I have been to Thailand a couple of times, but both trips were far before my days of travel blogging. In 2014 I spent 3 full weeks exploring Thailand and it is still one of my favorite travel experiences. At the time, I had never been to Southeast Asia, so everything about the trip was a brand new adventure– the language, culture, food, everything! Since this was 4 years ago, the specific hotels and restaurants I ate at are probably irrelevant now, but I still have some useful tips for you if you’re thinking about taking a trip to Thailand. Below are some FAQ’s I receive about traveling to Thailand.
Where do I fly into?
Your best bet is probably going to be Bangkok. Bangkok is the largest city in Thailand and was much cheaper to fly into than the smaller cities we wanted to go to. Once you’re in Bangkok, you can get cheaper flights to the other cities such as Phuket and Chiang Mai. I remember my roundtrip flight from NYC to Bangkok was $800. From there, we got flights to Phuket and Chiang Mai for under $100.
When should I visit?
November- April is the best time to visit Thailand if you’re wanting good weather (and who wouldn’t want good weather?) because you will avoid their monsoon season, which is July-October. However, if you want to take your chances in monsoon season, you will end up spending half as much as you would traveling during November-April. When I visiting Thailand, I went for 2 weeks in October and 1 week in November. November 1st is the first day of “high season” and hotels doubled or even tripled their prices. We were very lucky the last 2 weeks of October and only had a little bit of rain and we saved SO much money because the hotels were at their “low season” prices.
How much should I budget?
It really depends on the type of vacation you’re looking for, but Thailand is dirtttt cheap for Americans to travel around. The exchange rate is crazy, so the dollar goes a long way. The flight to Thailand is going to be your biggest expense and then once you’re there your golden. For example, we would stay in nice hotels equivalent to 4 star hotels for about $50 a night during low season. In high season they were about $100 a night, but again these were NICE hotels. My other friend was traveling for a month and she was on a $10 a night budget and had no problem finding decent accommodations for $10 a night. You can also eat and drink at local spots for about $3-5 a meal. Obviously, if you go to touristy areas and resorts, you’re going to be paying a lot more, but I think the best food is at the little local places and night markets. We ate lots of meals at the markets and bought food from street vendors. They have everything you can imagine at street vendors– Pad Thai, Spring rolls, sushi, fresh fruit, papaya salad, hot dogs, you name it.
What cities should I visit?
Bangkok– You definitely need to pay a visit to the capital if you’re going to Thailand, but to be honest, I wouldn’t spend too much time here. I like to fly in here from America and stay for 2-3 nights to get over my jet lag before moving on to other cities. I talk about some of my personal favorite things to do and see in Bangkok here!