Originally Posted by Skippy787
Is it cheaper to book accomodation from home(Australia) or when I arrive in Thailand, and what am I looking at paying for a 3-4 star room.
and also what bags should I take Backpackers bags or will wheelie bags be suitable... bearing in mind I want to travel to Phi Phi island
Thanx for all your help and advice. :D
When are you arriving in Thailand?
Bags. Well, when you are waiting at the carousel for your own luggage, bag, backpack or whatever to come out you will notice a little of everything. You even see a lot of old fashioned suitcases coming off the belt too.
If you are a kid - go with a backpack! Because it sounds cooler when you go home. "I was backpacking in Thailand last month" sounds much cooler than "I was duffel bagging or suitcasing in Thailand" last month. If you are an adult it shouldn't matter what you have.
Most of the time you are going from airport to taxi or bus and from there to hotel or hostel. Even if you are going on ferry boats that is not a big problem either. Since you are asking about a 3 star or 4 star hotel you are probably not a common backpacker. Many of the thrift travelers and backpackers choose cheap hostels and cheap guest houses with no stars.
Whatever you bring make sure you can lock it! I never leave any hotel without locking my bags up. I do use safety boxes for valuables but there are small items that are convenient keep in the hotel room that I lock up when I leave. Out of sight - out of mind! Guests you allow in your hotel room will probably rip you off before the hotel staff.
I tried a backpack for a while when I first started paying for my own flights overseas. I didn't like backpacks. The straps would get caught on carousels, my opinion, they were not that convenient for packing.
I used 2 duffel bags with shoulder straps for about 6 years. One smaller one for inside the plane and another slightly larger bag for check in. Then I switched to duffel and big wheelie when I started to bring lots of stuff back to Thailand. Now I have 2 wheelies, one smaller one for inside the plane and one check in bag. Sometimes I check in 2 bags if I have a lot of stuff. The second bag is a duffel bag that folds up for trips back home. I can check in 2 bags for free on my airline. But I stay a long time in Thailand.
If you are arriving around Christmas or New Years holidays, especially for Phuket area I would book ahead! If you really want to save money on hotels get a NO STAR
hotel. There are many "no star" hotels that have air, hot water, safety boxes, TV's, maid service and private toilets. Pull up the website for your hotel. Then find the same hotel on a discount booking service like Agoda, Expedia, Sawasdee, Asia Direct and others for better prices. (I never use a booking service. Cheap hotels that know me will hold a room with just an email.)
Are you flying into Bangkok first? If so, why not spend a night or two in that city before leaving for down south? (Providing Bangkok is finished with their flooding problems.) Why fly all the way to Thailand and not see Bangkok? If you have plenty of time Chiang Mai is a nice place to visit too.
When will you be visiting Thailand? Christmas - New Years holidays are the most expensive times of year to travel in Thailand. This is also the time when hotels are more fully booked. Bookings for Phuket may be even higher this year if the flooding problems persist in Bangkok.