A journey of a thousand miles starts in front of your feet - Lao-tzu
Although we haven’t got everything set in stone, we do have rough plans for our travels for this summer! We are planning a short trip to South East Asia between June and August time, and plan on visiting Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia.
Destinations Bangkok, Thailand (3 – 4 nights) We are arriving in Bangkok first, and plan on spending 3-4 nights here seeing the usual mad Bangkok touristy things. From Bangkok we plan on getting a 12-14 hour train to Northern Thailand, Chiang Mai.
Chiang Mai, Thailand (14 nights) Chiang Mai is probably the place both Stu and I are looking forward to the most. As well as travelling, we also plan on volunteering at an Elephant Nature Park for at least 7 nights. From Chiang Mai we are going to attempt to get a flight straight to Hanoi in Vietnam, but if that fails we will return to Bangkok and get a flight from there!
Hanoi, Vietnam (3 – 5 nights) Most looking forward to the famous Haloing Bay, and will stay here for 3 – 5 nights. Would love to travel the full length of Vietnam and se Hoi An and Hue, but due to time I think we are more likely going to take a flight down to Ho Chi Minh City (former Saigon). From Vietnam onwards there is no definite plan, so if we enjoy Vietnam we are more likely to stay longer etc.
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietman (3 – 5 nights) Same goes for HCMC, dependent on how much we enjoy it will depend on how long we stay! Once we are done we will be taking a 7 hour bus over the border into Cambodia.
Phnom Phen, Cambodia (3 – 5 nights) Siem Reap, Cambodia, (3 – 5 nights) We are pretty sure that the plans from Bangkok to Siem Reap will happen (except the time and travel arrangements in Vietnam), however from Cambodia onwards we have many different ideas and will wait to see our mood / the weather / costs / what we enjoy etc before planning ahead.
What we probably will do is - fly direct to Malaysia and stay for a few nights, then travel overland to Singapore and spend around 4 nights there. Then continue on to Indonesia. We are unsure whether to spend our time in Indonesia travelling, or just chill in Bali. From Indonesia we then plan on heading back to Thailand.
Travel Fund When preparing to travel, lay out all your clothes and all your money. Then take half the clothes and twice the money - Susan Heller Aim : £5000 (between the two of us)
Total saved so far: £2400 (we will be using our credit cards for flights and visa's therefore they won’t be included in our actual costs)
Breakdown (rough costs): Total - £5000 / 70 days = £71 per day (£35 per person)
Accommodation costs : £1200 (for two people in a double room – roughly £18 per night)
Spending money: £5000-£1200 = £3800. With our accommodation paid that is £54 per day spending money (£26 per person)
Using travel books and guides online, the average backpacker estimated guide for all of these countries (except Malaysia and Singapore which is slightly more expensive) is around £20-25 per person per day. We have £35 each, however we are staying in double rooms (not dorms) and have some extra money for some extra luxurious!
Top Tips when Saving Money
Top Tip : Save all your lose change and count it up every few months - In 8 months we made nearly £400
Top Tip 2: Ebay / envirofone / car boot sales / musicmagpie - sell your junk!
Top Tip 3: Online banking - look at EVERYTHING your spending - lunch out = few nights accommodation in SE Asia
Top Tip 4: Online banking - transfer £2-4 into your savings account every other time you’re on - doesn’t seem much - but it all adds up!
Top Tip 5: Make a saving plan and stick to it - put it up on your wall / keep it in your diary / make it your desktop screensaver / log it on your phone - make realistic targets and stick to them!