How to Backpack Through Southeast Asia on a Budget

Southeast Asia is by far, one of the best places to backpack through – whether you’re a veteran traveller or if it’s your first time travelling abroad solo.


backpacking in asiaBecause this corner of the world offers it all – amazing food, friendly people, stunning sites to explore, a safe environment, and budget-friendly prices.

With all of these fantastic factors combined, it’s no surprise why it became one of the most popular areas to visit.

If you have your sights set here for an upcoming adventure, here are a few tips for how to backpack through Southeast Asia on a budget.

Eat The Street Food

You may have read in some travel books or blogs not to eat food from any of the street vendors, but in reality, this is one of the best features of Southeast Asia!

Travelling is all about experiencing new and different things and without trying some street food, you’re really missing out.

You can find all kinds of weird and delicious items sold at very affordable prices. And, at least with street vendors, you can see how they’re preparing the food in plain sight. In a restaurant, you can’t. So, don’t be afraid to try some!

Research Cab Fares Before Arriving

It is very common to get ripped off by cab drivers, but it’s an easy scam to avoid if you do a little research ahead of time. Ask around through your friend group, do some research online or email your hostel to ask what the rates are and how much it should cost to get to your specific destination.

Before you hop into any cab — or tuk-tuk and any other mode of transportation for that matter — make sure you agree on a set price before you get in.

Stay In Hostels

Hostels are by far, the best way to lodge throughout Southeast Asia. If you’ve never stayed in one before, it’s an excellent way to meet new people and have a good time while being somewhere safe, clean and convenient.

Often, hostels will also arrange events and tours that you can attend and sign up for.  

Take Local Transit

Local buses are really not as bad as you may think. They’re incredibly cheap and convenient for getting around. Plus, they always make for a pretty fun and interesting story or two.

Travel During The Night

If you plan on travelling by bus through Southeast Asia, night buses tend to be cheaper and more convenient since you can get some shut-eye to help save on accommodation.

This way, you’ll also be ready to explore and take on your next adventure during the daytime, making the most out of your time.

Get Off The Beaten Path

About 95% of backpackers tend to stick to the popular, touristy areas and sights. But there is so much more to explore and discover in the more local environments. So do yourself a favour and get off of the beaten path to experience more of the authentic culture, cuisine and sights of your destinations. You won’t regret it!

Last Minute Flight Deals

If you’re going from one area to another without a set plan or reservation, look out for last minute flights. You can get a great deal for a cheap flight with airlines trying to sell their unsold tickets last minute.

Be vigilant and flexible with your scheduling. A last-minute flight deal might end up costing the same as taking an overnight bus and can save you plenty of time for other adventures.

Backpacking through Southeast Asia on a budget is very easy to do when you take these simple tips into account. So plan ahead, do your research and get out to explore all of what this incredible corner of the world has to offer.

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