Are you imagining about your first big trip? The first time overseas with your friends or even more adventurous, you are thinking about going alone? Many people dream about it, still not everyone has enough courage. A trip like this can be life changing and therefore I would recommend everyone to try it at least once. Let me help you planning a trip to Thailand.
How to plan a trip to Thailand
If I had responded to all your requests to plan your trip to Thailand I would have been able to start my own travel agency. I am still flattered every time you are asking me but I hope you can understand I cannot personally plan your holiday. Therefore I wrote this Thailand trip planning blog to give you a guideline!
Planning a trip to Thailand
There are several things you have to keep in mind when you are planning a trip to Thailand:
When are you going?
The best time to go to Thailand is December to March in terms of weather conditions as it is supposed to be dry season. Though this year Thailand was suffering from heavy rain in January and islands were flooded. So What can I say!? During European summers Thailand officially is going through the rainy season but I have been there many times in these months and it never affected my travels. If you are on a budget December to March is not the best as it is high season. For diving these months are not great either as the visibility is not good.
Decide what’s your budget?
Thailand can be travelled for $30 a day or even cheaper if you are creative! Luxury is super affordable in this country and 5 star hotels in Bangkok can be found for less than $100. There are options for all budgets wherever you go. Transportation is cheap and so are domestic flights. So if you are planning a trip to Thailand and want to see the most of the country then definitely check the cheap domestic flights on Kiwi.com.
Fixed itinerary or freedom
If it is your first trip to the Land of Smiles you most probably have no idea that planning a trip to Thailand can be really simple. What most people do is they book the first 2 nights in Bangkok and from there on they just wing it. Yes it does involve a little more work while being on your holiday, but with so many options available traveling around the country is really easy. Of course I would suggest you to not book that much in advance as it gives you the freedom to go with the flow. Feeling free to do whatever you feel like is the best feeling! Be prepared to change all your plans. There is always something that comes up. Meeting amazing people that travel in another direction, weather conditions, hangovers, cheap deals you find on your way or just very simple: you fall in love! That can be with a place or with another traveler! Don’t laugh about it, I think it is something a lot of tour operators earn a lot of money from, as no-shows are the order of the day.
How long are you staying?
Time is valuable and definitely when planning a holiday to Thailand. If you only have 2 weeks and want to see all its highlights I bet you need a holiday after your trip. Don’t underestimate traveling, it will exhaust you, definitely if you are changing places every 3 nights. To see all of Thailand I would suggest you take 4 weeks. But obviously for a lot of people that is out of reach and 2 weeks is max. In that case I would advice you to stick to a certain area. Check out my blog suggested itineraries for Thailand.
What are you looking for?
You will understand that island hopping Thailand has not much to do with its culture, as you will most probably end up with a beer in your hand every evening. The islands are amazing don’t get me wrong and you will see fantastic landscapes, beautiful beaches, and the most stunning sunsets, but for a cultural trip you will need to head North of Bangkok to places like Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Pai, Ayutthaya, etc. Looking for some great hiking trails in Koh Tao? Check out my blog 5 times a Koh Tao viewpoint!
Planning a trip to Thailand islands
You are spoiled for choice with so many beautiful islands to choose from and I can’t tell you what is the best island to visit in Thailand. Every island is different, some small and quiet, some big and busy, some are die-hard party islands, some have a yoga vibe, some have a mix of everything! I have been to most of the touristy islands and wrote the ultimate guide to island hopping Thailand in where I explain what you can expect where. Read this first before you choose your island while planning a trip to Thailand, I don’t want you to end up on the wrong island and be disappointed.
Traveling to Chiang Mai
For me this is a tricky subject to talk about, you will find out why. But lets just face the facts. If you have 2 weeks in Thailand I would not recommend going North as it takes a day to get there and a day to get out. Obviously you want to explore Chiang Mai and may be even Pai and everything in and between which means you need to calculate at least 5 or 6 days. If your time is limited it will be a rushed trip up North, but hey I am not saying it is impossible. So why am I not really recommending this region? For the simple fact that I have never been! Can you believe it? Me neither! LOL. But the island hopping Thailand adventures have always drawn me to the South or I was stuck in Bangkok! ;)
Planning a trip to Thailand on a budget
If you are on a budget things do not really change in terms of where to go in Thailand. Price levels do not differ that much and even at the more expensive places like Koh Samui and Phuket you will find plenty budget options. Though there are some places you want to avoid traveling to if you are planning a trip to Thailand on a budget. Forget places like Koh Lipe and Similan Islands as they are pretty remote and therefore harder to get to. I would suggest you choose your preferred region so you can limit the transportation cost rather then trying to see it all. Plus for example island hopping in Thailand takes time. If you are going from the islands in the Gulf to the ones in the Andaman Sea then be prepared to travel a whole day. Distances are long and although transportation is definitely affordable, in the end it will all add up! Want to stay online during your trip? Check my most popular article about what is the best SIM card for traveling in Thailand. Not a fan of switching SIM cards then Teppy is another option! Always and everywhere WiFi for just a couple bucks a day.
A very handy article for you if you are planning a trip to Thailand on a budget is How much does a trip to Thailand cost. In where I tell you exactly how much you pay for transportation, beers, accommodation, massages, etc.
How to plan a trip to Thailand
As you can see there are a lot of things you have to consider and there is no simple answer on how to plan a trip to Thailand. But now you ate least now where to start. What is your budget, where do you want to go, when do you want to go and how long do you want to go. Have you been to Thailand already? How did you plan your holiday?
Oh yeah don't worry about safety issues! Thailand is a very safe country to travel to! I wrote an article about Is It Safe To Travel To Thailand and also about the Koh Tao Murders as they took place on my birthday while I was on the island. Very tragic, but read my article first before you judge!
Want some help planning your holiday? Or simply want to join a group trip? Check out Contiki! I bet you will thank me later, Contiki knows how to make memories! ;)
How to get to Thailand? The middle Eastern Airlines always have great deals to Bangkok, check them out! I always tend to buy the cheapest tickets regardless what airline and mostly it is either Qatar Airways or Emirates. On top of that they are both fantastic airlines!