Last week I wrote about how much money I made teaching in Thailand and monthly break down of my expenses here. Today, I want to call out some money sucks of living and traveling in Thailand.
While it’s incredibly affordable to live and travel here, I’ve still heard many people complain that they’re spending a lot of money and don’t think it’s as cheap as they’ve heard.
Mmkay. Actually it is, but perhaps because it’s so affordable you’re spending more, since your money goes further and you don’t have to be as budget-conscious as in other places.
A couple examples – #1: I’ve never spent money on massages or spa treatments in the U.S. Here I will regularly go for a massage costing anywhere from about $6 – 8 for a two-hour Thai massage at a small shop, to $35 for a package (massage, facial, body scrub) at a nicer place. (Of course, there’s also the really high end places that can charge into the hundreds, but are still more bang for your buck than at home.) So, I’ve spent much more money here on spa trips than I ever did at home, yet got much more for the same amount than I would have at home.
#2: You’d probably be careful of your food expenses traveling through Europe, maybe saving that banana from breakfast or making sandwiches to last you for a few days. Here, that really wouldn’t help you much when you can get a hot and and fresh meal for about $1 (I regularly post what you can buy for $1 on my Facebook Page). If you can eat dinner for as little as $1, then that means more cash for booze! And there goes your money…
There are things that quickly eat into your budget however. Even if they’re relatively cheap compared to the prices you’re used to at home, once you think about how much you can actually stretch your dollar here, those things don’t seem like such a good deal anymore. Keep in mind that $1 equals about 30 baht.
In the end the cheap deals and options far outweigh that handful of things costing a bit extra, but it’s good to realize what has the potential of drying up your finances. What have you found makes your money disappear when traveling through Thailand?
If you enjoyed this post, please subscribe to my RSS feed here.
Hey! I'm Alana and I've spent nearly the past decade living in Chiang Mai, Thailand, working as a writer and photographer. I started Paper Planes as a place to share local insight, special places, and how to travel well through a range of experiences — from hostels to high-end hotels, street meat to multi-course meals.
New places are always calling my name...
Enter your email for a taste of different worlds, must-read posts, and special offers.
(Don't worry, I'll never spam you — just send the good stuff.)