To follow up on my article on the complete travel budget guide for Thailand, I will talk today about savings when traveling in this country. This blog is particularly adapted to people who want to travel in a simple, local and economical way. We’re writing this article to give you the best tips to travel for relatively little money in Thailand. After spending almost 3 months there, it is a country I know very well and where I learned various tips and techniques.
So, here are the tips to backpack across Thailand, based on my experience in the country.
Before You Start
First of all, you should already know that Thailand is a very cheap country. However, if you are not particularly careful and spend lavishly, the trip can turn out to be “quite expensive” for you.
The objective of this article is therefore to show you the ways to travel cheap in the country, and what techniques you should adopt! Some of these tips can generally be applied to many countries. However, I’m trying here to focus on Thailand!
Here are some good tips to reduce the cost of a trip to Thailand, especially on transportation, which is often one of the main budgets in a travel!
1 – Avoid as much as possible travelling by plane, which is much more expensive than any other means of transport,
2 – Opt for the most economical means of transport, which is the Bus in Thailand,
3 – If you choose to travel by train, choose the most economical classes (2nd and 3rd class = wooden seats with locals),
4 – Try to hitch-hike (I’ve done a little bit, it can work),
5 – If you’re into day trips around the cities or countryside, choose to rent a scooter for the day (between 150 and 250 baht/day, which is about 4 to 6€/day),
6 – Avoid renting cars with drivers (far too expensive and not really interesting for discovering),
7 – Systematically negotiate the price of Tuk-Tuk rides, as they will always try to make you pay more than you should!
8 – When you can, walk as much as possible to get to the bus or train stations,
9 – Avoid taking cabs and rather choose local buses!
10 – Negotiate the price of motorcycle rental for several days!
11 – If you want to take a Tuk-Tuk ride, get away from the tourist areas by walking about 10 minutes, the prices would be then cheaper!
Accommodation in Thailand is not very expensive. I give you some tips to save on this part of the budget anyway!
12 – Sleep in Guesthouses (GH) rather than in hotels. In the city you can find GH at 300/400 Thb (or even less, I used to sleep for 250 Thb in Bangkok). In the countryside, you can sleep for 150/200 Thb,
13 – Try to negotiate prices when you sleep more than 2/3 nights in the same place,
14 – Sleep in Airbnb (there are quite a few),
15 – Try the Couchsurfing – CS – experience, even if the main goal of couchsurfing is to meet and share with locals, not to save money..!
16 – Sleeping in buses or night train! (well, yes, it does save you from paying a night in Guesthouse!),
You will not blow your budget in Thailand with food, as long as you eat local! Here are some small tips about food budget in Thailand.
17 – Eat in the street or in small street shops. This is where food is usually the best and the cheapest,
18 – Avoid tourist restaurants where western food is served (always more expensive, and not always good to be honest),
19 – Focus on the street shops in town and in the countryside crowded with Thai (if they are so many, it should mean that it’s tasty here, right?),
20 – Vegetarian dishes are generally less expensive than dishes with meat or fish (ex: pad thai),
21 – If you sleep in a guesthouse for several days, go to the market and cook by yourself!
22 – If you stay several days in the same place, buy 6L water cans (for 40 Thb / 1€) at the 7-Eleven. This is much cheaper than always buying 1L bottles at 15/20 Thb,
23 – To have a drink in the evening, buy your local beer at the 7-Eleven (40 Thb/1€) rather than in bars (90 Thb/2€). Otherwise, think about Happy hours!
24 – In the city, get out of the tourist areas in order to find cheaper prices for accommodation, food and Tuk-Tuk rides,
25 – Travel off the beaten track: prices are much more expensive in Bangkok, Phuket and Chiang Mai than in Nan, Mae Salong or the Isaan (I bet you don’t even know the names of the places, am I mistaken?),
26 – Travel out of season: yes, we found ourselves in the middle of the monsoon season in Koh Lanta and we slept for 150 Thb. Most of the accommodations are closed and if not, they do have broken prices!
27 – Rather do free activities instead of expensive tourist activities!
28 – Avoid tourist agencies at all costs
29 – Don’t book any activities before being in the country, you can handle everything once on the spot!
30 – Paid activities won’t be the unforgettable things of your trip, right?
Here we are! I think you are ready to travel cheap in Thailand with these 30 tips! I obviously remind you that the numbers given here are only indicative, and they may vary according to your type of trip, desired comfort, activities, etc…
In any case, if you’re backpackers around the world, keep in mind that you can spend a whole month with 400€ in Thailand using these 30 tips! If you are planning a trip to Southeast Asia, the article on travel budget in Laos will certainly be useful.
Do you know Thailand on your side? What did you think about it, did you like it? What are your figures in your trip-around-the-world budget or in vacation?!
See you soon,