packing wet and dirty clothes/shoes
  • Large (one gallon) Ziplock© Freezer Bags (4)
  • Small Personal First Aid Kit (our guides will have comprehensive first aid kits on hand, but having a small personal kit is always helpful)
    • Band aids
    • Triple Antibiotic Ointment
    • Medical Tape
    • Moleskin or preferred blister care
    • Preferred Mild Pain Reliever
    • Antihistamine (Benadryl or preferred type)
    • Anti-itch Cream (1 Benedryl Anti-itch Gel works great)
    • 2 Non-adherent, sterile dressing
    • 2 Gauze dressing
    • 5-8 Sterile wipes


  • Spanish/English dictionary
  • Deck of Cards
  • Picture of mom, dad, boyfriend/girlfriend, dog, pet fish, etc.
  • Frisbee, Aerobee, Hackysack, Football, Soccer Ball or Volleyball
  • Musical Instrument (Guitars and Harmonicas – smaller is better)
  • MP3 player or i-pod
  • Hammock

Note on Debit Cards:

Debit Cards are wonderful to travel with though there are a few things to remember.

  • Please ensure that your international block is lifted and that there are no restrictions in using it in any of the countries you will be traveling
  • Make sure to look at your daily limit and decide whether this should be raised or lowered


PLEASE NOTE – Rustic Pathways will not be responsible for ANY lost or stolen items. During travel it is common for items to be lost or stolen so please bring only items you are prepared to part with.