Travel Plans to Phuket
InfoUseful

11 Most Stressful Things When Planning a Trip to Phuket (and how to avoid them)

Tips to Reduce Stress Before Travelling to Phuket

Whenever you travel to a new destination for the first time, planning can be stressful. There are so many unanswered questions, and if also the cost is high, the stress grows proportionally. Phuket is no different. Travelling has become more accessible, and a lot of information is now available online, but finding all the answers can be time-consuming, frustrating and more often than you think: second or even third hand!

Phuket 101 is a team of two, living in Phuket and Bangkok for the past 25 years, actively and permanently researching and helping travellers for almost 10 years… for free. All the information below is first hand, and not sponsored!


1. Which beach should I select for my hotel?

Where to Stay in Phuket

With 20 amazing beaches around the island, it’s no surprise that every first-time traveller is worried about making the right choice to book their hotel. (there are in fact more than 40 beaches some are less attractive or to hidden)


2. Should I change my money before I travel?

Money Changing at Phuket Airport

The exchange rate is known to be better in Phuket, and there are money exchange counters and ATMs at Phuket Airport where you can change the amount you need for your taxi and maybe a bit of extra just in case.


3. What is the best way to change money in Phuket

Currency Exchange Phuket

We already established that changing money in your home country was the least interesting option, but where should you go once in Phuket? The answer is simple: change in the street, at unbranded booths, but walk around to compare the rate as usually there are many booths in beach towns. Bank exchange booths are also ok, just a little more expensive. The difference is so small; it will not make so much difference at the end of your holiday, so don’t waste too much time anyway.


4. Can I use my credit card in Phuket

Can I use my credit card in Phuket

Credit cards are not accepted everywhere in Phuket, but things are improving. You can use one at the shopping mall, convenient stores and established restaurants. It seems difficult to define what an established restaurant is, but they usually are not open facades, they look a little more expensive, and they display a sticker with the accepted cards at the door. The rule of thumbs is

1) Ask the staff before you sit down at the restaurant or check the accepted credit cards stickers at the door.

2) Always carry enough cash for the day in case they don’t. ATM and money changers are everywhere and easy to find anyway. Visa is the most used, followed closely by Master Card. American Express is not often accepted outside shopping malls.

Will not accept: Markets, local restaurants, tuk-tuks and taxis.
Will accept: Shopping malls, convenience stores, upmarket restaurants, some tour agents but with a 3% fee when less than certain amount.


5. How will I go from the airport to my hotel, especially if I arrive late?

Phuket Airport Minibus Transfer to Hotels

There are plenty of different ways to reach your hotel from Phuket International Aiport, even if you land very late. From the most expensive (faster) to the cheapest (can take hours): 1) you can book a transfer with your hotel, 2) use the airport silver limousines, 3) use a taximeter, 4) Share an airport minivan, 5) ride the smart bus. We describe all the options at length here


6. How will I go around?

Getting Around Phuket

Getting around Phuket is very easy during the day and not too difficult at night even very very late (unless you are having a party on a very remote beach). Tuk-Tuks are the most versatile ways of transportation, and while they are fun and exotic, the cost can add up quickly. Grab Taxis are available but can take a little longer to reach you (similar to Uber in case you don’t know Grab). Buses are available from beaches to beaches and from beaches to Phuket town, they are cheap but slow. Then you can rent a moped or a car, but driving here comes with a few risks. Read all about getting around Phuket


7. Is Phuket safe? Especially for solo travellers

Travelling Alone in Phuket

Phuket is very safe, probably safer than most other countries. Of course, the experience might differ for each traveller, but overall, if you follow the common-sense safety rules, you should never have to worry. In this page, we give a few pieces of advice, but keep in mind that these safety tips just use common sense. The island offers a lot of options and activities to the solo traveller, depending on how alone you want to remain. Read more about safety in Phuket


8. Should I book my tours in advance or wait to be there

Similan Islands

Tours availability depends on the month you will arrive in Phuket and how specific you are about the company you wish to use. Most tours can be booked once in Phuket with your hotel tour counter (a bit more expensive), in the street or a travel shop. All are safe to use and able to organise almost any tour since they all talk to the same supplier anyway. If you want something more special like a private cruise or a sea canoe with John Gray, you should book online in advance to avoid disappointment. Also, remember that December and January are the peak month, so don’t wait for the last minute to make your booking.


9. Can I book a taxi with driver for a day?

Phuket taxi with driver for a day

Yes, it is very easy, very comfortable and cheaper than you may think. If you get the right driver, they will take you around the island following your itinerary, or discuss with you in advance to organise your day, often offering great advice. You can usually pay with a credit card, but a 3% fee is added when the total cost is small. If you wish to get in touch with one of them, go to our Phuket 101 Community and drop a line there, it’s super easy.


10. What are the things I shouldn’t miss

Phang Nga Bay

FOMO is a big thing when you spend that much to travel that far, and you can only do it once in a year, or less! (FOMO means Fear Of Missing Out, just in case you wondered). To make it more challenging, Phuket is blessed with hundred things to see, do, beaches and islands to explore! And that is why we have several pages with large images for you to browse: 19 Best Things to Do in Phuket and 20 Things people always miss, 40 best beaches and 15 best islands


11. What are the things I shouldn’t do?

Phuket Elephant Trekking

Thailand is a very open-minded country, more than most other countries we know. But of course, there are a few things a traveller should know. Most are just advice and recommendations and will only be frowned upon by Thai people such as wearing too short cloths in a temple or pointing your bare feet at someone. Some others are a serious matter and can get you in serious trouble such as disrespecting the Royal family. Read more here


Related stories

12 Mistakes People Make on a 1st Trip to Phuket (Updated)

Travelling Solo in Phuket for the First Time – 8 Tips and Suggestions