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How many days in Thailand? | Don't Ever Look Back

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How many days in Thailand?

How many days in Thailand?

This is a guest post by Gillian of One Giant Step. Gillian believes that we are all only One Giant Step from making our dreams come true. She, and her partner Jason, travelled around the world for a year in 2009/2010. She writes about the preparations, the journey, and the returning at her blog www.One-Giant-Step.com.

It’s hard isn’t it? To keep that wallet in your pocket while you dream of visiting somewhere far away.

You can imagine yourself on that beach in Thailand; feel the sun on your skin and taste the salty air…and yet the draw of that new pair of jeans or night out on the town is stronger and you shill out the 60 or 100 bucks now instead of putting it away for that sun drenched holiday.

One of the best techniques we used to save was to play the ‘How Many Days in Thailand’ game.

Khao San Road Food Stall

A night out on the town? Or many nights at a Bangkok Food Stall like this one? Which would you choose?

Want that new pair of jeans? How many days in Thailand do they cost?

Have to see that new movie? How many days in Thailand would that cost?

Need to go on that mountain biking trip? How many days in Thailand would that be?

That night out on the town? How many nights out in Thailand would that be?

Chiang Mai Breakfast

Chiang Mai Breakfast - $3

I am here to tell you that it’s worth putting a lock on that wallet and waiting until you get to Thailand! It is as cheap as legend says and your dollar will go much, much farther.

So, that new pair of jeans? One night’s accommodation at a resort on the beach ($25), 4 fresh fruit smoothies ($1 each), half a dozen beer to take to the beach ($1.25 each at 7-11), and a seafood BBQ dinner on the beach ($12) while you watch the fire dancers and enjoy more beer. Total: $50

Take in that new movie? How about a fresh fruit, granola and yogurt breakfast ($3), more fruit smoothies ($1 each), some pad thai for lunch ($1.50 each), a foot massage ($5) and couple of beers instead? Total: $15

Mountain biking trip? Instead, you could have three nights accommodation at Khao Yai Nat. Park ($10/night), food and drink at the lodge ($10/day including a bottle of Samsung whisky…yum!), a trek to see the bat cave with millions of bats ($20), and a full day jungle tour tracking wild elephants ($40). Total: $120

And that night out on the town? You can’t beat Khao San Road for pulling up a stool at one of the roadside bars that pop up every night, shilling out $1.50 for a ‘very strong cocktail’ or $5 for a famous ‘bucket’ and chatting up the fellow traveler that plunks down next to you. Total: Too Cheap!

We averaged $93/day during our more than 2 months there. For both of us! And we didn’t cheap out. You could go to Thailand on half that; we met many who were easily spending much less than we were. But it’s a place where your dollar goes far and it’s worth enjoying the luxury that you can’t afford at home!!

Flickr Photo: BRivey

24 Comments

  1. Posted February 16, 2011 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    This is great technique! I’ve been using it myself and it really works. It helps to stay motivated as it helps to visualize how far money can take you.
    p.s. $93 per day seems like a lot. We traveled in Thailand for 5 weeks averaging $55 a day for two of us (always private rooms, ate 3 time a day, lots of beer and snacks, lots of suvenirs etc)

  2. Posted February 16, 2011 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    I love this technique. It has worked for us already and I keep it in the back of my mind whenever I think about purchasing something. Though I must admit I just got back from drinking a few very strong margaritas (many days in Thailand) after meeting with a realtor about selling our house… not good. But that’s for an upcoming blog post I suppose.
    Kim recently posted..A Valentine’s Day Love Letter

    • Posted February 17, 2011 at 11:20 pm | Permalink

      Fortunately you’ve still got 11 months until your RTW so it’s a mistake that you can learn from and remember for next time. Good luck with selling your house, hopefully the stress levels can be kept under control!

  3. Posted February 16, 2011 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

    LOVE IT!!! I thought I was the only one who did this. I started using how many days in X region of the world would this cost me. I still do it now & I am sure I will do so from now on for everything.
    Jaime recently posted..What I’m packing for my trip around the world

    • Posted February 17, 2011 at 11:21 pm | Permalink

      Great work Jaime, the mind is a powerful tool if used right! Only 2 weeks now for you, wow! How are the savings coming along?

  4. Posted February 16, 2011 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    Been doing the same thing myself. When a meal costs $1 to $3, that $30 item just doesn’t seem so good.
    Talon recently posted..No Drugs

    • Posted February 17, 2011 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

      Exactly right, yet so many people will drop that $30 without even thinking. We’ve been guilty of it many times, but it’s time to knuckle down now and make those sacrifices!

  5. Posted February 16, 2011 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

    That is a good way to try and save money. Just don’t tell my husband because I love spending his!
    Natalie recently posted..Photo Essay – The Killer Lure of Turgutreis

    • Posted February 17, 2011 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

      Haha you’re already living your dream so keep on spending (better someone else’s money than your own, right?)!

  6. Posted February 16, 2011 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

    Yes, I think it’s all a matter of opinion. $93 is way over my budget for two people/day. But then again, I come from Russia, so I have a different perspective on prices and money spending. I spend much less than that in Europe per day (excluding Oslo, Norway, but that’s just because it’s 2010’s most expensive city.. insane prices).

    I’ll be going off to Thailand and Cambodia and perhaps Malaysia in about 1.5 months and I’m looking into spending $20 per day (if possible less of course) including accommodation.

    I’d like to do the same thing as here, namely I rent a room in Berlin where I’m permanently based and I take trips to other places, it has proven to be cost-efficient so far. Do you think it’s possible to rent a room in, for instance, Krabi, for a couple of months upon arriving there? or it’s not a likely and I should stick to a guesthouse?
    Irina Sazonova recently posted..Berlin Special- Berlinale!

    • Posted February 17, 2011 at 11:28 pm | Permalink

      Hi Irina – thanks for commenting! Good luck with your $20/day budget – we’re not sure about renting a room in Krabi but try searching ‘serviced apartments Krabi’ or something like that in Google and hopefully you’ll be able to find some prices.

      Twitter might be a good place to pose the question if you can’t find the answer you’re looking for!

  7. Posted February 16, 2011 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

    Exactly. It’s the best technique I used before leaving on my journey. Suddenly the extra meal out or night at the movies don’t look as appealing.
    Mike recently posted..A Unique Temple Visit

    • Posted February 17, 2011 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

      Definitely! The cost of that extra meal out could cost the same as a week’s food in another country!

  8. Posted February 17, 2011 at 12:24 am | Permalink

    LOVE IT! So funny because we did the exact same thing before our trip. “Do you know how many nights in SE Asia that will get us?” was a common phrase while saving. This is definitely a great way to stay motivated while saving, because it does become very frustrating at times. But you’re right, it’s all worth it. Now we just need another trip to start saving for, because we’re back to the going out all the time and spending instead of saving.
    Adam recently posted..A Stroke of Luck

    • Posted February 17, 2011 at 11:32 pm | Permalink

      We’re surprised by how many other travelers are using this strategy to help them save money! Making so many sacrifices is frustrating a lot of the time, but just gotta keep looking at that end goal!

      It’s time to set your travel goals Adam – you gotta have something to save and look forward to! 🙂

  9. Skott and Shawna
    Posted February 17, 2011 at 1:55 am | Permalink

    We have a blanket budget of $100 per day as a couple, realizing that in some place, like Thailand it will be substantially lower, and others, Australia or the U.K. will likely be higher. But yes, everything here at home is now broken down into $100 increments….if I buy Shawna something nice for Valentine’s Day, that is one less day we can spend overseas….okay, this was a tough one to sell to her – but you get the picture.

    • Posted February 17, 2011 at 11:35 pm | Permalink

      Hey guys – we’re aiming to have a $100/day budget as well during our travels but as you touched on it’s likely to be more like $150 across North America and cheaper in other places.

      Scrapping Valentine’s Day is always a tough sell for the guy, but hopefully you followed one of the tips in our previous post and were able to do something for Shawna that didn’t break the budget?

  10. Posted February 17, 2011 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    love this post gillian… just lost a few $ playing slots and it could have been a few days in thailand… oh well…
    flip recently posted..Luxury Villa Holidays Offer Freedom to Save and Explore

    • Posted February 17, 2011 at 11:37 pm | Permalink

      A few days in Thailand? How much did you lose Flip?! Haha.

      Hopefully a lesson learned for next time – don’t gamble! 😉

  11. Posted February 18, 2011 at 1:54 am | Permalink

    So funny, my boyfriend and I do this all the time too!
    Connie recently posted..Response to This Darn Face of Mine!

  12. Posted February 18, 2011 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

    This is a great way to look at saving money! The real-life comparisons are eye-opening and make the idea tangible. Great post!
    Annie recently posted..Romance without Romeo

  13. Posted February 26, 2011 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    So funny-I’m playing that game, but backwards in the Philippines. I think about spending $17 a day here on food and how that wouldn’t even buy me one meal a lot of times in Australia, where I was saving up. Will definitely do it when I have to go home and save up again. Though I think my partner may want to kill me after a few days! Clever post. Good tip.

  14. Posted August 1, 2012 at 4:00 am | Permalink

    Love this post as this is exactly how I’ve been rationalizing all my purchases (or lack of them to be exact) in the past few months! I always compare stuff to how many pad thai meals I could get in Thailand!
    Vicky recently posted..Our Bucket List

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