When we returned to Thailand after spending a month in Laos, we no longer needed to be in austerity mode -whew! Our budget goal was now $100/day. Did we succeed?
Our budget for all of our Asian travels this year (southeast and south Asia) is $100/day. This needs to include everything. Food, lodging, activities, local transportation, even toiletries like conditioner (which my husband thinks the girls and I drink because we go through it so quickly).
The only things not included were flights and our visas. We have a separate budget for air travel. We flew from Chiang Mai to Bangkok and had a round trip flight from Bangkok and Krabi. The flights were both around $100 each for all 5 of us. We paid just over $100 each for 6 month multiple entry visas.
We also used Christmas money from our parents to pay for our elephant riding in Pai.
Guest rooms ranged from 800 – 1700 baht (20 -50 USD) per night, with non A/C rooms in northern Thailand being the cheapest and A/C rooms in downtown Bangkok being the most expensive.
We stayed at an Airbnb house in Chiang Mai for 2 weeks which only cost 650 baht (18 USD) per night
Food in Thailand is cheap. Especially if you eat mostly street food, which we did during our 6 weeks there in November and December. OK, there was a trip to McDonald’s. And one to Burger King. And Carl’s Jr. Thai food is great. You just need a break sometimes. We averaged about $30 a day total for the 5 of us.
After lodging and food, we usually had about $30 a day left for transportation, activities, and other necessities (you know, like conditioner). We saved up for high priced activities by taking rest days and staying at the Airbnb house. We managed to have enough in our budget to visit the Golden Triangle and go see the White Temple in Chiang Rai; go caving and kayaking in Sopong; go to Art in Paradise and the zoo in Chiang Mai; do the 4 island tour in Koh Lanta; take the 7 island tour, visit Railey Beach, and tour the mangrove forest on Koh Khlong from Krabi; go to the Jim Thompson House and see Star wars VII in Bangkok. Also, Rand went scuba diving from Koh Lanta.
Sometimes we chose not to do activities because of cost, like white water rafting in Chiang Mai. But $100/day was sufficient for a family of 5 to stay in budget lodging, eat delicious street food, and participate in fun activities in Thailand.