Who says that traveling has to be expensive? This might be shocking to a lot, but I’ve managed to spend only $850 for a 25-day trip in Thailand which includes flight, accommodation, transport, food, attractions and miscellaneous spending! With careful planning and insider knowledge, it is entirely possible to embark on an unforgettable and wallet-friendly trip to Thailand and still have the opportunity to explore different cities within a single trip.

For my 3-weeks trip, I stayed in multiple cities like Bangkok, Ayutthaya, Lopburi and Khao Yai.

Here’s a basic guide to inspire you to plan your budget-friendly trip around Thailand.

Flights

Photo: AirAsia

I booked tickets through Trip.com and it was a breeze to search for flight dates and information with just a few clicks. The ticket price was also comparatively cheaper than other platforms that I have tried. the ticket price was only $190 per pax (round trip with no checked baggage), which is relatively affordable during a peak period in late December.

Accommodation

Thailand hotels are generally quite affordable to start with, and there were $20 per night hotels around Ayutthaya and Lopburi, with conditions that were extremely decent for the pricing. But if you are looking for accommodation that are even more value-for-money, you can look for lodging and negotiate for a better rate if you are staying for a long period. I managed to get a lodging for $14 per night in Khao Yai. It would have been slightly more expensive but we managed to get a discount as we were staying for two weeks. The room wasn’t in the best condition, but it was acceptable to my budget travel standards and there was even a small balcony patio outside the “cottage house”.

Transport

If you are planning to navigate between provinces, especially outskirt areas, private transport is the best way to go. Private car rental service is recommended if you are looking for a more luxurious and comforting travel experience. However, if you prefer to save cost and opt for a more “backpacking-vibe” experience, renting a motorbike will be more cost-effective.

You can rent a motorbike at DMK Motorbike in Bangkok. The price would vary slightly but we paid 3000 baht ($120) for about 22 days. That works out to be only $5 a day, and petrol cost was less than $60 for 2106 km. Parking is extremely convenient in Thailand; you can just leave your bike aside and no one would bother. That being said, I still recommend bringing a bike lock if possible.

This transport method minimises your travel expenses, and you can save a lot of time as you can easily avoid all the traffic jam especially within Bangkok. However, this is only feasible if you are bringing backpack instead of luggage.

Food

Do not underestimate the hidden gems of roadside eateries with 4-5 stars on Google ratings, as they often offer wallet-friendly prices and rival even the most highly-rated cafes and restaurants. You’ll be surprised at how authentic and delicious the food is!

Cafe-hopping is also very affordable in Thailand with speciality coffee ranging from 50 to 150 baht on average. In addition to great food, these cafes also offer a picturesque backdrop that is perfect for capturing Instagram-worthy moments.

Don’t forget to drop by the night markets around Bangkok. The abundance of delicious street food options at these vibrant markets comes with pocket-friendly prices too.

Attractions

From Bangkok, you can easily travel to Ayutthaya, Khao Yai, and Pattaya. In Ayutthaya, you can freely capture photos at numerous ruins without any cost, although a few popular destinations do require admission tickets, which are generally reasonably priced. Meanwhile, Khao Yai boasts animal farms and undisturbed nature. Most animal farms cost between 50 and 150 baht per person, allowing you to spend a delightful half-day feeding goats, sheep, and rabbits, while the popular tourist attraction, Khao Yai National Park, cost 200 baht per person. You can spend a few days in the park as they provide camping services, and grab the rare opportunity to catch a glimpse of impressive wild animals such as deers, elephants, gaurs and many others. Lastly, you can also head down to Pattaya to hit the beach, and for a bunch of interesting attractions, such as a sanctuary that is built completely with wood only, and a land of desserts!

Shopping

Thailand is renowned for its vibrant night markets, offering a unique shopping experience that can help you save money, especially when it comes to thrifting. One way to save money at night markets is by engaging in thrifting, which involves shopping for pre-loved items. Many night markets in Thailand have dedicated sections specifically catering to thrifty shoppers which often offer clothing, accessories, and other items at significantly lower prices compared to retail stores. By exploring these thrift sections, you can find unique and affordable treasures while staying within your budget.

So pack your bags, embrace the adventure, and embark on a budget-friendly trip of a lifetime!

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