With stunning tropical beaches, The Grand Palace, Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, and so many more attractions, it’s no secret that Thailand is one of the best places to vacation. Not only does Thailand have some incredible things to see and do — it just so happens to be effortlessly cheap, as well, making it the ideal location for the vacationer on a budget.
How much will it cost to visit Thailand? Visiting Thailand can be as cheap or as expensive as you make it. The least amount you can spend while still enjoying yourself is around $30 a day, while someone looking to spend their time more lavishly might kick the price up to $50 per day. Either way, you’re saving big on an incredible experience.
Thailand is a place you want to put on your must-see list. But like any trip you might take, you need to know the ins and outs of budgeting, so you don’t end up broke mid-trip. Read on to find out how much it really costs to visit Thailand. We will be sharing average prices as well as handy tips and tricks for vacationing in Thailand on a tight budget.
How Much Will It Cost to Visit Thailand – The Facts
The good news is that you don’t need a whole lot of money to visit Thailand. Almost everything is on the cheaper side of things, so you won’t have to spend years saving up for your trip to Thailand. In fact, the most expensive thing is going to be the flight to and from Thailand, but even then, you can find great deals on sites like Kayak.com.
Aside from the flight to and from Thailand, there are a few other expenses that should be taken into consideration, including lodging, food, activities, and transportation. These are all essential things that should be calculated into your travel budget. Other things, such as alcohol or souvenirs, are optional and can be added after your initial budget.
Lodging in Thailand
The most important thing to figure out is where you are going to stay in Thailand. There are many options when it comes to lodging in Thailand, so even someone on a strict budget can find somewhere nice to stay. Someone who is backpacking can easily find a room with a shared bathroom in a dorm-like setting for less than $15 per day. This leaves extra money for extras such as drinks and tours.
If you’re willing to spend a bit more money on an air-conditioned room all to yourself, it’s still a cost-effective option. Most of the time you can find these rooms for less than $30, and even that’s a bit steep for a room such as this.
Last but not least, if you’re looking for a more ‘Western’ feel, then don’t worry — Thailand offers a variety of hotels and resorts to stay at. These are going to be a bit pricier than the other options, but still nothing too outlandish. Beautiful resorts in Thailand can cost less than $60 per day.
Eating in Thailand
Where you’re staying should be a number one concern when planning a trip to Thailand, but it shouldn’t be the only thing you include in your budget — you can’t forget the food! The cool thing about Thailand is that there is a variety of street stalls that sell delicious Thai food. So, if you’re a lover of all things Thai food, you can find a meal on the street for less than a buck.
What’s also nice about the street stalls is they are virtually everywhere in Thailand, so finding a meal on a budget is easier than anywhere else. Plus, they have authentic, drool-worthy Thai food such as Pad See Eiw, Kluay Tod, Pad Kra Pao, and Som Tam.
If you’re not keen on Thai food, though, don’t worry, you’re not entirely out of luck and destined to starve on your vacation. Thailand also offers a variety of Westernized restaurants to dine at. The Culture Trip shares The 10 Best Western Restaurants in Bangkok, Thailand to make it easy for travelers.
You should be aware that western food in a restaurant is going to be much pricier than Thai street stall cuisine. If this is the type of food you know you’ll want, make sure you are putting extra funds into the food budget to ensure you have enough to make it through your trip.
Enjoying Activities in Thailand
You’re likely headed to Thailand to have some FUN, and this is one of the best places to find fun and adventures for all. You will likely want to set aside some activity funds since not everything is cheap in Thailand. There are, however, plenty of cheap things to indulge in while vacationing in Thailand.
Hostel World shares 15 free things to do in Bangkok, which includes a variety of options from exploring ancient temples to checking out the insectariums. You can also spend the day on the beach or one of many green spaces, such as Lumphini Park, mozy along the world-famous Khao San Road, or take a gander at the many free museums offered in Thailand.
Of course, if you want to book a tour or get a massage or try your hand at scuba diving, you’re going to have to pay. But does that mean you have to spend an arm and a leg? Of course, not. Plenty of the Thailand activities are relatively cheap, to begin with, and you also have the option of negotiating with travel agencies or getting a discount on multiple activities purchased at once.
That’s right — travel agents in Thailand are known to negotiate with tourists, so you will want to make sure to negotiate for the best price. You can also save money by purchasing things together. For instance, buying multiple tours, such as a Phi Phi Islands Adventure Day Trip with Seaview Lunch by V. Marine Tour and Thailand’s Ayutthaya Temples and River Cruise from Bangkok, can get you a discount.
Traveling in Thailand
The last major thing to consider is how you’re going to get around Thailand to see all these cool places and things! Thailand has plenty of options when it comes to getting around, and they are all relatively cheap options, too.
- Long-distance trains. Long-distance trains are going to be your cheapest option when traveling through Thailand. Going from the big city of Bangkok to Ayutthaya costs less than $0.50 for a third-class ticket. First- and second-class tickets will be a bit pricier. The downside to long-distance trains, though, is that it takes far longer to reach a destination.
- Domestic flights. On the contrary, domestic flights within Thailand are undeniably the fastest way to get where you’re going, although they are more expensive. You can expect to pay anywhere between $30 and $100 on domestic flights, depending on which airway you choose.
- Buses and subways. If you’re thinking about taking the bus, you can expect to pay less than $0.30 to get around. The Metro or Skytrain, on the other hand, is a tad pricier yet still less than $0.50. You can also opt to purchase a day pass if you’re planning to travel around to different cities throughout the day.
- Tuk-tuk. Tuk-tuks are Thailand taxi drivers. They are best for short distances as they can cost a bit more money, but that is agreed upon before the driver starts to drive.
Tips to Save Money in Thailand
Now that you have learned about the bulk of the expenses, it’s time to focus on clear ways to save money while visiting Thailand.
Here are our top three tips:
- Limit your alcohol consumption. Anyone who has visited Thailand will likely tell you that a big chunk of their budget was spent on nightlife and drinking — and that’s to be expected, considering Thailand has an incredible nightlife. But you should be careful if you’re on a strict budget. The drinks can add up very quickly while you’re having fun.
- Negotiate with the tuk-tuk driver before leaving. A tuk-tuk is the Thailand form of a taxi driver, but there are no meters. This means that the driver can easily spike the price once you have reached your destination. Don’t be sucked into this scheme. Instead, agree on a price before the driver pushes the gas pedal.
- Learn to haggle. If you are from an area of the world that doesn’t typically bargain, this might be strange at first, but it’s a custom that you need to adhere to! Never settle for the first price someone gives you. Always negotiate the price. If you can’t get what you want, simply go to someone else — they will likely give you an incredible deal.
Visiting Thailand is a wonderful experience. There is plenty to see and do during your stay, and the best part is it’s relatively cheap. Just make sure you set aside the right amount of money for lodging, eating, and enjoying the area, and you will be set.