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How Much Money Should I Take On Holiday To Thailand?

How Much Money Should I Take On Holiday To Thailand?

Thailand is one of the best and cheapest holiday destinations in the world, attracting millions of visitors annually. If you have ever considered visiting the Asian country, then you must have at one point pondered over the question: how much money should I take on holiday to Thailand?

The truth is that there isn’t a definite answer to that question because your budget is dependent on these four factors:

  • Whether you prefer a backpacking trip or a luxurious vacation. Sleeping in cheap hotels, travelling by train, and eating cheap local food will save you a lot compared to eating western foods in upscale restaurants and making plane trips.
  • Time of the year: peak seasons in Thailand start on December 1st through March so you will need a bigger budget for that period. Besides that, you will pay more for hotel accommodations if you visit during and after a major Thai festival. If, on the other hand, you visit during low seasons, particularly from June through October, you will get a lot of discounts and cheap offers.
  • The regions where you plan to visit: life in north Thailand is cheaper relative to the south so if you want to visit the Thai islands or the Sukhumvit area in Bangkok, for example, you will need a higher budget than when visiting Chiang Mai.
  • Length of your stay: the longer you will stay, the more the accommodation discounts you will get.

Considering the four factors, you will need an estimated budget of between £150 and £400 per day. Let’s break down this figure further.

Holiday ClassEstimated Amount Needed Per Day (Per Person)
Budget£150 Per Day
Mid-range£250 Per Day
High-end£400 Per Day
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With £2 in an open-air restaurant in North Thailand, you will enjoy a cheap Thai meal served with either chicken or beef. However, the locals serve smaller meal portions than those you find back home so you might be forced to take four or more meals in a day.

Eating in upscale restaurants in north Thailand or in basic eateries in south Thailand will cost you between £5 and £6. That budget will allow you to enjoy western foods, sea foods, and quality traditional meals. A good meal in Silom or Sukhumvit areas of Bangkok will cost you about £8 so you will need not less than £24 if you are to eat thrice per day.

If you love pad Thai noodles or rice, you can get some for between £1 and £3 depending on the region and type of restaurant you will be in.


Thailand is hot so you will be drinking a lot of water per day and, unfortunately, tapped water is unsafe for human consumption. Your options are limited to buying a 5-liter water can that will last you three days for about £1, soda for about 80 cents/liter, or drinking coconut water for £1 per coconut.

Imported beer in an air-conditioned restaurant costs about £3 while a glass of wine/cocktail will cost you about £8. A bottle of local beers such as Thai Chang, Hong Thong, Sangsom, etc. costs between £1 and £4 in basic restaurants across Thailand.


A good low-cost guesthouse or hotel room goes for about £30 per night in north Thailand and about £50 in Silom and Sukhumvit areas. You can negotiate for up to £5 accommodation discounts during off-peak but be prepared to pay an extra £5 or less during major Thai holidays and peak seasons. This is because most hotel rooms and boutiques are filled to capacity during such periods.

With a shoestring budget, on the other hand, you can try out the many backpacker guesthouses that charge about £10 per night although they don’t guarantee you comfort or privacy. Or are you looking for luxurious accommodation in Thailand? The cheapest you can get is £90 per night.


Your trips will be as expensive as the means of transport you use. With only £2, you will get a whole-day ferry or train trip around Bangkok. Tuk-tuks and taxis charge almost the same as the train/ferry so save for added convenience, you won’t save much with them.

If you are travelling from the south to the north and vice versa, you can choose to use an overnight bus, a train, or a plane. Bus fare ranges between £15 and £20 depending on the time and season of travel. Trains will charge you more than buses but considering their convenience and luxury, it’s worth it.

Travelling by plane, particularly when you have a luggage, can be overly expensive (about £100 from Bangkok to Chiang Mai) so not unless you have to, you would rather settle for other options. On average, you will need at least £25 per day for your mid-range travelling needs.

Excursions and Other Adventures

Depending on the places that you will be visiting and the excursions that you will undertake, you will spend about £100 to £200 per day, per person. Thailand has many adventure locations to visit, particularly in the islands, so it’s better to prepare a higher budget for that.

Other Expenses

These are optional but important expenses such as £1 for restaurant tips, £1 for cigarettes, £10 for night parties, and £1 for laundry services. If you run out of cash-in-hand, you will be incurring a £2 expense for every ATM withdrawal you make.


Travelling to Thailand is as cheap or expensive as you want it to be. The secret is, therefore, to spend more on the things that interest you most and to find cheaper options for everything else. You will never lack options in Thailand.

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