Southeast Asia is an idyllic destination to fulfill your wanderlust. Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand or Cambodia, it doesn’t really matter where you’re headed to, you’ll be blown away by the crazy parties, majestic temples, welcoming locals, lush green landscapes, delicious food and drinks, and all at low prices. With accommodation options from as little as $3 in many popular places, traveling Southeast Asia on a shoestring budget is pretty simple. But if you’re a first-time traveler, consider these tips about traveling SE Asia without breaking the bank.
Travel during the offseason
The best time to travel Southeast Asia is from June to October when the prices of accommodation and other activities are usually lower. As well as not many tourists visit this destination during this time (rainy season). So, you can enjoy cheap services and beautiful views without being surrounded by a flock of tourists. Don’t worry; it doesn’t rain all day or every day. There might be one day of nonstop raining, but other days there will only be a quick rainfall. So you can still make the most of your time exploring and chilling in gorgeous Southeast Asia.
Eat street food
Southeast Asia boasts some of the most amazing, appetizing food delights and you’d surely not want to miss on these unbelievably delicious and cheap food stalls when visiting. You must be thinking ‘But won’t it upset my stomach?’ No. It won’t! The produce is bought fresh every morning, so you know what you’re eating won’t make you sick. Choose the most popular stalls, and eat like the locals.
Save on ATM withdrawal fees
You’ll be charged some kind of fee every time you withdraw cash in a foreign country. Multiple cash withdrawals from ATMs can have you spend a large chunk of your budgeted money on bank charges. To avoid losing hundreds of dollars on every transaction, it’s always a good idea to send money to yourself that could be later picked up in the local currency. Utilize the services of Ria money transfer and send money to Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand or Cambodia without any hidden charges or extra fees. Don’t worry your money will be in safe and trusted hands till the time it reaches you.
Stay at hostels
This should be an obvious one if you are traveling on a very tight budget. It might be enticing to book your accommodation in advance but don’t do it. Instead, wait till you’ve reached here, look around, and you’ll be surprised to find hostel options for as low as $3-$5 per night. (Avoid hostels near top tourist spots as they can be quite expensive). Choose a hostel where there is a lively, fun atmosphere. After all, traveling is all about meeting like-minded people and creating memories. This is especially important for a party destination so this is our pick for the best hostel on Koh Phangan.
Learn the art of bargaining
It’s easy to get ripped off when you’re visiting a place for the first time. But don’t worry- you’re not alone, we all have been there at least once. The sellers in these countries might try to cheat you by charging a higher price for an item (especially in Vietnam). Brush up your bargaining skills so that nobody can take more money out of you. Since, in order to bargain, it’s important to know how much you’re paying for each item, ask locals to know how much things costs.
Travel during night
Always try to travel overnight. Train and bus tickets are usually cheaper, and the journey is comfortable- from reclining seats, sleeper beds to air- conditioners, you get everything you need for a pleasant travel experience. Plus, traveling at night helps you save money on a night’s accommodation, and you spend your valuable daytime visiting the majestic temples or just walking by pristine beaches.
So there you have it, six amazing tips to travel Southeast Asia on a shoestring budget. Have a happy, safe and comfortable trip and don’t forget to have fun while sticking to your budget.
About the Author
Sharon Kalipai is a contributing writer at Sparkwebs LLC, a Digital and Content Marketing Agency in Denver, CO. When she’s not writing, she loves to travel, dance and read books.