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5 Great Tips To Plan a Budget Vacation in Thailand

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5 Great Tips To Plan a Budget Vacation in Thailand

One of the most visited places in South East Asia, it is easy to see why millions of tourists flock to Thailand every year. It is culturally rich, has neon streets and skyscrapers, and pristine white-sand beaches with little fishing communities, all of which cater to different kinds of travellers from all over the globe.

Do you want a relaxing vacation by the beach? Or would you rather spend the vacation getting pampered by spas and massages? Or do you prefer street trotting and experiencing a new culture? Thailand has it all! But wouldn’t all that be expensive? Among the South East Asian countries, Thailand is undoubtedly one of the more expensive places to travel. This is because of the large influx of tourists it sees each year.

But I meant it when I said that Thailand caters to all kinds of travellers, including budget travellers. If you want an inexpensive Thailand trip plan, do extensive research and keep a track of how you spend your money, you can then certainly enjoy a vacation in Thailand on a shoestring budget. So here are some tricks and tips to travel to and within Thailand without spending too much.

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1. When should you travel?

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    Airport Express bus counter, Thailand by shankar s

    Start working on your Thailand travel planner early, and book your flight tickets several months in advance, when they are much cheaper. You should also avoid travelling on weekends and holidays (like Christmas) because prices surge during these times as well. Travel during peak tourist season (December to March) is not the best time to visit, either, due to the high prices and the crowds. Instead, travelling off-season can be cheaper as well as more peaceful.

    2. Accommodation

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    Picture3
      Backpacking Thailand by Keith Parker

      Finding a place to stay always takes a chunk of cash from your wallet when you’re travelling. You may be very easily tempted by swanky air-conditioned hotel rooms, but if you research a little more, you will see that there are many more affordable options. Try looking for backpackers’ hostels as they are always much cheaper than hotel rooms. If you’re travelling solo or with friends, this is a great option since you can meet a lot of other travellers as well. If you’re travelling with family, look for inexpensive guesthouses away from regular tourist areas.

      Tip: Double or triple sharing rooms in hostels (with friends) can sometimes be cheaper than a single bed in a communal dorm. Compare the prices before you choose.

      3. Food

      Picture4
        Thai food, Thailand by eak_kkk

        Anyone travelling to Thailand will want to experience the local cuisine. After all, it is food that is the real essence of a place! Where most people tend to go wrong is to have Thai food at international and fine-dining restaurants, and at places with are concentrated with tourists. Instead, a better option is to take to the streets. If you explore a little, you will find varied delicacies in the streets and night markets. Bangkok, especially, is famous for different localities that are bustling with street food vendors. You can also look out for cafeteria-style dining places, which are frequented by locals.

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        Tip: Try to look for food on side streets as opposed to main streets. Tourists and vendors frequent main streets where they often sell food for higher prices.

        4. Transportation

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            Transportation, Thailand by Sven Scheuermeier

          The two cheapest ways to travel within Thailand are local trains and buses. Trains can be used when you’re travelling a long distance, and buses for the shorter distances. One thing you should not do is to book tickets at a travel agency. They have an added commission to the price of the tickets. Instead, go directly to the transportation central office and buy your tickets there. Tuk-tuks and taxis are another option to travel within cities, but will be more expensive than buses, because they quote high prices for tourists. When taking taxis, try finding ones that run their meters; that way, you’ll be paying a fair price.

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          5. Explore Southern Thailand

          Thailand has a lot of scopes for things to do as a traveller. What you know as the main tourist attractions is only a fraction of the places to visit in Thailand. There are many beautiful undiscovered and untouched spots in Thailand where you can travel to without spending as much. One more thing to remember is that the North of Thailand is significantly cheaper than the Southern part. You can use an online itinerary planner to map out your travels to Thailand beforehand and enjoy the best vacation you can on a comfortable budget!

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          Last Updated on January 5, 2022

          33 Painless Ways to Save Money Now

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          33 Painless Ways to Save Money Now

          In a difficult economy, most of us are looking for ways to put more money in our pockets, but we don’t want to feel like misers. We don’t want to drastically alter our lifestyles either. We want it fast and we want it easy. Small savings can add up and big savings can feel like winning the lottery, just without all of the taxes.

          Some easy ways to save money:

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          1. Online rebate sites. Many online sites offer cash back rebates and online coupons as well. MrRebates and Ebates are two I like, but there are many others.
          2. Sign up for customer rewards. Many of your favorite stores offer customer rewards on products you already buy. Take advantage.
          3. Switch to compact fluorescent bulbs. The extra cost up front is worth the energy savings later on.
          4. Turn off power strips and electronic devices when not in use.
          5. Buy a programmable thermostat. Set it to lower the heat or raise the AC when you’re not home.
          6. Make coffee at home. Those lattes and caramel macchiatos add up to quite a bit of dough over the year.
          7. Switch banks. Shop around for better interest rates, lower fees and better customer perks. Don’t forget to look for free online banking and ease of depositing and withdrawing money.
          8. Clip coupons: Saving a couple dollars here and there can start to add up. As long as you’re going to buy the products anyway, why not save money?
          9. Pack your lunch. Bring your lunch to work with you a few days a week, rather than buy it.
          10. Eat at home. We’re busier than ever, but cooking meals at home is healthier and much cheaper than take-out or going out. Plus, with all of the freezer and pre-made options, it’s almost as fast as drive-thru.
          11. Have leftovers night. Save your leftovers from a few meals and have a “leftover dinner.” It’s a free meal!
          12. Buy store brands: Many generic or store brands are actually just as good as name brands and considerably cheaper.
          13. Ditch bottled water. Drink tap water if it’s good quality, buy a filter if it’s not. Get 
              a reusable water bottle and refill it.
            • Avoid vending machines: The items are usually over-priced.
            • Take in a matinee. Afternoon movie showings are cheaper than evening times.
            • Re-examine your cable bill. Cancel extra cable or satellite channels you don’t watch. Watch the “on demand” movie purchases too.
            • Use online bill pay. Most banks offer free online bill paying. Save on stamps and checks, and avoid late fees by automating bill payment.
            • Buy frequently used items in bulk. You get a lower per item price and eliminate extra trips to the store later on.
            • Fully utilize the library. Borrowing books is much cheaper than buying them, but in addition to books, most local libraries now lend movies and games.
            • Cancel magazine/newspaper subscriptions: Re-evaluate your subscriptions. Cancel those you don’t read and consider reading some of the other publications online.
            • Get rid of your land-line. Do you really need a land-line anymore if everyone in the family has a cell phone? Alternatively, look into using VOIP or getting a cheaper plan.
            • Better fuel efficiency. Check the air pressure in your tires, keep up with proper auto maintenance, and slow down. Driving even 5MPH slower will result in better fuel mileage.
            • Increase your deductibles. Increasing the insurance deductibles on your homeowners and auto insurance policies lowers premiums significantly. Just make sure you choose a deductible that you can afford should an emergency happen.
            • Choose lunch over dinner. If you do want to dine out occasionally, go at lunchtime rather than dinnertime. Lunch prices are usually cheaper.
            • Buy used:  Whether it’s something small like a vintage dress or a video game or something big like a car or furniture, consider buying it used. You can often get “nearly new” for a fraction of the cost.
            • Stick to the list. Make a list before you go shopping and don’t buy anything that’s not on the list unless it’s a once in a lifetime, killer deal.
            • Tame the impulse. Use a self-enforced waiting period whenever you’re tempted to make an unplanned purchase. Wait for a week and see if you still want the item.
            • Don’t be afraid to ask. Ask to have fees waived, ask for a discount, ask for a lower interest rate on your credit card.
            • Repair rather than replace. You can find directions on how to fix almost anything on the internet. Do your homework, and then bring out your inner handyman.
            • Trade with your neighbors. Borrow tools or equipment that you use infrequently and swap things like babysitting with your neighbors.
            • Swap online. Use sites like PaperBack Swap to trade books, music, and movies with others online. Also, look for local community sites like Freecycle where people give away items they no longer need.
            • Cut back on the meat. Try eating a one or two meatless meals every week or cut back on the meat portions. Meat is usually the most expensive part of the meal.
            • Comparison shop: Get in the habit of checking prices before you buy. See if you can get a better price at another store or look online.

            Remember that saving money is not about being cheap or stingy; it’s about putting money into your bank account rather than giving it to someone else. There are many ways to save money, some you’ve never thought of, and some that won’t appeal or apply to you. Just pick a few of the ideas that sound doable and watch the savings add up. Save big, save small, but save wherever you can.

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            Featured photo credit: Damir Spanic via unsplash.com

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