We stayed 20 days in Thailand our second time around, and this time we were with my parents! I knew we would be doing more activities than we normally do so we set a budget of $60 per day for two people, $15 higher than our original Thailand budget of $45. Our daily expenses ended up being $41 per day due to lower transportation expenditures, my parents enjoying the backpacker lifestyle and Caroline’s excellent negotiation skills. When you include all our activities the total per day came to $56. While we did save a lot on our extra activities due to our blog and shrewd negotiation skills, this budget is a little more realistic if you’re traveling to Thailand for the first time and want to make sure you hit all the major sights.
Exchange rate: 31.6 THB = $1 USD (June 2012)
Below, you can see a breakdown of our 20 days in Thailand by category:
|Visa (not needed)||$0.00|
|Total Daily Spending||$814.99|
(All numbers are only daily spending for two people, items like visas, fees, activities and food can be split in half to get a per person amount. The numbers don’t include airfare or other transportation to the country.)
- We stayed at a hostel and a guesthouse, and did receive some discounts on our lodging due to our blog.
- The food costs work out to about $6 per person per day! This is 3 meals plus snacks (mango sticky rice, thai coffee, etc.) all on the street or in food courts.
- Transportation includes round-trip train (2nd class sleeper) from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, a couple rides on the BTS Skytrain, river boats, and a few Songthaew and taxi rides.
- Activities includes entrance to temples, Thai massage and motorbike rental.
- Miscellaneous includes clothing, laundry, toiletries, and sunglasses.
|ADVENTURES & MISC||USD ($)|
|Elephant Nature Park||$158.23|
|Add Passport Pages||$82.00|
|Chiang Rai Temple Tour*||$0|
|Total Adventure & Misc Spending||$303.41|
While a dentist visit hardly counts as an adventure, it is an expense we incurred that we didn’t include in our daily spending. Also the passport pages isn’t a normal expenditure for Thailand, but I’ve included these as examples of the types of expenses you may not consider when budgeting for your trip.
|BUDGET SUMMARY||USD ($)|
|Adventure & Misc Spending||$307.95|
|Daily Average (All Included)||$56|
Even when you take the tourist route, Thailand is still a very inexpensive place to visit. We still miss so many things about Thailand, especially how far our dollar could take us. Can’t wait to return!
Thailand Budget Travel Tips
- Don’t listen to anything a Tuk-tuk driver tells you. Especially if you’re headed to a tourist attraction. You’ll hear that it’s closed, or it’s a holiday, all types of excuses for the driver to take you somewhere that will benefit him. Just keep walking by.
- Eat on the street, or in mall food courts (take my word for it, they’re way nicer than anything in the U.S.)
- Renting a motorbike for the day can sometimes be more cost-effective to get somewhere than round-trip taxi or tuk-tuk fare.
*We were sponsored by Silom Thai Cooking School ($30/person) and Blue Elephant Tours ($47/person) for these items.