Asia can be described a continent of both extremes when it comes to spending your hard earned cash. Some stuff maybe dirt cheap and others ridiculously expensive. Asia is still the budget backpacking destination of choice though, you just gotta be smart.
Keep these 5 ways to travel cheap in Asia and they will definitely come in handy.
- Don’t buy fancy unnecessary travel gadgets and learn the power of bargaining. East Asia is the land of innovation and it won’t be your fault if you want to buy every fancy thing that you see i.e. disposable phones, talking shoes, a robot to feed you etc. however if the lust gets the better of you, you will need to apply your bargaining skills since everyone wants a share of the tourists’ dollar
- Avoid western food and keep the partying in check: although Southeast Asia food is delicious and affordable, most budget travelers won’t just resist a burger or pizza which is expensive and not really worth it most of the time. While food is usually well priced here, alcohol prices are not pocket friendly especially in countries like Malaysia and Singapore.
- Skip the guided tours: a guided tour to see Angkor Wat in Cambodia maybe worth it because of getting the detailed history but surely you don’t need a guide to see a waterfall. Consider taking public means or teaming up in groups to see local landmarks and sites. If you really need to be guided then consider a local company as opposed to a western one because they are usually better priced.
- Avoid the usual attractions when considering accommodation because they tend to be overpriced. More affordable hotels are usually just a few blocks and the facilities are more or less the same. When your option is hotel accommodation, choose rough it and say goodbye to luxuries like air conditioning and other special services to reduce charges. A trend that is on the rise that is also good is opting for a home stay. It is affordable and you get to learn the local culture and even eat their meals and knowing a local is always a big plus for any traveler. Try looking at websites like couch surfing for home stay opportunities.
- Know the exchange rates and be smart when calling home. Shop around before exchanging your money and if possible use the ATM machines because of the convenience and they are relatively cheap. International calls from Asia are very expensive so when you need to make that call consider internet programs like Skype to reduce the costs.