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
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’.
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.