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Thailand Roundup

Thursday, December 3, 2015


Every single Instagram square looks magical, glamorous, care-free... but that is just the trouble with thinking these highly curated squares are reality... 
Image via here
No one posts their months of saying no to going out to dinner or not having that latte, saving every last dollar...  
No one posts flying 17 hours with their knees up to their chin in the a seat that doesn't recline ...
No one posts about dragging a broken suitcase held together by plastic up six flights of stairs...


Image via here

I wish you could smell the mineral water of the Emerald pool or have your bare feet tickled by the hair on an elephants back ... 

But I can't bring that to you.... All I can do is remember, tell you about it, and hope that maybe you'll go and create your own beautiful memories only you will know.... 


My Dad always says a trip gets better with age... 
He's right, you forget about how hot it was, you don't remember getting ripped off by that taxi driver, the food poisoning wasn't really that bad....

What remains fresh, vivid, tattooed on your eyelids, are the radiating jewel tones of the sunset, so rich, no camera could ever capture them, you just have to remember...  soft warm waves kissing your feet, your toes digging into the swirling sand, the smell of the ocean in the morning, your hair sticking to the salt on your lips, mountains rising out of nothing, the quiet chant of the monks song, candles glowing, flickering, winking, into the night...

The trip becomes a collection of tiny moments, collected, and preserved in a way no Facebook album or blog post could never show...


 I've gotten a lot of questions from you guys about how exactly I can afford to take so many trips and how you can too...  
I absolutely love sharing information like this because I am so proud of the fact that I AM financially independent (being an adult is TERRIFYING but its worth it!)

I am able to travel by saving, carefully planning my budget, finding deals, doing A LOT of research, and by taking advantage of my talents: photography, social media, and blogging, and by maximizing my opportunities both before and after I take a trip!


Image via here
GETTING THERE: 
We got our tickets for $418 on The Flight Deal... They are usually $1,100+ !! SO RIDICULOUS! This was our BIGGEST savings... We did this by singing up for The Flight Deal Daily, I love telling EVERYONE about this email... Flight Deal should honestly endorse me because I tell so many people about them! They find glitches in airline systems or promotions you might not see on Kayak/ Orbitz ect... We only had a few hours to book out flight before the deal expired so we booked that day! Couldn't pass up that price and I'm SO glad we did! We went on China Southern Airlines which was a TERRIBLE airline I would never take by choice but for that price fly me cargo! (basically was cargo...) Baggages and carry on were both FREE up to 2 pieces! 

Here's examples of flight deals happening today:

SUBSCRIBE HERE


12/03/2015:



Accommodations: (Budget approx $45 per night) 
The second thing that saved us sooooo much was booking MID-range hotels rather than super expensive luxury resorts... As I talked about in past posts, you can find awesome hostels in Thailand which is great especially if you are traveling solo to meet other adventurers, I do not stay in hostels because of security concerns with my equipment. Much of it is sponsored and all of it is insured but its worth the extra $20-$30 a night for me to have an in-room safe, security, and privacy. 

All of the mid-level hotels were really quite nice for the price. The Tama Hotel in Krabi, where we stayed the most nights, was only $35 USD per night! The only "expensive" hotel we stayed at in Phucket was actually the only one we were disappointed in and if we had to do it over we would NOT spend over $100. 

The Bangkok Airbnb was about $60USD and the resort in Chiang Mai (Marnadee Heritage River Hotel) was about $45 USD per night... There were a TON of great Airbnb options! 

The other hotels worked with me in exchange for reviewing them and posting about them on instagram as well as providing some photos/video of my hotel experience. They were very luxurious wonderful hotels but only in the $200-$250 price range when something similar in the US would be at least $500-$600 per night! 


                                                                                                                                                                                  Image via here

Prepping:
Take into account of little things you need to buy for your trip that start to add up like international converters, camera rentals, and VERY IMPORTANTLY vaccinations! Depending on what you already have they can get QUITE pricey! My insurance didn't cover any of the actual shots or the mandatory travel clinic fee and for just one shot (I needed Typhoid) it was $200! 

Food: ($10 per day) 
Eating in Thailand is EXTREMELY affordable! When we paid more than $10 a meal we were usually in a tourist trap and really disappointed. The authentic Thai food was sometimes as little as $2 USD for a full meal! The conversion rate was 33Baht to $1USD meaning the US Dollar goes REALLY far! 

Touring
We stayed away from a lot of organized tours and did a lot of planning before hand so we knew what we were looking at and where we wanted to go. We did two awesome tours that we did NOT arrange through the hotel which saved us a lot! 

Image via here

Domestic Travel: ($200+)
This was the other most expensive thing we did. If you have time, go by train which is very affordable ($45 from Bangkok to Chaing Mai) but we did not have an extra 20 hours to go overnight on a train so we splurged for $85 tickets and had to buy tickets TWICE for our flight from Chiang Mai to Phucket which is where we really Phucked up. Oops! Try to book about a week in advance so it wasnt too far out to change plans and lose money changing flights but far out enough to still find affordable flights- I found a WEEK out to be the sweet spot. 
Other: ($5 a day) 
Other major expenses were taxi rides which were usually NOT worth it as you would sit in traffic for quite awhile... I would seriously recommend the MRT or Airtrain which were about $1USD to ride, SUPER clean, safe, and air conditioned! Very easy to use and everyone was super happy to help! 

image via here
Shopping
YOU WILL SHOP MORE THAN YOU THINK YOU WILL! Bring spending money the deals are too amazing and you will want to do all of your holiday shopping and buy gifts for EVERYONE! 

Overall if you are going for two weeks here is the price breakdown: 
$200 vaccinations
$450 for the flight
$45 per day for 14 days approx $630 is about $315 per person 
$140 food at $10 per day
$70 travel at $5 for transport a day
$250 in-country travel 
Totaling about: $1,425 per person 
not including spending money.... 
That is about $102 per day

                 

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