I’m planning on taking a year off after high school to work and travel. My funds are limited, so I won’t be travelling for an entire year, only 6-8 months.
I’d like to go to Thailand, Indonesia, India, Nepal, Singapore, Malaysia, and anywhere else I can get to within that time, but I’m not sure where I my budget will allow me to go.
Here’s my problem: I’m not sure if I should go on a few volunteering trips or just travel around without a set plan. By volunteering trip, I mean where I pay a few thousand dollars ahead to volunteer a few hours per day and have a few hours off, and food/accommodation is included. It’s either that or I stay in a series of hostels, travel around by bus/cab/foot or whatever, and just see the country on my own without doing any actual work.
Which would be more cost-efficient? I am looking to spend about $5000 (not including flights) for the entire thing, is this realistic? If so, should I volunteer or just travel? And if I"m only travelling, how many countries could I see with (around) that budget?
ANY help would be greatly appreciated, I’m obviously very clueless when it comes to this!
Is that USA $5000? Or a different type of $?!
The general rough guide for spending in most places in SE Asia is about 600GBP per month, which currently is just under US$1000 per month. This is a rough figure based on eating cheaply, staying in basic accommodation, getting from A to B, walking/public transport, limited souvenir buying, non-excessive drinking… etc….
With your countries you will require quite a few flights - e.g. one from your home country to say India, travel overland through India and Nepal, fly to say, Thailand, overland down Malaysia, Singapore and fly to Indonesia. Or vice versa. So three flights, which will push your budget up a little (unless you book them before you go from a different pool of money!)
So based on that, you might be able to do 6 months but it’ll be tight on money. I’d aim for more like 4 months, possibly 5. With that budget.
You can look at “open jaw” flights, so that you can fly in to one country and return home from another country. They might be a bit costly, and then you will need things like vaccinations, travel kit, travel insurance etc, before you leave.
That was in Canadian $.
What do you think a more realistic budget would be for a trip for 6-8 months in those countries? Like, what would the ‘ideal budget’ be for all of those countries in six months, including flights?
For me, I’d want to have about 700GBP per month available, just to have a bit extra available.
I’m not sure how much flights would be to SE Asia from Canada, but probably a lot more than the UK to SE Asia.
You’ll have to do your own searches for flights…. I use skyscanner.net or cheapflights.co.uk, but I don’t know what good sites there are for Canadians.
As well as flights, you will need travel insurance, vaccinations and kit (e.g. a backpack if you don’t have one…
Again, difficult to advise Canadian $, as I don’t know the prices in Canada.
In the UK, I’d allow 1200 GBP in “pre-trip” expenses, but with flights from Canada it will be considerably more, I would think.
So, monthly costs = CAD1400 ish.
Pre trip stuff might be CAD2000 plus.
Roughly. You could probably do it on less, and you could certainly do it on more…. That’s just what I would like to have available.
So with CAD $5000 you might manage 2 months away. Not a good amount of time for your route.
The classic SE route is something like Bangkok and Thailand—> Cambodia—> Vietnam—> Laos—Bangkok to fly home (or vice versa). Doable in 2 months, but much better to have 3 or more so you don’t rush through.