Travelling to Thailand on a budget and worried you won’t have a great time? Don’t worry, in this post ill give you tips on how to make your money go a long way.
Firstly, the Thai baht is about 2.5 times weaker than the rand so that’s an advantage and the cost of things is really cheap in Thailand.
Here’s how to stretch your money.
1. Stay at a back packers’ or a low budget hotel with a shared bathroom.
You really don’t need to stay in a resort. Backpackers are very cheap and if you are travelling alone, that’s a great way of making friends. Just note that, if you opt for a dorm room you will be sharing a room with strangers.
2 . Stay closer to the main attractions you will be visiting.
Sometimes staying in popular locations is more expensive. However, staying far from attractions means you have to take a taxi/tuk tuk to get to the points of interests. Those taxi fares add up very quickly. So stay within walking distance. Don’t stay on the main street of the attraction, a km away should do. For example, in Bangkok, don’t stay on Kao San road, stay like a km away. You’ll pay less and there’ll be less noise for those nights you want to sleep early.
3. Buy 5 L bottles of water and refill your water bottle instead of continuously buying small bottles
5 L bottles sell for as little as 40 Baht at 7 eleven.
4. Eat street food
To save money, stay away from restaurants and obviously touristy areas. Buy from the streets. The food is safe, I ate it everyday and I survived.
When shopping always negotiate the price. Vendors usually charge tourists more, so ask for a lower price, if the vendor refuses (they seldomly refuse) just walk away, usually they will call you back and accept your offer. If they don’t, worry not. Most vendors sell the same things so you’ll get it 5 steps away.
6. Use Grab taxi or ask the taxi driver to turn on the meter
Grab is an app like Uber so using it guarantees that you’ll get a fair price. If you happen to take a taxi, ask the driver to turn on the meter.
7. Use public transport
To further cut down on transport costs. Use public transport, get on a bus a train. Make sure you know the bus number and the name of your stop.
Use Google maps to show the ticket officer where you want to go. Here’s an example, when we went to the floating market from Khao San road.
Keep your GPS on so that you can track the journey and you know when you should get off the bus.
8. Skip Koh Phi Phi
I spent 3 nights in Phi Phi. And yes it’s beautiful but it’s very crowded, very small and prices are almost double those in Bangkok or Koh Samui. Even the 7 eleven is more expensive! Also there isn’t much to do on the island itself, you have to take tours which if you on a budget, you don’t want to do.
9. If you a drinker, buy buckets
Well I don’t drink but I noticed that buckets were fairly priced at 150 – 200 Baht. In Koh Phangan, Patong, Koh Samui and Koh Phi Phi, buy them away from the beach. In Patong beach, buckets were selling for 500 Baht and the same bucket sold for 150 Baht 50 m away from the beach. So buy away from the beach then go join the party at the beach.
10. Don’t buy useless souvenirs
Because things appear cheap, it’s easy to get carried away and buy lots of junk. So buy only the things you really want. If it amuses you or it makes you laugh, you dont have to buy it. Just take a picture and move right along. Also if you are a budget traveller, you might want to leave shopping for the last days so that you know how much you have left to spend.