While in Chiang Mai, Thailand we met several people who told us about their recent travels to Laos. We decided to visit ourselves and had an amazing two-week experience traveling through the northern part of the country. And some new friends we met in Chaing Mai were also going to be in Laos at the same time! Don’t worry if you’re concerned about costs here. It is one of the most affordable countries in Southeast Asia. This made our travel budget in Laos was easy our wallets.
Our Travel Budget In Laos
Accommodation – Average of US$29 Per Night
Our trip in Laos began with a two-day river journey that required an overnight in a small village where we stayed in a small guesthouse. We also stayed in a guesthouse in Luang Prabang, a small hotel in Vang Vieng, and a private room in hostel in Vientiane. The cheapest of these was $25 per night and the most expensive was $32 per night. All of our accommodation prices included breakfast.
Food – Average of US$16 Per Day
Laos has a wide range of food. We ate everything from meals at cheap noodle stands, lunch at an organic farm, and dinner at Mexican and German restaurants. Prices start at around $1.50 for street food. Plan to spend $2-$3 for a French-inspired dessert at a cafe. And $5 for a meal at a mid-range restaurant is a good estimate.
Activities – Average of US$12 Per Day
Our two favorite activities in Luang Prabang were a visit to the beautiful Kuang Si waterfall where you can go swimming in the refreshing turquoise water, and a tour of an organic farm where we learned how the rice crop is planted and is essential to the Lao way of life.
Adrenaline and outdoor adventurers will love Vang Vieng, where we went river tubing, cave exploring, and lagoon swimming. Vientiane doesn’t have much to offer in the form of activities. But we did enjoy a visit to the COPE museum where we learned about the impact of the American bombings in the 1960’s and 70’s.
Transportation – Average of US$21 Per Day
The majority of our transportation spending came from our two-day boat journey down the Mekong River. The cost of this trip was $114 each. Less expensive options for the same journey are available. But we payed a little more because the company we used picked us up on the Thai side of the border and took us to the boat dock on the Lao side. Other transportation expenses were the minivan transfer between Luang Prabang, Vang Vieng, and Vientiane, which cost between $8 and $10 per person for each segment.
Miscellaneous – Average of US$13 Per Day
The two main expenditures in the category were the visa fee to enter the country ($36 each) and the cost of our travel health insurance policy.
Our Travel Budget Grand Total For Laos……
Our total cost of our 13-day trip through Laos was $1,183 or an average of $91 per day, for the two of us. This cost does not include our flights or a few donations that we made. Overall Laos is a great destination for those who want adventure at an inexpensive cost.
Your Travel Budget In Laos
If you travel to Laos your spending will probably not be the same as ours. Everyone has a different style of travel. We tend to travel more slowly, visiting fewer places and spending more time in each place. Another way we save is by avoiding expensive meals, alcohol, and souvenirs.
We divided our suggested travel budgets for visiting Laos into three categories, and have included our spending for comparison.
- We think a couple could get by on $70 per day if staying in hostels, eating cheaply, and using inexpensive forms of transportation.
- A good mid-range budget of $120 per day for two would allow you to stay in 2 and 3 star hotels and eat in modestly-price restaurants.
- At the high end, $270 would allow you to stay in 4 and 5 star international chain hotels and eat in the finest restaurants.
Again, these are very rough recommendations for travel budgets to Laos. Everybody has a different method of traveling and spending. It’s impossible to predict the exact cost for a trip to Laos.
Check out our video on Laos!