Travel Packages to Thailand?
September 10, 2008 2:01 PM   Subscribe

I'm planning a trip to Thailand in January. Airfare prices can be steep so I'm looking for a package deal.

A few months ago I saw a package that included airfare, shelter, food, and a day at the Elephant Nature Sanctuary. No funds at the time and now that trip is all booked up. Does anyone have any other ideas/know of any sites to search for this kind of overseas package? I'd really like to have a visit to the Elephant Nature sanctuary included.

In my ideal situation I'd leave the states with a group of other
Americans instead of flying alone and I'd like to see a little more of
Thailand than just Chiang Mai. Also my budget for this caps at around $2500.
posted by natteringnabob to Travel & Transportation around Thailand (3 answers total)
Where are you flying from? Rates can fluctuate widly depending on where you're at.
posted by nitsuj at 2:43 PM on September 10, 2008

I picked Chicago since it's in the middle of the country, but it looks like you should expect to spend anywhere from $1,000-$1,500 for the plane ticket, which leaves you about the same range to cover food, accommodation, and other things while traveling.

You also don't mention how long you'd like to stay, and what level of comforts you expect on the road -- both truly important. Do you need to stay in 5-star hotels, or are hostels OK? If the former, you'd only have a few days in your budget. If the latter, you could stay for much longer depending on how frugal you want to be. Thailand can be extremely cheap, or super expensive. Full meals can be had for next to nothing, and hostel beds for only a few bucks more. On a backpackers budget, you could last for a month (if not more) on $1,500.

I'd stay away from packages as they tend to be more expensive in the long run. Don't pay for the convenience of someone planning your trip for you.
posted by nitsuj at 2:51 PM on September 10, 2008

So...this isn't really the info you are asked for...but...

If you are in the backpacker (or even flashpacker) crowd you'd have a hard time finding a package that is less expensive than finding your own tours and accommodations. If you insist on having a guide from the moment you take of from the moment you land in Thailand to the moment you depart then you can just stop reading this now....

If I were you, and looking to extend my cash, I'd forgo the tour and try to figure things out myself (in fact, thats just what I did a few years ago). You also get the freedom to go wherever you want, and won't be restricting yourself to just Chiang Mai. Tours are very, very easy to come by in Thailand, and they'll usually be much less expensive than whatever you can set up here in the states. Accommodation covers a wide range of prices from as low as $5/night (or less in the outlying areas) on up to western luxury prices. There is more than one elephant sanctuary in Thailand, so don't worry about being able to have that experience if that is one of your primary reasons for going. Great food can be had for next to nothing too.

Of course, this doesn't address your ideal situation of leaving with a group of Americans...You'd have to say why you desire this in order for me to make any recommendation as to whether you couldn't make do otherwise. If its just about meeting people, you'd have absolutely no problem w/o a package deal. If it is a fear of making it from your airport to a guest-house in Bangkok alone, there might not be much that can be done about that (except be reassured that its not all that bad).
posted by NormandyJack at 3:01 PM on September 10, 2008

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