How to save for your next trip to Thailand?

30 January 2019

“Thailand again?”

How do you afford to travel so frequently?

I have had to frantically fend off my reasons for coming back to Thailand just months apart, but I cannot lie, Thailand is amazing. My reasons for coming back span from the beautiful white sand beaches, the friendly Thai people, the very light cocktails (for those alcoholics) and the vibrant nightlife. Thailand is truly magical and affordable for me. So, you are probably wondering how I go about planning my trips?

This blog post is about sharing some insights and travel tips that I use to plan and book my next travel adventure, even in Jan-U-Worry.

Booking the package

So, good planning is the secret ingredient. I booked a package via STA Travel, available at www.statravel.co.za for 10 days in Thailand in May 2018. This package included 5 nights in Phuket and 3 nights in Bangkok for LSL14 850 per person sharing, return flights and airport shuttle. The nice thing is that STA Travel allows you to pay LSL1 000 as deposit and the balance payable over a few months. For someone who loves to travel as often as me, this opportunity allowed me to plan accordingly. The deposit of LSL 1000 was paid in May 2018 and the balance raised through the 52 Week Savings Challenge. Yes, I achieved the LSL 13 780 goal.

What about the entertainment budget?

Equally important was to plan for my spending money (an amount of LSL10 000). This meant selling ice over the festive season, doing part time lecturing and other small side hustles that would contribute towards the holiday. Unfortunately, due to a payment delay from one of my many projects, I had to ask my sister for an advance of LSL4000 while waiting for the payment to reflect, hopefully in February (waiting for payment is such a struggle). This is NOT to encourage people to use credit or advances for travel. You should plan and save for it (unless you have a real emergency).

I also had to drive to Johannesburg to catch my flight from OR Tambo International Airport, so that meant another LSL1 000 (shared with a friend) for fuel and toll fees (you will appreciate driving at 110km per hour to save on some fuel). Most of these expenses were paid for in December 2018, which meant saying in doors and not being seen much on the social scene.

What is the VISA application process?

I believe that applying for a Thai visa is one of the easiest because of how seamless and affordable their visas are. I spent LSL500 to apply for the visa and LSL325 for courier fees.

Are you ready to go?

I am very excited as I write this blog post, because I have my passport stamped, visa ready and waiting to embark on a 10 hour flight to Doha, Qatar, a 8 hour layover at Hamad International Airport and then 6 hours to Phuket. While travelling may seem expensive, I have come to appreciate the importance of planning and booking ahead.

So, go on and plan your next travel adventure.

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