My friend and I decided to take a trip overseas to celebrate our looming old age (i.e. turning 30.) Being as we both wanted a bit of culture with a tinge of relaxation without breaking the bank, all while not going completely third world, we settled on the ever-so popular Thailand.
Other than the flights, the trip could have been extremely cheap, but we decided to splurge here and there. The good thing is that splurging in Thailand is still extremely affordable. For example, on a day to myself I spent $60 on a THREE HOUR massage. It’s possible to get massages for $5/hour in Thailand, but this was in a reputable establishment. So that gives you an idea of how affordable a vacation is there.
One of the reasons our trip cost more than the typical trip to Thailand was our limited time and desire to “see everything.” Thailand is a small country compared to America, but it’s still too big to see without spending a significant amount of time traveling via ground transportation or paying for flights. After losing the two days of travel time each way, my friend had only seven days to spend with me on the ground. I decided to stay a few extra days to get my flight’s $$$ worth. Even so, taking on the role as travel planner extraordinare, I wanted to put together an amazing trip for both of us while we both were temporarily expatting. We went all over the place. Chiang Mai, Bangkok, Phi Phi, Sukothai, Krabi, Chiang Rai… and we did see a lot. It cost us. But it was worth it.
I still haven’t finished adding up the total cost. For a two week trip, it really wasn’t that terribly expensive. We even got a three day, two night private tour including a tour guide and driver, for a portion of the trip. I’m going to try to tally up the total to see how much the whole shibang costed for my readers here…
Hotels (7 nights): (51 + 51 + 60 + 35 + 27 + 60 + 90)/2 = $187 (avg $27/night pp)
Tour: (2 nights x 3 days): $860 + $140 tip / 2 = $500
Domestic Flights: (160 + 263 + 100)/2 = $260
One Bus Ride: $20
One RT Ferry Ride: $30
International Flight: $1200
Without food and entertainment, the trip cost $2197
I spent quite a bit on eating when I didn’t have to, as street food was plentiful and super cheap. I’m trying to remember what I ate on each day. Towards the end of the trip, especially in the beach towns, we spent more on food because the touristy areas hiked up the prices. We took taxis to get places quickly or because we booked flights that got us in when public transit didn’t run. We even flew into one airport that told us there were no taxis and we had to take a $30 shuttle into town. So much for cheap transportation.
That said, our three day tour was definitely a huge cost of the trip, but it was worth it to cover so much ground in the short time that we had. I’m guessing overall I spent about $3000 on the trip, which was a 14 day excursion for me. It was definitely the biggest trip I’ve taken in my life, and is inspiring me to travel more (and more cheaply) in the future. It was great to have a travel partner as this helped cut costs tremendously.
I wish I kept better records of how much I actually spent!