Well here is a crazy statement, I have only booked one flight and that is my first flight to Malaysia and the only other flight I will have booked by the time I leave its my flight from Vietnam to San Francisco… for an organiser like me this is a terrifying thing to do; but somehow I have managed to accept and do this?! Let me explain, when you come to planning a trip, especially a long one you need to be smart about how you book flights etc. You will not save money if you know that booking 3 months in advance will not be cheaper if you book a month in advance, I suggest you become friends with airline websites; talk to travel agents or if you have friends in the industry get their advice on booking! I am lucky to have a friend who works in the travel industry and has been correcting me on idea that would potentially cost me way too much money…however I know some of you might ask well how do you book tickets while travelling?! If you have travelled in the last 2-5 years, not only does wifi hotspots help you purchase tickets online but there is heaps of travel agencies or information centres that can assist you in booking the transport you need.
Flights are relatively cheap for travel within South East Asia, most of the flights I am getting are between $30-$60 NZ one way and some $100 NZ return! Talking with my friend and keeping an eye on flights around the time I want to go, it seems that they slightly increase or slightly decrease; but nothing so drastic that makes me want to buy my tickets asap! The only big one that I keep a close eye on is the one to Kuching (Malaysia) to Krabi (Thailand) which is looking in the region of $204 one way! But once we are in Thailand we plan to take a bus or train to Bangkok.
Basically I am saying take a leap of faith! (But a smart one)
Now bus and train tickets, I have not looked into throughly as the airlines as the prices stay stagnant (their might be an increase on a public holiday) so when I arrive at each destination I will look at tickets and book them the day before or 2 days before, if they require 48hours for a booking.
If you have researched the possible way to get around a country you are visiting you can pick the one that is on special or more convenient a few days out when you leave. Here is an example, in Myanmar I have discovered to get from city to city it will be smart to either take the train or bus; therefore went I plan to leave a city in Myanmar I will look at the pricing and make my selection. A side note, I consider things such as an overnight buses they maybe slightly more expensive than the train but you save on accommodation and from what I have been told Myanmar has quite modern and comfortable overnight buses.
If you have some knowledge and are willing to be patient south east asia will be a great place to get bargains on hotels and transport, and its well known that at least 35-50% of holiday expenses are the flights and accommodation.
However America is another thing,
Airbnb is the place to go when you are on a budget, there are other websites such as couchsurfing and global free loaders that can give you a good idea about prices. You need to book in advance, however if you wish to stay longer just a little friendly chat with the person you booked with and you might be in luck! If not there are plenty of places on those websites in which you can book and just move to for the next day. The reason you need to book in advance in America is that accommodation is not cheap! Don’t get stung with poor planning prices…
Like South East Asia, America has some get transport but my recommendation is the Greyhound service and that is what I will be using profusely when I am there!
Now budget…I have keep it around $25 a day in South East Asia and $50 a day in America, that is because I am not afraid of a bit of walking. However for your own travels do adjust accordingly as there will be unexpected fees that will pop up, therefore my running total is below:
- South East Asia – $25 * 3 months roughly (79 days) = $1975
- America – $50 * 1 month (31 days) = $1550
So there you have it my average figures, I hope this is helpful for you when you start to plan your travels! If you have read my previous post on budget you might notice that I have dropped Beijing and Japan. I had to be honest with myself I cannot do everything at once! So bye bye Beijing, bye bye Japan…
Stay tuned for the next stage