It felt a little bit like cheating when I put travel to Asia on my 24 for 24 list since I’ve been plotting this trip since last summer. But hey, it is something I want to accomplish this year. As a matter of fact I really, really want to accomplish this. So what’s my biggest problem? Committing to a number of days and just one country. One day I will have to be one of those nomad travels with nothing but a one-way ticket. That’s heaven as I imagine it. But for now, I will have to settle for 20ish days in Thailand.
See? “ish” …I’m still having trouble committing.
|All images courtesy of Google search|
This little dream was born in class while I was teaching last year. I struggled to teach my kids inequalities and finally struck a note when I had them “budget” how many sweaters and jeans I could pack on a trip to Colorado without going over the weight limit. If my kids could get that, why not budget a whole trip? For the final project I had them all plan their dream vacation. There was lots of math involved but what does that matter? It was way too fun! We were all doing my favorite thing, planning travel.
Maggie and I got to talking destinations and we settled on Thailand after nixing ice picking in New Zealand. She sent me to this site and we got STUCK on this trip.
Thai Island Hopper East Tour
Now I know pre-packaged trips aren’t usually the cheapest option. If I learned one thing in Europe, it’s that I saved the most money when I did things on my own a la carte. But who can blame these sites, they save time for money and are a business after all. Contiki is great for young travelers on a budget as far as I can find. The bad reviews I came across offered complaints like “Yeah, if you want to rough it and backpack” or “Don’t expect to sleep. Have fun on this study abroad-esque trip.” So I thought why thank you, yes I think I will.
We will be going in June but have to pick a departure date and potential flight dates. Now if I’m going to spend $1500 on a flight to Asia, you better bet I’m going to stay more than 9 days. So in addition to the Contiki tour, we are planning a trip through northern Thailand.
Now here are the details so far…
For flights, I’ve found that United flies to Bangkok (if you are trying to get Star Alliance sky miles). I’ve almost exclusively been using Momondo to price flights and Qatar Air looks like the cheapest airline. I’ve also read that Thailand expects tourists without visas to come in with a departure ticket. This is the main reason I’m looking at round trip flights.
For transportation within Thailand, I’ve been looking at trains mostly plus the obvious ferry that will have to take us to the island Koh Samui. I’ve been reading blogs to see what other people did and it seems that although long, the train rides are a great way to see the country.
Budget-wise, I’m aiming to find a flight under $1500. The Contiki tour will cost just under $800, a price I’m willing to pay to save some planning time. Plus, I’m hoping it’s a great way to meet other travelers. Other than that, I’m setting aside enough to have $50 a day in spending money.
Cities on my travel list include Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Sukhothai, Lopburi and Ayutthaya. The island tour we are signing up for will include Koh Samui, Koh Tao and Kao Pha Ngan.
All of these details came from information scattered among many sites, but by far my favorite were the following two blogs. They offer the perfect balance of personal experience with useful information.
Be My Travel Muse
And to my experienced travel friends out there who have explored Southeast Asia… Please let me know your thoughts and experiences. Planning a trip to Asia feels so different than planning a trip to Europe and I would love some input!