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Old 05-08-2014, 07:12 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,707 posts, read 40,103,214 times
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I would look into Singapore, as I live in Columbia Gorge (PDX) & Thailand and fly back and forth through Singapore due to better pricing and schedules. I bought yesterday PDX>SIN for $1200 (21 day advance) I fly Scoot or Tiger Air to BKK for $60 each way. (limited luggage...) I have seen Singapore for under $1000.

Cheapest is likely PDX to HKG. ~ $800 and an budget carrier to BKK (~$80 each way). BE SURE to get the Emirates 'relocation' flight BKK to HKG. I paid $70 for that luxurious ride on an A-380.

Both Hong Kong and Singapore are pretty fixed up for Christmas. Unfortunately they are both spendy too (for lodging). I use guest homes ($10/night worldwide) but not legal in Singapore. Check Agoda,com for cheap stays in Asia.

I usually find a nice place in Thailand for $50 USD and eat VERY well on 300baht ($10). There are great buses and minivans for ~ $10 - $30 for a long haul

Consider your mileage accrual as part of your airfare. it is about 20k miles RT, so nearly a free (USA) ticket!

Also I always book on flights that are likely to bump me. We got $1440 each (family of four) in one day on a Homeschool field trip. (3 bumps) We were a couple hours late. We traveled for yrs on the $1440 and additional bumps + accrued mileage.

Since you are in PDX... keep your eye on Spirit air (Hobo)... I take their $19.90 Direct flights to San Diego for sun breaks! (they offer them a few x / yr). Down at 6AM, back at midnight!
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Old 05-08-2014, 07:58 AM
 
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I've been looking at airfares to Thailand for the last year or so and I've never seen anything less than $1200 a ticket.

I would be prepared to spend more than you want; a family vacation to Thailand is not the time to pinch pennies, IMO.
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Old 05-08-2014, 01:50 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eazine View Post
JoeCollege- thanks for the info, I will investigate those too - Cambodia is a possibility

Not that you asked, but I don't think Cambodia would be my first over Thailand for a family. Thailand has nice beaches, didn't see that in Cambodia. I liked Cambodia, and it is super cheap when there, but not getting there... doubt it.

Also, I know there is poverty everywhere, but the beggars, amputees, and hookers can really take their toll mentally. Ankgor Wat, etc is amazing, but well... if you're trying to chill, not sure it would be my suggestion.
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Old 05-08-2014, 01:59 PM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ > Raleigh, NC
15,119 posts, read 19,096,096 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timberline742 View Post
Stop. People need to live and travel is important.
I completely agree. But it does need to be prioritized, and should be considered as something of a luxury - especially travel like the OP is discussing (the $1200/person plane ticket).

But, if you insist, consider Friendly Planet.
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Old 05-08-2014, 03:34 PM
 
Location: Haiku
4,188 posts, read 2,613,537 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eazine View Post
I'd like to keep it as frugal as possible and spend $4500- 6500k or less (would love to spend less). I'm a web developer and that amounts to about 2-3 small websites on the side over the next 6 months which seems feasible.

We are a family of 3.

I was calculating:
$100 in meals per day, if we eat at food stalls
$800 in lodging (60-80 per day)
$200 in bus fare / transportation
$500 in incidentals (tips, souvenirs, guides, activities)
$4200 in airfare (yeowch!) - this is killing me. Is $1400 per person a good deal? Is anything under $1000 likely?

Am I forgetting anything?
My wife and I spent 3 weeks in Thailand and Cambodia recently. Here are some tips:
  • Bangkok will be more expensive than rural parts of Thailand. Beaches and islands will be expensive.
  • Christmas will be the most expensive time to go to Thailand, particularly airfare. I would go in January if you can.
  • Get tickets now. They will only go up in price. Thailand is popular - Europeans, Australians, Chinese all like to go there.
  • Spending $80/night for lodging is doable in Bangkok. It is easily doable in other parts of Thailand.
  • My wife and I spent less than $50 / day for both of us on food. And that included beer with dinner.
  • Bangkok is an exhausting city, I would not stay there long. Chiang Mai in the north is slow paced, cheaper, and beautiful. Take the train there. Overnight 2nd class is not too expensive - maybe $35/person? It is a lot of fun - buy a picnic dinner to take with you. The train attendants will come through and make your seat into a bed, with sheets! Reserve early - they sell out.
  • The most expensive part of your trip (besides air fare) will be getting out of the city and seeing things like elephants, temples, various sites. I think we spent more than $100 for the two of us on some of these excursions.
  • Bangkok has lots of ways to separate you from your money. River trips that show very little and are relatively expensive, etc.
  • $1400/person sounds about right for air fare from Portland. I think our tickets would have cost about that but I managed to pay with frequent flyer miles. We flew from Hawaii.
Have fun! You will love it. Very nice place. If you can at all swing it, go to Angkor Wat - incredible place and even cheaper than Thailand.
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Old 05-08-2014, 08:53 PM
 
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Thailand.

R/T airfare will probably be about $1400 per person. But, everybody wants to go around the holidays for Christmas and New Year's, so you might not even find a cheap flight at that time. Ditto for the hotel rooms. Finding a room during the holidays can sometimes be difficult.

Food from food stalls can be as cheap as one or two dollars per meal.
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Old 11-19-2014, 10:10 PM
 
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Thanks again for all your advice. By the time I was able to secure tickets around Christmas, they had shot up to nearly $2,400 each! Of course now that we are getting closer to that window, I'm seeing many more deals. However, as some of you suggested we decided to buy tickets in early Feb. instead and found a decent deal for just about $900/each round trip.

Now it's all about planning how to spend our days. For those of you who've been to Thailand recently, I'd love to hear your reviews of places to visit. What was overrated highlights, etc. Would any of you recommend getting a local guide?
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Old 11-19-2014, 11:44 PM
 
Location: City of Angels
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I booked my last flight to BKK in August the night before I left and got it for $860 RT (from LAX).

Next flight I plan on budgeting $1300 for flight but that's because it will be multi-destination (LAX-DXB, DXB-BKK, KUL-NBO, NBO-LAX). Will be epic. Would prolly be under $1000 if I wasn't doing multi-destination. I don't know why ppl book in advance, I never do, and it always seems to work out in the end.

As far as suggestions for Thailand, I dunno. Thailand has something for everyone. Depends on what type of stuff you like doing, I suppose.
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Old 11-20-2014, 02:39 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,707 posts, read 40,103,214 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eazine View Post
T...
Now it's all about planning how to spend our days. For those of you who've been to Thailand recently, I'd love to hear your reviews of places to visit. What was overrated highlights, etc. Would any of you recommend getting a local guide?
age and interests?

I would spend a couple days in Bangkok
and see the saturday market and a night market, and a river longboat cruise (taxi) / river market / and lots of street food. 1/2 day guide OK IF they don't drag you to a jewelry shop buddy for 3 hrs... very common)

(good to do budget hotel in city since you are there very little) There are NICE and clean ones <$20. I have got Holiday Inn (usually Silom district) for ~ $70/night w/ breakfast). I had good luck with Agoda.com for last 8 months in Thailand.

for nice Beaches; I would take an overnight train to Krabi (watch your daughters / wife all night (train conductor just raped and killed another 13 yr old and threw her off. He Took her from family cabin while others slept). (I don't recommend Phuket (touristy / dirty / used / run down), kinky). Pattaya, is not for me (no desire for lady-boys or similar). I like countryside and quiet (EZ to find in Thailand, and tough to find in Asia cities). All across Thailand; Disco 10 pm till 4AM; All Dogs fight at 4:30 AM, Roosters @ 5:30 AM and rest of day; loudspeaker advertising starts at 6AM (decent sleep 4 - 4:30AM, sometimes also in hot afternoon)

For Mtns; flight to Chang-rai and an adventure trek into the countryside.

I enjoyed my scooter a lot (2,000 thb/ month ~ $65USD)
I could go to small towns and mix with locals.
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Old 11-20-2014, 03:30 AM
 
Location: City of Angels
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The cheapest 5 star hotels are usually located along lower Sukhumvit, but just to warn you, this is the epicenter of the girly bar scene (especially soi 4). I see a lot of wild eyed tourist families accidentally walk through this area, and see genuine terror in their faces, so just giving you fair warning. Siam Square, Silom, and the Riverside are safer bets for family tourists. Also agree that Pattaya and Phuket are probably best avoided. Krabi might be good and it's important to remember that flights usually aren't that expensive. Another option is Koh Chang, spent a week at KC Grande Resort on Koh Chang in September and I highly recommend it. Very scenic and lots of stuff to do, not overrun like Phuket. And much quicker to get there from BKK. I paid 2500THB for a private taxi from Pattaya (I get up too late for minibus :-/), so I figure you can probably rent your own minibus taxi from BKK for 4000THB or so. Or minibus tickets are like 750THB/person.
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