After having a base for 1 year in Australia we planned to do a 6 month South East Asia trip with the first country being Thailand. We knew we had to create a personal 30 day Thailand travel budget so that we wouldn’t blow all our money in the first week in Bangkok. After being in Thailand for over a month now, I’ve decided to put this guide together to help fellow travel couples heading to Thailand.
Before we dive into a 30 day Thailand travel budget for couples guide lets just be clear and respect that every couple’s budgets are different. Theres no set budget you need to travel on. You can even find ways to travel for free if you really want. This post is designed as a guide to give you a rough idea for a Thailand travel budget whether you are a long term traveller or holiday maker.
Some couples like to travel flash packer style, other’s want to travel on the smallest budget to stay travelling in South East Asia for as long as possible. As of recently we fall somewhere in the middle. We’re approaching our fourth year of traveling together and we’ve learned what we like and don’t like (which is quite important to get clear on before traveling as a couple) and have both worked hard in the last 12 months to enjoy some level of comfort in South East Asia. We used to travel in the cheapest way possible but now for example we prefer to have a private room, A/C is important in hot places, a private bathroom, and we tend to avoid party hostels, while still using our budget-savvy skills to get the best deals.
Note: We’re currently travelling with Australian dollars so in this Thailand travel budget post we’ll use Thai Baht and Australian dollars (AUD). At the time of writing, the current exchange rate for 100 Thai Baht is equivalent to roughly: AUD$4 GBP£2.20 US$3.20.
As budget travellers ourselves, we agreed that our joint 30 day Thailand Travel Budget would be maximum 1800Baht ($80AUD) total per day for everything – accomodation, transport, activities, food and drink. This equates to $40 per day per person which is a pretty comfortable budget, though you could easily travel in Thailand on half of that if you’re willing to compromise on your level of comfort. Most days we’d spend no where near this amount and would carry the left over budget over to the next day, and the next, to eventually pay for something more expensive such as a flight or certain activity.
As with most trips, the majority of your Thailand travel budget is going to be used on accomodation, food, transport and activities. I’m going to cover the average cost of these in Thailand and our personal budget-savvy tips which will help to extend your Thailand travel budget.
Average cost for private room budget (Fan only) – 200-300baht ($8-$12AUD)
Average cost for private room mid-range (With A/C) – 300-600baht ($12-$24AUD)
Average cost for private room ‘luxury’ (With A/C) – 600baht+ ($24AUD+)
Accomodation Budget-Savvy Tips
You can choose to stay in dorm rooms but you’ll find that as a couple this may affect your travelling experience, and a lot of the time you’ll find that two beds in a dormitory can cost around the same as booking a budget private room with a fan and shared bathroom. Prices of accomodation can vary depending on your location in Thailand…for example the cost of staying on Khao San Road in Bangkok is more expensive than in the Northern parts of Thailand such as Chiang Mai or Pai. You have options to book your accomodation at guesthouses, hostels and hotels.
So we recommend to do your research and compare accomodation deals. The sites we recommend to book your accomodation in Thailand are Booking.com, AirBnB (get $70 credit through this link), & Hosel World. Discuss with your partner a maximum budget and stick to it to really master your Thailand travel budget and be able to travel for longer.
A comfortable Thailand travel budget for accommodation for 30 days as a couple is around – 9,600-14,500baht ($400-600AUD).
Flight – Phuket <-> Bangkok – 1100-1500baht ($45-$60AUD)
Bus – Phuket <-> Bangkok – 550-900baht ($20-$40AUD)
Flight – Bangkok <-> Chiang Mai – 1200-1600baht ($50-$65AUD)
Train – Bangkok <-> Chiang Mai – 900-1100baht ($40-$45AUD)
Bus – Bangkok <-> Chiang Mai – 500-700baht ($20-$30AUD)
The cost of getting between the South and North of Thailand depends on what level of comfort you prefer and if there’s places you want to see in between. Personally, we chose not to fly as we wanted to make some stops on the way from Bangkok to Chiang Mai such as The Stunning Erawan Waterfalls, so we chose to catch trains + buses and stay overnight at places on the way to break up the trip. After a few journeys we realised it’s much cheaper to book trains and buses at the stations instead of though local travel agents as they usually charge a lot more (or even double).
Scooter/Motorbike – Average cost per 24 hours – 150baht ($6AUD)
Tuk Tuk – Average cost per ride – 150baht+ ($6AUD)
Metered Taxis – Considereably cheaper than Tuk Tuks
It’s important to be savvy when it comes to local transport to stick within your Thailand travel budget. Most days you’re probably going to use transport, and if you’re overpaying every time then it will add up and put a serious dent into your Thailand travel budget.
Whenever we’re in a place for a few days we usually rent a scooter and pay no more than 200baht per 24 hours (depending on your location). Don’t just settle for the first scooter rental place you find on the Main Street…have a look around and search for the best deal. Some places will reduce the daily cost on rental the longer you rent it for. Also, make sure to take detailed pictures of any damage on the scooter you choose prior to riding it.
Though of course if you have a bigger budget and don’t want to ride a scooter, you could go all out and hire a private driver/guide.
When it comes to Tuk Tuks, yeah they’re a novelty and fun on your first time in Thailand, but these shouldn’t be your main mode of transport if you’re trying to make your Thailand travel budget last. They’re overpriced even if you barter them down. Of course, 300baht (AUD $12) to get from the airport/station to your accommodation sounds super cheap, but why not wave down an air-conditioned metered taxi which will charge you 60baht ($2AUD) to go to the same place? You shouldn’t have to barter with taxi drivers, if they start to barter then choose another one. Officially, this is what your metered taxi should cost…
A comfortable Thailand travel budget estimate for transport for 30 days as a couple is around 5,000-10,000baht ($200-$400AUD), which would differ depending on your modes of transport, your routes and the deals you find.
Food & Drink
Average cost of Thai meal (street food/restaurant) – 25-75baht ($1-$3AUD)
Average cost of Western meal (restaurant) – 75-200 (AUD$3-$8AUD)
One of the best parts about Thailand is the food culture. You’re no doubt going to consume a lot of Pad Thai and Fried Rice. So setting aside a decent amount of money for food on your Thailand travel budget is necessary. You’re never going to be too far away from street food, which is simply the best way to keep costs low whilst travelling in Thailand. If you’re wanting Western food everyday then you’ll need to extend your budget for this as you’ll be spending a considerable amount more than street food. Personally we enjoy a good Western breakfast to start our day, which usually consists of eggs on toast with a coffee, or sometimes even a full English breakfast, but then we try to save money by eating Thai food for lunch and dinner on most days.
Average cost of water/soft drinks/coconuts/coffee (7eleven/restaurants) – 10-50baht (AUD$0.40-$2AUD)
Average cost of local Chiang beer – (7eleven/bars) – 40-100baht (AUD$2-$4AUD)
We’re not big alcohol drinkers, but enjoy a session every once in a while, and the alcohol is cheap here compared to Western countries. But if you’re both partying 1-3 times per week then you’ll find that at the end of your trip you’ll probably have spent twice as much on alcohol than your overall accomodation costs.
Food & Drink Budget-Savvy Tips
We often share things as a couple, including drinks. For example we might share a coconut if we’re not too thirsty, and then share a fruit smoothie later in the day as well. We’re also trying to cut down on coffee (which isn’t really working) so when we’re not craving it as much then we’ll try to share a large iced coffee instead of getting one each and still get our coffee fix. Sharing allows you to both to have the experience without spending double for everything. Also, buying drinks from 7 Eleven stores (which are literally everywhere) is a lot cheaper than in cafes and restaurants so we’ll often not order a drink with our meals. We try to stick within our daily budget for everything, and if we have cheap days then we’ll most likely treat ourselves to some nice restaurants the following day.
A comfortable Thailand travel budget estimate for food & drink for 30 days as a couple is 21,500-29,000Baht ($900-$1200AUD), which covers a mix of Western and Thai meals, snacks, coffees, water, coconuts/soft drinks and occasional alcoholic beverages, based on $15-$20AUD each per day for 30 days (you can both easily keep this lower if you wanted to).
Whatever you like to do for fun, you’ll be sure to find it somewhere in Thailand and you’ll want to set aside some coin in your Thailand travel budget. Whether its sightseeing, chasing waterfalls, temples, places of interest, seeing elephants (ethically) or doing adventure tourist activities like zip lining, paragliding, scuba diving, rafting, jungle trekking, the list goes on…
Activities Budget-Savvy Tips
We tend not to do activities that we can do at home, and this extends our budget to use on unique experiences. Besides adventure activities that you can’t do on your own, most sight seeing experiences are free or really cheap if you make your own way there, as opposed to an organised tour. 500Baht ($20AUD) for a tour that takes you to see waterfalls and temples vs. driving yourself, having more freedom and experiencing the same places for about 50baht ($2AUD) in fuel. We know what we’d prefer. For holiday makers who appreciate convenience I can understand, but for the long term budget-savvy travellers…guided tours will unnecessarily impact your Thailand travel budget.
I’m not going to include an activities budget estimate as it is too complex and really depends on what activities you want to do in Thailand. You may want to do all the free things in Thailand or do every paid activity there is. I would recommend doing further research online for things to do in Thailand and totalling up roughly how much each one will cost and then including this into your Thailand travel budget (bearing in mind that you will likely be able to book things for cheaper when you get here). I would say that on average, most activities (apart from adventure sports) and places of interest have an entrance fee of anywhere between 0-250baht ($0-$10AUD).
Summary of Our Budget-Savvy Tips
- Do your research and compare accomodation deals on Booking.com, AirBnB & Hosel World
- Take public transport such as trains and buses between destinations
- Rent a scooter for transport or choose metered taxis over Tuk Tuks if available
- Eat street food as much as possible and buy drinks at 7 Eleven
- Don’t waste all your cash on partying (unless of course that’s why you’re travelling)
- Do your research on things to do in places (and how much they should cost) prior to booking guided tours at local travel agencies
- Share things as a couple, from riding on the same scooter to sharing drinks. Sharing allows you to both have the experience without paying twice.
- Get yourselves good travel insurance before heading to Thailand so that it doesn’t cost you your entire Thailand travel budget if something happens. We use and recommend World Nomads because they are the most trusted worldwide and are affordable.
As stated at the beginning of this guide – everyone likes to travel differently and has different priorities when travelling. In conclusion though, a comfortable 30 day Thailand travel budget as a couple would be between AUD$2000-$2500 or $70-$80 per day, based on accomodation, transport, activities, food and drink.
This is merely to be used as a guide though for your Thailand travel budget as it is based on our personal experience. A lot of people could spend more than this or even much less. It’s always best to over compensate when travelling Thailand or anywhere in South East Asia as everything seems so cheap and you can easily spend your month’s budget in 10 days.
To keep track of your Thailand travel budget, I would suggest to create a note on your smartphone and write down everything you spend on a day to day basis. If you do this you will spend more consciously and will be thankful that you did at the end of your trip.
Good luck with your personal Thailand travel budget and let me know if you’ve found this useful…
Did you have any budget savvy suggestions? Leave us a comment below…
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