What Backpacking Through Southeast Asia for 8 Months Costs

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Southeast Asia is home to amazing scenery, the kindest people, mesmerizing cultures and some of the best damn food you’ll have in your life. Your choice to travel here is an amazing one! We’re here to guide you through what backpacking through Southeast Asia for 8 months costs so you can get to planning and saving!

Southeast Asia Backpacking Budget

First, understand that this is a backpacker’s budget. What does that mean exactly?

It means that for the most part, you will be eating and staying cheap. You’ll be traveling overland versus flying and living out of a backpack for the next 8 months of your life.

We promise, it’s amazing, unforgettable and life changing ☺

Daily Budget Range for Backpacking Southeast Asia

On average, you can expect to pay the below prices for pretty much the entire region of Southeast Asia.

  • Hostels / Homestays: $3 – $15 (per person/per night)
  • Street Food: $.50 – $5 (per person/per meal)
  • Local Transportation: $0 – $15 (overland travel/per person)
  • Average Entrance Fees: $0 – $20 (per site/per person)
  • Alcohol: $0.20 – $7 (per drink/per person)

The above prices, to help give you a little perspective, is a range. You’ll inevitably splurge and go over them from time to time, but no worries! You’ll have days where you are under as well.

What Does A Backpacking Budget in Southeast Asia Get You

We get it, if you haven’t been to Southeast Asia before you can be a bit worried if “you’re saving enough” and what that money you are saving “gets you” in Southeast Asia.

We’re here to tell you exactly what a backpacking budget in Southeast Asia gets you.

  • The accommodations are 1 to 2-star locations that are clean, comfortable and centrally located. Majority has aircon but be prepared, depending on where you are/stay, you’ll stay in places with mosquito nets and no aircon.
  • The food, while it is street food, will be some of the best meals you’ll ever have. We promise, you won’t go hungry or get bored of the food.
  • The local transport, we’re not going to lie, it’s long and can be a bit taxing on you (especially if you’re prone to motion sickness) but it’s the cheapest way to get to your next stop. The tourist busses and mini-vans will have aircon and comfortable seats. If you take trains, you have the option on different classes, so you can pick whatever suits you.
  • The Extra’s: Think things like alcohol, entrance fees and any other excursions you may be interested in (hiking, scuba diving, cooking classes, tours, etc.)

What Backpacking Through Southeast Asia for 8 Months Costs

So, understanding all the above, what does this mean for you?

You can expect to live comfortably in Southeast Asia for under $45 a day. Which, give or take, translates to around $10,000 USD as a total travel budget for 8 months in Southeast Asia.

UNDERSTAND: $10,000 USD is your budget while in Asia. The $10k does not include your airfare to and from Southeast Asia. That will need to be taken into consideration when planning.

We saw 9 countries in 8 months, did some amazing things and pretty much moved to a new place every 3-5 days. We covered a lot of ground and still managed to live a great nomadic life in Southeast Asia for around $10,000 USD.

$10,000 USD was what we originally planned as our budget for 6 months in Southeast Asia. Because we were so conservative and smart in our planning, we were able to stay 2 additional months with the same budget we anticipated for 6 months.

Managing Your Backpacking Budget In Southeast Asia

We can’t stress enough how important managing you daily budget is to keep your overall 8-month budget on target. You’d hate to lose track of your budget and have to leave Southeast Asia early because of poor planning.

Also, just because $10,000 is your 8-month Southeast Asia budget, please save more than that. Why?

  1. You could stay longer in Southeast Asia!
  2. When you come home, you’re not broke and are able to slowly get back into the work-force to find a job. You don’t want to be rushed and stressed to find a job because you are out of money.

The tool we used to manage our money is the Spending Tracker app (iOS / Google Play). It allowed us to see weekly and monthly views of our expenses and which categories we were spending in (food, entertainment, partying, etc.). A really easy tool to keep your budget on track. 

Travel Insurance for Southeast Asia

One of the most important things we did before setting out on our 8-month backpacking trip around Southeast Asia is buy Travel Insurance through World Nomads.

Our Travel Insurance through World Nomads saved us from paying massive hospital fees when a few stitches and antibiotics were needed (yes, actually happened…Jesse.)

You can’t plan for accidents but you can prepare for them. Get that travel insurance through World Nomads. You’ll never know when it will come in handy.


Easy Tips on How To Make a Long Term Travel Budget

9 Things To Take Care of At Home Before You Leave For a Long Trip

Four Easy Money Saving Tips When Traveling In Southeast Asia


For more travel tips, guides and awesome travel shots, be sure to poke around our site, follow us on Instagram @wanderingstusPinterest and on Facebook. Oh, and if you have any questions, let us know in the comment section. We’re happy to answer. Or, just leave us a positive note!

Happy Travels,

– Lauren & Jesse Stuart (The Stüs)

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