Skip to Content

Laos Travel Budget: How Much Does It Cost To Travel Laos?

Laos is a beautiful landlocked country in Southeast Asia. What it may lack in pretty beaches, it more than makes up for with its imposing mountains, dense green jungles, pretty waterfalls, and amazing temples.

Laos is also a cheap country to travel to, our Laos travel budget was only 511.000LAK / €57 / $64 on an average day!

Traveling to Laos on a budget is a great way to experience the beauty of the country without breaking the bank. In this post can find all the nitty-gritty details of our Laos budget.

Laos travel budget

Disclosure: Some links in this post are affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of these links, we may earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you!). We're very grateful when you use our links to make a purchase:-).

Tempel Luang Prabang Laos

How much does it cost to travel Laos

In the infographic below you can find a detailed budget breakdown of our Laos trip to give you a quick overview of how much (or actually how little) you can spend during your trip in Laos.

Of course, the amount you'll spend depends on your style of travel, the length of your trip, and the type of accommodation you choose.

However, compared to countries such as Japan, New Zealand, Canada, and Europe, Laos is a very affordable destination.

Generally speaking, you can travel around Laos on a budget of $25-$50 per day (per person). As you can see in the infographic, we spent $64 per day as a couple.

I'll explain more about how much we spent on accommodation, food, transport, and activities further on in the post.

Everything you need to know about the cost of travel in Laos, a detailed budget breakdown with info about accommodation, transport, food and activities! #Laos #travelbudget #southeastasia

Laos budget travel: facts and figures

  • I traveled around Laos with my husband, all expenses are for the two of us together.
  • We spent 14 days in Laos in total. We entered Laos via the Thai/Lao border near Huay Xai and exited by train via the Thai/Lao Friendship Bridge near Vientiane.
  • During our Laos trip, we visited Luang Prabang, Vang Vieng, and Vientiane.
  • The local currency in Laos is the Lao Kip (LAK). In this post, I quote prices in LAK as well as Euro (€) and US Dollar ($).
  • When we were in Laos, €1 was approximately 9000 LAK and $1 was around 8000 LAK. Here you can find the current exchange rate.
  • In total we spent 7.154.000LAK / €798 / $896 in the 2 weeks we spent in the country. This comes down to an average travel budget of 511.000 LAK / €57 / $64 per day.
  • This budget includes all our expenses in Laos, plus transportation costs to Bangkok (we took the night train).
Men in boat on Mekong in Laos

How to save money when planning a trip to Laos

The good news is: traveling to Laos on a shoestring budget is definitely possible!

That being said, it's important to plan carefully, look for discounts, and be flexible with your itinerary to make the most of your travel budget for Laos.

I hope this post will give you an idea of the costs of traveling in Laos, as well as some practical tips about how to stretch your travel budget.

Avoid peak season (travel during shoulder season instead)

Start by researching the best time of year to visit Laos as the cost of flights and hotels can vary throughout the year.

The peak season in Laos is from November to February. During these months accommodation prices are at their highest.

If you have the option to be flexible with your travel dates and able to travel in low season, this is a great way to save money on your Laos trip.

River and mountain view in Vang Vieng, Laos

Save money on flights

You can look for discounts on flights to Laos on websites like Try different travel dates and see how this affects the price of your flight.

Generally, the cheapest days to fly are Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday. Airlines often offer discounted fares on these days, so it's worth checking the booking sites and comparing prices on different days of the week.

You’ll get a better deal by booking your flight in advance. For domestic flights 1-3 months before your trip is ideal. For international flights, it’s best to book 2-8 months in advance.

Lastly, you may be able to find cheap flights if you're willing to be flexible with your departure and arrival times.

Sure, it’s not ideal to arrive in the middle of the night, but if it saves you hundreds of dollars it’s worth losing one night of good sleep.

✈️ Click here to find the best ticket deals

Book your accommodation in advance

Once you've got your flights booked, it’s time to research budget accommodation. I always use Agoda and Booking to find the best value-for-money accommodation for our trips.

I recommend checking both platforms before you book to make sure you get the best deals.

Please note that Agoda includes taxes in their price whereas Booking doesn't always include this. Make sure to check this before finalizing your booking.

Also, if you're in a country with hefty ATM fees or a limit on how much cash you can withdraw per transaction it can be better to book with Agoda as you can often pay online with your credit card (thereby reducing your need for cash).

Cost of travel in Laos

Now that you know some great ways to save money in the planning phase of your Laos trip, it's time for a deep dive into our Laos expenses. Our daily budget can be divided into five categories:

  1. Accommodation costs: 18% of our daily travel budget
  2. Transportation costs: 18% of our daily travel budget
  3. Cost of food & drinks: 42% of our daily travel budget
  4. Activity costs: 14% of our daily travel budget
  5. Visa costs: 8% of our daily travel budget

1. Cost of accommodation in Laos

We stayed in private rooms at 5 different hotels during our 2 week trip around Laos.

On an average travel day, we paid 91.500LAK / €10 / $11,50 for accommodation*. This adds up to 1.281.000 / €140 / $161 spent on accommodations in total.

In the table below you can find the hotels that we stayed at during our trip to Laos (and a few replacements, as some have unfortunately closed down).

LocationHotel PriceBook
Huay XaiSabaidee Guesthouse€10/$11Click here
Pak BengMonesavanh Guesthouse€5,50/$6,50Click here
Luang PrabangElephant Boutique Hotel*€20/$22Click here
Vang ViengVang Vien Boutique Hotel€17,50/$20Click here
VientianeViryla Boutique Hotel**€21/$22Click here

* Note that our trip to Laos was a couple of years ago and average prices have increased a bit since then. I've updated the prices in the table to reflect the current prices per night, that's why these are a bit higher than the average of $11.50 per night mentioned (though still very affordable).

** In picturesque Luang Prabang we stayed at Sengphet Guesthouse, however, unfortunately it's permanently closed. The Elephant Boutique Hotel is a great and affordable alternative.

*** In Vientiane we stayed at Mixok Guesthouse, however, ratings have gone down significantly since then. That's why I recommend staying at the well-reviewed Viryla Boutique Hotel instead.

Budget hotels we stayed at in Laos

  • Sabaidee Guesthouse (Huay Xai): a basic accommodation with a spacious room. Everything was clean and the staff at the reception was friendly. Book here.
  • Monesavanh Guesthouse (Pak Beng): another very basic room but clean and tidy. There aren't any fancy options available in Pak Beng (as far as I'm aware). If you follow our Laos itinerary, you'll only spend one night here before boarding the slow boat again, to travel to Luang Prabang on the Mekong River so you won't need much anyway. Book here.
  • Elephant Boutique Hotel (Luang Prabang): this is a great place to stay. The double rooms are clean, the beds are comfortable and the staff is very nice. Plus, it’s only a 5-minute walk to the night market. Book here.
  • Boutique Hotel (Vang Vieng): this hotel has modern rooms with ensuite bathrooms and an extensive complimentary breakfast. The friendly staff will make you feel at home. Book here.
  • Viryla Boutique Hotel (Vientiane): with a swimming pool, modern rooms, and very comfortable beds, this is an excellent place to base yourself during your time in Vientiane. Book here.

2. Cost of transport in Laos

Mekong Laos Huay Xai

Let’s take a closer look at local transportation in Laos. There are many ways to travel around the country, such as local buses, taxis and tuk tuk, and minivans.

One of the most popular and cost-effective ways is taking a bus or minivan. Bus and minivan services are available in all of the larger cities and even many small towns, and they're a great way to explore Laos.

A quick note: when traveling in Laos (and Southeast Asia in general), you need to be prepared for delays.

Most of these delays will be relatively short but sometimes your bus or minivan can be delayed for hours (without anyone offering an explanation).

The easiest way to get from A to B in Laos is by booking your bus ticket via 12Go Asia. This is an online platform where you can book tickets for trains, buses, ferries, minivans, and private transfers all around Southeast Asia.

I've used 12Go Asia several times and had great experiences with both the ease of booking on the platform itself as well as their fast and friendly customer service when I needed to amend our booking.

For example, you can use 12Go Asia to book a minivan transfer from:

How much did we spend on transportation in Laos?

As mentioned above, getting around Laos is not expensive. Our transportation costs were 90.000LAK / €10 / $11 on average per day.

Our total costs for buses, tuk tuk rides, the slow boat, etc. were 1.260.000LAK / €138 / $154 in 14 days.

Slow boat Laos Huay Xai

3. Cost of food and drinks in Laos

Laos has one of the most delicious and unique cuisines in Southeast Asia. From the famous spicy Lao sausages to the classic sticky rice, there are so many delicious dishes to try.

Some of the best things to eat in Laos include:

  • Laab (a meat-based salad flavored with mint leaves, chili, fish sauce, and lime juice. This is Laos' national dish)
  • Lao-style papaya salad
  • Mok pa (steamed fish parcels)
  • Khao soi (egg noodle soup with coconut milk)

For the adventurous foodie, there are also dishes like Lao-style beef jerky or Lao-style barbecued riverside snake.

How much did we spend on food and drinks in Laos?

Good news: the food in Laos is not only really tasty, but it's also very cheap!

That is if you eat local food at local restaurants. Eating Western Food always triples the price of dinner when traveling around Southeast Asia.

So when it comes to food, explore the local markets to find inexpensive meals and try delicious street food whenever you have the chance.

Anyway, let's talk numbers.

On an average day, we spent 214.000LAK / €24 / $27 on food and drinks. The total costs for food and drinks during our Laos trip were 2.996.000LAK / €336 / $378.

4. Cost of activities in Laos

Kuang Si Waterfalls Laos

Make sure to take advantage of the many free activities that Laos has to offer, such as hiking in the national parks, exploring the temples, and visiting cultural sites.

Doing so will help you make the most of your vacation while still sticking to your budget.

When planning your Laos trip, it's worth looking into tour companies that offer affordable tours that can help you save money while still getting the best experience.

Klook is the largest tour operator in Southeast Asia, but Get Your Guide has been working really hard on growing their SEA offers as well so be sure to check out those websites as well when you're planning your Laos activities.

Some of the most worthwhile tours in Laos are:

? Kuang Si Waterfalls day trip in Luang Prabang: take in the unique sight of more than 4,000 Buddha icons in the 2 caves and explore Kuang Si Falls, the most beautiful and famous falls in Laos. Check availability.

? Hiking tour in Vang Vieng: discover some of the most beautiful caves and trails available in Vang Vieng, with a full day of trekking to remote places that even locals are not aware of. Check availability.

? Kayak and cave tubing tour in Vang Vieng: experience true adventure in Vang Vieng by kayaking on the Nam Song River and going tubing inside Tham Nam None Cave. Check availability.

? City tour in Vientiane: admire Vientiane's famous landmarks on a guided full-day tour. Marvel at walls lined with thousands of tiny Buddha statues in Wat Si Saket and visit the That Luang Stupa. Check availability.

How much did we spend on activities in Laos?

Laos is a beautiful and mountainous country, as such our trip to Laos was all about outdoor activities.

We mountain biked to the Kuang Si Waterfalls near Luang Prabang, cycled around Vientiane, and went kayaking and hiking in Vang Vieng.

Our average cost for activities was 74.000LAK / €8,50 / $9,50 per day. Total costs for all our activities in Laos were 1.036.000LAK / €119 / $133.

Hiking in Vang Vieng

5. Tourist visa for Laos

The costs for a Laotian visa depend on your nationality. In our case, we have Dutch nationality and paid $35 for a 1-month single-entry visa.

We bought this visa at the land border between Thailand and Laos (at the Chiang Khong – Huay Xai border).

Our total cost for the Laos visa was $70 (for two people). Considering the fact that we spent 2 weeks in Laos, this comes down to $5 / €4,50 / 41.500LAK a day.

When looking exclusively at visa costs, it's better to stay in a country a bit longer, to spread the visa costs over more days.

We only ‘used' 14 days of the 30 days that our visa was valid for, so we could have gotten more value out of our visa. Maybe next time we'll be able to spend a month in Laos!

How Much Does It cost To Travel Laos For 14 Days?

6. Travel insurance costs

I didn't include the cost of travel insurance in our Laos budget breakdown because we use our travel insurance for all our trips, not just for our Laos itinerary.

However, that doesn't take away the fact that making sure you have proper travel insurance is super important.

It helps protect you and your belongings in the event of a mishap during your travels. Furthermore, it provides coverage for medical expenses, trip cancellation, lost or stolen items, and more.

Also, having good travel insurance will provide you peace of mind, knowing that if something goes wrong, you have a safety net in place.

With so much to consider when planning a trip, having the right travel insurance can help ensure a smooth and enjoyable journey without stressing out about things that can go wrong.

Plan your Southeast Asia trip like a pro with these tools:
✈️ Find the best flight deals on
? Book your transport tickets (train, bus, ferry, minivan, and more) via 12Go.Asia
?️ Find your dream accommodation on or Agoda.
? Book the best tours with Klook and Get Your Guide.
? Plan your journey with the Lonely Planet.
?️ Travel safely and get reliable travel insurance from Safety Wing.

Laos on a budget: in conclusion

That's everything about our budget for Laos, one of the most beautiful countries of Southeast Asia, with friendly locals and plenty of things to do!

I love how Laos is a bit more off the beaten track than other countries in Southeast Asia. And, with a bit of planning and research, it’s definitely possible to travel Laos on a budget and still have an amazing experience.

You can download the budget infographic below.

This post was updated in December 2022.


Saturday 23rd of January 2016

Seems like prices in Laos haven't gone that much up as I expected in 2008. Our day budget back then was only 10 Euros less and we spent a full month, so were probably traveling a bit slower, usually being a bit cheaper.


Saturday 23rd of January 2016

Wow €10 per dag, that's really cheap! And agreed, traveling slowly definitely helps keeping your daily budget under control:-)