Setting a travel budget

Well it’s less than a week now until I get on the plane to KL. I expect to be away for about six or seven months and will be visiting Malaysia, Thailand, Hong Kong and Macau, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, India and most likely Nepal. I haven’t got a flight back yet from India as the airline that I expect to travel with has not released their winter schedules yet.

Many people ask me how I can afford to go away for such a long time; well backpacking is a pretty cheap activity and in many of the countries that I have mentioned you can get by on a budget of $20 per day;  Obviously the more you spend the more activities that you can do 🙂

So I have decided, based on a little research, that my budget will be $35 per day.  This does not include air travel, but does include all train, bus travels. I also have a few of hundred dollars set aside for activities that I would like to do whilst away (such as a Thai  cooking course, and a bit of jungle trekking.

I will try to stick to the budget as best as I can, as it is very easy to spend a hundred bucks a day when doing lots of activities and going out all the time, and I don’t really want that sort of trip anyway.

Just as a reference guide for myself, and those who may be of interest this is what $35 gets you in a couple of countries.


$35 = 1200 THB. Budget Rooms cost 150 to 650 THB,  Food (local) 50 to 150 baht, beer 50 baht in the shop about 70 baht in a bar.

so average room, plus three meals and 4 beers is around 1000 bahts.


USD and Thai baht is accepted at a lot of places, but the local currency is KIP ($35 = 300,000)

Room $3 to $10, meal $1 to $3, beer $0.5

so average room, plus three meals and 4 beers is around 12 usd.

Although some places (Hong Kong) will be a lot more expensive I feel that $35 a day should be a nice budget, if you start upping the budget to say $50 a day, you just end up going to hotels and restaurants where you don’t meet other travellers.

Anyway I shall keep a record of what I spend in each country when I’m away, so as to help anybody who is considering a future back packing trip through Asia.

1 thought on “Setting a travel budget”

  1. Hi Deano, we had excellent accomdation in Vietnam in four locations for average of $25 for the both of us with breakfast.
    Let us know if you want the names, have a great trip it sounds exciting Carole

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