How to Budget Southeast Asia Travel? Be a Pro at It!
Budget Southeast Asia Travel
Asia is the world’s largest and most populous continent with diverse cultures and fascinating people. This article will be concentrating more on the Southeast Asia region as it provides terrific value for budget travelers and you can travel from country to country overland effortlessly. You can travel easily through Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Burma/Myanmar, Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia by land or with budget airlines.
Do plenty of research as it will save you money, time and frustration. Plan your day and how you are going to your destinations. Unnecessary transportation costs because of poor planning and indecision can really add up, so plan a logical route for your day and how you’re going to get from place to place. Look at budget travel guides like “Lonely Planet” or “Let’s Go” or “Trip Advisor”. These guides will give you useful information to specific countries while you embark on your Asian Adventure and soak up the culture!
Bundled flights, all Asia air pass or even budget/low-cost Asian airlines can significantly reduce the cost of your airfare. If time permits, using trains or buses for long trips between cities is another cheap alternative and you would be able to sight-see while you en route to your next destination. Cathay Pacific Airways has one of the most popular air passes from the United States. Prices start at $999 for Hong Kong and two other Asian destinations (flies to 18 Asian destinations), and you have 21 days to use it. You can add cities and time for an additional cost.
For the adventure seekers, you can just book the first night’s accommodation in advance and then look for a cheap place to stay locally, and look around upon arrival for the cheapest accommodation. Backpackers should consider staying in hostels as you would get to meet other backpackers, share experiences and exchange information on places to stay and must see attractions.
Accommodation in Asia can be very cheap. There are beach huts in India for less than US$3 a night, and in many Southeast Asian countries US$10 is more than enough for a decent double room. You can also consider staying on the outskirts of a city or even in a nearby town or village. Rates are far cheaper and it allows you to immerse yourself more deeply into the culture.
Forget about fine dining when you are traveling. Nothing will drain your budget faster than a few ritzy restaurants. The best food in Asia is found on the street. Look where the locals eat. In Asia, most food is fresh and not preserved. They are very cheap and can be just as good as restaurant food. Most are clean, but be careful with any meat you eat. Watch the locals. If what they are eating looks good, give it a try. It doesn’t matter if you don’t speak the language. Just point and smile. They will be happy to feed you. Southeast Asian street food is not just affordable but also delicious.
Also, leave your diet at home. You didn’t come to Asia to eat healthy. Enjoy the delights of Asian cooking. If the food doesn’t look safe, opt for fast food.
Lastly, two more tips that would really give you the extra mile on your adventure. Bargaining and theft prevention! Bargaining is a must and customary in most Asian countries. Start low because tourists are always quoted a higher price than locals. Theft prevention is often overlooked, but very necessary precaution. Money belts, locks and a watchful eye can prevent a theft that could put a major dent in your travel funds. Places like Japan and Singapore generally have very little petty theft, but in poorer countries like those in Southeast Asia more caution is necessary.