My third instalment for the ‘Preparing for Travelling’ series focuses on the cost of travelling Southeast Asia. You can travel Southeast Asia on £33 and I’m going to tell you how.
Now, this is not one of those posts that gives you hints & tips on how to travel for the least amount of money as possible, but one that gives you a realistic view on how much you will really spend.
When I was travelling I (very sadly!!!) tracked EVERYTHING I spent via an amazing app called Trail Wallet….yep everything from my accommodation down to my laundry! It actually became a bit of an obsession :/ anyway it meant that I felt fully in control of my spending as I knew I had just enough money to last me 6 months and really didn’t want to come home early due to some stupid spending.
Actually my first few weeks in Thailand really stressed me out as my budget was getting blown hugely; I was staying in places that were far too pricey whilst I was hanging out with some friends that were on holiday. I was spending around £45 a day in the first 2 weeks, and at that rate I knew my money wouldn’t last as long as I was hoping, so once I got back to Bangkok from the fairly pricey Thai islands I checked myself into a hostel and started eating street food more often!
So anyway, enough about me!
As I tracked 100% of what I spent I can confidently relay to you how much you will likely spend if doing a similar trip. So here is what you should budget for daily expenses, major transport, big activities and visas if backpacking (not flash packing!) around Southeast Asia:
Most Common Daily Expenses
Your usual daily expenses will be roughly £22 a day on average, with some days being less and some days being more. This gave me enough money to stay in a cheap hostel, drink (heavily!), eat street food or in a cheap restaurant, get a cab or tuk tuk or 2, & get my laundry done when needed.
So you will inevitably have to do some actual travelling! You know like moving from Koh Phangan to Koh Tao or Vietnam to Cambodia 😉 Although this is cheap in relation to other western countries, it is still a fair chunk of your budget.
I budgeted £300 for all of this over a 6 month period but actually ended up spending £580.35 (see told ya I tracked it!). so budget about £3.07 a day on average.
For reference I travelled from Thailand to Cambodia, up through Vietnam (although I did this on a motorbike I bought!), back to Thailand then on to Indonesia. This should allow you to work out what you might need for your trip if you are visiting more or less countries.
So you know you are going to want to try diving, or go on that boat party, or perhaps go on a group trip to a waterfall or something. You’ll find you do a LOT of big activities because ultimately that’s what travelling is all about…seeing things and having experiences. I spent £1,447 over my 6 month period which equates to about £7.66 a day.
I budgeted £100 for all my visas (not including my multi-entry Tourist Visa for Thailand which I got prior to leaving) or 52p a day, and was pretty much was bang on spending £99.32 on Visas for Cambodia, Vietnam and Indonesia.
So £33 a day on average (or £33.25 to be exact!) or a total of around £6,285 for 6 months floating around Southeast Asia having the time of my life!
There are obviously some things you will need to buy before you leave like your outward flight and travel insurance (don’t under-estimate how important this is), and I personally had some regular monthly payments that I needed to cover at home whilst I was away :/ so make sure you have enough for that but otherwise it really isn’t as expensive as you might think AND you don’t need to worry that you won’t be able to experience all of the things you want because, trust me, I did!