How To Visit Thailand On A Budget
Thailand is a world renowned destination for its beaches, mountains, culture, and food. It’s at the top of most traveler’s wish list, and it’s easy to see why it’s grown in popularity.
In the early 90’s and 2000’s Thailand on a budget was easily done in fact it became well known as one of the very best budget holiday destinations. However, as the tourism in Thailand has grown many believe it’s no longer the financially friendly destination it once was. Today, I’m out to prove that theory wrong, here’s how you can visit Thailand on a budget!
Travel Insurance – £10
Before you go anywhere you’re going to need travel insurance. Travel insurance covers you for small things such as loss of baggage or larger things such as illness of death abroad. Whilst it isn’t compulsory I personally wouldn’t go anywhere outside of the UK without it. I have travel insurance as part of a service with my bank.
If you don’t have travel insurance already then I recommend using a comparison service such as Go Compare to find the cheapest / most suitable insurance policy for your needs. For the purposes of this study let’s say that you don’t have travel insurance but you manage to pick up an annual worldwide travel insurance policy for £10.
Airport Parking – £30
Our trip to Thailand was a little over three weeks and the cheapest airport parking we were able to find was £8 per day. That’s £168 in parking – or £84 each.
If there were five of us instead of just the two of us then we would have filled the car in which case the £168 would have actually been £33.60 each. A price that’s much more in line with public transport options such as the train or coach.
In the end, we ended up getting the Mega Bus. It wasn’t as convenient as taking the car but it saved us over £50 each!
If for any reason you need to drive your car to the airport then be sure to compare the prices of airport parking online with the likes of Just Park. This quick and easy comparison alone could save you up to 50% on your airport parking.
Airport Food – £6
Check the airport website before you travel to find out what food outlets are available in your terminal. Plenty of airports will promote offers or allow you to print vouchers to use inside the airport. All this will help towards planning where you’re going to eat and how much it’s likely to cost.
If you can simply take snacks from where you’re staying and wait until your on the plane for your main meal.
Flight – £300
The most common routes from the UK to Thailand fly into either Bangkok or Phuket. Most tourists who visit Thailand go to both of these locations so if one destination is particularly cheaper to fly to than the other think about rearranging your trip to accommodate this.
Alternatively, if flying to Phuket is, for example, £80 cheaper than flying to Bangkok but you need to start your trip in Bangkok. Thailand’s internal flight system is both extensive and very, very cheap. Booking an internal flight like this rather than one direct could save you anything from £50+
When booking flights be sure to consider seasons. Peak season in Thailand is November to February. Not only are flights going to be more expensive during this time, but you’ll find that accommodation will cost more too.
Finally, be sure to read my top tips on avoiding hidden airline charges. These charges are never a great start to any holiday and can go a long way to completely blowing your budget.
Hotel / Hostels – £200
The beauty of a destination such as Thailand is that it can be as cheap or expensive as you want to make it. During our time in Thailand, we stayed in places that cost £12 a night, and places that cost £100.
For a period of three weeks, you can expect basic three-star accommodation to cost around £200 per person. This is going to depend on the time of year you visit Thailand.
If you’re looking at visiting the Full Moon party in Koh Phangan for example, you’re going to find that accommodation costs more. The cost of accommodation will also vary between locations.
In central Bangkok and Phuket, there are a large number of accommodation options, this makes pricing much more competitive when compared to more rural areas. If you’re a family or large party then consider renting out an entire apartment using Airbnb.
Apartments that sleep four starts from £30 per night in central locations. Apartments are likely to provide a lot more space and give a much more authentic experience.
Internal Travel – £50
Internal travel within Thailand is going to vary depending on where you’re looking to visit. Our three weeks took us from Bangkok to Ao Nang, through to Krabi, over to the Phi Phi Islands, to Phuket where we then flew back to Bangkok to catch our returning flight.
Looking back that was a little too much travel for the three weeks we spent in Thailand. However, the cost of internal travel was never a problem and we often opted for the most convenient method of transport over the cheapest.
We booked all of our internal travel whilst in Thailand. In Bangkok, we used a ticket office within one of the subway terminals to book a flight. In Ao Nang, we haggled at the attraction ticket offices to get a discounted ferry crossing to Phi Phi. The rest, we did online from my laptop. For the most part, you can use a UK based flight website to book internal flights within Thailand.
This means you’re paying in GBP and confirming everything in English. Which can both save you money, time and hassle.
Attractions – £100
Much like internal travel, the cost of visiting the attractions within Thailand is going to vary depending on what you would like to do. I have put together a small list of attractions in Thailand as well as the ticket price in the local currency Baht as well as the cost in GBP (rate as of Oct 16)
Grand Palace, Bangkok – 500 Baht – £11.60
Khao Yai National Park – 400 Baht – £9.30
Temple of the Reclining Buddha (Wat Pho) – 100 Baht – £2.30
Temple of Dawn (Wat Arun) – 50 Baht – £1.15
Food – £100
The food in Thailand is simply amazing. Regardless of where you are, you’re never short of choice. Whilst there are western food outlets such as McDonalds and Subway you’re going to pay western prices. Instead, stick to traditional Thai food outlets or street vendors.
If you’re unsure about street food (I know we were at first) then look for the vendor that has the most customers. If a lot of people are visiting one particular vendor, it’s likely that they have visited the same one previously.
Souvenirs – £0
This one is simple, we didn’t buy any. There were loads of things we loved, but most of all we loved the memories we made and the photos we took. By choosing not to bring souvenirs back for ourselves and others we saved around £50 each – which is going towards our next holiday!
If you have enjoyed this Thailand on a budget post then you’ll enjoy my other travel posts. As always I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below.