Living on a Budget in Thailand

You’ll be making good money, and since food and housing are cheaper than in the United States and Canada, saving money shouldn’t be difficult.

As with most places in Asia, there are some common sense things you can do to make your dollar, or your baht, go further.

  • If you know that you are going to be staying at a guesthouse or hotel for more than a couple days, try to bargain a reduced daily rate, especially if it’s low tourism season.
  • Thai and Chinese restaurants and food are almost always cheaper than their Western counterparts. Eating at a market stand is often cheaper than trying to by the quick-fix semi-prepared food you may be used to cooking at home. When shopping at open markets, practice bargaining intelligently; the first price offered to you will almost inevitably be high, but haggling over a twenty-five cent price drop is going too far.
  • Get a bicycle and/or learn to use the bus system early to save money on taxis and other personalized travel.
  • If you are ever going to be leaving your credit cards somewhere for an extended period of time and are worried about them being used by shady hotel staff, you can call your credit card company ahead of time and ask that any large purchases be blocked.
Sign up for our newsletter!