Travel South East Asia the Budget Way
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.
Other low-cost flights to Asia can be booked through Jetstar or try websites such as www.webjet.com.au. Here’s a tip: find the cheapest flight on Webjet then go direct to that airlines website and check the price. Chances are the price will be the same but you won’t have to pay Webjet’s booking fees
The second step is to buy a good guide book and plan (roughly) your south east Asian holiday. I recommend Lonely Planet especially for information on best places to visit, best areas to stay, accommodation in various prices ranges etc. I read the travel guide prior to leaving home, load details into my iPhone then use different mobile apps along the way. As I travel light, the fewer books I carry, the better.
The best apps for travelling include TripAdvisor for checking out reviews on hotels, restaurants and activities. Plus there is a forum to ask advice. I use the free version of TripIt to keep track of my flights and bookings, XE Currency for quick currency conversions. Travelfish has several different travel info apps, depending on where you are travelling to in Asia.
Travelling South East Asia is so inexpensive the best way to travel is to make no plans and work the trip out as you go. Like somewhere? Stay longer. Not impressed by somewhere else? Jump on a train, bus or grab a ride and get the hell out of there! If your trip is pre-booked and you are unhappy with your destination or accommodation, there is often nothing you can do. You lose money if you want to make any changes.
Last minute travel deals, cheap flights and good accommodation are simple to find. Budget travel tips for south east Asia abound in Des Gettinby’s Budget Travel Secrets – SE Asia. This humorous travel book is packed with hints for everything from packing light to staying healthy.
Available on Kindle.