Last updated: 11:00 PM ET, Thu September 17 2015

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  • Nick and Dariece | September 17, 2015 11:00 PM ET

    How To Budget For A Trip To Southeast Asia

    How To Budget For A Trip To Southeast Asia

    From the hippies, to the gap-years, to the tour groups, Southeast Asia has long been a popular destination for travelers. Explorers set off to this region with visions of temples, beaches and parties swirling through their minds, and although those are some of the things you can expect when visiting this area of the world, you'll need to have a budget set in your mind, or your trip may be cut short.

    (Check out our list of apps that you should download before travel, some of which will help with budgeting!)

    What Type of Traveler Are You?

    Southeast Asia is a very affordable part of the world, there's no doubt about that. However, your budget will vary depending on what type of traveler you are. Are you into chilling out on gorgeous beaches, with a beer in hand? Do you want to party all night, every night? Will you be sleeping in shared, or private rooms? Are you interested in visiting temples and ruins? Want to go on scuba diving excursions? Do you prefer fancy restaurants, or street food?

    Once you've figured out what kind of a traveler you are, you can properly budget for your trip to Southeast Asia.

    budget for southeast asia

    What Do Things Cost?

    You'll be surprised at just how inexpensive things are in this part of the world, especially if you're coming from a western country.

    Dorm Beds = $7 / night

    Budget hotel = $15 / night - fan room and usually a shared bathroom

    Mid-range hotel = $30 / night - air-conditioned basic room, private bathroom

    Top-end hotel = $100+ / night - air-conditioned beautiful room, all the amenities you would expect from a top-end hotel

    Street Food = $1.50 / meal

    Cheap Restaurant = $3 - $5 / meal

    Expensive Restaurant = $10+ / meal

    Big Beers = $2

    Cocktails = $3 - $5

    Local Buses = Average $0.50 / hour

    Tourist Buses = Average $1.50 / hour

    Cheap Domestic Flights = $30 – $60 (check out

    Snorkel Tours = $30 / Day

    Scuba Diving = $20 / Tank

    Guide for Hiking = $15 / Day

    budgeting for sea scuba diving

    Budget travelers can expect to spend $30 / day ($50 for a couple)

    This budget will afford you dorm beds for solo travelers and private rooms for couples. You'll be eating mostly street food, or eating at local restaurants. You'll have to take local transport everywhere, or walk, and there won't be any extra money for taking a domestic flight. You'll be able to have a beer or two a day, go on a paid excursion about once a week and take part in free activities (swimming, tanning, independent walks, etc.)

    Midrange travelers can expect to spend $50 / day ($70 for a couple)

    There is some great value to be found at this range. You'll be able to have a private room with a/c and (in some cases) breakfast will be included. You'll have the option to eat street food if you want to, but will be able to afford some of the nicer restaurants. Your transport options will be much more comfortable and you may even have some cash left over for an occasional domestic flight on one of the budget airlines. The best part about this price range, though, is that you will be able to partake in more excursions.

    Top-End travelers can expect to spend $150 / day ($250 / day / couple)

    At this price range, you can pretty much do anything in Southeast Asia! You'll be staying in lovely hotels with great service. You'll be able to eat wherever you want, drink as much as you want and do as many excursions as you please. Although this may sound tempting, we urge you to experience the funky huts on the beach, or the family-run, beautiful guesthouses. We also highly recommend street food and local eats, even if you can afford the fancy restaurants.

    things to do in the philippines


    Southeast Asia is a magical place with friendly local people, beautiful landscapes, lots of history and delicious food! Regardless of your budget, Southeast Asia has something for every style of traveler. Don't miss the beautiful beaches of Thailand, the unexplored regions of Myanmar, the awe-inspiring ruins of Angkor Wat, Cambodia, the brutal history of the Vietnam War, the gorgeous countryside of Laos, the melting pot of cultures in Malaysia and the epic adventures waiting for you in Borneo, the Philippines and Indonesia.

    For more information, check out:

    Budget Guide to Backpacking Thailand

    Budget Guide to Backpacking The Philippines

    Budget Guide to Backpacking Myanmar

More Asia


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Nick and Dariece Notes from the Goats

Nick and Dariece Nick and Dariece are the couple behind Goats On The Road, a website designed to inspire others to live a financially sustainable, location independent lifestyle. Masters at making money abroad and turning their travels into a way of life, they've been on the road since 2008 and have explored some of the least visited places on earth, finding adventure wherever they go. They are also full time contributors at Credit Walk where they share their expertise of making money and travelling forever. Check them out at Goats On The and follow them on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.
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