When it comes to long-term travel, the most commonly asked question is “How can you afford it?” Traveling is a costly endeavor. You can only do it a few times a year for a few days to a week. To many, long-term travel simply seems unattainable. This simply is not true. This guide has all our tips for traveling Southeast Asia on a budget.
As a matter of fact, it’s quite possible that long-term travel could actually be cheaper than the life you’re living. It all depends on where you go, how you travel, and how resourceful you’re willing to be. For those who enjoy ballin’ on a budget, there’s no place in the world quite like Southeast Asia. It’s totally possible to travel here for $30 a day or less. We’re here to show you how to do it.
Researching a destination you’re traveling to can be time-consuming and stressful. This is true of planning a trip to just one city. Imagine what it’s like when dealing with an entire region. Before booking that ticket, you want to know how much it’s actually going to cost you for all the important things – transportation, accommodation, food/drink, and activities.
You could spend $20-30 on a huge guidebook, get some highlighters, and lug it all around with you. You could also waste countless hours trolling Wiki pages and hotel or airfare sites to get an idea of the prices in the places you want to go. Or you could just go ahead and grab our brand spanking new Gypsy Guide – “How to Travel Southeast Asia for $30 a Day.”
It’s no secret that we love traveling. We moved to China to teach English so we could have more chances to travel. When that wasn’t enough, we quit our stable jobs there, gave up our nice apartment, and hit the road for a 14-month gap year trip. Most of that trip was spent traversing Southeast Asia, and almost all of it was done for around $30/day each.
In addition to that massive trip, we’ve been to Thailand on numerous occasions, visited the Philippines on holiday, and even lived in Bali for nearly a year on an extended honeymoon.
Aside from some big-ticket items – scuba diving in Ko Tao or a motorbike trip across Vietnam – we always manage to stick to a very frugal budget. If you’re picturing living in squalor in filthy hostel rooms with 15 snoring people, eating nothing but fast food, and spending days at a time on chicken buses, that couldn’t be farther from the reality. Even with just $30 a day, it’s possible to visit Southeast Asia’s bustling cities, historical landmarks, and stunning landscapes and still live comfortably.
Will there be an occasional chicken bus? Sure, but it’ll get you where you need to be, give you a funny story, and only cost you a couple bucks. Will there be hostels? Absolutely. However, you’ll be enjoying A/C, WiFi, and fun communal areas with pool tables and bars more so than you’ll be smashing cockroaches.
Is some street food in your future? Hell freakin’ yes it is! And it’ll probably be the most delicious, cheapest thing you eat that day. Armed with $30 for the day, you can go a long way in Southeast Asia. We’re here to show you exactly how to do it and get you started on that epic trip you’ve been dreaming about.
Spending $30 a day works out to $900 a month. That’s probably about the same or less than you pay on rent and utilities alone. For that same amount, you could be lounging on the beaches of Thailand, wandering the rice fields of Bali, or partying it up in Ho Chi Minh City. We’ve spent a few years exploring this incredible corner of the world and have fallen in love with it.