We’ve all had those clients who walk through our doors or slide into our inbox to tell us they need help planning the most incredible holiday of a lifetime. Maybe they are trying to impress their new girlfriend. Maybe they’ve just hit retirement and looking to leave behind their years behind a desk with a luxury getaway. Maybe they just got that raise they’ve been after for years. They come to us with big dreams and high hopes, and it’s up to us to craft the perfect vacation to meet their every expectation.
You begin to think, ‘Wow, this could be the big booking of my career. I might just be able to retire myself.’ You reach for your Tahitian brochures or your ‘Round the World by Private Jet” prospectus and they look at you with doe eyes.
And then you come to the budget.
Turns out the girlfriend isn’t so hot. The retirement savings weren’t that large and the raise… Well, let’s just say we’ll keep that private jet parked for now.
But not all is lost.
There is a reason why Thailand remains one of my most favourite destinations of all 75+ I’ve been to. I’ve been known to stretch a penny, but I do still love my amenities and Thailand delivers it all.
Let’s start with hotels.
No matter where your clients fit on the budget spectrum, they will most assuredly come away with an experience that exceeded their expectations. The rule of thumb when choosing a hotel? Always suggest a level or two up from the style of hotel they might normally be accustomed to. A slew of new hotels pop up every season, each one competing for the coveted spot of traveller’s choice. The hotels typically outdo themselves, but still have to keep their prices low to remain competitive. In low season (April to Sept), you can even find 5-star hotels in Thailand for the price of a Super8 in your neighbourhood. But even in peak season, clients who are normally used to staying in more conservative 4-star properties can take advantage of infinity pools, sunken tubs, private villas, and even butler service in Thailand.
Then we have the food.
Sometimes we get requests for hotels with kitchenettes in Thailand, for clients who think that this option might save them some money. The truth is, very few hotels in Thailand come with kitchenettes. The reason? It’s just too darn inexpensive to eat on the streets or in local restaurants. And the food is gooooood. Many of my ex-pat friends who live in Thailand tell me that while their condo comes with a kitchen, they’ve never turned on their stove. While Thailand now has Michelin restaurants as well and you can most certainly drop some big coin in the finer establishments, those on a budget can enjoy a yummy dish of Phad Thai for less than $5.
You asked about pampering?
With hour-long Thai massages coming in at around $10. Mani-pedi’s around $20 and those are just two of the many spa options on the menu, the biggest conundrum is trying to figure out how one will fit in so many treatments in a limited amount of time. After all, you should probably go see a temple or two and do some snorkelling at some point, but there are only 24 hours in a day.
Finally, there’s the shopping.
It’s safe to say that anything you could ever imagine or dream up can be purchased in Thailand. Iron lung? No problem. Some of my favourite markets can be found in Bangkok, like Chatuchak weekend market, MBK mega shopping complex, or Asiatique night market. Chiang Mai also has one of the best night bazaars in all of South East Asia. For a handful of baht, you have a suitcase of sarongs, jewellery, silk, tapestries, teak carvings… The list is endless.
But every rainbow comes with a cautionary tale.
It’s kinda like that Seinfeld episode where Jerry laments ‘Once you go first-class, you can never go back.’ So bring on those ballers with beer budgets who want it all. One trip to Thailand will spoil your clients forever.
For a full list of Goway’s Thailand offerings, visit Goway.com
And for some ridiculously amazing luxury for less deals Goway has on right now, visit:
Thailand As You Like It
Thailand Vacations – Save US $200 /CA $250