Everyone wants to lessen their expenses when traveling. Vacations can be pretty expensive and can cause a dent on your savings if you are not careful. The good news is that Koh Samui is a flexible destination in a way that it can be as luxurious or as cheap as you want it. If you are not the splurge type of traveller and would want to keep your costs at a minimum, here are some tips for you.

Eat a lot of Thai food.

You can pig out on local food when in Koh Samui without spending a lot of money. Thai food is cheap, delicious, and easily accessible on the island. If you want to save serious bucks,cut corners starting with your meals. Feast on local street delicacies and limit your visits to places that serve foreign cuisine. Anything with imported ingredients can be expensive so if you have to eat out, stick to Thai food. The best part about eating local cuisine is that dishes are filling and incredibly satisfying. Eat rice, curries, and soups. These will fill you up for a longer period of time, making you snack less.


Cooking skills, even if you can only fry and boil stuff, can save you a lot of money abroad. To ensure that you won’t need to go out to eat, find a place that has a kitchen or at the very least, one that allows cooking even on a hot plate. Stock on basics like cooking oil, eggs, instant noodles, and rice. If you have a fridge, you can even shop for meat and vegetables. Visit local fresh markets for great deals on seafood, meat, and herbs that you can use for your dishes.

Buy local fruits.

Aside from cooking your own food, you can save on your meals by buying plenty of fresh fruits. You can load up on pineapple, green and ripe mangoes, papaya, rambutan, tamarind, bananas, and durian. They are delicious, healthy, and cheaper than their imported counterparts.

Drink Thai whiskey (whisky) instead of beer.

For some reasons, local whiskey (which is more like a rum actually) is cheaper than beer on the island so if you are planning to have a drinking session with friends and you want to do it in a cheaper manner, just buy this local drink in bulk. You can dilute this with lime soda, cola, or tonic water. You can even add some instant juice and lots of ice for a fruity drink with a kick.

Create your own cocktails.

Related to the above tip, making your own cocktails is a cheaper way to indulge on fancy drinks for less. You can use Thai whisky to add a punch to instant 3in1 coffee, juice, and sodas. All you need is your imagination, flavored drinks, ice, and a pitcher with cap, and you can enjoy colorful cocktails without a huge bar bill.

Bring the party to your place.

If you have booked for a private rental that is spacious enough, you can have your own party right there. You can set up a tropical themed luau by the pool and have an all-grill menu if you have an outdoor barbecue equipment. You can go to the wholesalers and buy your needed party essentials like chips,dips, table napkins, sodas, burger buns, ready-made patties, and alcohol. If you have kids, stock up on ice cream, ready to cook French fries, and cheese sticks or nachos. Instead of hanging out at the local bars, just have the merriment at your place. You will have more food, greater chance for bonding, more privacy, all for less.

Be wise about breakfast.

Unless it is included in the price of your accommodation, it is always best to make your own breakfast. Any readily available breakfast is crazily marked up for what it actually is. Instead, buy bread, granola bars, cereals or anything you can eat quickly in the morning without too much effort. If you have a stove, you have more options since you can toast your bread on the skillet, have 3in1 coffee using boiled water, and even have a sunny side up egg and bacon. If you have a coffee maker and an oven toaster, then you definitely can make an even better meal including brewed coffee. Bottom line: a DIY breakfast with all the trimmings is still cheaper than what you can avail at your hotel or fast food.

Snack on street food.

Ideally you should be eating enough food on every meal that you no longer have the urge to snack. Then again, snacks are fun and if you must have one, opt for local street food such as banana fritters, rice cake, pad Thai, or Thai omelette. They cost a lot less than a pizza or a cup of designer coffee.

Make your own coffee.

For those who live on Starbucks coffee in their home country, maybe it is best to get it out of your system before your Koh Samui trip. You can save a lot of baht if you eliminate the mermaid coffee habit while on the island. If you need some caffeine fix, make your own at your hotel or villa or have a refreshing glass of Thai iced tea instead. Thai iced tea will keep you alert and awake much like coffee will.

Patronize local products.

Did you run out of bath soap, lotion, or moisturizer? Maybe you can try local brands for a change. Again, they are priced less than foreign brands and many of them are of really great quality. Pure coconut oil is a good moisturizer and hair conditioner. It smells great too. You can mix a tablespoon with a little sugar and you have an all natural scrub that you can use on your lips, hands, feet, and all over your body. This way you can have a luxurious spa treatment at home for like nothing.

Plan your holiday schedule.

It is best to avoid the peak season in any destination if you are on a budget. October to November is the cheapest time to visit Koh Samui because it is the island’s rainy season. However this means that the things you can do are limited because of the weather. For those who want to enjoy some sun but still save on their trip, you can consider the period from April to June. During this time of the year, the weather is sunny but there are not that many tourists. The humidity can be high during these months though so the heat is amplified. The plus in this case is that you have all the more excuse to head to the beach.