Daily Travel Costs in Thailand on a Shoestring Budget
US$25 | 900 Thai Baht
How much money you need to travel in Thailand depends on who you speak to and how you travel. The main problem here is that large numbers of ‘travellers’ in Thailand are in reality on little more than an extended holiday and most spend well in excess of $25 per day, a large percentage of which goes on partying. Sure the party culture is big in Thailand and it’s hard to avoid unless you really find yourself off the beaten track. Even though alcohol is cheap, if you’re going out partying late every single night then you can’t expect to get by on so little.
However that is not to say it is not possible. As you will see from our sample prices below, you can still find some incredibly cheap accommodation and food. Our suggested Thailand backpacking budget of $25 per day will require a little discipline given temptation is all around but it should be enough to cover budget accommodation, eating out in local restaurants, street stalls or places that are obviously geared to backpackers and a bit of partying with the odd extra daytime activity thrown in. If you’re really sensible or are a non-drinker then you can probably get by on even less.
It is also worth noting there is a great deal of regional variation in prices. If you spend more time in the North, you will find it as cheap as anywhere in Southeast Asia or the world for that matter. Bangkok and the touristy South is more expensive.
See where Thailand ranks on our World Budget Travel Table.
More Comfortable Thailand Backpacker Budget
US$40 | 1450 Thai Baht
These days $40 per day is becoming more the norm, particularly in the South of Thailand, which has islands that are now more like Ibiza than the secret paradise they once were. With US$40 per day, you can certainly afford to go out partying every night and will have a bit more for extra excursions and trips. It should be pointed out that if your intention is to do a diving course or something major of that ilk, you are still likely to need extra funds.
Sample Prices in Thailand
Flight from Krabi to Bangkok (1 hour 20 mins) – from $18 with Thai Lion Air including hold baggage
Train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai (about 12 hours) – $30 AC sleeper, $20 AC seat, $9 Non AC seat
Large Chang Beer in cheap restaurant/bar – 60-80 Baht (roughly $2)
Pad thai in street stall or cheap restaurant – 40-80 Baht ($1-2)
Dorm bed in Bangkok – from 150 Baht (roughly $4)
1 hour massage (traditional thai or oil) – 300-400 Baht ($8-11)
Basic beach bungalow in Koh Phangan – from 200 Baht (only away from the main backpacker beach)
Currency – Thai Baht
£1 = 52 THB
€1 = 40 THB
US$1 = 36 THB
(All exchange rates are correct as of June 2016)
The Aris Hostel, Bangkok, a stones throw from the Khao San Road, the world’s biggest backpacker hub.
Share your Travel Costs!
If you’ve been to Thailand recently, please let everyone know your typical daily costs by commenting below 😉
This article was published in June 2016
Get our Backpackers Guide to Southeast Asia 2017-2018 for an overview of budget travel in the region.