Travel Expenses in Thailand

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25 days in Thailand
$3,065.99 or €2,681.77

Per Person Per Day
$61.32 or €53.64

Per Person Per Day (without Diving)
$38.44 or €33.63

Our Average Exchange Rate
$1 = ฿34.55
€1 = ฿39.50

Traveling is a lot of fun but can be expensive as well. To find out exactly how much we spent during our round the world trip we painstakingly keep track of all of our travel expenses and analyse them for you. In this post: our travel expenses in Thailand.

In September 2015 we spent 25 days in Thailand, arriving in Bangkok and traveling south through Hua Hin to Koh Tao and Koh Phangan. In total we spent $3,065.99 (€2,681.77), which corresponds with $61.32 (€53.64) per person per day. This includes every expense while in the country: accommodation, food, activities, transportation, … but doesn’t include the flights to and from Thailand.

As backpackers mainly staying in hostels and guest houses this might seem a bit expensive, so let’s take a look at the breakdown in those different categories:

Average Spending Per Person Per Day

Activities was our main expense in Thailand at a whopping $27.13 per person per day and can almost entirely be ascribed to our stay on Koh Tao where we learned how to dive. Together we spent nearly $1,150 on diving courses and diving gear. If we had opted for relaxing on the beach instead our daily spending would have been considerably lower at $38.44 (€33.63). Not that we regret anything, diving is awesome!

Accommodation came in at an average of $9.55 per day which can probably be brought down even more if you’re staying in dorm rooms. We slept in private rooms for all of our nights and had a private bathroom as well in most of them. Do note that we spent 19 of our 25 nights in fan rooms, so if you need airconditioning you’ll have to increase your budget.

The second largest piece of our pie was Food & Drinks at an average of $16.51 per day, so let’s take a look at a breakdown of that one as well:

Average Spending PPPD for Food & Drinks

Drinks are separated into two categories, depending on wether or not it contained alcohol, and food is grouped by type and place. If we ate somewhere were we could sit down and order different things we grouped it under Restaurant. Food from street vendors can be found in the Food Stand category and Snacks are mostly chips, cookies and candy we bought in a store.

We tried a few street vendors during our stay in Thailand, but most of the time we choose for the comfort of a restaurant, so there’s probably some money to save there. Alcohol also takes up a large part of our daily spending even though we didn’t really drink that much. Beer, cocktails and (especially) wine are relatively expensive in Thailand and in some places you’re basically paying the entrance fee through your drinks, like at the Sky Bar in Bangkok and Queen’s Cabaret Show in Koh Tao.

One final chart to look at is the average spending by location:

Average Spending PPPD by Location

You’d expect Bangkok to be the most expensive and you would be right if it weren’t for our diving on Koh Tao. Hua Hin would have been less expensive if we didn’t visit the Vana Nava Water Park and Koh Phangan might have been the cheapest if we skipped the Full Moon Party.

All in all, visiting Thailand is quite cheap and it’s very possible to do it for less than $40 a day while enjoying the beaches, eating out every single day and visiting all the main attractions.

One final note: you need cash in Thailand, your Credit Card won’t get you very far. That means withdrawing money from ATMs (that luckily are quite widespread). All the ATMs we tried incurred a fixed ฿180 fee ($5.21) so it makes sense to withdraw as much as you feel comfortable with or even better: find a bank that refunds you those fees.


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