Thailand is an incredible country, and it is exceptionally well-suited to travelers of all kinds. It doesn’t matter where you’re from, how old you are, or what you enjoy, Thailand has something for you.
If you’ve already done some laid back traveling in safe places, you might be getting the itch the graduate to something a bit more adventurous. No doubt, the alluring pictures of pristine beaches and turquoise waters have tempted you to visit this amazing destination. But if you’ve never been before, you may be a little unsure of what to do and how to go about your first experience in Thailand.
So, here are some top tips for any first-time travelers to Thailand.
Choosing to become a volunteer in Thailand is one of the best decisions you can make as a first-time traveler there.
You get to experience the real culture of the local people, it gets you out of major tourist areas, and you can learn useful practical skills.
Most importantly, it gives you the opportunity to make a genuine difference to the lives of people in this amazing country,
Book most things when you’re there
In all the excitement leading up to your first big trip abroad, it’s tempting to plan everything in minute detail and book up every hour of your time.
However, there is such a thing as over-planning a trip.
If you book things like tours, accommodation, and transport all through a travel agent at home, they will be taking a significant cut of the money for themselves, adding to the costs.
By booking directly within Thailand, you can get some incredible deals. The cost of living is considerably lower so people can offer pretty unbelievable prices that wouldn’t be feasible back home.
Try to stay away from the most touristy areas
A surefire way to incur the highest prices when traveling is to stick to the most popular areas for tourists.
These places will have been hosting tourists in large numbers for years, so the businesses here know they can charge over the odds. In many parts of Thailand, for example in Bangkok, you literally only have to walk a block or 2 from the traveler hubs to find accommodation and food prices slashed in half in not more.
Eat authentic local food
This goes hand in hand with the previous point. If you eat in tourist-orientated restaurants, you are going to not only going to be paying more than you should, but you are also generally going to be getting inferior quality, inauthentic cuisine. Aim to buy from restaurants where locals eat, or even better, street food, to get the most authentic experience and the best prices.
Bartering is something that is very uncommon nowadays in the Western world but still very much the norm in countries like Thailand. In settings like markets, haggling is literally expected, so don’t be shy. Just remember, the sellers are likely to be much poorer than you so don’t go overboard with it. The aim is to find a price that’s fair for both parties.
Visit Thailand for a unique and amazing experience
Following these few tips and other general travel advice will ensure you save money and get more out of your time in Thailand. Fortunately though, Thailand is a very easy country to travel in and you can’t really go wrong as long as you use common sense. The most important thing is to actually make sure you go! So don’t hesitate, make Thailand your next traveling destination.
Nicoleta Radoi: Nicoleta is the resident content blogger for uVolunteer. Nicoleta is an avid linguist, speaks fluent English, Chinese, French, Spanish and native Romanian. She spent a decade working in China in the education sector and working with major international development institutions and currently lives in Vancouver, Canada. She is passionate about volunteering, sustainable travel and has a soft spot for ethnic food.