Alright, instead of a long, lengthy list of money saving travel tips, we are going to give you our four easy money savings tips when traveling in Southeast Asia. These four tips, like stated 1 second ago, are easy and something you can do every day to save you a few bucks here and there. Trust us, a few bucks here and there add up overtime and these four money saving tips will definitely help you save while traveling through Southeast Asia.
1) Eat Street Food
The easiest money saving tip that you can implement every. single. day is to EAT STREET FOOD!
It’s so cheap – think $.50 to $2. Plus, it’s beyond delicious. Like, for real. If you want to experience culture, we are firm believers that the best way to experience it is through local cuisines.
There is nothing more Asian than to sit on sidewalk plastic chairs (that are entirely too small for you) while you scarf down some delicious noodle soup or a protein rice dish. Order up, sit back and enjoy all the savings.
2) Travel Overland & Overnight
If you’re moving around Southeast Asia, where you can, travel overland and overnight. Not only is overland travel cheaper than flying, traveling overnight adds on an extra layer of savings.
Think about it. When you don’t travel overnight you not only waste a day of sightseeing, but you also have to pay for your accommodation when you arrive. If you travel overnight, your accommodation is paid for, plus you don’t miss any valuable daylight exploration time. A win, win all around if you ask us.
Tip: When you can’t travel overnight, consider traveling in 2nd or 3rd class to save even more. Fair Warning, those classes may be a tad or drastically more uncomfortable than you would like. For us, whenever it was a shorter trip (i.e. 2-3 hours), we opted to travel in 2nd or 3rd class.
3) Ask for The Per Person Price First & Group Trip It
If there was one haggling tip you take away from us, let this be it. We repeat, let this be it. Whenever you want to negotiate a better price for an excursion, souvenir, etc. ask what the price is for one person first. Stick with us, we’ll explain…
If you are traveling in a group, that’s amazing! Your setup to succeed already!
First things first, don’t let whoever you are negotiating with know that you are a part of a group. Have that person give you the price for one person first.
Once you know this price, you know the base price. If you know the base price, you know that you can get a better rate per person for your group because you are bringing them more business. Make sense?
For instance, if the base price for one person is $10 and you have a group of four, tell the company you’ll give them $25 for the whole group (instead of $40).
We can’t tell you how many times we met solo travelers that paid significantly more than we did because they paid the per person rate instead of negotiating a group rate.
4) Limit Your Alcohol Intake
In our opinion, this was the hardest tip to implement. For us, there is nothing better than beers on the beach or nights out in Asia making friends and playing games.
Even though it’s unbelievable fun, alcohol is the quickest way to blow your travel budget in Southeast Asia.
Don’t get us wrong, alcohol is cheaper than compared to places like the US but, it’s still an unnecessary expense. Now, we’re not saying don’t drink. All we’re saying is try to plan ahead.
For instance, if you have a hostel pub crawl coming up, consider not drinking the rest of the week to offset the beverage costs you’ll accrue the night of the pub crawl. Or, consider laying low for a few days – i.e. don’t visit temples or do tourist activities. That way, whatever money you would have spent doing those things, you can be put towards your “party budget.”
So that’s it. That is our four easy money savings tips when traveling in Southeast Asia.
Have fun and happy saving ☺
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– Lauren & Jesse Stuart (The Stüs)