16 ways to experience Thailand on a budget: get more bang for your baht


Travelers looking for adventures on a shoestring flock to Thailand.

With its heady blend of pocket-friendly travel experiences, cultural surprises, easy transport, spicy-not-pricey food, and one of the world’s friendliest backpacker scenes, Thailand could well be the perfect budget travel destination.

However, the cost of a trip can vary wildly depending on where you go and the levels of comfort you’re looking for when you get here. Spend too much time in Bangkok, rack up the scuba dives, take lots of tours and drink lots of bottled beer, and you’re looking at spending a whole lot more.

Here are our top tips for traveling further for less in Thailand.

Make the most out of every adventure with help from our weekly newsletter delivered to your inbox. A scuba diver is in silhouette as light floods into an underwater caveThe cost of activities like scuba diving all add up © kittisun kittayacharoenpong / Getty Images

1. Places to stay are cheaper in the low season

Prices for accommodations and transport shoot up from November to March, coinciding with the driest weather and travel-friendly temperatures. The July to September low season is the rainiest time of year; some ferry routes and island resorts close down completely, but accommodation prices drop significantly. Hotel rates also dip during the spring and fall shoulder seasons, which can be a rewarding time to visit without the winter crowds. 

2. Air travel into Thailand can be surprisingly low

Bangkok is one of Asia’s cheapest destinations to reach by air, particularly if you come with Qatar Airways, Etihad or another Gulf carrier, but prices creep upwards during the peak winter season. If flights to Bangkok are looking costly, investigate flights to Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and other Asian…

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