We’ll be going to Thailand for our honeymoon and we’ve started a Honeyfund for our travels!
On January 4th, 2020, we will have a Thai Ceremony, and we’d love for you to be there. More details to come, especially if you could not make it to the wedding in Milwaukee, WI!
Here’s a rough breakdown of costs associated with traveling to Thailand on a budget and staying for approximately 10 days:
|Round Trip Airfare from LAX/ORD
|Hotel/Hostel (8 nights)
Airfare can definitely vary! We’ve found tickets from as low as $600 leaving Los Angeles (LAX) to about $700 leaving Chicago (ORD).
What’s most important to remember is that the ticket prices are higher closer to the date of travel, so purchasing 3-6 months out isn’t uncommon if you want to save the most money.
I once purchased about 1 month out (in 2006) and paid about $2000! That was an expensive mistake to wait until the last minute, so if you want to join us, don’t wait. Plan on purchasing your tickets well before September, or early October at the very latest.
The flight itself is long, so be prepared to wait it out with movies, or lots of sleeping. Don’t forget, the time difference in Thailand is pretty stark, so if you’ve not traveled east like that, you’re in for some jet lag!
Hostel or Hotel
When I was younger, I was totally into hostels, and there are plenty budget hostels in Thailand. You get the feel for them by scoping out the people in the lobby. Usually there are tons of travelers using the Wifi or just gathering for a beer.
These days, I do prefer a bit more comfort, so I plan on renting apartments, using Airbnb, or staying at a decent hotel.
Hostels, however, are perfect for those on a budget. They can range anywhere from 300 baht to 1200 baht per night ($10-$40 USD) — more or less depending on the area obviously. At the lower end of the spectrum, you would share a bathroom with others, but most hostels I’ve stayed at have private baths, so for about $10/night you have a small room with a small bathroom, and that’s pretty rad when you don’t need a whole lot and you travel light.
It’s a good idea to keep your valuables on you at all times, and if there’s a safe, utilize it. Hotels and hostels will provide some service when it comes to safekeeping your stuff.
Taxis are also pretty inexpensive in Thailand! The most expensive is probably going to be to and from the airport. This can cost in excess of 500 baht ($16 USD). You’re also responsible for tolls, so be aware of that.
One thing to note is that there are many taxis that try to take advantage of foreigners. A ride that may typically cost about 60 baht may cost you 120 baht. The difference is between $2 and $4, which is minor when you compare it to US prices, but you can definitely be on the look out for that happening. The best way to avoid this is to CHECK FOR METERED TAXIS!
Tipping in Thailand is completely optional, but you’ll typically give your loose change, round up fares, or 20 baht. So if your taxi fare is 80 baht, leaving the driver with 100 baht for satisfactory service is not uncommon. However if the driver charges you 120 baht for similar service another driver would have charged you 60-80 baht and you see that he’s not using the meter, consider yourself had and instead of haggling, pay them and move on.
My favorite thing about Thailand is the street food! The shear number of vendors out at all hours of the day is astounding. You can walk to the corner of almost any busy street to find them, and they’re all usually pretty good!
BUYER BEWARE — obviously you want to check to make sure it’s not super sketchy and they are at least washing their hands. You’ll start to notice the places that have a clean reputation by the amount of products they carry and how many people line up for food.
Meals are super cheap. They can cost you anywhere from 15-45 baht more or less. That’s 50¢ to about $1.50! You’re not going to get super huge portions, but meals will definitely not be a problem.
The biggest problem I’ve found is that there are not too many street vendor options for vegetarians or vegans, though times are changing. I have definitely noticed more options in food courts or restaurants, which is a bonus for those with a stricter diet.
Food Courts are another awesome thing in Thailand. They’re located at malls and major gathering places, and you purchase coupons, then exchange those coupons for meals. At the end, turn in your unused coupons for cash back.
Food is super easy in Thailand!