I'm looking for some advice on the financial side of my travels - it would be great to get an idea of how much single travellers got together for their trips. I know this will probably vary massively, but a little bit of discussion would be fantastic to give me some ideas of the different kind of spending people do / what's cheap / what's not!
Here's some info about my trip:
I'm heading to Bangkok at the end of July to stay at a friend's house indefinitely. My plan is to spend some time there, and do some of the islands too, but then to travel to Cambodia/Vietnam/Laos. I'm still in very early stages of planning and need to do a lot of research, but basically have been given an opportunity to make use of a fab house in Bangkok, so really want to make the most of the situation and travel elsewhere in South East Asia too.
I've saved £2000 so far (not including flights from Britain to Bangkok - this is covered outside of this), and won't be paying any accommodation for my time staying in Bangkok. What is a realistic amount of money to expect to spend doing a few weeks of travel going from Bangkok up through Cambodia to Vietnam (I will need to pay for accommodation etc. for this part of my travelling but want to do it as cheap as possible, i.e. hostels etc. - same goes for travel - I'm looking to go overland rather than flying)?
Don't expect any exact figures but if people could tell me about their own experiences that would be great!
#1 IndiaGabrielle has been a member since 5/6/2013. Posts: 20
Hi, I'm planning a similar trip in September. I've spoken to some friends who spent 4 weeks travelling around Thailand and Vietnam. Around 8 places in total.
They said Â£800 covered hostels, day trips / excursions, food and drink and nights out. They also bought some clothes too.
They travelled by air and flights tend to range from Â£25 - Â£60 with airasia and jetstar. This is on top of the Â£800 spending money above.
I'm planning on travelling partly by air and partly by train. I've booked 4 flights so far and they cost me around Â£20-40 each. Train tickets if you go for the soft bed 4 cabin carraige is about $60, that was from Hanoi to Danang in Vietnam.
The one bit of advise they gave me was to try and book as much as possible before you go there. For example, have the hostels and travel booked. There was 6 in that group and 2 had nothing booked and they said it was a pain having to go looking for places to stay everytime you went somewhere and that a lot of the nicer hostels were fully booked up. Also their flights cost them a lot more.
From my research on the trains, if you want a soft bed sleeper, it is advisable to book it beforehand as they tend to be gone the day of the journey.
Hope this helps. I'm open to any information to add to what I've said also. I supposed everyones trip is different.
#2 Jayonaise has been a member since 5/6/2013. Posts: 4
Thanks that's all really useful! I might look into doing some flights now that I know how cheap they are.
It's good to know to book in advance as well - I've heard mixed things about people not wanting to be too tied down to a routine, so not booking anything, but then I guess you're going to be faced with higher costs and risk of not getting into certain hostels etc. if you do this! Probably a mixture of having some things booked and leaving some open gaps in the trip is the best bet.
#3 IndiaGabrielle has been a member since 5/6/2013. Posts: 20
Oo also - have you booked a flight out to Thailand yet? I'm currently hunting for cheap flights from anywhere in England (but preferably north).
#4 IndiaGabrielle has been a member since 5/6/2013. Posts: 20
I haven't booked out yet. I will probably do that at the weekend. I've only been looking from Heathrow and Thai Airways seem to have some good deals. I'm not sure who flies from the North. My friends who went travelled down from Manchester to London for their flight. I'm planning on going to Australia from Kuala Lumpur so won't be booking a return flight to UK from Bangkok. From what I've looked at so far I'd imagine it'll cost around Â£500 one way and Â£800 return. Mine is September though so you might be more expensive in July.
You are probably right about booking some stuff but not everything. I have a fair idea of where I want to go and what I want to see so I will try book most of it and leave some gaps here and there for change.
If you do decide to travel by train, make sure you book the night train, this way you save on a nights accommodation and wake up at your next destination. Some of the journeys can take 12 hours so it's advisable to make sure you arrive at a good time.
Also if you are going to Vietnam you need to get a visa, you need to send them your passport for a few weeks so if you are planning on going in July you should get that sorted ASAP. You need to fill out a form online and attach a passport photo. It's Â£40.
#5 Jayonaise has been a member since 5/6/2013. Posts: 4
£20/day is a decent budget for backpacker-style guesthouses, local transport, street food and a couple beers.
"The one bit of advise they gave me was to try and book as much as possible before you go there. For example, have the hostels and travel booked."
I humbly disagree with this advice, especially if you're going in September which is quiet season when accommodation is pretty easy to find as a walk-in. Also pre-booking everything locks you into a fixed itinerary, no room for spontaneity. When in doubt, wing it! Much more fun.
Captain_Bob, I can't disagree as I haven't done it yet but that was just the advise I was given. I suppose they went in January so maybe it was busier.
Have you been in September? Without ruining the topic on the original poster, if you have I'd be keen to take on-board any advise you have. When you say September is quiet season, how quiet exactly do you mean? Some of the places I have looked at online are looking to charge 15% more during September as they call it high season. This was more Vietnam than Thailand though.
#7 Jayonaise has been a member since 5/6/2013. Posts: 4
Bob, this is what I've heard! To be honest, I don't think "over-booking" will be the route for me - I'm hoping to meet lots of people and may want to go where they go etc - I do want to be quite free!
Â£20/day sounds about right, glad I'm getting a better idea of the money situation now.
Jayonaise - I have looked around at the Vietnam visa situation and can't see anything about having to send them my passport?! Am I being totally stupid? Bob or anyone else, do you know about Vietnam visas? Travel Fish recommends sorting a visa for Vietnam when already in Asia.
#8 IndiaGabrielle has been a member since 5/6/2013. Posts: 20
IndiaGabrielle - I believe you can get it out there, not sure about queue's for getting it and price etc but if you sort it in the UK then you need to send them your passport as they put a sticker on one of the pages which is basically your visa. The friends of mine that went from Manchester posted their passports to the embassy in London and it took 3 weeks. I live in London so I basically went in with the forms and passport on a Tuesday and collected it on the Friday. (As you might of guessed I have it done already)
The reason I did it in London was because I've heard read people saying that they got a visa out there no hassle and I've read other people write that they waited for hours in long queues so I just thought I'd take out the risk and have it sorted.
I'm possibly far too organised for my own good.
#9 Jayonaise has been a member since 5/6/2013. Posts: 4
Haha nothing wrong with being organised! I understand now.
Apologies to anyone reading this for going off topic... More money advice for South East Asia travelling welcome!
#10 IndiaGabrielle has been a member since 5/6/2013. Posts: 20
Lots of info on this forum about Visa's on arrival for Vietnam. Try searching VOA
#11 sunshinehappy has been a member since 28/5/2013. Posts: 5