Our family managed on US$100/ day.
This included everything. Transportation. Lodging. Food. Activities.
When we first arrived in Laos, I didn’t think we would be able to stay in our predetermined budget of $100/day. Lodging was reasonable at 200,000 kip (about 25 USD) per night for a double and a triple. But food was a bit more than we were used to spending in Thailand. And transportation cost more than we expected.
We considered leaving Laos before our month long visa was up because we didn’t want to go over budget.
After the first week, we found that if we spent few days just eating and wandering around the area we were staying, we could save enough for transportation to our next destination and higher cost activities.
Since we are traveling long term, it wasn’t a problem to take a few rest days. If you are only in Laos for a short time, you may need a slightly larger budget
Here is a rough estimate of our costs in Laos
200,000 kip/night (about 25 USD)
We weren’t traveling in high season, so we found it best to just show up in the budget guesthouse area and find a place when we arrived. The one time we booked ahead we paid 280,000 kip/night. This included breakfast, but we moved after 3 nights to a place that cost 200,000 kip and still included breakfast.
200,000 – 300,000 kip /day (25 -35 USD)
Unlike in Thailand, the places we visited in Laos did not have much street food. We ended up eating in tourist restaurants where the prices are higher. We kept our food costs down by sharing baguette sandwiches for lunch, which only cost 10 – 15 thousand kip each and were usually quite large. We also ordered local foods at many restaurants, like noodles or fried rice instead of western food that cost more. Although we did order french fries often. And we splurged in Luang Prabang a few times at their fancy cafes. Of course, a fancy meal for 5 people there only cost around 30 USD.
Pakse to Don Khon – 65,000 kip (8 USD) per person by minibus and boat
Don Khone to Vang Vieng – 170,000 (20USD )per person by boat, minibus, and overnight bus)
Vang Vieng to Luang Prabang – 90,000 kip (11 USD) per person by minibus
Luang Prabang to Luang Namtha – 125,000 (15 USD) kip per person by minibus
Luang Namtha to Huay Xai – 80,000 kip (10 USD) per person by local bus
$0 – We laid in hammocks and took walks. We resisted the daily offers of boat rides and trips to a waterfall and saved enough in 5 days for transportation to Vang Vieng
Tubing in Water Cave and Kayaking – 120,000 kip (15 USD) per person
Ziplining and Blue Lagoon – 175,000 kip (22 USD) per person
Tuk tuk to waterfall – 30,000 kip (4 USD) per person
Sunset boat charter on the Mekong River – 100,000 kip (12 USD)
Tuk tuk to water fall – 30,000 kip (4 USD) per person
Fee to climb Phousi Hill – 20,000 (3 USD) per person
Boat to other side of Mekong – 5,000 kip (60 cents) per person
Kayaking – 110,000 kip (14 USD) per person