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Moving from the US to Thailand? Cost of Living and Moving Tips

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Moving from the US to Thailand? Cost of Living and Moving Tips

From a new job to new relationships, these are some of the things that you will experience as you start your new life in Thailand, the Land of Smiles. This article is designed to provide the information you need to move to Thailand and how to avoid any bumps along the way.




In this paragraph, I will walk you through a list and everything that you should do once you have moved to Thailand. 




If you were hired by a Western company, your package would include some form of health insurance. For those who find work there or retire, you will need to arrange this yourself. One of the recommended health insurance companies in Thailand is Luma Health. 


Some expats decide to take out travel insurance, but this opportunity is only available for a short period. 


As an expatriate, you will have access to a high level of medical care when visiting private clinics such as Bangkok hospital and Vejthani. Another advantage is that there are doctors who speak good English.


Prices vary, and recently there have been concerns that private hospitals are charging extravagant markups on medicines, some ten times higher than in local pharmacies. You could also go to local public hospitals, where prices are lower. 


On almost every major street in Thailand, you can find pharmacies with a wide range of medicines. The prices will be lower than in private hospitals and sometimes even in public ones.


The final choice is to use the local clinics. They can help you with common diseases such as colds, food poisoning, and sprains. However, at these clinics, it may be difficult to find native English speakers.


Cost of Living


One of the reasons people choose to move to Thailand is the low cost of living. However, it's not cheap to move there. 


Various cost-of-living studies are showing that people survive there by 30-40 thousand a month. However, this is not realistic for most newcomers who have to pay for things to build a house there.


Depending on the type of visa, you will also need to show a certain amount of money in a Thai bank account. 


For those who are thinking about retiring in Thailand, you may be thinking about how much you would need per month to live. Some videos and reports say it is possible to live on less than $1,000 a month, and while this is true for some people, ensure that you do research to see what kind of life this gives you.


If you are looking for something more specific to your needs, use our Thailand Cost of Living Calculator and come up with a calculated monthly budget for rent, food, transportation, and more.



A glance at the different visa options in Thailand is enough to make you feel dizzy with confusion. If you don't want many expenses, then the Thailand Elite visa is the easiest. It gives you five to twenty years of stay in Thailand without having to process many documents.


You can also check out the guide to the various visas in Thailand.


In short, you will need different visas depending on your reason for moving to Thailand, e.g. tourist visas will cover you for thirty or sixty days. 


However, if you plan to be there for a long time, you will need the right documents. Leaving the country and coming back with a new tourist visa, often called a visa mileage, is no longer reliable.


Getting the right visa, such as business, spousal, or retirement, is not too difficult as long as you 

have the appropriate documents.


Moving To Thailand


Here a few useful things that you will need to know when moving and living in Thailand.


Booking Flights


These days you can get international flights to several key cities in Thailand: Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Phuket. The find the cheapest flight – book your ticket through a comparison website such as Vayama; and once you are in the country, it's easy to get anywhere by direct flight.


Importing Pets


You can bring a fluffy friend to Thailand. However, consider if the climate is suitable for your pet before you decide to bring it over. There is a tendency in Thailand to buy Siberian Huskys. Although this breed may like cold weather in your hometown, they may not be able to adapt to the tropics of Thailand.



Bringing Necessities


It is possible that you would like to move some of your stuff from the US to Thailand. There is no more natural way than to use an international moving company to make this process as smooth as possible. 


It is an excellent option to choose a transportation company that has experience in moving household items to Asian countries like Thailand and Singapore, for example.   


However, some things are cheap and available in Thailand and will not be necessary to take over. They include:


  • Basic furniture

  • Toiletries and cleaning products

  • Clothes and accessories


Some products in Thailand are not cheaper than in your home country, as shown below:


  • Books

  • Specialized foodstuffs

  • Electronic products

  • Car seats, feeding chairs, etc.

  • Vitamins and supplements

  • Branded clothing and shoes


Checking Important Documents


One thing you will learn about Thailand is that they love paperwork. Below is a list of essential documents that you should bring in. If possible, take the originals with you:


  • Passport.

  • Driver's license

  • Birth certificate

  • Contact phone list

  • Housing contracts

  • Proof of income

  • Medical certificates and reports

  • Marriage or divorce certificate

  • Diploma and transcript

  • Tax, social security, and national identity numbers, as well as any insurance documents


It is also possible that you will need these documents either translated into Thai or certified by your embassy.


Settling In


Finding House, Condo, or Apartment


Get in touch with a reliable estate agent that can help you find a place that is best suited to your needs.


For short term rentals, Airbnb is an excellent site to look for accommodation in Bangkok. It is cheap and has a wide range of properties to choose from. 


For those looking for something more long-term, as a foreigner, you can purchase an apartment. However, if you want to buy a house in Thailand, you are limited, because the laws prohibit foreigners from owning land.


The best choice is to rent land and a house for 30 or 60 years. Of course, there are a couple of ways around it.


Renting a house is secure. Real estate sites have a list of homes to rent. DDProperty has properties in tourist areas and real estate agents who can help you.


Finding a Job

If you are searching for a job in Thailand, it is recommended that you contact employment agencies close to the area that you wish to work and stay.


 If you are being transferred from the US to Thailand, then, obviously, it is not necessary to look for a job.


It is illegal to work online in Thailand. Although there is talk of how to do so, there is always a chance that immigration policy will apply. In the future, there may be ways to work online in Thailand under the new Smart Visa laws.


Opening a Bank Account


Open a bank account in Thailand to help you manage your finances. You can start by contacting your nearest bank to find out more about their requirements.


After that, you should open an account with Xendpay so that you can make international transfers. This is one of the most inexpensive ways to send money to Thailand.




Make sure that you do your research. Consult an accountant or tax expert if necessary, because taxes change overtime.


Together with 7% VAT, you will pay 750 Baht per month for Social Security. You will also need to pay personal taxes based on your income.


As in other countries, you can take advantage of tax deductions in Thailand. Popular choices include buying LTF, paying for life insurance, and buying an apartment. Foreign workers and Thais get the same deduction.

Finding a School


One of the biggest challenges when moving to a new country is finding a suitable school for your son or daughter.


You have many options, including whether to send your child to an international school or a Thai school.


An international school that follows the same program as your home country or your child's previous school will make it easier for them to adapt to the new school. This will also make your child's life easier if or when you move back to your home country.


If you want to take this route, check out the KIS. They are in Bangkok and are accredited by the Council for International Schools, the Ministry of Education, and the Office of National Standards of Education and Quality Assurance (ONESQA) and have a good reputation.


The local schools, on the other hand, offer your child the opportunity to immerse themselves in Thai culture and deep learning of the language.


Local schools are cheaper than in international schools. However, the price is not a good indicator of whether the school is suitable for your son or daughter, or of the quality of the education offered at the school.


Life in Thailand is easy when visiting on a tourist visa. You get stamped in and out of immigration at the airport or the border. On the other hand, when you are there on a different type of visa, things get more confusing, complicated, and challenging.

Different immigration centers have different standards and policies. For example, if you are reporting to Nonthaburi, they insist on completing the TM30 form, or the home registration and landlord declaration of a foreign guest. However, immigration to Bangkok in Chaengwattana does not need that. It's all confusing, but you have to go with the flow and get through it as best you can.

To sum up

From a new job to new relationships, there is so much change when you move to Thailand or any other country. I hope this article has equipped you with all the information you need to move to Thailand so that the move and transition from the US to Thailand can be as smooth as possible.

From a new job to new relationships, these are some of the things that you will experience as you start your new life in Thailand, the Land of Smiles. This article is designed to provide the information you need to move to Thailand and how to avoid any bumps along the way.

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