What is the Cheapest Time to Travel to Thailand?

Traveling to Thailand is probably on everybody’s bucket list. It’s one of the most popular, scenic and cheaper travel destinations in the world. For the same experience somewhere exotic will cost your 200% more. Even on peak seasons, traveling in Thailand is pretty cheap, but if you are on a budget, this article is just for you. After doing some research, I’ve compiled this article for those who want to travel on a budget. As per my calculation, you can visit at as low as $28-$30 a day. Even for a 10 days long trip, you will be spending only $300 and reach home safe without missing any excitement in Thailand. The cost of travel to Thailand depends on its weather.

Although you can travel to Thailand at a budget price at any time of the year, however, if you go on during a low season, i.e., when there are fewer tourists on the stop, you can save a ton of money and are more likely to enjoy the place because of less crowd. When it comes to travel expense to Thailand, it typically covers two aspects, i.e., flight prices and lodging, otherwise traveling within Thailand is pretty cheap. Thousands of people flock to Thailand every month specifically for the facts of its natural beauty and low cost. So, visiting during the off-peak times can save to a lot of money, and you can stretch your expense to explore more exotic places and stay for longer days.

What is the Cheapest Time to Travel to Thailand?

The cheapest time to travel to Thailand is during the rainy season. Being a tropical nation, Thailand is mostly warm year round. On the other hand, during the rainy season, it could bring some downpour. Although people avoid this time, most actually visit Thailand during the rainy season to experience its subtle beauty; this is the time where there is less demand for flights and accommodations, which is why prices drop significantly.

In Thailand, the cheapest month is from May to October; this is the time when it gets heavy rains which could sometimes last for hours; but, as I said, it’s not a deal-breaker. On the other hand, different spots in Thailand have different low season time such as the Samui island is cheaper to travel from October to December. On the other hand, Phuket is less expensive during the late summer.

Many travelers choose to visit Thailand during what is called a ‘Shoulder Season’ which is the beginning of the low seasons when the weather not extreme and the prices are lower than the peak time, if not the cheapest. It typically falls during February to June and also during September and October; this is the time when the price is moderate (not the cheapest), but the weather will be comparatively good, allowing travelers to stroll around, do water activities and experience Thailand.

You need the best time when flight and accommodation are cheaper as well as the weather condition is good so that you can visit other islands, hike, attend festivals, stroll on the food market and other outdoor activities. The cost of your travel eventually boils down to the one this only and that is the weather of Thailand.

Weather of Thailand

This tropical nation has warm, cool and monsoon seasons; however the north and the southern experience varying weather patterns.

  1. Northern Thailand weather

    The northern region is mostly shrouded by green tropical forests with a view of mountain landscapes. The weather condition here is threefold i.e., monsoon, winter and summer.

    From October to February the weather is mostly cool which makes this part of the years the best time to travel to Thailand; this is when you get to experience northern Thailand to the fullest. The temperature reaches 25 degree Celsius during the day, giving a comfortable climate to the visitors. It is also the blossoming period when most of the landscape is blooming with new flowers and leaves. However, this is also the most expensive time to travel to north Thailand. On the other hand, November is the cheapest time to travel to southern Thailand.

    From March to May, north Thailand experiences the hottest time of the year. The heat is pretty similar to south Thailand, only a little less humid. This time of the year can be comparatively cheaper. If you have your summer gear, you can manage to stroll around the town and visit other places without much discomfort. However, this is the best time for water activities; you will be amazed to see the sheer crowd in the beaches. It is the perfect time to go scuba diving, snorkeling, and other deep-sea activities.

    From June to October, north Thailand will experience high monsoon. Here, the showers occur in short bursts, which makes it ideal for travelers looking for budget travel. This time of the year is the cheapest in north Thailand. The temperature is generally more relaxed with occasional rain.

  2. Central Thailand weather

    Central Thailand comprises of flat cultivated landscapes, and is ideal for travelers looking for a private trip with the little crowd and get more cultural exposure.

    From October to January, the weather is cooler and it is the best time to visit central Thailand. The temperature reaches up to 30-degree Celsius, giving visitors a cool and comfortable climate to experience Thailand.

    From February to June, the central part of Thailand is the hottest. The temperature can go up to 40 degrees celsius Some spots in central Thailand is hot as well as humid, making it a little challenging for the visitors to comfortably experience Thailand. This time of the year is comparatively cheaper in central Thailand and also the best time if you are here for shopping and sightseeing.

    From July to October Bangkok is affected by monsoon showers. This time of the year is the cheapest to travel to Bangkok. You could get monsoon showers stretching for days.

    The months of July to October are affected by central Thailand’s monsoon season. If you do want to visit during these months, remember to bring a raincoat for the afternoon showers.

  3. Southern Thailand weather

    The southern part of Thailand has only two seasons, i.e., monsoon and dry climate.

    From December to May, the southern part of the Phuket is typically dry where the temperatures reach up to 32-degree Celsius; it is the best time to visit south Thailand or Phuket. You can experience the warm climate as well as get enough beach time in the turquoise waters.

    From June till October, southern Thailand experiences heavy monsoon. They usually occur in short bursts. This time of the year is the cheapest in south Thailand, and you can enjoy most of the town if you are ready to put off with the short monsoon bursts. It is also the time when the crowd is little, and you will enjoy this time if you want a more private setting.

Essential Gear to Pack

  • Flip flops
  • Backpack or waterproof bag
  • Water bottle
  • Sunscreen
  • Swimming costume
  • Sun hat
  • Insect repellent
  • Comfy hiking shoes
  • Map of the region
  • Light, comfortable clothing (cotton)
  • Light raincoat

Deep Sea Activities

For snorkeling and scuba diving the Southeast Coast, March, and April is the best time to visit. This part of Thailand is best known for its island and beaches. It is where there is the Samui island, where you can enjoy the warm waters and spot exotic sea creatures such as whale sharks.

To snorkel and scuba dive the Southwest Coast, December to January is the best time to visit. You can swim between the reefs and view new fish species off the island of Koh Lanta and Koh Phi Phi. The water is warm year round, so if you are here in winter, it would be an excellent experience for the travelers.

Flight Cost to Thailand

Flight cost is the cheapest during the low season, i.e., March to October. You will get flights at just over $350. You can get a better deal if you book earlier. It is the time when you can get accommodation at a lower price and most importantly, it will be less crowded. It is a perfect time if you are back-packing so that you can visit some off-the-track places and discover the real Thailand and not just the tourist version. Food, accommodation, and flights are cheaper at this time of the year.

The tourist peak time is between November to February when everything from flights to hotels and food will be expensive for the tourists. Also during April which is the Thai New Year, the travel cost will be higher. During high seasons, you can expect to spend nearly 40% more than the low seasons. However, if you can book earlier, you may get a good deal on flights and accommodation.

Festival and Events

Thailand is a Buddhist country, has a lot of festivals and religious events to offer. Some of the holidays and celebration last for several days, which will give you a fantastic experience. Here are some of the best events and festivals to attend in Thailand.

  1. Chinese New Year

    Between mid-January, the people of Thailand celebrate the Chinese New Year, which is explicitly stunning in the Chinese part of the nation. You will find people dressed up in red attire and partying on the streets.

  2. Songkran Water Festival

    During mid-April, Thailand celebrates the Songkran Water Festival, which is one of the biggest festivals of the Thai New Year. The celebrations go on for three straight days, where people get into water fights on the streets.

  3. Phi Ta Khon

    Also called as the Ghost festival, this 3-day long festival occurs during the late June-July. The celebration is mainly held in the Dan Sai town. The celebration includes fireworks, games, parades which are held throughout the city and you will see people dressed up like spirits; it’s is like the Halloween of Thailand and you will fit right in.

  4. Loy Krathong (Lantern Festival)

    It is a lantern festival which is dedicated to the river goddess ‘Mae Nam’ and occurs on the night of 12th full moon every year. People release lanterns into the water and is an absolutely stunning sight to experience.

How Much Does it Cost to Travel Thailand?

How much you are willing to spend will determine your budget and the level of comfort you will have in Thailand. Although it’s a cheaper destination, where you can stay at rooms as low as just $4-$5 or you can choose to have a luxurious experience in resorts that will cost you over $1000.

If you are planning a trip on budget you should look to spend under $30 to $35 a day; however, for a comfortable stay, you should look at spending $80 per day. For a trip of 30 days to Thailand, you can wrap up everything under $1700. Here the currency is Thai Baht.

  • 1 USD = ~30 THB
  • Accommodation – 13000 THB
  • Flights around Thailand – 4500 THB
  • Transportation – 1500 THB
  • Ferry – 1900 THB
  • Diving and Hiking – 2000 THB
  • Drinks – 7000 THB
  • Food – 10000 THB
  • Water – 150 THB

Total – 40050 THB = 1335 USD = $44.5 per day!

For backpacking Thailand on a tight budget you should not spend more than $35 per day. You should expect to get one room with only a fan for accommodation along with a shared bathroom. Plan to eat from the streets and have only a couple of drinks per day. Take local transportation to visit the town for budget travel. If you are planning to stay longer on an island where things are cheaper, you should expect to pay over $40 per day.

If your per day budget is over $50, you can afford to fly between a destination in Thailand, eat some gourmet dinner and do more fun activities; plus, with that budget you can get an air-conditioned room and probably have a few more drinks.

If you are planning to stay in an expensive resort, eat gourmet food, have a lot of good drinks, and make a lot of tours, you should expect to spend over $150 per day.

At a budget of $50 per day, you can experience a lot of stuff in Thailand with enough money left for shopping. It should be the standard budget for a good experience in Thailand. With $50 to spend a day, you can get

  • Flights
  • Food in restaurants
  • Experience street food
  • Get delicious seafood dinners
  • Get international food in Bangkok
  • Budget guesthouse
  • Some drinks

and a few extra dollars to spare

How to Save Money on Your Visit to Thailand?

Live like a local – The best way to save money is to live like a local. Just drop your inner tourist and take local buses, eat street food, drink low-cost liquor etc. In Bangkok, the average pay is less than 8000 THB per month which is nearly $250 a month. If they can live with that in a month, you can too. Simply by avoiding tourist filled islands and places, you will save big time.

Book Your Tours in Thailand – It would be cheaper to avoid making advance payments for your trips and activities to the travel agencies. If you want to do some activities you should book your tours on the spot in Thailand after reaching there. You can get big discounts if you can join a big group or make some friends when you reach.  

Eat Street Food – Talk to anyone and they will tell you to have food from the street vendors of Thailand. The street food here is delicious and super cheap. You will have a decent meal with just $1. There are street stalls in every block and you will find great food options around the year. Local food is cheap; on the contrary western food is really expensive. Because, most of the ingredient needed to prepare western food as to be imported, you will find it very expensive than your native. Even with that, the expensive western food is nowhere in comparison with the original.

Talk to Tuk-Tuk Drivers – The tuk-tuks don’t have any meter, so you can actually negotiate on the price before you take off. Even on the drive, you should talk to him like a friend so that he doesn’t decide to jack up the price on you. They are really friendly and you should act like you have been here before and you know a lot about the place. If they find out that you are new and are clueless about the prices, you will get ripped off by them.

Limit your drinks – You can save a ton of money if you decide to just stick to beer instead of cocktails. Thailand is a cheap place to live, but alcohol prices are high. Make sure of the happy hour deals when you can and avoid bar for your drinks. If you have friends, you can drink in the room at your comfort.

Go online for local stays – You should check out Couchsurfing and BeWelcome to see if you have lived with a local for free. It can save a good chunk of your budget if you are backpacking. You can even check out travel forum to take advice from experienced backpackers.

Bargain – If you can’t bargain, you will get ripped off by the local store owners. They know you are a tourist and will most likely jack up the prices. They will double or triple the original price if they found you are from the USA or Europe. As a rule of thumb, never take the first price for granted. Simply act to walk away and you will see how they would drop their prices. For this matter, you could talk to a local to learn more about the prices of the stuff you will be purchasing.

Best Time to Visit Bangkok

Bangkok generally has a hot and humid climate around the year; however, the month of May to November is a low season when the crowd is less and prices are also lower. This is also the shoulder months when prices are still low yet the weather is not that bad.

From March to June, the temperature can easily climb over 30-degree centigrade and is also considered one of the hottest cities in the world. The monsoon seasons is from July to October, which is the cheapest time to visit Bangkok. The best weather is from November to February which is the high time for tourist. This is when traveling Bangkok can get expensive.

Cheapest time to visit Bangkok:

May to October when the weather’s hot and humid.

  • For the honeymoon, you should plan your trip during the mid-November or mid-December. This is the best time when prices are comparatively lower, so is the crowd. Right after this month, things will get expensive as thousand of tourist flock in during the January and February.
  • To visit temples, December to February is the best time of the year, when the climate is cool and you can enjoy walking around the streets and temples. The shoulder months for temple hoping is during the months of May and November.
  • For the beach, any time is a good time; however, in the May to October the crowd is high and during March to May the climate is warm and so is the waters.
  • Deep sea activities such as snorkeling and diving, the best is from February to May when you may get a chance to see whale sharks and manta. The best diving season is from November to April. For the west coast island, February to May is the best time of the year and for the east coast islands, May to October is the best time of the year.
  • Surfing, June to August is the best time as the waves are smaller and safer, whereas the water is warm.
  • Shopping, you can visit Bangkok at any time of the year. There are multiple malls and some of the biggest and popular ones are CentralWorld, MBK Center and Platinum Fashion Mall. You can also visit the Chatuchak market.


Thailand is like Las Vegas but cheaper. If you plan to stay longer and cover the whole of Thailand, you should expect to spend a lot of money. It is cheaper but even for budget travelers and backpacker, you have to put off with a lot of comforts. But, if you are here to have a good time and are willing to spend a lot, you will really love the place. But then again, you will miss the local feeling and out-the-track offbeat places. For a long 4 week vacation, Thailand can be pretty expensive if you are not careful. If you plan to experience outside of your comfort zone, you can experience Thailand with just $30 a day.

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