Fancy a trip to Thailand? The bustling markets, the tranquil temples, the mouth-watering street food – it’s all waiting for you. But before you hop on that plane, you’re probably thinking, “How much spending money will I need?” No worries, we’ve got your back with Thailand budget travel tips.
At Crown Currency Exchange, we’re here to make sure you get the most out of your bahts when you visit Thailand.
How Much Spending Money Do I Need for Thailand?
Knowing how much spending money to spend on your trip to Thailand can be tricky. With different preferences and budgets, it’s important to plan ahead and consider the costs involved.
To help you work out your budget, we’ve broken down the average Thailand travel budget into categories.
So, you’re a backpacker on a shoestring budget? No worries, Thailand’s got you covered. With ฿850 to ฿1,300 per day, you’ll be living the true backpacker life. Dorm rooms will be your home base, street food will be your gastronomic adventure, and free activities like temple visits or beach-hopping will fill your days with endless fun.
Maybe you’ve got a bit more to spend for some added comfort and experiences? Perfect! With a mid-range budget of ฿1,650 to ฿2,900 per day, you can upgrade your travel lifestyle. Swap the dorm for a cozy, air-conditioned room, sample meals at local restaurants, and get around with ease on rented scooters or trains. Your itinerary can also include paid adventures like diving in the Andaman Sea or trekking through lush rainforests.
Looking to splurge for a lavish holiday? Thailand is ready to spoil you! With a budget of ฿3,800 to ฿6,000 or more per day, you can enjoy the finer things in life. Luxury hotels, gourmet dining, and unlimited island hopping are all within reach. You can also pamper yourself with spa treatments, sip cocktails at trendy rooftop bars, and explore Thailand’s hidden gems through guided tours. When it comes to luxury, the only limit is your imagination!
These average Thailand trip cost estimates are only meant to be a guide, and the actual amount you’ll spend may vary depending on your travel style and where in Thailand you’re headed.
We recommend checking Numbeo for an up-to-date cost-of-living breakdown in the cities and towns you plan to visit. That way, you can do your own calculations and get a better idea of how much spending money is right for you.
What Goes into a Travel Budget?
When planning a trip, it’s crucial to know what makes up a travel budget so you can plan your finances accurately. Here’s the breakdown:
- Accommodation: Whether it’s a budget hostel, a mid-range guesthouse, or a luxury hotel, where you rest your head at night is a key part of your budget.
- Food and Drink: From street food stalls to high-end restaurants, the cost of eating and drinking varies greatly depending on your taste.
- Transportation: This includes flights, trains, buses, taxis, or rental cars. Consider how you’ll get around both in terms of long-distance travel and local transportation.
- Activities: Sightseeing tours, museum tickets, hiking trips, diving expeditions… The cost of activities can add up, so think about what you want to do.
What is the Cost of Accommodation in Thailand?
Let’s be real, finding a place to crash that fits your budget and comfort needs is essential.
- Budget Travellers: For budget travellers, dorm rooms are the way to go. Prices range from ฿200 to 400 per night. Alternatively, cheap guest houses and Airbnbs start at ฿500 per night.
- Mid-range Travellers: Mid-range travellers can expect to pay ฿800 to ฿1,200 for air-conditioned rooms with private bathrooms in guest houses or mid-range hotels. Airbnb options can also be a great option, with prices starting at ฿1,000 per night.
- Luxury Travellers: For those travelling in luxury, the sky’s the limit! Prices for beachfront apartments and 5-star resorts start at ฿3,500 per night and can go up to ฿20,000.
Different accommodation options:
- Hostels: These are popping up all over Thailand. For a 4-6 bed dorm, you’re looking at around ฿460 to ฿550 per night. If you don’t mind sharing with more people, larger dorm rooms with 10+ beds can come as cheap as ฿350 to ฿600.
- Guesthouses: In cities, a humble guesthouse will set you back about ฿450 per night, while in the countryside, you can find places as cheap as ฿350.
- Hotels: Fancy a bit more luxury? Hotels start from around ฿1,500 per night and increase depending on how posh you want to go.
- Resorts: If you’re heading for the islands and fancy a beachfront bungalow, prices start from around ฿2,300 per night.
- Airbnb: A growing option in Thailand, you can rent entire apartments from around ฿700 to ฿1,000 per night. Private rooms aren’t as common, but the quality of what you get for your money is generally high.
Our money-saving tips for accommodation costs:
- Book in advance: Especially during peak season, you’re more likely to score a lower rate if you book your accommodation early.
- Stay longer: Many accommodations offer discounts for extended stays. It never hurts to ask!
- Go local: Consider guesthouses or locally-owned hotels. They’re often cheaper and provide a more authentic experience.
What is the Cost of Food in Thailand?
Feeling peckish? Thailand’s flavourful cuisine won’t disappoint.
- Street food: Can we talk about how cheap and delicious it is? Expect to spend around ฿25 to ฿90 per meal for some seriously satisfying grub. If you stick with street food, you’re looking at a daily food budget of around ฿200 to ฿300. Just make sure you’re eating in clean, hygienic stalls.
- Thai restaurants: Fancy sitting down for a meal? A dish like pad thai or curry starts from around ฿70. In larger cities, mall food courts offer filling meals for ฿65 to ฿110.
- Western food: Craving something familiar? Western dishes like burgers, pizza, and pasta range from ฿180 to ฿360. Just remember – you didn’t come to Thailand to eat what you can get back home.
- Drinks: Thirsty? Beers in bars start from ฿65 to ฿90, a glass of wine will be around ฿130, and cocktails can set you back ฿310 to ฿420. To save money, grab beers from 7-Eleven for half the price.
Our money-saving tips for food costs:
- Embrace street food: Not only is it cheap, but it’s also a great way to experience local culture and flavours. As always, check first if the vendor observes proper food hygiene.
- Skip the Western food: It’s generally more expensive and often doesn’t compare to the original. Plus, you’re in Thailand! Enjoy the local cuisine.
- Buy drinks from convenience stores: Save on drinks by grabbing a beer from places like 7-Eleven rather than bars.
What is the Cost of Transport in Thailand?
Moving around in Thailand is like a choose-your-own-adventure. Here’s the scoop:
- Public transportation: Local buses start at ฿8, while the Metro and Skytrain in Bangkok range from ฿14 to ฿42 per trip. Songthaews, converted pick-up trucks that serve as local buses, are also common and typically cost ฿20 for short-distanced travel but shouldn’t exceed more than ฿100.
- Taxis: Metered taxis generally cost ฿50 to ฿110 for a ride, depending on how far your destination is. Remember, insist on using the meter or find another taxi.
- Tuk-tuks: These iconic three-wheelers are un-metered and usually more expensive, costing around ฿120 to ฿250 per ride. Always negotiate the price before hopping in.
- Motorbike taxis: Available all over the country, short trips can cost you between ฿40 to ฿90, but you’ll need to haggle.
- Ridesharing: Grab is Asia’s version of Uber and is often cheaper than regular taxis. Just keep in mind, drivers can be a bit hit-or-miss.
- Boats and ferries: Long-tail boats, on average, cost around ฿960 to ฿2,000 per person. City ferries, like those in Bangkok, cost ฿9 to ฿19 per ride, depending on the distance.
- Buses: Coach buses are a super affordable way to travel intercity. For example, a budget bus from Bangkok to Chiang Mai costs about ฿520 to ฿820.
- Trains: While slower than buses, trains offer a scenic and authentic Thai experience. Day trains cost as little as ฿17 to ฿62, while night trains start at ฿1,400 for first-class with air-conditioning.
- Flights: With the rise of low-cost airlines, domestic flights have become more affordable, ranging from ฿850 to ฿4,800.
Our money-saving tips for transportation costs:
- Travel by bus or train: They’re slower but considerably cheaper than flights, especially for long distances.
- Use public transport in cities: It’s cheap and can save you from traffic jams.
- Bargain hard: If you’re using tuk-tuks or motorbike taxis, don’t forget to negotiate the price before starting your ride.
What is the Cost of Activities in Thailand?
Alright, let’s talk about the fun part – activities! Here’s the lowdown on what you can do without breaking the bank:
- Temple Hopping: Thailand is studded with temples, and most charge a modest entry fee of around ฿50-100. The Grand Palace in Bangkok is pricier at ฿500, but hey, it’s grand for a reason!
- Thai Cooking Class: Whip up your own Tom Yum Goong for around ฿1,000. You’ll learn heaps and get to eat your creations too – win-win!
- Muay Thai Fight: Witness Thailand’s national sport in action for about ฿600 to ฿2,000, depending on the stadium and seating.
- National Parks: Entry fees vary, but think ฿200 to ฿400. Some parks like Khao Sok offer affordable guided tours.
- Scuba Diving: Get up close with Thailand’s underwater world. A discovery dive costs around ฿3,000, while certification courses start from ฿10,000.
- Elephant Nature Park: An ethical elephant experience will cost around ฿2,500. Remember, no riding – these gentle giants deserve respect.
- Full Moon Party: This legendary beach bash on Koh Phangan is free, but budget for drinks and your neon outfit!
- Floating Markets: Entry is usually free, but bring some cash for boat rides and shopping. Around ฿200 to ฿300 should cover it.
- Ayutthaya Historical Park: Explore this UNESCO site for ฿50 per temple or ฿220 for a day pass.
- Thai Massage: Relax and rejuvenate with a traditional Thai massage for ฿200 to ฿500. Just brace yourself – it’s more ‘energising’ than ‘relaxing’!
Other Expenses to Consider for the Trip
Now, let’s talk about those often-overlooked expenses that can sneak up on you:
- Travel Insurance: Don’t roll the dice with this one, friend. It’s a non-negotiable part of any travel budget.
- Visa Fees: Thailand offers visa-free travel for many nationalities, but if you’re not one of the lucky ones, you’ll need to factor in the cost of a visa.
- Mobile Data: Staying connected isn’t free. A local SIM card with 30GB data for a month will set you back around ฿130,000 to ฿140,000.
- Tips and Gratuities: While not as prevalent as in the West, tipping is becoming more common in Thailand, especially in tourist areas. Keep some spare change handy for restaurant staff, tour guides, and hotel staff.
- Souvenirs and Shopping: Thailand is a shopper’s paradise, with bustling markets and trendy boutiques. Whether it’s a pair of elephant pants or a handcrafted souvenir, make sure to allocate some cash for shopping.
Most Cost-Effective Way to Take Yen to Thailand
It’s always a good idea to have some cash on hand, especially for smaller establishments and rural areas. At Crown Currency Exchange, we offer competitive AUD to THB exchange rates. No hidden fees, no commission – just a great rate! Find your nearest Crown Currency location here.
Will I need cash for my visit to Thailand?
Yes, cash is king in Thailand. Many local vendors, taxi drivers and small businesses prefer cash.
Which currency is used in Thailand?
The official currency in Thailand is the Thai Baht.
Is Thailand considered an expensive destination?
Compared to Australia, Thailand is generally considered a very affordable destination. However, like any country, how much you spend really depends on your travel style and budget.