There is an endless list of the reasons to travel to Thailand:
the food is incredible,
it’s great value for money.
It’s common knowledge that Thailand is an affordable destination, but what’s the specific breakdown? How much will you really need per day according to your budget? We’ve done the legwork for you so whether you’re on a shoestring, want a dose of luxury or somewhere in between, we’ve got two weeks in Thailand for every budget sorted.
Basic things to remember
High season is from December to March, when you can expect prices to be at their highest.
As with anywhere, there are regions that are more affordable than others. The north of Thailand – most notably Chiang Mai and Pai – is cheaper than the south, such as Bangkok and the Thai islands.
How to travel in Thailand with a shoestring/backpacker budget
How much you’ll need for two weeks in Thailand with a shoestring/backpacker budget: USD$500 or 17,000 Baht
Cost per day: USD$30-$40 (add more for pricier excursions)
In Chiang Mai and northern Thailand, accommodation is at its cheapest – you can find dorm rooms in hostels for $4 per night. As you move south, a bed for the night gets pricier. The most expensive on a budget can be $15-$20 per night in a hostel.
Food in Thailand is very cheap as well as delicious, so you have the best of both worlds! Street stall food is authentic, yummy and will keep costs down – dishes can be anything from $1 for a veggie pad thai to $3 for soup, rice and drink and $6 for fresh fish.
One beer will be about USD$3 or 100 Baht.
Tuk-tuk, local buses and overnight trains will be your go-to for transport. Buses can be anywhere from $3 to $9 for a journey, and for tuk-tuks, they will let you know how much your journey will be (like a cab, it depends on how far you’re going) but for tourists, they tend to start at USD$2-$3, or 100 Baht. Ferries between islands will cost around USD$11 (Krabi to Koh Phi Phi).
This won’t change much between different budgets, so if you’re on a shoestring, you’ll have to pick and choose what you simply can’t leave Thailand without doing. Visits to temples are not much money, but if you have an organised excursion or, for example, you’re diving in Koh Tao, this will be closer to $30-$50.
How to travel in Thailand with a mid-range budget
How much you’ll need for two weeks in Thailand with a mid-range budget: USD$700-$1,000 or 24,000-34,000 Baht
Cost per day: USD$50-80
For a guesthouse, boutique hostel or mid-range hotel, you’ll be looking between USD$30-$85 (1,000 to 3,000 Baht) per night for a cheap but comfortable (and private!) room.
On a mid-range budget, mainly stick to street stall food, mixed in with some nicer dinners eating seafood or at western restaurants. For this, budget around $5 for a street food meal and $10 for a sit-down dish at a restaurant.
Beers are inexpensive at around USD$3 or a couple of dollars more for imported beer or at a restaurant. Cocktails or a glass of wine will set you back around $10, or 350 Baht.
Welcome to the first class/VIP bus life. It’s not as glamorous as it might seem, but it gives you a lot more comfort. As an example, a trip from Bangkok to Chiang Mai would be roughly USD$20, or 700 Baht.
You’ll have the luxury to choose a few more organised trips or activities on a mid-range budget than on a shoestring. You can happily spend on a bunch of activities and a massage or two, depending on what your interests are. Put aside some extra money if you think you’ll indulge heavily in experiences (and why wouldn’t you want to, Thailand has a lot to offer!).
How to travel in Thailand with a luxury budget
How much you’ll need for two weeks in Thailand with a luxury budget: USD$1,300 or 45,000 Baht
Cost per day: USD$90
A high-end Airbnb or a swanky 4- or 5-star hotel or boutique can cost between USD$105-$300 per night.
If you’re going all out, you’ll be eating in fine dining restaurants, for example in your (or another) hotel or a highly-rated restaurant in the area. For this, you’ll be looking at around USD$15-$20 for a main course meal.
If drinking at your hotel, drinks will be a standard price you see in Western countries. Your budget gives you plenty of opportunities to indulge in a cocktail by the beach or swimming pool.
If travelling long distances in Thailand, domestic flights will be the quickest but most expensive way of getting around. Prices vary according to what time of year you’re going, but as a guide, a flight from Bangkok to Koh Samui is around USD$100.
Go diving every day! Get a PADI for under USD$300 or 10,000 Baht – Thailand is one of the cheapest places in the world to get certified. You can also get private island-hopping adventures for around USD$150 per person.