Budget Travel Secrets – SE Asia
What Tour Operators Don’t Want You to Know
By Des Gettinby
Recipe for budget travel
6 kilos of clothes
1 small onboard size backpack
$25 a day
Return air ticket
Add a good mate
Mix with a healthy dose of humour
Bake for 4 months in SE Asia
Des Gettinby outlines the places he and his wife, Barb, travelled on their journey through SouthEast Asia. Des wrote about his adventures in his humorous travelogue, Budget Travel Secrets – SE Asia
Bangkok You must have an onward ticket before you enter Thailand. Thirty day visas are issued at no charge on arrival. Extensions are available or just cross a border and reenter Thailand to get another thirty day visa.
Most popular areas for budget travellers to stay in Bangkok are either Siam Square (close to the Sky Rail) or the even less expensive Banglamphu (Khao San Road), which is further out of the city centre.
Bargaining should be done with goodwill so that neither party feels put upon. Use smiles and good humour. But beware: the business of bargaining can be brutal!
Adventurers will gauge their own comfort level of balanced, fair barter. A street seller starts at, let’s say, $20. I say ‘No, too much.’ (Often I don’t even want it!)
They say ‘OK, $15.’
I say, ‘It’s quite cute but it’s too much.’ (I still don’t want it.)
‘OK. How much you give?’
I say something stupid like ‘$5’.
By Des Gettinby
1. Buy a good quality travel Guide Book . Everything you need to know in one compact book. Find a bed, a feed, a train, plane or bus – it’s all there
2. Be brave. Book your flights and go. Budget travelling can be easily achieved. Apart from your return air ticket, all tour bookings, sightseeing, accommodation and ongoing transport can be easily and less expensively organised when you arrive at your destination. Keep your eye out for discount air fares.
Start with cheap flights to Asia by logging on to the Air Asia website. Whilst in Asia we were alerted (by fellow backpackers) to free airline tickets from Air Asia. Literally free (except for taxes, of course). We were lucky enough to grab 2 tickets from Phnom Penh to Bangkok and I have to admit the flights were fine – a simple, low cost, no frills airline that still has a good safety record. What more do you want? Just a quick note that if you are planning on joining a connecting flight, Air Asia does not have forward baggage agreements in place with all airlines so you might have to collect your checked luggage then re-check for your next flight. Allow time or, even better, only carry on-board luggage. It saves time and headaches.
Travelling to India? India – Footloose and Almost Free by Des Gettinby will help you plan your budget Indian adventure.
A humorous tale of two people each taking only 7 kg of luggage and intrepidly exploring India.
Des and Barb Gettinby are a spirited couple. Having retired from corporate life they now love to travel at a grassroots level. No more 5 star accommodation. Nothing booked; the itinerary unfolds as their curiosity prompts them – mixing with and meeting the locals, sharing time with the cosmopolitan kids of the world and always staying in en-suite rooms either in city centres or on the abandoned beaches of Goa.