Hello! I am new to this site and wondering if anyone can help me. I know there are loads of threads about budgets,etc, but I really need some advice....
Myself and 2 of my friends (all girls in our early 20's) are hoping to go to Thailand next year for approx 3 weeks from around mid-May to early June 2011. I have a few questions regarding our potential trip...
1. Will a total budget (excluding flights/insurance/vaccinations) of £900 for 3 weeks be OK? We intend to stay in hostels/eat cheaply but want to see the sights and enjoy a few drinks. We want to see Chiang Mai/Rai, Bangkok and some of the islands. But are open to suggestions.
2. Is it a good idea to travel in a group of 3? I heard that some hostels only have twin/double rooms?
3. Would we be able to see other countries e.g Cambodia,Laos and Singapore on our budget of £900? and if so, would you recommend that we book flights from London-BKK outbound and Singapore-London inbound? OR IS IT BETTER TO JUST ENJOY THAILAND FOR 3 WEEKS?? I'm just scared that I won't get the chance to see the other countries again.
4. What vaccinations are ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY?? I have heard lots of different opinions regarding this. Hep A and Typhoid seem to crop up often.
5. Could we backpack for less than £900? I.e. could we stay longer?
6. Any handy hints of what to pack/what size backpack to take? I was thinking of getting a 70 litre pack.
ANY advice anyone has would be much appreciated! Thanks a lot, :-)
Just enjoy Thailand for 3 weeks! There is so much to see there. I went for my 3rd time last year and spent 6 weeks just on one group of Islands.
Is the 900 total for the group of for each person? If it is each person, you will be fine as long as you don't go overboard shopping and/or drinking... If you've got the time you could probably plan on staying a little longer (and maybe hitting Laos or Cambodia), but it all depends of your style of travel. If you stay in budget guesthouses, eat street food (yummy) and do a few well chosen tours you can make money last a long time. Also keep in mind that northern Thailand will be a lot less expensive than southern Thailand.
I averaged about $35 US/day while there. I was traveling by myself, so didn't have anyone to split room costs with. Don't worry about traveling in a group of 3, sometimes you may have to split up into 2 rooms or pay a tiny bit more for a quad, but accommodation is so inexpensive in most of the country it really won't be a problem.
Pack as little as possible. and then brink and extra bottle of sunscreen or two - it will cost you more than a night in your fabulous beach bungalow! When you watch someone like me struggle with a monster bag on the bus or the train, you'll be glad. I got tired of hauling around my bag and left it with my guest house in Krabi and did 3 weeks of island hopping with just my 28L day bag.
Hello! Thanks so much for your reply!
Sorry I didn't realise until now that I had received a reply, as the email was sent to my junk inbox.
Yes we have a budget of £900 EACH so 300 quid each per week. I have done a lot of reading up on Thailand but it's always the issue of a realistic budget that the guidebooks skirt around.
I have another question... do you think I should book flights now or wait until last minute? Cheapest flights I can find now are £531.94 return with Emirates, from Birmingham to Bangkok (would rather fly from Birmingham as live near to it and National Express to London is about £45 return)
BUT STA Travel always seem to do deals, I remember this spring/summer that they had flights to Thailand for 389 on offer. SO...should I wait? As I'll be gutted if I book and then find a cheaper flight later on. Or is it best to just book now?
Assuming your polio series is complete, a current Tetanus booster, Hep A and Typhoid would probably be the top 3 desirable vaccinations.
Good meals can be found found 25THB, plus beverage. so, you can easily eat for under a pound per meal.
Pack light; you don't need a big bag acting as an anchor. I can't think of anything you'll need that can't be found locally.
Here's a good site for lightweight travel ideas: OneBag
£900 each is more thanenough per person especially if you are sharing rooms...a number of places do double or twins but you can also find a number of places that do a double and a single or alternatively you can find many places with 4-6 bed dorms that are dirt cheap and as there are a few of you, it will not be an issue staying like this.
With regard to flights its just my personal opinion but I would say stay away from STA travel. I did not use them (thank god) but have heard loads of horror stories.
with only 3 weeks I would certainly reccomend you only do thailand. there are so many places but you want to ty and limit yourselves as if you try and do too many you will be on the move constantly and not get to enjoy anywhere.
I personally did not enjoy bangkok very much but some people do so it depends what you want from your trip. I am currently in koh chang and have just travelled all of s.e asia spent about 7 weeks (over two visits) in thailand. If i were doing your trip i would do
1-2 nights in Bangkok
1-2 nights in Kanchanaburi (not very well know but great place on the river with lots of waterfalls, a amazing safari amongst others, only 2 hours from bangkok)
1 niht ayatthaya
night train to chang mai
2-3 nights in chang mai
night train back down south
2-3 Nights in phi phi
2-3 nights in railay
2-3 nights in koh lanta
If you have times it so a full moon then either before or ater above islands then:
3-4 nights in koh phangan
I cant stress enough though it really is personal choice everyone likes diff places for diff reasons. whatever you do you will have a great trip
Thanks so much for all your advice! :-)