Caravan Sonnet: How to 'Do' Southeast Asia on a Budget

8/14/18

How to 'Do' Southeast Asia on a Budget

Luxury travel can be a dream for many. Who doesn’t like the idea of traveling around the world in style and staying in some of the most luxurious hotels or apartments? The thing is that luxury can vary around the world, and because of the cost of things, you can get much more for your money in different places. So although places like Southeast Asia are often considered a backpacking destination, there is also plenty of luxury to enjoy, as it tends to be so much cheaper than if you found the equivalent accommodation or excursion in the States or in Europe. It definitely is possible to have a low-cost but still comfortable, and perhaps even luxury getaway to places like the southeast of Asia.

So here are some of the ways that you can head to southeast Asia on a budget, and still experience a pretty chic and luxurious trip. It would be great to hear what you think.
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Choose Destination Wisely
The region of southeast Asia, although quite specific, it is still covering a vast amount of land and cities, with varying terrains and things to do. So for starters, you need to think about the kind of trip or experience that you are looking to have. Do you want to explore and experience to color and vibrancy of one of the cities? Would you rather relax on the beach or enjoy some water sports? Or even have a jungle adventure or experience more of the culture by exploring temples and holy places.

When you know the kind of experience that you want to have, it makes it easier to narrow down the places that will cost you less. If you wanted to experience the culture and temples, then a natural choice is a place like Angkor Wat in Cambodia. But as it is a pretty popular choice, destinations like Bagan in Myanmar or Yogyakarta in Indonesia could be cheaper choices. You can have the same cultural experience but pay less as it isn’t a typical tourist choice. The same goes for a beach destination; Phuket in Thailand is the go-to choice in southeast Asia. So instead, think about quieter Thai island like Koh Samet, as you’ll get much more for your money, and less of a resort feel to it.

Consider a Home Rental
It does depend on where you choose as your destination, but hotels can be expensive. Take a place like Bali, for example. The beach resorts that are all-inclusive and pretty luxurious are likely to be quite pricey. Possibly cheaper than their counterparts in somewhere like the Caribbean, but still not exactly a bargain. So it could be worth looking at a home rental rather than a hotel. Again, places like Bali are on sites like Airbnb and Rumah, all with much more affordable prices that you might imagine. You can get villas with pools and even private chefs for less than you might pay in a hotel. So having it as more of a home away from home can be a good way to cut the costs of traveling to Asia.

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Eat Local Food
If you do choose to steer clear of the whole all-inclusive kind of resort, then you will need to cook for yourself or eat out at every meal. And to be honest, that can be a good way to keep track of your budget. As long as you know what your budget for food is, you can easily stick to it. One of the best ways to do that is by eating what the locals eat. You don’t need to necessarily choose street food for each meal, but doing it once a day perhaps, can really cut down the price of your food. You might be wondering about getting sick, or if you have dietary requirements. But the good news is that as long as you take your time to choose, then you can find somewhere good to eat. And not only that, a typical southeast Asian diet is pretty healthy, with rice, veggies, noodles, tofu, and tempeh. So there should be something to fit all tastes.

Don’t Pre-Book Excursions or Tours
One other stellar way to save money when you travel to southeast Asia is to not pre-book anything like day trips, excursions,or tours. You might think that you’re better off to book in advance to make sure that you get a place on the day you want, but over there, it really isn’t an issue if you book ahead or not. The only thing that you might be missing out on if you book ahead is saving money. Because there are so many tours and excursion companies in southeast Asian countries, there is so much choice. And with choice, comes the ability to haggle. You will be missing out on that if you book ahead (they pretty much expect you to do it too). So save yourself cash and plan your itinerary when you get there and when you see what is on offer. Plus, you could even hire a driver for the day (not as expensive as you might think), who can plan an itinerary for you and take you to see the things that you want to see. Definitely worth looking into as well.

Low-Cost Airlines
Your airfare is likely to be one of your biggest expenses. But the good news is that there are low-cost Asian airlines that you shouldn’t discount just because you’ve never flown with them before. AirAsia is one of the most popular for that region (just be sure to read the fine print about luggage allowance and checking in). It can be a great way to save especially if you plan to do a little internal travel. Other low-cost Asian airlines are Tigerair, SilkAir, Peach Aviation and Vanilla Air. So it is worth looking into how much they charge to see what deals you can get or how much they charge. Then you really can get your Asian adventure on a budget.

This may be a contributed post but all of the thoughts I agree with and match the tone of my blog.

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