This post details the estimated cost of travel in Thailand. We have outlined two daily travel budgets – one for shoestring travellers and one for those on a slightly more comfortable backpacking budget with a fairly big difference between the two. Further down there are details on the local currency and sample prices for travellers in the so-called Land of Smiles.
What is the average cost to travel in Thailand?
Thailand Travel Costs on a Shoestring Budget
US$20-30/day (North-South) | 650-950 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 $20 per day in the North and $30 around Bangkok and in the South will require a little discipline given temptation is all around. However it should be enough to cover budget accommodation, eating out in local restaurants and enjoying Thai street food with a bit of partying and 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 much more expensive.
Compare prices Thailand with the Travel costs in all Southeast Asian countries.
More Comfortable Thailand Backpacking Budget
US$30-45/day (North-South) | 950-1450 Thai Baht
These days $40 per day or more is becoming the norm for a lot of backpackers, particularly in the South of Thailand, which has islands that are now more like Ibiza than the secret paradises they once were. With $45 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. $30 should be a very comfortable budget in quieter parts of the country or for anyone hanging around in or near Chiang Mai.
Volunteer & Work Placements in Thailand
One good way to save money if you are a shoestring traveller is to find a bit of work to support your travels. Signing up to join Worldpackers may be a smart idea before your trip. It will give you access to a host of possible work exchanges (currently 65 opportunities in Thailand).
These vary from teaching jobs to hostel work and community projects. You won’t get paid but you will generally be rewarded with free accommodation and food cutting your travel costs down drastically. Find out more about the benefits of travel using Worldpackers here.
Cost of Travel 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
Pad thai in street stall or cheap restaurant – 40-80 Baht
Dorm bed in Bangkok – from 150 Baht
1 hour massage (traditional thai or oil) – 300-400 Baht
Basic beach bungalow in Koh Phangan – from 200 Baht (only away from the main backpacker beach)
Note, these prices were last checked in 2016. Everything else on this page was updated in early 2019. Check our our Malaysia backpacking budget and the cost of travel in Myanmar for an idea of how this compares to neighbouring countries.
Currency – Thai Baht
£1 = 41 THB
€1 = 37 THB
US$1 = 32 THB
(All exchange rates are correct as of January 2019)
Everyday Bangkok Hostel for budget beds and a friendly vibe in the Thai capital.
This post was last updated in January 2019.