Planning Your Travel Budget for Thailand
You’re about to go on a fantastic trip around Thailand. Great! Still, might be worried about how this will all cost you. Of course, we can’t put a definite number on it, but we can give you a good estimate. Below is an overview of all your potential travel expenses.
Step 1: Expenses before departure
Below is an overview of average expenses before leaving for Thailand:
1. Plane tickets
Price differences between return tickets to Bangkok can be huge. A general rule of thumb is: the sooner you book, the lower the price.
Other practical tips for booking a cheap flight:
- Direct flights are more expensive than flights with stops;
- Travel during low season (April to June & September and October);
- Also look for flights from nearby airports, as rates can be a lot cheaper;
- Search using comparison sites such as Skyscanner.
- Take out a good (annual) travel insurance plan before leaving. Make sure you opt for worldwide coverage and take out extra insurance for medical costs. That way, should you need to be hospitalized while in Thailand, you’ll have sufficient coverage. You can choose to take out luggage insurance and cancellation insurance as well.
For most standard tourists there are no compulsory vaccinations for Thailand, though there are few recommended:
- Against childhood diseases: Tetanus and Diphtheria, Measles, Mumps, and Rubella.
- Against food borne diseases: Typhoid and Hepatitis A.
Contact your local medical bureau for the fees.
Currently, passport holders of 57 countries are allowed to travel to Thailand without a visa, whether it’s by land or by air. This “visa-free entry” is free and is valid for a tourist stay of maximum 30 or 90 days. Click here for more information.
If your country does not qualify for a visa-free entry, or if you wish to stay for a longer period, you could apply for a single entry visa (60 days) or multiple entry visa (3x 60 days). Click here for the application fees.
4. Travel gear
Here’s a list of things to take with you to Thailand:
- Backpack: from 100 USD
- Daypack: from 40 USD
- Travel guide: from 10 USD
- Waist bag: from 10 USD
- DEET: from 10 USD
- O.R.S.: from 8 USD
- First aid kit: from 15 USD
- Betadine: from 5 USD
- Multi-length pants: from 50 USD
- Climbing boots: from 100 USD
- Teva sandals: from 40 USD
Check out our complete packing list for you so don’t forget to take anything with you!
Step 2: Costs while traveling
Thailand: Average expenses per person per day in Thai Baht (฿)
The chart below displays the average expenses made while traveling around Thailand in Thai baht and can be used as a reference point for planning your travel budget. As daily expenses differ, averages below are based on a 30-day round trip.
|Expense||Low budget in ฿||Average budget in ฿||High budget in ฿|
|Food and drink||150-250||250-500||500+|
|Total||฿ 1,000 ± $ 30||฿ 2,000 ± $ 60||฿ 5,000+ ± $ 150+|
Traveling through Thailand and having a great time is possible, even on the smallest of budgets. Expect to pay ฿ 1,000 per day. You’ll be staying in clean, but basic, accommodations that you’ll share with other backpackers. Sleeping in a dorm is about 200 baht, or you can share a room with the person you’re traveling with.
Eat and drink with the locals: on the street. If you’re having dinner in a restaurant, order the cheaper Thai meals.
When traveling by local bus or by train, travel in second class. Organize your own day trips; tours and excursions can be pretty expensive. But don’t worry. This is a great and adventurous way to explore Thailand. You’ll still have some money left to have some for a meal and a drink in the evening.
You can easily get by on a budget of ฿ 2,000 (± $ 60) per day in Thailand. You’ll stay in clean, pleasant hotel rooms, all with their own unique flavor. Expect to pay about ฿ 1,000 (± $ 30) for a nice double room. You’ll be able to enjoy your fair share of luxury, mainly in the north of Thailand. The south is a lot more expensive, especially if you want to stay on the beach.
You can easily afford to go out for food three times a day, but we would recommend everyone to have at least one street food meal a day. Street food is tasty, safe and cheap.
You can visit fun sights every day and go on a couple of excursions a week. To get around you can take the tuk-tuk, hail a taxi, or travel in a comfortable air-conditioned bus or take a domestic flight.
Travelers who love luxury can enjoy all their heart’s desires in Thailand. The most luxurious resorts in Thailand happen to still be pretty affordable. You can book yourself a nice luxurious suite with a view of the Bangkok skyline or a really nice bungalow with a tropical beach view for anywhere between $ 100 and $ 250.
Go out for food three times a day, wherever you want. From authentic high-end restaurants to international cuisine, you can have it all, wherever and whenever you want.
Hire a chauffeur, buy a first class train ticket or fly business class to make your way around the country in comfort, or go on private party excursions. Why not rent a boat for few days? The sky is the limit!
Step 3: Final advice on budgets
- Take at least 500 USD or EUR banknotes with you to Thailand and exchange it there. It’s cheaper than using an ATM.
- Bring sun cream and after sun with you. These things are a lot more expensive in Thailand.
- Eat local food; it’s cheaper and a lot better as well.
- Travel at night, by sleeper train for instance. This way, you’ll be traveling while sleeping and avoid paying for a hotel stay.
- And, last but not least, check out our blog post on 27 Tips to Save Money in Thailand.