This is our ultimate list on how we travelled Bangkok on a budget and how you can make your money stretch further!
Decide on your budget
The easiest way to save money is by setting a budget and keeping track of your spending every day. (We use an app called Expense manager- Spending tracker). Try not to worry if you go over one day just keep the next day a bit cheaper. As a couple we try to keep our budget at £20 a day but often go over. The luxury we have is time so if there is an activity we really want to take part in but its £50 that’s fine as long as we spend the next two days eating cheap and finding something free or very cheap to do! This is the best way to learn where your’re wasting money, therefore this makes it our most important tip for travelling Bangkok on a budget!
Avoid the parked up taxi’s
We know it can be temping when you’re hot and sweaty to just jump into the first taxi you see to take you to your destination. However using the Grab app is not only cheaper, but it feels safer and you can earn points! These points can earn you free food, discounts at shops, money off hotels, cinema tickets and money off future grab rides. The only disadvantage to taking a car is the fact you can get caught up in the traffic. If you’re feeling brave you can avoid it by hopping on the back of a Grab bike!
As Bangkok is a city you also have the luxury of making the most out of their public transport. The Skytrain and Undergroud connect to all the main shopping, entertainment and business areas of the city.
Eat where the locals eat
If you really want to travel Bangkok on a budget this is where big savings can be made. Our first stop in Asia was Bangkok and initially the idea of street food was a little daunting. So we opted for the next best thing… The food courts. This is often where the locals stop off to have their lunch break. We managed to get two meals and two drinks for under £5. We did eventually venture out more and started eating some street food Matt even ended up trying Crickets and Grasshoppers!
Visit during low season
As with anywhere if you plan to head to Bangkok during their busiest period (November-March) the accommodation will reflect that. During our stay in Bangkok we stayed at a couple of different places. If you’re looking for budget friendly places to stay we’ve linked them here an here. We visited during the month of Songkran in April and found these very affordable!
Don’t stay on Koh San Road
This carries on from above, we stayed in Bangkok for Songkran. The most popular place to stay is obviously Koh San Road meaning the prices for rooms shot up! We stayed in a hotel just a 10 minute walk from Koh San and it was the best decision we made. Not only was the room way cheaper but the road was also much quieter and we really got to enjoy Songkran with the locals. If you’re not visiting during Songkran don’t worry we would still recommend it as the street and surrounding area is still full of life but cheaper. Plus there is nothing stopping you taking the short walk down to Koh San Road.
Learn how to barter
At some point during your trip you’ll find yourself ‘needing’ to buy something from one of the local markets. Be sure not to settle on their first offer (unless the shop states no bartering). Just a couple of weeks into our trip my sunglasses broke so we went to a night market to find some more. We paid £4 but his starting price was £12! After 3 months of travelling we’ve gotten even better than that and actually managed to get a bag from £40 down to £7! We tend to start off at about a quarter of their starting price. If you’ve gone too low you will know when they refuse, walk away, if they want to barter they’ll call you back.
Get a Revolut card
We’ve actually had a Revolut card for a couple of years now. We use it everywhere we go but we found it particularly useful in Bangkok as the ATM’s charge a withdrawal fee. The cheapest fee we came across was £3.84 but often it was double that. Revolut give you up to £200 worth of withdrawals for free every month which means you can at least skip the fee your bank adds on. Revolut can be used just like a normal debit card but adds no extra fees on for card transactions. They also have an app so you can keep track, if you need to even set a spend limit on your card.
Those are our top tips for travelling Bangkok on a budget. If you’ve been to Bangkok, let us know how you’ve made your money go further in the comments below!