Everyone wants to take a gap year and backpack around southeast Asia (SEA). To find yourself, to take a break from the “capitalism world” or to find your soulmate. What is your travel for travel? I might as well share a southeast Asia backpacking itinerary with you guys, to make it easier to plan your trip. But first, how to get started.
This is the beginning of the series for backpacking itineraries in Southeast Asia. Southeast Asia is cheap, but it can also get really expensive if you don’t manage it well. I’ll share some useful and practical itineraries from people that I have met during my travels. Hopefully it can act as a guide to help you plan your itinerary!
Travel Tips 101
Before I begin, here are some tips to get you started if you are new
- Safety 101: Trust your instinct
- A-Z Travel Essentials
- How to plan your trip
- Travelling on a budget (Also, 10 jobs you can do)
- Qualities and mindset that you should probably embrace
- Learn to be sociable, because you’ll need that skill
- Culture awareness 101, especially if you’ve never left your country before
- 10 tips by frequent travellers
Southeast Asia Backpacking Itinerary
And here are other Southeast Asia backpacking itineraries
- Vietnam: Backpack and motorbike road trip in Vietnam
- Saigon (Vietnam): Food in Saigon
- Mekong (Vietnam): Mekong Delta for a Weekend
- Boracay (Philippines): Travelling to Boracay
- Palawan (Philippines): FAQ for El Nido, Palawan
- Johor Bahru (Malaysia): One-Day “Treat Yo Self” Itinerary
- Langkawi (Malaysia): How to plan for a getaway in Langkawi
- Layover (Singapore): Layover Itinerary in Singapore
- Singapore: 10 Insider Tips to Travel Singapore: A 3d2n Itinerary
- Belitung Island (Indonesia): 4D3N Itinerary in Belitung Island
1. Getting Started
Enough introduction, let’s get to the practical stuff.
Biggest tip of all time: Pack Light
You need to pack light because my friend, are you in for a wild ride. Literally, this is a backpacking itinerary so packing light means it is less weight on your shoulders for a few weeks.
Seriously, I backpacked many times and always took my 2kg laptop with me. Turns out, I never needed to use it. The smartphone is powerful enough. So, only bring the things you truly need.
One tip is to get a medium sized backpack.
A mistake that rookies make is to get a big backpack so you can put many things in there, just in case. That doesn’t work. Also, a half-filled backpack is not easy to carry, since the shape is wonky. I’d recommend somewhere between 40L and 50L.
2. Where To?
Next, you have to decide on where you want to go. The travel hubs of Southeast Asia includes Bangkok, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur. Check the flights for details. Read the guides:
- Guide to buying the cheapest air tickets
- Cheapest Airlines by Destinations
- Interview with an airline manager on cheap air tickets
- Cheapest airlines 2019
- Check out these specific cheap airlines
3. Practical Money Information
What is your budget? The itineraries will be based around your budget. Some people survive on 600-700€ a month. It is possible. This is a good amount that allows you to stay in hostels, experience things and travel to other few cities.
You can also do it for half the amount, 300€ a month. I met this guy in Vietnam, where he works in a hostel as a receptionist and get allowance, accommodation AND meals. How cool is that. Of course, the trade-off is that you have less time exploring, because you have to work. But it is still interesting because you can meet people from everywhere.
You can also work as an English teacher. I met many English teachers when travelling in Southeast Asia. You are paid good money, but you are constrained by how much you can travel. Some people teach English for a few months, save up the money and travel around Southeast Asia.
It’s Southeast Asia. Honestly, the meals are not going to be insanely expensive, but they will add-up if you are not careful. Check out the night markets for local street food to reduce your cost. Also, save money on meals by preparing meals on the go.
Couchsurfing is not as common in Asia as in Europe, to be honest. Hostels are the affordable and good. You can also check out homestays. They are usually further from the city and you stay with a family. They treat you like a family and you pay a small fee. It’s very home-y, if that’s what you want.
One tip is to travel by night bus, so you save on accommodation and get to your destination when you wake up in the morning!
Trevellers is my way to change the world. Through my stories, tips and lessons learnt, I truly hope to inspire you to get out of your comfort zone, see the world and see who you truly are. Travel is more than just taking a selfie at beautiful destinations. Travel is an adventure, where you can truly become who you are, give you the time to reflect and grow to become the person you’ve always dreamt of.