Here’s how you can spend less than 20,000 pesos ($ 450) on a 3-day Thailand getaway budget trip.
- BOOK A PROMO FARE. This one’s pretty obvious. The discount from a year-round fare to a promo fare could be as high as 75% so this could save you a lot of money. I usually book Cebu Pacific because of the abundance of their promo fare offers. Like their page to get the latest updates on promo fares. They have promos almost every day and they change them every 3 days or so. Now, it’s just a matter of waiting for one for your target destination and target travel date.
- HAVE YOUR PESO EXCHANGED TO THAI BAHT AHEAD OF TIME. The airport has the worst money exchange rate so better buy your Baht pocket money at Czarina’s or Sanry’s at least a week before because it can be subject to reservation.
- BOOK A CHEAP HOSTEL. I have always used booking.com for accommodation before I discovered the wonders of AirBnB. If you’re more comfortable living in a hostel and not having to deal with hosts, booking.com is the best way to go. Most hotels offer free cancellation up to a certain period of time, normally up to a day before the scheduled stay and they offer discounts if you book ahead of time.
- KHAO SAN ROAD IS A PRETTY OKAY PLACE TO STAY IN. For example, Sawasdee Inn is not the best hostel there is, but it’s close to the restaurants, bars and street scene of Bangkok. Plus, it’s so cheap! Just 900 THB ($ 26.88/ ₱ 1221) per person for 2 nights.
- EAT STREET FOOD. This won’t just help you budget your pocket money, but you get to try the best local delicacies as well. Go to Khao San Road or Soi Rambuttri and have a taste of their grilled meat and veggie skewers, pad thai, sticky rice or coconut ice cream. If you’re not squeamish, why not try their edible insects and bugs.
- TRY THE LOCAL BARS AND RESTAURANTS IN KSR OR SOI RAMBUTTRI. They’re actually cheap. And you get free entertainment from acoustic singers. You can try the local beers as well: Singha and Chang.
- BOOK A PACKAGE TOUR. If you’re staying in Bangkok for 3 days, you wouldn’t want to commute to all the temples and attractions in your itinerary. Package tours like the one we booked included transportation already. We paid 2850 THB ($ 85/ ₱ 3780) for the following activities: Temple Tour (Wat Phra Kaew, Wat Pho and Wat Traimit (Golden Buddha), Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, 30-minute elephant ride @ Chang Puak Camp, some bonus tours (a gem factory and a woodcarving museum/store) and transportation (air-conditioned van).
- BE CAREFUL AT PATPONG. This is for those who wish to watch the pingpong shows. Travel agencies actually offer assistance with these kinds of tourist attractions as well. They just don’t offer them explicitly. In our case, they just let us know the rates and all when we asked it to them.
- SAY “PHAENG!” TO VENDORS. In other words, try to haggle. Most will try to rip you off if they know you’re a tourist so never take their first offer. When we were at the floating market, another tourist on our boat had to haggle for a 900 THB trousers. It actually took us some time before the vendor finally agreed on selling it for 300 THB.
- SOUVENIRS ARE CHEAP. There are lots of souvenirs you can buy: tank tops, trousers, bags, keychains and magnets that are actually of good taste and quality. You can get those really comfy loose harem pants for 140 THB or tank tops with Thai designs for 100 THB.
Here’s the breakdown of the expenses of our Bangkok weekend. For my pocket money, I spent almost 8500 THB ($ 254/ ₱ 11,532) but don’t forget about the exchange rate of your money exchanger. Plus, the return airfare of 6300 PHP ($ 141.88) from Cebu Pacific, 1620 PHP ($ 36.48) Travel tax and 550 PHP ($ 12.39) terminal fee. All in all, less than 20,000 PHP ($ 495.45).