Advice please - travel to Thailand(18 Posts)
My brother will be getting married in Thailand at the start of 2018. To be fair he's giving us plenty of notice but we're really concerned about the cost. We're a family of 4. I don't even know where to begin with regards pricing it up. Should we use an agent or can we book it ourselves? I always just book (European) holidays myself but have never gone this far away. If anyone can advise where to start looking I'd be so grateful. The destination is Koh Samui. Thanks.
I got married on the same Island, there is loads of accommodation and you can stay there very reasonably. Personally I would focus on getting flights first and book accommodation separately on booking.com or wotif.com which specialises in Asia hotels. Is he suggesting a hotel or area for everyone to stay? Thai people are very child friendly generally.
The biggest decision you will need to make is whether or not to stop over in bangkok, you will have to fly there first to get to koh samui but you could just transit through the airport.
My brother got married in Koh Samui in October 2015. It is absolutely amazing, you will love it!!
Is he getting married in a venue or a villa? My brother's was in a villa, so we stayed there too and split the cost. However, there are lots of villas on the island, you can get some bargains. For a family, I think that's the cheapest option.
The most expensive bit for us was the flights ( it was just me and my partner then) which were just under £500 each.
We spent our first night in Bangkok, where there are tons of hotels at varying prices, to put it in perspective, we stayed at a luxury (I mean luxury) one and it cost £100 for the night. Then the flight to Samui cost about £30.
Food and drink in Thailand is very cheap, as long as you eat Thai food. European/American food is much more expensive. My favourite was spicy squid rice which cost 80baht - about £1.50! Alcohol is dangerously cheap 😋
I've been to koh Samui And just booked it all myself. Do it via a credit card I guess so you have some protection but if you look at reviews on trip advisor you should find some recommendations. There used to be a good website called Wanna Samui with all the accomadation listed, not sure if it's still there.
Plenty of notice doesn't make it cheaper. Cost in insurance, jabs. Think about the length of the flight and the length of the stay ree jet lag.
Then decide if you can afford it.
Thanks everyone. I think I'll be fine sourcing accommodation but am wondering how to book the flights? I only ever book via Ryanair.com and they don't fly to Bangkok What sites should I look on for flights?
Look on sky scanner or Expedia for the flights - Youll fly via Bangkok so when you are booking look carefully at the time between flights - the cheaper flights might have you hanging around Bangkok for a long time. Book your flights asap for the best availability and deals. Book your hotel(s) separately.
There are two or three main areas in Samui, and whilst it isn't big the drive between one coast and the other can be a bit long due to the roads and mountains in the middle! So try and make sure you are on the right side of the island as to where the wedding will be. The accommodation ranges from very cheap to very expensive so there's bound to be something to meet your budget. You can pre arrange airport transfers with most hotels if you email them. You might want to consider staying in a couple of different hotels so you get a taste of everything the island has to offer. (Bonus tip and this is terrible but it was great for a hangover - McDonalds in Samui delivers!)
Have a look on Opodo or Skyscanner for prices/choice of airlines but I'd make the booking directly with your chosen airline. If you book via an agent and flights change etc it can be a massive pain in the arse to sort. If you deal directly with the airline then they deal directly with you.
I'd go for the shortest duration you can afford. You'll most likely fly with BA, Singapore, Thai, Malaysian or Eva air.
Have a chat with trail finders, they'll give you quotes, you don't then have to book with them but you'll probably find they get you a good deal with transfers etc. Get a quote then compare in sky scanner.
We've used skyscanner in the past and then booked Finnair flights through them. At the time Finnair had the shortest flight times and were cheapest. We booked hotel in Bangkok using hotel.com ( Swissotel can recommend) and then a villa on tripadvisor. Booked internal flights and trains direct too. Eating out will be cheap. Just make sure you get your jabs sorted in advance. My kids loved it and would go again.
Taking into account spending money as well as hotels and flights, I've never found that holidays to Thailand cost any more overall than Europe as you get much better quality of hotels for the money than Europe and it is much cheaper to eat out.
Trailfinders is good for flights but their hotel quotes can be expensive. We tend to fly via the Middle East to Bangkok and then book internal flights with Air Asia who are very cheap.
We just got back from Thailand yesterday and even though the exchange rate is quite bad for us we still managed to eat for 20GBP or less most nights for 2 adults, 1 child, including a couple of beers each for the adults.
Travelbag were great when we flew to Koh Samui last year. You can book flights and/ or hotels with several airlines and they have hotels for all budgets
We used trailfinders to book our flights to koh Samui this summer.
They made sure we were on the airbus a380 which was a newer bigger plane.
We went to Bangkok and then straight on to KS.
Not keen on Bangkok though.
I wish we had done Hong Kong instead on the way back.
I would agree to check flights through Skyscanner, I've flown to Thailand with Qatar Airways and Eithad which are via the Middle East but the transfer inbetween is short, as other people have suggested ensure you choose the flight with the shortest transfer! It might be worth getting a flight to Bangkok or even Phuket, staying there for a couple of days and then fly down to Koh Samui, internal flights are reply cheap. I would highly recommend booking.com or even Expedia for accommodation which is ridiculously cheap! You have the option to book and pay on arrival, giving you the flexibility to change if necessary.
As you're probably well aware flights are released 11 months in advance so probably won't be able to actually book anything until February or March.
Just another tip, STA Travel offer a £49 deposit to hold flights, have booked several flights with them and had the option to pay the flights off over several months, however you may not need this option and can just pay all in one sitting!
Momondo is a good site for flights - seems to be cheaper than skyscanner at the moment. remember to clear cookies each time you search on flights.
Recently travelled to Thailand and i checked flight prices on Skyscanner, then booked direct with Eithad. Flights were good though the connection was 4 hours on the way back.
We didn't go to Koh Samui as we were Bangkok/Chiang Mai based with a few days trekking thrown in. We found all our hotels reasonably priced and food can be quite cheap, even as a family of 4 as we don't drink a lot.
You'll have to factor in insurance costs. It may be cheaper to go for an annual policy. Jabs were available on the NHS and luckily we didn't need malaria tablets where we were.
We found Thailand an incredibly friendly and safe place to travel. There wasn't much on the way of hassle from street vendors or taxi drivers. Would definately go back again.
I travel frequently to that part of the world.
My tip would be to look at package holidays - even though you may only need a flight. Competition is high in that part of the world and there is a lot of subsidisation going on, so you could get a better deal by booking a package with accommodation you don't use than standalone elements!
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