Last updated on January 2nd, 2019 at 12:46 pm
Do you think it’s possible to travel Thailand in a low budget with ONLY $10/day ? Have you ever wondered why many people travel there? Let me tell you that I have done it with only this much money daily. And I will outline how exactly did I do that. Ready? Here our update of our last trip to Thailand, read here our Thailand travel guide!
Check out the level of ease in traveling Thailand below!
I traveled in Thailand for a month and I spent only $200. If you haven’t traveled like this before, you might get surprised how this is possible. Thailand is one of the cheapest countries to travel in South East Asia. Read on for actionable guides you can use to plan your own $200 trip to Thailand.
Thailand Travel Guide
Before the trip: What do you need to prepare?
First, make sure that you don’t have any visa concerns. If you are from the US or from Europe, don’t forget that you need to have a passport with at least 6 months before expiry. For Thailand, you are eligible for 30 days visit, visa free, if you come by plane. If you come overland, it will be 15 days. You can check here, if you need a Visa to visit Thailand as a tourist.
Flight out ticket
Sometimes flight companies ask for a flight out ticket to make sure you really have an itinerary and an exact plan upon visiting a country. Also, they need to lessen the chances that you will stay there longer than allowed. So, if you are traveling to Thailand (or any other country) with one way ticket, you have several options:
- You can buy a flight ticket and ask for a refund later from the flight company. Some allow you to cancel with a refund for until 48 hours. Make sure about the conditions. Some will not refund you for 100%.
- Check flight companies. Some of them will provide your booking details, and they won’t charge you until after 24 hours. So, just book the flight out, and later if you don’t pay, they will cancel anyway. But you will already have the chance to print out your booking and show to the flight company.
- There are websites which will book your flight ticket for 24-48 hours. They will charge you between 5-10 USD. You can print out the booking and show to the flight company. Check onwardflights and flyonward for this option.
- Check returnflights. You can print out your flight out ticket. For FREE.
- Your last option is to buy a cheap flight out ticket. You always have the option to use or not use it.
The official currency is Thailand Bath, 1 USD= 35 (THB), check here for more information.
Health and Safety
About vaccines, you don’t need anything to travel Thailand. They can recommend some of them about Hepatitis. Don’t forget to bring cream against mosquitoes.
About safety. Travel Thailand is safe, so that’s not a problem! Make sure you keep your belongings safe if you are traveling in crowded spaces.
There are three different seasons in Thailand. Between June and November is rainy season. Between November and February is the best season to visit Thailand, it’s not rainy, and it’s not too hot – so yes, fair weather I would say. Between March and May, the weather is very hot in Thailand. North Thailand is colder than the rest of the country. You will have to make sure you are bringing attire appropriate for cold weather .
Prepare your trip
Check your first destination in Thailand. Perhaps Bangkok, the capital, if you come by plane. Check maps, guides for prices, places to visit and what’s the situation regarding the weather. Your budget can start at $10/day. Feel free to upgrade for special instances. Especially if you go to the beaches. Travel in Thailand is one of the easiest and cheapest countries to travel in the world.
The most probable thing, is getting by airplane to Thailand. If you are traveling around South East Asia, there are cheap flight companies. If you aren’t carrying too much luggage, and just a backpack, you can check in as hand luggage and you will avoid paying extra for your luggage. Check the prices and the dates that you will travel and compare between flight companies. I usually use Skyscanner. For me, Skyscanner is the most efficient website to search for flights. Skyscanner gives me the best price, 90% times. Google Flights is also good way to check and compare which one is the best. Remember that you will get 30 days visa if you arrive by plane.
You can come to Thailand overland from different countries: Malaysia, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar. Remember if you come to Thailand overland, they will give you 15 days visa in the border.
If you want to travel Thailand in a low budget, your luggage should be light. Forget about suitcases! I’m usually traveling with an 8-kilo luggage. That’s including the tent and sleeping bag. Traveling Thailand cheap requires light luggage. I’m bringing 3 t-shirts, 3 pairs of underwear, a pair of pants, a pair of shorts, a cup and a jacket. This is the usual way I travel. Toiletries, I always bring my own stash. Bringing a flashlight is always useful if you plan to sleep outdoors, to help you pitch the tent at night. Soap, for washing clothes and keeping yourself clean. When you travel light, you need to wash your clothes everyday, if not, you can easily run out of clothes. If you need something else, you can buy in Thailand. Thailand has a lot of areas where you can buy really cheap clothes, for example.
Try to contact someone before going to Thailand. If you want to travel Thailand spending less than 10 USD, you need to get free accommodation. Yes – this is one of the easiest tricks in cutting so many expenses for your travel. Otherwise, hostels will charge you more than 5 USD for sleeping. Well, it actually depends on which part. Bangkok and South Thailand are more expensive. You will find accommodation starting at 5 USD. In North Thailand, you can find accommodation for less than 5 USD. There are websites where you can get free sleep during your trip. I can recommend you my favorite one, Couchsurfing. There is a big community of Couchsurfing in Thailand. If you want to know more about sleeping for free during your travels, check this link where I outlined 28 surefire ways you can sleep for free while traveling.
Transportation traveling Thailand in a low budget
Transportation will never be an issue when you travel Thailand. Prices are cheap like most of the countries from South East Asia. Travelling in Thailand by bus is also very cheap. If you buy a second class ticket, trains can be cheap, too. I recommend that you try hitchhiking in Thailand. And if you haven’t tried hitchhiking ever, Thailand is a good place for you to experience hitchhiking, so you can let go of all your inhibitions about it. Why? Because hitchhiking is super easy in Thailand. You will save in transportation and you will have a great experience. Roads are really good, too. It will surely make you feel confident about traveling this way. If you have never tried hitchhiking before, check out the step by step hitchhiking guide here.
During the trip
If you are getting to Thailand by plane, try to exchange little money in the airport. Exchange rates are usually lower than outside the airport. If you can, exchange money in banks or an official exchange office. You will get better rates. If you are bringing credit card, ATMs charge 150 Baths commission. It means almost 5 USD, every time that you try to withdraw money.
There are many options to travel Thailand. Thailand is easily one most popular countries for travelers in South East Asia.
If you like a real Thailand experience, I can recommend you to go to the North! You can enjoy jungle and culture in North Thailand. The North is different from the Center and South Thailand. About prices North is much cheaper than Center and South Thailand. The weather is colder and the atmosphere is more relaxed than on South and Center Thailand. Enjoy night markets on the North Thailand! If you are a person who loves quiet, nature, the jungle, and will have a problem adapting to the very hot weather in the country (if you travel during the hot months), North Thailand will be a great place for you.
You can enjoy Bangkok, the capital of Thailand. There are many plans to do. There are many activities during the day. It is the big city, so if this is your type of scene, or if you just want to get acquainted with the country (in case it’s your first time), the city is for you. You can also enjoy the nightlife. You can use this place as meeting point to met new travelers. There are many places to visit around Bangkok. You can visit Khao San Road, which is always full of people. It’s the backpacker area where you can find so many travelers, lots of places for accommodation and lots of options for food. A day trip to Kanchanaburi to see the beautiful River Kwai, if you want to know how to get Kanchanaburi, check here and World Travel Family will tell you all the details to get there from Bangkok.
It has stunning beaches! It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the crowds and the hassle. There are many plans to do. You can try snorkeling. You can try scuba diving. Prices are expensive on South Thailand. These days around the beaches. Your budget is gonna be higher than 10 USD. You will be enjoying the beaches during the day. At night, you will enjoy party like in Ko Phi Phi Island.
If you want to travel 10 USD per day in Thailand, you need to make sure to get a host. You can check Couchsurfing, Bewelcome, and Hospitality Club. You don’t want to use websites to sleep free? It’s not a problem! I told you, traveling Thailand is one of the easiest and cheapest countries. You can pitch the tent to sleep for free in Thailand. Look for a quiet place where you can pitch your tent. You can sleep in train and bus stations. You can sleep in the airport. Another trick to sleep for free traveling in Thailand, to ask in temples. There are temples which let you sleep for free in Thailand. Where can you find temples in Thailand? You are lucky. In Thailand, you can find temples everywhere. If you want to spend a few days in a temple and check how Buddhist people live. It’s possible! Talk to them, maybe you can teach English to the monks a few hours everyday. In exchange , they will teach you about religion and the way they live. While you are learning about them. They will provide you food and a place to sleep for free. Buddhist people love travelers! You can also ask hostels for work. You can work for a few hours helping them and they will provide you free food and accommodation. Also you will get a great experience. If you are in the middle of your hitchhiking day. You can ask locals to pitch the tent in their garden. Maybe, they will allow you to do that. Maybe, they will invite you inside home to sleep.
Hitchhiking in Thailand, it’s one of my favorite countries. I didn’t spend more than 10 minutes waiting for a ride. Waiting time for the ride was usually 5 minutes. Except North Thailand on the way to Laos. Where there was little traffic and it was hard to get a ride. Roads are good. So you can complete the day distance fast. Thailand people are very friendly. Sometimes people who are driving you will treat you for local food. You can follow a few tips and tricks to hitchhike in Thailand. If you wanna know more tips and tricks for hitchhiking, check here.
– If you want to leave Bangkok. You will have to get a bus or a train. . You can check Hitchwiki. They will tell you. The best way to leave Bangkok. It depends on where are you heading to.
– When you want to ask for a ride. Make sure you walk and reach a safe place. Where cars can stop easily. Thailand drivers are crazy. If they see you and you ask the for stop. They will stop even isn’t totally safe.
– As Thailand people are so friendly. I didn’t even make a hitchhiking sign to ask for a ride. I was carrying a map and pointing them my next destination. If you can’t get a lift. You can try to make a sign writing your destination.
– To ask for a ride. Try to move your arms up and down. Get your best smile. That’s it!
– As Thailand people can understand about hitchhiking. They will try to drive you to a bus or train station. You need to pay attention to the road. If they leave the road. Try to let them know that you are leaving the car. If not probably, you will end in the bus staion or train station. When it happens, you need to go back to the road. Try to ask for another ride.
– As a guy. For me it was safe travel Thailand hitchhiking. I met girls who hitchhiked in Thailand. They felt safe too.
– Just enjoy the experience when people are driving you. Talk to them and you will learn things from them. You will get many invitations to sleep in their place. Or just invitations to pray with them. Invitations to have lunch. Even you can’t communicate with the language. You can always use sign language.
– It’s good, if you can try to learn some basics of their language. Ask for help to a friend to write about your hitchhiking. If your friend write in a paper what are you doing. You can show to the drivers. They will understand what are you doing.
– Petrol stations are perfect for hitchhiking. You will find everything you need there. You can have shower. You can get food. You can look for a quiet place to pitch your tent. Sometimes, you will find wifi. Asking for a ride in petrol stations is really good. All the cars will stop and listen to you. When you explain to them where are you going. They will drive you.
If you want to get long distances hitchhiking. You can look for a truck. They usually go far. The problem with the trucks that they don’t usually go inside the city. You will have to get a bus to reach city center.
Why is Thailand my favorite country for hitchhiking?
You can ride many different vehicles. I’ve been riding tuk tuks, pick-up, cars, trucks, vans, motorbikes. Nobody asked me for money in those rides.
I got invitations from people to sleep at their home. A driver drove me until the border with Cambodia. It wasn’t his destination but he wanted to make sure that I can safely reach the border. He was driving an hour outside his route. Thailand people are amazing!
What’s betel nut?
The nut is raw, wrapped in a leaf. They mix with calcium hydroxide. They can include more spices as cardamon to get extra flavor. When you mix everything, you can eat. You need to chew. It tastes bitter. You will get your teeth red. The effect of betel is stimulant. That’s why usually drivers are eating. Truck drivers, taxi drivers, bus drivers are usually eating betel. Its not the only place where you can find betel. You can find betel in South East Asia, Myanmar, India and Nepal, Taiwan. If you go hitchhiking, someone is gonna offer to you. Truck drivers or just drivers who drive long. You will have the chance to try. If you check on internet about betel. You can see how bad is eating betel. Just try it to get a new experience.
I was hitchhiking near Ayutthaya. A guy bought me a bus ticket. He provided me food and he gave me money. I tried to avoid getting the money. But I finally had to accept. He insisted a lot. So, I was using that money for people who don’t have anything. There are some people who live outside in Thailand. They don’t have money for food. They have no place for sleep. Outside touristic places, I could find the best people in Thailand.
I was coming from Myanmar. First ride that I got in Thailand. They invited me for praying. After praying, we had dinner and beers. And finally, they invited me to sleep at their home.
Once you avoid to spend money in transportation and accommodation. You are ready to travel Thailand with less than 10 USD. You can spend some money in transportation inside the cities. Bus or a metro inside the city is cheap, less than 1 USD. If you want to avoid spending in transportation. You can walk around the city or small towns. You can get a bicycle to move around touristic places. It’s gonna be 1-2 USD. A bicycle is great choice to go around!
You can spend money visiting museums. There are interesting museums in the cities to visit and some of them you can get for free. There are temples to visit. Some of them for free. Some of them you will need to pay. If you wanna go for free in the temples, just go inside for the way out gate. And it’s usually nobody is watching you. I didn’t try it. But some people told me that it’s working.
Eating and Drinking
I would recommend you to spend money in food. Travel Thailand is great focusing in gastronomy. I got surprised how good is Thailand gastronomy. My favorite in the world.
You can visit street markets. My favorite one is Khao San Road night market! There are many fruits to try in Thailand. All of them are very tasty. All of them are affordable. There are smoothies and juices everywhere. Prices are 1-2 USD. As Thailand the weather is hot. Its refreshing! You can buy beer from 1-2 USD. It depends on the size.
Travel Thailand you can find 7-Eleven everywhere. You will find hamburgers, sandwiches, noodles, cookies. You can also get drinks. Prices are cheap.
When you travel Thailand, you can’t miss night markets. There is too much variety of food. Prices are affordable. You can get street food from 1 USD to 3 USD. I love Thailand food! If you travel Thailand coming from South East Asia, prices are expensive. If we compare to Vietnam, Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia. But still cheap. When you travel Thailand doing hitchhiking and avoiding to pay accommodation. Food is delicious in Thailand! If you visit night markets are very cheap. Especially in North Thailand. Just enjoy Thailand food!
Pad Thai is my favorite dish. You can find for 1 USD. Seafood is amazing! I love Tom Yum. A soup with prawns. Sometimes it’s very spicy. You can mix with rice. Mango with sticky rice. Noodle soups. Barbecue. Fried chicken with sticky rice. You can also try insects. They don’t look good. But when you try, it tastes good.
Travel Thailand in a low budget, how to get WIFI for free?
You can get wifi in restaurants, hostels, malls, petrol stations. You won’t have a problem to get wifi in Thailand. You need to buy a local SIM card and you will get free connection at many places. Also you can get wifi in bus and train station. If you need to pay for connection,no worries. It’s gonna be less than 1 USD.
Thailand people use motorbike a lot. Be careful! There are thousands of motorbikes in Thailand.
What´s bidet shower?
One thing that I love in Thailand: The sprinkler. Since I started traveling in Asia. I was wondering, why don’t we had a sprinkler in Western countries? It’s cleaner and you don’t need to waste toilet paper.
Thailand people go crazy with Muay Thai, a combat sport. They love playing takraw, a similar sport to volleyball. But they play with his feet.
There are some festivals for free. As Lanterns festival, Loi Krathong. They name in Thailand could be translated to float a basket. As water festival, Songkran festival. Water festival is celebrating in New Year. According to Buddhist lunar calendar.
Be very careful when renting a motorbike in Thailand beaches. They will take your passport. When you are returning the motorbike, they will ask your for money. They will tell you that you crashed the motorbike and that it needs some other small repairs. They will charge you a lot, more than what you would’ve paid if you had it fixed somewhere else . They know that you need your passport. And since most of the people pay, they keep doing this. So, be careful. Ask in advance for someone who has already rented a motorbike in that place. You can try checking with other backpackers if they had any problems with the company so you can avoid these kinds of problems.
I had a great experience in South Thailand. Doing Couchsurfing. I spent two weeks with a local family in the middle of nowhere. I could visit beaches which weren’t so busy. I prefer avoiding to visit touristic places. There are full of tourists and I prefer local experiences. They are worthy.
I started in Trang, South Thailand. I was coming overland from Malaysia. After Trang, South Thailand. I went to Bangkok. From Bangkok, I headed to the North. Ayutthaya, Lopburi, Sukothai, Tak and Mae Sot. From Mae Sot, I went to Chiang Mai. After Chiang Mai, I went to Chiang Rai and Chiang Kong. After these places, I went to Bangkok and I left to Cambodia. Last stop was in Aranyaprathet.
My route in Thailand. As I’ve been vising Thailand a few times. I ve been following different routes.
After travel Thailand for a month. I spent less than 200 USD in a month. I didn’t spend any cent for accommodation. I didn’t spend any cent for transportation. Landscapes and people were great. So, I can recommend to you 100 % travel Thailand in a low budget.
So how does a typical $10 day look like? Here’s an example from my experience:
Breakfast – $2-$3 – Milkshake + Fruits, You can easily find these in Street Markets
Lunch – $2-$3 – Pad Thai
Dinner – $5 in the nightmarket – This includes money to treat your host for a dinner
Want to spend more?
+$1-$2 – Buy a beer for yourself or share with your host
Water costs 1 Baht, which is like 35 1-Liter bottles for $1
If you want to read more about budgeting in Thailand, check out my friend´s post Tara about expenses in Thailand.
All these stories are from my real travel experience. If you are in Thailand to discover the life, integrate with the culture, meet new people and spend time with your host, then a $10 day doesn’t really sound bad. You can spend on essential things like food, and cut back to almost zero on transportation and accomodation (by hithchiking and couchsurfing).
I highly encourage a travel in Thailand, if you are in a very tight budget. Have you tried it already? Planning to just visit? Let me know if you have questions and I’ll go ahead and answer them in the comments.
Also, share this post to extend the love. You know we all have to tell everybody they can travel now, with a very low budget. So yes, NO EXCUSES.