12 Best Ways to Save on Phuket Budget Trip

Published Date: February 12, 2024

Phuket, the largest island in Phuket province and Thailand, extends to about ~48 kilometers from north to south and ~21 kilometers from west to east. More than 50% of the island is characterized by the Phuket mountain range. Located on the Andaman Sea, the beaches are sandy on the western coasts and muddy on the eastern coasts. 

Most budget travelers mistake Phuket for an expensive tourist destination, as it is the second-best place to visit next to Bangkok in Thailand. But the bitter truth is that the best vacation island destination is Phuket for budget travellers, provided they know the below-listed twelve best ways to save money.    

Phuket Trip: 12 Best Ways to Save Money

  • Take flights on weekdays

There are regular flights to Phuket International Airport from major cities in India, like Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Mumbai, etc. So, take direct flights from any of these cities, particularly on weekdays. Weekdays are cheaper than weekends. 

  • Visit in the off-season and not in the peak season

Of course, accommodation, food, and travel are expensive during the peak season, i.e., November to April. Instead, saving money in Phuket is not a big deal when you visit during the low season (monsoon season), i.e., April–November. In this off-season, the months between June and October experience the highest rainfall. 

  • Rent bikes instead of taxis

Taxis are corrupted in most islands of Thailand. Hence, it is always wise to rent bikes in Phuket. In fact, the actual rates are discounted in the low-season months. Boarding buses is also a great option. The smart buses stop at every beach. You can choose a pink or blue bus based on the routes and places you want to visit.  

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  • Get a local SIM card

If you’ve planned for umpteen things to do in Phuket and are going to stay for a longer period, buying a local SIM card could be the best choice. Seriously, roaming is high-priced. 

  • Learn to bargain

Remember, you may not want to bargain. But the shopkeepers are used to hiking prices, just as other travelers are used to bargaining. Firstly, avoid shopping if you’re planning for a short stay. Secondly, avoid ‘7-11’ kind of stores and choose stores like ‘super cheap’ for less expensive shopping.     

  • Prefer street foods over restaurants

You can enjoy the best Thai foods on the streets. They are pretty clean and, most importantly, budget-friendly. As you walk on the streets, you can easily get an idea of the menu. Banzaan is a notable night market for exploring nightlife and night food. Indeed, they offer the best street food in Phuket. Alternatively, you can talk to the locals and identify the cheapest street food center in your nearby location.  

  • Choose the beaches wisely

It is obvious that beaches are an important tourist attraction and are expensive during the peak season. However, some beaches are still expensive during the low season, like Patong, Kata, and Karon. Instead, you can visit Mai Khao, Kamala, Surin, and Bangtai.  

  • Book your hotel much earlier

You cannot save a penny if you plan your trip and book a hotel at the last minute. The hotels are in high demand and you need to book as soon as you fix your travel dates. Otherwise, whatever you save will go to surged hotel booking prices. If you want a nice place to stay in Phuket, find the one of your choice and book it much earlier. 

  • Cheaper alcoholic beverages and cigarettes

Local alcoholic beverages are branded and are decent in quality and pricing. Try Red Horse beer, Mekhong whisky, and Cheers beer; they are good. Their cigarettes are also cheaper and recommended for short-term use. 

  • Visiting temples is cheaper

Phuket has many temples and ‘The Big Buddha’ is world-famous. It is a 45-meter-high Budhha statue and one of the must-visit temples in Phuket. Other temples include Wat Phra Thong, Jui Tui Shrine, Wat Phranang Sang, and Wat Suwan Khirikhet.

  • Exchange currencies for better rates

If you’re on a tight budget trip to Phuket, don’t ever exchange currencies in your home country or at the hotel where you stay. Phuket Airport could be the first choice. If you’re concerned about even 10 baht, it’s better to exchange at ATMs or exchange booths (though illegal) on the streets. 

  • Explore other low-cost activities

Visit Phuket Old Town (known for architecture), enjoy the night markets (perfect nightlife), experience elephants at the Phuket Elephant Nature Reserve, capture memories at the breathtaking viewpoints, etc. Also, you can support the ethical elephant activities in Phuket as a sign of gratitude. 

Are you planning to visit Thailand? 

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