RTW budget: What it costs to travel in Thailand


Curious about what it’s cost us to travel in Thailand? The south was fantastic, but a little pricey. Bangkok was much easier on the wallet. Check it out.


  • May 23 – $53.27
  • May 22 – $39.31
  • May 21  – $49.06 (a bit of guessing on this one)
  • May 20 – $60.91

Full travel day

  • May 19 – $32.22 (another guesstimate, to my best recall)

Koh Lanta

  • May 18 – $71.38
  • May 17 – $215.94 (booked both bus transport to Bangkok and one-day, four-island trip)
  • May 16 – $111.10 (including two-day tuktuk hire)
  • May 15 – $113.47 (including minivan and ferry from Krabi to Lanta)

Hat Yai

  • May 14 – $75.06 (including booking a minivan to Krabi for the following day)

what it costs to travel in thailand

In terms of accommodation, we’ve been staying in private double rooms in guesthouses/hostels. The most expensive: one night at the Nakara Longbeach in Koh Lanta – 1200 baht, or about $48. The least expensive: 350 baht, or about $14, in Hat Yai at the Ladda Guesthouse. For those on a budget, about $15 should be enough for your own room with attached bathroom.

We were spending $1-2 a day on water (1.5 litres can be bought for 13 baht, or as low as 5 baht at one shop in Lanta – the only cheap thing on that island) and up to another $4 on other drinks (T favours Big Gulps from 7/11).

Food could be done for under $5 per person a day if you were on a shoestring in Bangkok, what with 25 baht pad thai, 50 baht noodle/rice dishes, 10 baht spring rolls, 20 baht fruit/fruit shakes, etc. I’d probably double that for Lanta, where you’d be hard pressed to find dishes at the 50 or under price point, at least during this season.

Category-wise, food is shaping up to be our biggest expense. Miscellaneous includes items like toiletries, postcards, and shopping (a few pieces of clothing). Entertainment includes touristy things like our four-island tour, a few drinks in Bangkok, and a shisha (my first one).

Food 33%

Accommodation 25%

Transport 23%

Entertainment 15%

Miscellaneous 4%

However, I’ve left off a couple of expenses from Bangkok, which would otherwise totally skew it: T’s medical expenses, which amount to about $300, and the tattoo he got, which was $200.

If you travel slowly, a $50/day budget for two looks completely doable!

11 thoughts on “RTW budget: What it costs to travel in Thailand

  • Reply Carly May 29, 2013 at 08:26

    This is great. Thanks for posting! My next big trip may have to be to Thailand.

  • Reply Mike@WeOnlyDoThisOnce May 29, 2013 at 08:36

    Very impressive financials. And it seems like you’ve definitely made the most out of your trip! Can’t wait to see more photos.

  • Reply Charlie May 29, 2013 at 09:07

    Awesome, $50 a day is my predicted budget for our stint in Thailand on our trip. Glad my estimate isn’t way off! Thanks for sharing your spending figures. Super useful!

  • Reply Michelle May 29, 2013 at 09:38

    Wow good to know! I would love to travel there someday soon.

  • Reply Kelly May 29, 2013 at 14:50

    I was going to ask you this very question! I’m planning a trip to South East Asia, hopefully in October.That a $50 budget for two is manageable is a big relief for me because I was wondering if that was going to be enough for one! I’d be curious to hear how the rest of your budget goes. What kind of accommodations have you been staying in?

    • Reply eemusings May 30, 2013 at 00:28

      Budget private double rooms, basically – have added a little more info into the post, and I’m planning one on Asia accommodation!

  • Reply Meghan May 29, 2013 at 16:50

    Wow, maybe I can afford to travel there one day!

  • Reply Your Daily Finance May 31, 2013 at 00:42

    My wife has a co-worker from Thailand and we have been thinking of visiting there for awhile now. Thanks for the breakdown look really afford. I hear the food is really cheap as well.

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