10 Tips to Save Money When Traveling in Thailand


So you’re heading off to Thailand and the budget is stretched quite thin.  Need some  ways to trim a few hundred dollars off the trip.  We have a few tips that might just help.

Thai Food Stall

Eating at food stalls can really save on the travel budget


1.   Don’t spend huge dollars on new guidebooks

Instead of buying all those brand new guidebooks keep on reading.  The internet is a great resource and you can print out specific pages as needed.  If you like the idea of carrying a guidebook, consider buying once you get to Thailand.  You will find those $30 guidebooks available for a fraction of the price.


2.  Don’t spend hundreds of dollars on malaria tablets

Unless you plan on spending considerable time deep in the jungles, chances are you won’t  need to take malaria tablets during your trip. Check the travel warnings for areas that you are visiting and consult a travel doctor if at all concerned.

In most cases simply using a  good tropical strength repellent, dressing sensibly and using a mosquito net at night if your room doesn’t have screens is sufficient.


3.   Don’t buy a sleeping bag

You won’t need it. If anything, get a couple of sarongs, but nearly all guesthouses will have sheets and treks will have bedding organised.


4.   Don’t travel first class

Thailand has a great rail network and second class rail is more than adequate at almost half the price of first class rail.  Traveling overnight in a sleeper train will also save you a nights accommodation.


5.   Do you really need those new expensive hiking boots?

Unless you plan on doing some serious trekking you just won’t need them. Hiking boots are hot, heavy, and can turn quite smelly in the tropics.  You also need to unlace them every time you enter a temple or guesthouse. Most get by with a good pair of sandals.


6.   Drink water not alcohol

In Thailand beer is often super cheap, especially if brought from the 7/11 or smaller bars but water is even cheaper.  A night out on the town now and then is fine, but if you make a regular habit of it the money will soon disappear.


7.   Do you really need aircon?

You’re in the tropics so you know it is going to be hot, but the evenings are often surprisingly cool. If you’re on the beach, look for rooms with good window space to let in that fine sea breeze. In cities you want a room on a higher floor and preferably with a window. Oddly, often rooms on the upper floors are cheaper.


8.  Use ATMs with caution

Check with your bank before leaving home to find out just what charges they apply on  overseas withdraws from ATMs and for cash advances etc. The hidden fees can be quite high.  Also be aware that each ATM withdrawal in Thailand will incur a 150 baht foreign card fee.

If you use a bank card and are charged a flat fee for withdrawing money, make fewer but larger withdrawals.


9.   Local food is delicious and cheap

Most guesthouses offer breakfast for what seems like a reasonable amount compared to back home.  By taking an early morning walk you will most likely find the locals sitting at a roadside stall having breakfast.  With a  40 baht local breakfast compared to US$5 in the guesthouse, the savings can certainly add up.


10.   Do your own laundry

A packet of laundry powder and a few minutes each day is all that you need. If you buy loose, light clothing in Thailand, it will dry in minutes in the hot sun.

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Updated: September 10, 2011 by admin

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