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Fun on Koh Samet | © honey-bee/Flickr
Fun on Koh Samet | © honey-bee/Flickr

How Much Does it Cost to Go Backpacking in Thailand?

Picture of Iona Proebst
Updated: 9 January 2018

Asking how much money you need to backpack in Thailand is like asking how long a piece of string is. We’ve put together some simple tips to help you on your way.

The good news is that Thailand caters to both flash-packers and those travelling on a shoe-string budget. Thailand is one of the top backpacker locations in the world due to its friendly people, amazing food and also its affordability. Like any travel destination, doing preparation and research before you depart will likely save you a lot of time and money. Planning where and when you will travel in advance will also stop you from zigzagging across the country or finding yourself darting from the mountains of Chiang Mai to a Full Moon Party on Koh Phangan and back again.

Budgeting is key

Travelling with no money is not much fun. Nor is finding yourself begpacking on the streets of Bangkok to get a plane ticket home. Budgeting is key to avoid landing yourself in a less than desirable position. Before you leave, work out how much money you will need in relation to your length of stay. Ideally, you would arrive with at least a couple of thousand baht per day for accommodation, food, activities and any other costs that may arise.

If you are a solo female traveller or travelling alone, take advantage of the cheap guesthouse dorm rooms or find a fellow traveller to share a room with. Sharing accommodation costs will significantly keep your costs down, as will eating local street food and avoiding the temptation of creature comforts from back home.

Alcohol and cigarettes

Thailand has high import taxes on alcohol and cigarettes, so if you like the odd tipple and smoke a packet a day, this will eat a large portion of your daily budget. It also pays to bare in mind that Thailand has recently banned smoking on some of its beaches, in an attempt to clean up its conservation act. If you’ve kicked the habit and are feeling smug with your vape gear, Thailand has also recently announced that e-cigarettes are illegal and precautions are advised.

Although it may sound like Thailand no longer is the Land of Smiles, it most certainly is – we’re simply giving you a few heads up that you would rather not find out the hard way. You’re welcome!

Have a backup

You don’t want to find yourself in the middle of nowhere on your last hundred baht with a rumbling stomach calling mum and dad to help you out, right? Make sure to have a backup plan before you arrive in Thailand, whether it be additional savings or a means to make money while you’re on the road.