5 Thailand Budget Travel Tips

Thailand is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world.  Here are some money saving tips to use the next time you go there:

1) Don’t drink at Western-style pubs

Drinking at the Irish pubs or Western-style restaurants will come with hefty tabs.  It’s tempting, but a good buzz is a good buzz.  Who needs air conditioning when you’re drinking cold beers anyhow?

2) Don’t miss out on deals that Thais get, such as coupons, movie deals etc.

There are coupons and deals in Thailand, but they’re written in Thai, so foreigners never take advantage of them.  Even in 7-11 there are sale items scattered around and it’s a total waste to most.  Don’t overlook the savings as they can be significant over time.  You can have your Thai friend or companion do some translating for you or you can check out the application for your cell phone called “Google Goggles”.  This lets you take a picture of anything and it will translate it into English for you.  In one restaurant I go to they have a section in English and a section in Thai; the prices are different for the same items!  I use Google Goggles and I order from the Thai part of their menu to get the same prices as the natives.   I also notice that many large stores, chains and even movie theatres are obviously reaching out to foreign customers with some of their advertisements, but their sales and discounts are only written in Thai.  Make sure you’re paying the Thai price for things and don’t overlook coupons and even “half of movie night”.

3) If there are vendors or peddlers only trying to sell to foreigners, skip it.

If you see someone selling only to foreigners, they are doing so because they know that Thai people won’t fall for the same tricks or inflated prices.  A perfect example is some of the vendors who sell boat tours to “the island”.  They never solicit Thai people but will harass almost any farang they see.  Most of the time they’re just charging you double or triple for the same ticket you can buy from  the main dock point.

4)  There’s almost always a better and cheaper place to stay.

Whether you live here or are staying for a short while, there is almost always a similar place to stay for a much cheaper rate.  Give yourself a few hours to walk around and take a look at places and prices, and if you have a Thai speaker with you this will help.  Rents and hotel rates in Thailand are amazingly cheap if you avoid the most tourist-friendly locations.  If you’re willing to walk an extra block or two to the beach or the main street, you may save a significant amount daily or monthly.  If you’re really on a budget you can get down to 300 baht per day for a half-way decent place, or 3,000 for a month.

5) Don’t waste your time in the unknown!

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