Hey y’all!! Soooo if you are wanting to know if Thailand was amazing , the answer is YES and if you are wanting to know if I planned it, THE ANSWER IS YES! It actually wasn’t as hard as you think it’s just takes a lot patience, research and free-time. I am going to explain what I did from start to finish, where I stayed and any FREE advice I can give you!
First and foremost, Thailand is amazing! The people are friendly, the food is cheap and the views are breathtaking! Our original flight was from New York to China which was 15 hours and then a layover for 6 hours in China, then China to Phucket, Thailand. We took China Southern and paid $1550 total for two people. The actually flight was $607 per person but we added travel insurance ( you don’t have to, but we decided to for $128 total). We flew from Atlanta to New York Friday after work for $148 round trip on Jet blue. We actually didn’t pay for that round trip because we both had credit from previous mistakes with that airline.The next, which was Saturday morning is when we flew to Thailand and returned from the following Sunday. Despite the reviews, China Southern was actually good to us. They feed us four times huge meals, fruit, drinks, unlimited wine and the seats were comfortable. They also had TV’s , gave us blankets and were very friendly. I was worried because I have never flown that long, but I took Dramine which knocked me out, watched movies and read. After about 4 hours my nerves calmed down and I forgot we were even on a plane. Also — the plane runs on Chinese time. Although it was light outside, it was night time in Asia, so they turned the lights off and trained our minds already for the 13 hour time difference.
We had about a day of traveling each way, so we spent about 5 full days in Thailand total. We did a lot in those 5 days. I mean a lot! My suggestion would be to stay longer if your time permits. For me, I go on vacation a lot and I only have 15 paid vacations days this year, so I decided to do less time to save for other trips.
Each one of our USD traded to around $31 baht. In Thailand they use baht and don’t really accept USD at all. They take credit cards but most US credit cards charge a 3% international fee on top of the transaction cost. My opinion is to wait until you get to the Thailand airport to exchange the money. There are no commission fees there and you get a better deal on the dollar. With our layover in China, we decided not to exchange our money to Chinese dollars and to use our credit card to pay for food. We told ourselves we wanted to stay on a budget and we almost did, but not quite!! We went over by maybe $175 and I can’t honestly tell you on what. Maybe taxis? Souvenirs ? We don’t know! Our spending budget which included activities, food, souvenirs and transportation was $600 total for the entire trip for the both of us. We spent about $705 that week total. I would say we spent about $1300 per person for the flight, food, taxis and transportation , hotels etc for (7) days worth of travel. SERIOUSLY IT WAS NOT EXPENSIVE FOR AN INTERNATIONAL TRIP!
We had saved and set aside money for the hotels prior to the trip. This is the best thing to do so it wont seem like you are spending a lot of money. We stayed at a different hotel every night and paid $685 total for 6 different hotels which includes our New York stay for Friday night. Yes you might be thinking that’s a lot, but for us, it averaged around $100 a night for top of the line hotels. When I say beautiful views and awesome accommodations? I mean it! Yes you can stay at cheaper hotels or even Airbnb’s for nothing, but we moved around a lot and wanted to treat ourselves this trip. We deserved it!! Again this is just my itinerary, I promise you can find hotels for cheaper around $50 a night! I can even help you plan it. I am discovering a new passion for travel and event planning and I would love for you to be my new client!
Mistake #1 —We made was exchanging about $300 of our dollars to Baht. I guess because they go my exact stock prices and fees, in New York we only got $25 baht for every dollar. Booooooo!! So we ended up loosing some money. After that we learned our lesson and ended up exchanging the rest of the money right when we landed in Phuket. Our first stop was Patong. Patong is a great area with a lot of tourist, shopping, clubs etc. We arranged for a shuttle to come and take us to our hotel. We used Phucket Airport Transfer and it came to 699 baht ($22 USD). The ride was about 45 mins away, so that was a steal. Do not get the taxis because it will range about $50 USD to get to Patong. We booked our Sunday night and Monday night hotel at Oakwood Hotel/Journey Hub. It was $164 for two nights, beautiful pool and view and great breakfast. Use my code on booking.com to get $20 off your next stay! Click here —> Niqua Referral ** We arrived really late Sunday, so we slept until the next morning.
Monday- We visited the Elephant Jungle Sanctuary Phucket. It was definitely an experience. We didn’t really get to interact with the elephants too much, but we did get to fed them, take photos and learn about their experiences. The history behind these gentle creatures is so inspiring and I love that this sanctuary is treating them right and taking care of them. The tour was about 4 hours long and included transportation and lunch and snacks. We paid about $75 USD per person for this. See the photos below!!
Tuesday - We wanted to visit to Phi Phi Island. Phi Phi is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen! To get to the island you have to take a ferry. We did not book this prior to arriving, but our hotel concierge had a taxi and ferry deal to get us there. We paid $1000 baht for the taxi and two hour ferry ride for two, which is about $31 USD. Not bad at all! Once you get to the ferry dock be prepared to pay $30 baht per person as a fee. Honestly I forgot what the fee was, there was a lot of them. The ferry ride was beautiful. While on the boat you could go on the top and see the views and they gave you free drinks and muffins. Once you get off to the island you have to pay a $20 baht per person to get on the island. They stated it was a cleaning fee for the island and it mandatory to enter. After that we settled in our hotel, which was directly on the beach. Our hotel was called PP Charley Beach Resort—Amazing views, service, OMG AMAZING BREAKFAST, and steps from the beach. Warning- Phi phi is extremely HOT!! SO PREPARE YOURSELF. Phi phi is a world on its own. It has places to eat, vendors everywhere and bars all on this little island. We knew we wanted to go on the long boats so we went to the pier and negotiated prices. All of the people there was charging $1500 baht, but we found someone who agreed on $1300 baht ($40 USD) for 3 hours around the islands. The views were amazing and we had the best time!! SO RECOMMENDED!!! Later that night we ate on the beach, enjoyed our hotel and even found beach party with hundreds of people! Who knew this island had so many people on it!!
Wednesday morning we headed back to Patong and paid $500 baht for the ferry ride back and $300 baht to get from the ferry dock to out Wednesday hotel. That day we planned to just hang out and chill all day. We wanted to treat ourselves so we booked a beautiful suite at the Wyndam Grand Phucket Kalim Bay Resort, which had our own private pool and Jacuzzi tub in the room. AMAZINGGGGG!!! We paid about $200 USD for the night which is really not bad considering what we had. The pool directly faced the ocean and had the best infinity pools. We didn’t leave the hotel at all that day. We even sat through a 2hour sales presentation and in exhange for our time they gave us a gift. We wanted to do the spa gift but we didn’t have time at all so they gave us food vouchers. I highly suggest doing this if you are on a budget. They gave us over $3000 in baht which is A LOT of money and we balled out on dinner and alcohol drinks for dinner. See photos below!
Have you ever experienced New Orleans??? If not, What are you waiting on?!?
Hi guys! I missed you!! It’s 2019 and the time is flying for sure. I would say that I’m trying my hardest to blog more so please bare with me and please keep supporting. This blog is about my recent affordable travel to NOLA! When you think of New Orleans what comes to mind? I think of bourbon street, good food and hurricane drinks. I absolutely love New Orleans and it is my favorite city to visit. Two weekends ago I had the opportunity to have a girls trip there for my one of my closest friends, Ayanna’s 30th birthday. It was a Friday to Sunday trip and guess what? We drove there and made it a road trip! Of course of all my travels are budgeted and I usually try to save at least 2 months out. How much do you think I spent on the entire trip? Including clothes?
If you guessed.. LESS THAN $300 - YOU ARE RIGHT! I probably spent about $290 total for travel, food, hotel and clothing.
Well if you’re wondering how I did it, here it goes. As you might know I live in Atlanta. Atlanta is about 6.5 hours from New Orleans. My sister and I opted on driving to New Orleans in the beginning and then my friends decided they were going to join us. The rental car for 3 days was $120 total. We all split the cost which came out to $30 each. We filled up about three times, so that came out to about $25 each on gas and the hotel ended up being $105 each for two days. Some might think that is a lot, but we ended up going the weekend that starts Mardi Gras. How crazy! & the more crazy part about it is, we didn’t even know!
But yes we paid $105 each and that’s the key to traveling and budgeting .. go with friends so you can split the cost of the rooming accommodations! Splitting the cost leads to you having more money for play!
So with it being Mardi Gras, of course there was a lot of stuff going on. I would say that was the only downfall of the trip.. the parades. They were fun but they blocked off most of the roads so it was very hard to leave the downtown area. That is one thing to keep in mind if you are going during an event. We made the best of it, and visited some of the main tourist areas and ate so much.
My recommendations for food are the below..
Surrey Uptown( soo good! great food and inexpensive!) Try the shrimp & grits, king pancake & the french toast.
Flamingo a Gogo ( for a colorful blogger like me, this was a fabulous place and really good drinks! Try the kings cake drink- so yummy!!)
Creole house- Try the alligator, and crab cake & shrimp Alfredo, ahhh so good!
Popeyes- I know I know, they are everywhere but for some reason its so much better here!
I’m pretty sure there are thousands I missed but I plan on going back within the next year, for a few more days and trying more restaurants! Seriously New Orleans food is to die for!
If you ever heard of American Horror Story, you would know the mansion they film in, is in New Orleans and we went by and snapped a photo. See below! There is honestly so much history there and you would need a few days to really unpack it all. We also tried to visit the grave site but the tours were every hour and we were on a time crunch. The grave yards are a must go place if you are visiting Nola...If you are into the super natural, voodoo or history lessons. The houses are so cool as well. The shot gun houses look very small but they are extremely long and full of character. The vintage feels is what always catches my eyes.
As far as the clothing, I spent about $70 on my two dresses, brown jogger suit and some accessories. I purchased a cute blue off the shoulder dress from Boohoo and a brown jogger set. The set was super comfy and the bow added the fun detail.. The flowy white stripped dress was purchased from Nasty Gal. Yes - everything was on sale and I didn’t have time to thrift this go around, but I made sure to not go crazy on spending clothing money for just two days.
Do you like my looks for NOLA?
We seriously had the best time in Nola. We partied till 5am one night, slept in the next night, did some crazy girl stuff like jump and dance on stages and get some beads! haha! The best memory was when a blind homeless man prayed for us, our family and our safety. I would remember that forever. He was such an amazing soul with a humble heart.
I stayed within my budget, spent little to no money ($290 to be exact!) and had the best time. This was definitely a trip to remember and memories will last a lifetime. My girls are amazing and I cannot wait until the next trip!
If you are wanting me to plan your next trip, I am open to taking inquiries!! Just give your budget and I will make it worthwhile! Did I mention I planned a 30th birthday last year with over 35 people? So crazy and stressful, but the end result was priceless.
Please email me at email@example.com for all planning needs! I would love to assist!
Fall isn’t my favorite season to style, but I’m learning to adapt to it. This year I am keeping my eyes on faux leather, plaids and layers. I am actually having fun with it and coming up with different looks that fit my personality. Some of my inspirations are actually coming from Pinterest and Who What Where on Instagram. Recently I was able to shoot this fabulous look below while it wasn't that cold here in Atlanta. The awesome part of it all was that I was able to snag this look for less than $15. Can you guess where I purchased these items? I discovered this cute look at a store called Uptown Cheapstake. I actually came across this same store in South Carolina, and I didn’t know there was one in Atlanta. After discovering it, I came up with a spending budget and walked away with some great items for under $35. Stay tuned for more looks put together from this fabulous thrift boutique.
Long sleeve shirt -$3
Faux Leather Skirt — $6
Do you like this look? Comment below and let me know your thoughts! How are you styling your fall looks?
DID YOU MISS ME? I seriously needed to take a time out, basically a mental break from the world and live my life this summer. I wanted to focus on me and getting myself together. Sometimes we need to unwind and not care about what others are doing or thinking. So you all might be wondering what have I been doing since my last post right?.... Well this summer I have traveled like crazy. I literally just came back from two back to back weekends in Florida. One weekend I went to Orlando for my friend's baby shower,(she had her twins a week later) and the past weekend I went back home to Key West for my 10 year class reunion. Back in June I also traveled to San Francisco for my birthday! My boo thang surprised me with a birthday trip and I am so grateful for him. But yes, I have been living and enjoying life, going through the motions and taking it day by day. I am still living fabulously on a budget and saving when I can.
I actually wanted to tell you all about my recent experience back home to Key West. If you have never been to Key West, make sure to go and check it off your bucket list. Not only are the sunsets breathtaking, the locals are amazing and the food is bananas! ( I mean that in a great way) I love coming home to see my family and friends and the past weekend was nothing short of amazing. Let's get down to it! My budget for the whole trip including travel was $225. I had already prepaid for all of the activities my high school class had arranged and I had it in my mind that I was going to get local food and nothing too crazy expensive. Welp...That didn't go as planned =(
So long story short, my boyfriend travels a lot for work and play. Luckily for me, we booked my flight from Atlanta to Fort Lauderdale for only $11 due to sky miles. ROUNDTRIP YALL!! So Key West is about 3.5 hours from Fort Lauderdale, the reason I didn't book a straight flight is because everything was over $400 and I was not about to pay that! So I flew into Fort Lauderdale on a Friday and rented a car for three days for $100. I am pretty sure if I wouldn't have booked last minute I probably would have paid cheaper. BUT WHATEVER! I knew I was going to stay at my cousins house which was for free! Thank god, and I knew I had over $114 left for 2 days which is not a lot of money but I always make it work. So that whole weekend I got spent about $60 on food and drinks! Not a lot at all! I was so proud of myself. On the day I was supposed to leave, I walk outside of my cousin's apartment and I don't see my car anywhere in sight!!! LEGIT FREAKING OUT! My car got towed y'all and it wasn't even my car! I had to make my flight back to Fort Lauderdale by 6pm and it was 11am at this point! I called literally everyone to see if they knew anyone at the tour truck company to get my car out for free but no luck!!! I had to pay $191 dollars to get my freaking rental car out! Talk about blowed!!!!!! My budget was completely out of the window. Thank god I had some extra money in my bank account and was able to get my car out because other wise I would have been STUCK writing this blog from Key West.
So this time it was a crazy silly mistake on my part. I honestly did not know my car was going to get towed considering I parked in the same spot the night before. I am convinced someone was watching me! So evil!! But my advice to you all while traveling on a budget is to always read signs and always go with your first extinct. I am traveling again in the next two weeks and I hope this mistake never happens to me again! I had so much fun at my class reunion though. It was great to catch up with all of my classmates and dance and share laughs. My fabulous yellow jumpsuit was purchased from Asos $24, and my dress was $20 from Asos as well. The links are below!
Anyways, I am so glad I went to my reunion and I cannot wait until the next one! Here's to the class of 2008!!!
I hope you all enjoyed this blog post and I will be checking in again soon! Check out the photos from my reunion below!