South East Asia is one of the cheapest destinations in the world and favoured by many backpackers who want to make the most of their money. After spending almost 5 months around, we gathered some pretty handy tips to help anyone save even more money.
Top 10 Tips to Save Money in South East Asia
Eat like a local
Simple but not always easy thing to do. If you come to Asia, you might as well sit with the locals and enjoy the cuisine. Most food stalls prepare fresh food and are safe to eat, plus you will save big on your bucks. Western food ends up being a lot more expensive then the local options.
Travel by bus
Traveling by bus is not only cheaper is also one of the most convenient ways of commuting around Asia. Most countries offer a sleeper version which makes it even easier to save money, this way you can travel cheap and save on 1 night’s accommodation.
Whether with a friend or your significant other, booking a room for 2 people, normally will get you a cheaper price than booking a bed in a dorm. True story.
Travel in the low season
While it’s nice to visit a country when the weather is at its best, sometimes is worth suck up a bit of rain to save a little more. Research before hand and try to find the best deals at the end or beginning of the high season for better value for money.
Explore by foot
First thing we do when we get to a new place is to walk around to see what’s going on on our surroundings and to find hidden gems. Those are usually right in front of us, so it’s worth looking closely wherever you are.
Learn to bargain
Bargaining in SE Asia is like eating bread in Italy. A daily occurrence that you need to get used to. There’s no running away with it, unless of course, you’d like to pay a lot more for something you don’t have to. This tip is specially true in Vietnam and Bangkok (Thailand).
Rent a bike instead of going on a tour
For most of our trips around or in and out of town, we just rented a scooter/bike/moped or whatever else that was cheap enough to keep us going. For most of it, it has been cheaper than going on tours and gave us the freedom to explore new places at our own pace. However, just do so if you are confident handling a bike. Accidents in Asia are not easy to recover and can be expensive.
Book just one night and try to negotiate a better deal if staying longer
Sometimes booking an accommodation can be a trick business…so if you want to avoid surprises, book only one night and if you like, try to negotiate a discount on the spot. You can also book your accommodation through Booking.com and get U$20 off your first booking (win, win!)!
If you can do that, you’ll be able to save a lot more money and enjoy your travels a little longer. Plus, you can still have an awesome time, we can guarantee you!
Larissa & Jean