The Southeast Asian country of Thailand is well known for its opulent palaces, ancient ruins, tropical beaches and ornate temples displaying figures of Buddha. The capital city, Bangkok, is a blend of serene canal-side communities and ultramodern cityscapes.
In general, the most popular time for tourists to visit is the winter, avoiding the hot oppressive tropical heat of the summer months. The wet season starts in April for three months and can be tough if you aren't used to the heat as air conditioning is not provided everywhere outside of Western tourist spots and large shopping malls.
In general, here are the rate periods for Thailand Hotels. You can find more deals during low season and hotels will be the priciest during peak season.
Peak Season: October to February
High Season: September to October & February to April
Low Season: May to September
Also see: The Ultimate Thailand Wellness Itinerary
High Season (expensive)
During the hot seasons (which runs through March to June, with April and May being the hottest months in the year), Thailand experiences a high influx of visitors from different countries who are eager to enjoy an adventurous holiday.
Low Season (cheap)
Try to schedule a trip during low season (August - September) - it'll be the cheapest time to visit Thailand
Not that these dates fall within the rainy season, although make sure to check the part of Thailand that you are visiting as rain varies in different areas.
Since Thailand has a variety of attractions such as archeological sites, tropical islands, museums, sandy beaches, World Heritage sites, Buddhist temples, palaces, flora and bird life, international shopping malls; visiting this beautiful country doesn’t come cheap.
However, just because you don’t have deep pockets does not mean you can't take a trip to Thailand. All you have to do is figure out the cheapest time to travel to Thailand and try to avoid the busiest seasons of the year to schedule your visit.
How To Find Cheap Flights To Thailand
If you are planning to travel to Thailand on a limited budget, here are some tips on how to save money on a trip to Thailand
1. Travel On A Weekday during low season:
Flying to Thailand can either be costly or affordable depending on what time of the year you choose to visit. Since the number of tourists visiting increases during the hot season (September - April), it is no wonder that flight tickets prices are through the roof during high season. Try to schedule a trip during low season (August - September). If you are trying to cut cost on your future trip to Thailand, consider traveling on a weekday, especially on days like Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
Research has shown that traveling to Thailand on weekends is quite expensive, as it seems to be a more convenient time for many travelers. Aside from targeting a mid-week flight, try booking your tickets late at night because airlines usually release new fares in the middle of the night during the week. This means if you can stay up late to buy your flight tickets, you just might get yourself a really good deal
.2. Fly to Bangkok:
Findings have shown that the cheapest airport in Thailand to fly into is Bangkok’s international airport, Suvarnabhumi. On average, flying into Phuket will set you back twice the cost of flying directly into Bangkok. In essence, make Bangkok your first stop on your trip to Thailand to save yourself some cash.
Another advantage of starting your holiday in the capital city is that you will be treated to impressive views, deliciously unique Thai cuisines and even a stay at a beachfront bungalow or a five-star hotel(at the price of a two-star hotel if you are visiting during the off-seasons).
Starting out your visit in Bangkok is a great way to set the tone for the rest of your holiday in Thailand.
Tickets from Bangkok to Phuket (HKK) are quite affordable, around $160 a person for a roundtrip flight.
3. Travel during Offseasons:
During the summer months, Thailand witnesses a high influx of tourists and of course, traveling around this time of the year is very expensive. However, you can save a lot of money if you travel to Thailand during the rainy and monsoon seasons (usually in September) which are considered the off-season. If you don’t mind the wet and humid weather, then this time of the year is one of the best seasons to find cheap flights to Thailand.
The trick to making this work in your favor is for you to avoid areas that are worst affected during the rainy seasons because the weather impacts different parts of the country in different ways.
For instance, much of the south including the islands of Ko Phi Phi and Ko Samui are most hit with monsoon-like conditions, while the central and northern regions such as Bangkok, the city of Chiang Mai and the rainforest province experience heavy but more sporadic rainfall.
If you can handle the occasional rainy day, you will definitely find affordable hotels and even get some really nice tour bargains also.
4. Avoid Festive Seasons:
Under normal circumstances, holiday travels are usually expensive. A large number of visitors come into Thailand during European and North American summer months when children are on break from school. Of course, at times like these, the price of everything; from flight tickets to hotel booking and even tour fares, increases.
The rise in prices also occurs during local Thai events such as the festival of Loy Krathong, which often holds annually in November. It is accompanied with large celebrations in Sukhothai and Chiang Mai. You may also want to avoid traveling to Thailand during other local festive periods, as domestic tourism hinders availability for foreign visitors.
This automatically leads to a significant increase in travel prices.Therefore, to be on the safe side, it is advisable to avoid both Thai and U.S. holidays by checking local and international calendars for festival dates and special events.
5. Go On Cheap Tours:
You can still have a fabulous holiday experience while in Thailand on a small budget by forgoing fancy tours around town for affordable ones instead. If you are visiting the southern islands, rent a kayak and enjoy an up-close look at the sea caves and ancient rock formations.
A taxi boat ride around Bangkok’s canals (also known as Khlong) will give you a view of the beautiful city and its surroundings at a very reasonable fee. If you like contact sports, Thailand is a great place for you to try your hand at Muay Thai kickboxing, which is usually taught by former professional fighters. Better yet, you could simply spend the day exploring the exotic coastline.
If your desire to escape outweighs your vacation budget, Thailand is an ideal place for you to visit as long as you know how to schedule your travel plans around the seasons of the year when you can get great deals on flight tickets, hotel bills, and tours.
6. Aim for the perfect timing.
Research has shown that the ideal time to purchase plane tickets is 54 days before you leave. Set up pricing monitors to track price changes and be ready to purchase deeply discounted tickets if and when you see them. Don't hesitate or you might never see the deal again!
If you are an night owl, it'll be ideal for tracking flights, airlines tend to release new fares in the middle of the night, mid week, so stay up late and hit the refresh button!