Thailand is known for its succulent meals, breathtaking beaches with mesmerizing blue waters, and all around magnificent scenery. All of this and so much more await travelers from around the world. Want to go discover this impressive country yet? Read on for suggestions of how you can experience it all and in a budget friendly manner!
It's delicious, readily available in most areas, and offers true local cuisine! Some people have expressed concerns regarding the cleanliness and food safety, but in our experience this applies to eating out anywhere in the world! (Plus the only time we had any food issues during our trip to Thailand coincided with one of the few times we splurged on a sit down restaurant meal!!).
*As a general rule of thumb, we tried eating where the locals ate. They know which food carts are the best and safe to eat! We often asked the owners of the guesthouses where we stayed for recommendations, recognizing that as tourists we might have certain sensitivities or difficulties with certain local cuisine. We were always delighted with the results!
It can be tempting to reach for the Hilton or Four Seasons, however you can find great lodging for a fraction of the price if you're willing to consider alternative options such as guesthouses, Airbnb or hostels! If you're flexible you can find dorm room beds starting at 2$/night, or you might chose to upgrade (with a private bedroom and bathroom with A/C) and still pay as low as 20$/night in most areas! Just make sure to check the hotel reviews for cleanliness and safety (as we recommend for any type of accommodation!).
Tuks tuks and taxis, even though cheaper than comparable rides in most countries, are still more costly than public transportation. Flights can also be booked for minimal costs (such as our 35$ four hour flight!), while train rides can also be inexpensive (and can be completed overnight to also save on the cost of lodging!).
Save on activities
There are a few ways to save money here. You can either participate in free activities (such as walking through the city or using bicycles lent for free from some guesthouses), you can try haggling for a better price or you can join forces with other groups in the hopes of getting a group discount! After all, the higher the number of people booking the better the chances of seeing that price reduced significantly!!!
Pack only necessities
If you're really lucky and you're a light packer, you might get away with a backpack for your trip! If not, it still pays to have smaller packs as most airlines require you to pay according to different weight categories for checked luggage. This can quickly add up to the equivalent of your seat ticket, if not more! Your smaller pack will also make it easier to get around and you won't have to dig through mountains of clothes to find that one missing sandal when you're running off to the beach!
We can't say this enough: you can bargain for almost anything! From zip lining to snorkeling tours, guesthouse prices to restaurant prices, it seems like almost every price is up for negotiation in Thailand! Make sure to be polite and respect that some sellers may not be willing to modify their prices, so you will have to decide if the asking price is worth it to you or if you prefer to keep shopping to find a better deal!
Know the costs of different areas
The different areas of Thailand differ in costs. For example, northern Thailand such as Chiang Mai tends to be inexpensive, while southern Thailand islands (such as famous Koh Phi Phi and Ko Samui) result in significantly increased spending for similar services and lodging. Be mindful of these price variations while traveling through the country to avoid getting an unwanted financial surprise!
*Remember that usual travel advice still applies! For example, as with any other travels, if you increase your flexibility with regards to dates and times, or book ahead, it will presumably help reduce costs. The season will also impact the cost of everything from accommodations to activities.
Have any other advice for your fellow travelers? Share them in the comments section!
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