It´s a well known fact that most of the Asian countries are very poor. So there is no wonder they try to make as much money on the tourists as possible. Usually it´s not fair trade so hopefully reading this blog post will help you to save few dollars.
1. Book your tickets in advance
The best time for looking for your tickets is usually between two and three months before your planned departure. Sometimes you might be lucky as I was when I bought a return ticket Prague – Bangkok only two weeks before for a pretty good deal. So never stop looking!
2. Sign up for good deal alerts
There are two websites I use for flight tickets in Czech Republic. It´s either akcniletenky.com or cestujlevne.com where the departures are not only from Prague but mostly also from Germany, Italy, Hungary, Spain or other countries. Good website offering the whole trip package is holidaypirates.com.
3. Save on accommodation
The sooner the better. Of course. But if you travel in a couple and don´t want to stay in a hostel then check out airbnb.com. The prices for a monthly rent are very reasonable and you don´t have to share bathroom with strangers. If you are on a tight budget, exchange free room for few hours of work. Plenty of options available at WorkAway website.
4. Like low season
Hotels and trips are cheaper. Locals have less work so tuk-tuk drivers will drive you for smaller amount than usual.
5. Travel to cheap countries
Pick countries with the lower cost of living. Not all Asia is low-cost. There is a massive difference between Nepal and Singapore. The best is to go for Thailand, Vietnam or Malaysia.
6. Eat at the markets
I was eating at markets in Thailand all the time. Again, use your common sense and choose the places where you see many locals hanging around. That means the food is good and fresh.
7. Use the local transport
Not everywhere possible but instead of using taxi I used the songthaews (usually blue buses) in Phuket and 1 hour trip cost me 10 times less. Also don´t be scared to use public transport in Bangkok. The drivers are very friendly and helpful.
This can save you a lot. I have managed to get the price of a handbag down from 250000 IDR to 80000 IDR in Bali. That´s 68% less. Imagine you get this on all the items bought in the market!
9. Taxi only with meter
If you are using taxi, insist on having the meter on. For example the taxi in Bangkok is very cheap, actually cheaper than tuk-tuks, so don´t let them to rip you off. If the driver refuse to do so, just say thank you and walk away. There are plenty of them and the next one will agree.
10. Take your time
If you are backpacking through Southeast Asia and have a lot of time on your hands then the great way how to save money is to travel by bus instead of flying. The buses operate 24/7 and you can basically go from anywhere like Phuket up to Vietnam. My train ticket from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore cost me only 7 USD!
Hope you found this at least a little bit helpful. If there are any other hacks I have missed, please share them with me in the comments below.