Exactly What It Cost For 5 Days in Thailand Islands
As I'm currently on a six-country trip, I've been getting DMs on Instagram from people asking how I can afford to travel to these places, and if my freelance income supports it (it does!)
A year ago I was dreaming of when I'd be able to work for myself online, stuck in an office with 10 days of vacation per year. I made do with the time I had, but I'm happy to be traveling more now :) In 2017 alone, I've traveled for over three weeks - and I'm only halfway done with my Asia/Pacific trip!
BUT! This post is to show you exactly what I spent over five days visiting islands in beautiful Thailand.
If you love beaches, bright blue water, warm weather, and great food, then the Thailand islands are definitely a good pick for travel.
Some people find it hard to believe how inexpensive traveling can actually be…and I don’t blame them!
I’ll always remember back when I was working in Italy, talking to a friend who said you could get hotels in Southeast Asia for about $25/night, delicious street food for $1-3, and fund your flights through credit card miles (aka “travel hacking”).
After I recovered from having my MIND BLOWN, I knew I had to get to Southeast Asia at some point.
I followed her advice, got into the art of travel hacking, and later on booked a trip to Southeast Asia. I thought, what the heck, I may as well add on New Zealand and Australia too since my flights cost so little from travel hacking (I leave next week for New Zealand).
SO with that said…I want to give you a glimpse of exactly what I bought and paid for during my five days (four nights) in Ao Nang, Thailand!
I recorded my flights, transportation, hostel, island tour, food, spa treatments, and even bottled water and snacks.
Can you guess what my average spending per day was?!
Scroll down to get a look at what traveling in Thailand can get you.
Airport shuttle to Ao Nang: 150 baht - $4.50
Four nights at The Moment Hostel, includes toast breakfast (I loved this place! Great social atmosphere, clean, good location, and awesome/helpful staff): $10/night = $40
First night meal - pad thai 50 baht, salad 100 baht, water 20 baht: 170 baht total = about $5
Longtail boat to Railay: 100 baht each way = 200 baht = $5.70
watermelon juice shake on Railay: 50 baht = $1.42
chicken and rice street food: 55 baht = $1.57
Water bottles (85 baht/5 big bottles) = $2.42
Koh Phi phi island tour: 840 baht + 300 baht fee, incl. lunch/fruit/water = $32.57
watermelon shake: 40 baht = $1.14
yellow noodle with soy sauce and chicken: 80 baht = $2.29
coconut ice cream: 70 baht = $2
pedicure: 200 baht = $5.70
grocery store snacks: 75 baht = $2.14
market shorts and tank top: 200 baht = $5.70
Thai oil massage: 200 baht = $5.70
yellow noodles (again!): 80 baht = $2.29
watermelon shake: 40 baht = $1.14
diet coke x 3 over the five days: 100 baht = $2.86
foot reflexology massage, 1 hour: 250 baht = $7.14
barbecue chicken with sticky rice: 50 baht = $1.42
airport shuttle to Krabi airport: 150 baht - $4.50
2 postcards at airport: 10 baht = $0.29
Total spent, without flights: $137.49 USD
Average spending per day without flights: $27.50/day
*I added these up without flights since that will vary from person to person depending on where you’re coming from. I found super cheap flights on AirAsia from Bali to Thailand (about $80-90 with a Singapore layover) and about $26 from Krabi to Bangkok!
What I paid for may seem minimal but I didn't restrict myself on food or tours or anything. I even surprised myself with how much little I spent!
Back home in the US I would’ve easily spent at least $10-30 per day on food alone, not including rent, gas for my car, etc.
I also rarely get massages at home, haha - they’re usually like $75+, and even Thai massages back home are typically $35-40+ per hour.
An hour-long massage in Thailand for only $6-8 is pretty awesome.
Bottom line: travel doesn't have to be crazy expensive! If you get creative with how you do it and where you go, you can live the lifestyle you've always dreamed.
Any questions? Email me, I want to help you get there. :)
A few things to consider:
- I only ate street food & grocery store snacks - the street food was SO good. One place I went was partially street food/partially a restaurant (entrees starting at 50 baht). Though I’m sure there are some good restaurants - they are probably to be a little more expensive.
- I was based in Ao Nang and did day trips. My stay was short so I didn’t want to go back and forth lugging my stuff on and off the islands for just a night each. If I had more time I would consider staying on Koh Phi Phi since being a “day tripper” to Koh Phi Phi was…too crowded for my taste. Know that it can be a little more expensive to stay on the islands. Also, check your booking website for details as some hotels turn off electricity for parts of the night (which means no AC or fans in hot and humid Thailand).
- You can stay closer to the Krabi airport if you stay in Krabi Town, though you will still need to take an airport shuttle or taxi to get there. See if your hotel or hostel can arrange it on your return; it is easy enough to walk down to Arrivals in the Krabi airport and get a 150 baht ticket at the shuttle counter. Know that the shuttle for Ao Nang stops in Krabi first so it takes longer to get there. On my return to the airport my hostel booked a mini van and we picked up some others staying in Ao Nang and then drove straight to the airport, only 40 minutes instead of 1.5 hours.
- Bargain! Food is usually going to be a set price, and long tail boat tickets typically are too. We tried but they didn’t budge. For massages you can definitely bargain a little, as well as some of the market-like shops. I saved 50-150 baht each time I bargained for massages and at a market stall.
Follow along on Instagram & IG Stories! I'm posting daily in real-time during this trip!
The trip started in Bali with a retreat and many brand collaborations for Instagram (with blog content coming soon)!
This included creating content (work) in exchange for photos and editorial content...
...like this floating breakfast in Ubud, Bali
I then made my way, solo, to Singapore and Thailand, found some new travel friends, and walked around these beautiful islands...
Next up is Hong Kong, then New Zealand and Australia!
I'll have to return to Thailand again to spend more time in this amazing country. There is so much more to see all over - and the islands on the eastern side of Thailand (you've probably heard of Koh Samui, Koh Tao...) are supposedly amazing as well.
Have you been to the islands in Thailand? What tips do you have - write them in the comments below!