Traveling to Asia? 4 Tips to Stretch Your Budget

Garden in Singapore Photo

The trip to Asia you’ve been dreaming of might be more affordable than you think. With these four cost-cutting tips, you can plan the vacation you’ve always wanted without breaking the bank.

Save on Your Flight

For most travelers heading to Asia, the single most expensive item on the budget will be airfare. That makes purchasing your plane ticket a fantastic opportunity to save money. There are thousands of tricks and gimmicks for finding cheap airfares, but these three tips are the most reliable.

First, unless you are planning a trip to a specific city or region, compare prices at different airports. If you’re travelling to China and planning on exploring several different cities, for example, you might be able to save hundreds by flying into Guangzhou instead of Beijing or Shanghai.

Second, search multiple dates for your departure and return. Airfares are usually cheapest about a month before your departure, but the day of the week you choose can have big implications for the price tag, too. Tickets are usually discounted for flights in the middle of the week, but more expensive on the weekends. If your travel dates are flexible you could save hundreds.

Finally, save money on flights during your vacation by choosing local airlines. Asia has some of the cheapest discount airlines in the world. If you’re planning on hopping from Thailand to Indonesia or from Japan to China, you can almost certainly find cheaper flights with regional carriers. Some don’t have websites in English, so check with travel agents in your first destination country.

Book an Extended Tour

As a general rule, it’s less expensive to see the sights on your own than to book a tour. An important exception to that rule, however, is multi-day tours. If you’d like to see several different parts of a country and hit all the major attractions, booking an extended tour can actually be cheaper. In many countries, all-inclusive tour packages are available. On Vietnam tours, for instance, it’s possible to book a tour that takes you to every major city in the country and includes your hotel and several meals.

These tours are a great deal, and they’re also a great way to enrich your travel experience. Knowledgeable tour guides can share fun stories about every location, and you’ll have the chance to meet interesting fellow travelers.

Kick Your Feet Up

For a unique and inexpensive travel experience, considering staying in one city for your entire trip. Most tourists try to cram in as many different destinations as possible in a single trip, but they often return home unsatisfied and worn out from the all that rushing.

Save money and have a better experience by choosing one destination and staying put. You can rent furnished apartments in Asia for weekly or monthly rates at far lower prices than you’d find hopping from hotel to hotel. You’ll also save on internal travel within the country, and you’ll have a chance to really get to know the city of your choice.

Be a Volunteer

Last but not least, you can really cut your costs by spending part or all of your trip volunteering. No matter what your background, you can find all sorts of organizations in Asia willing to offer you room and board at a discount or for free if you’re willing to help. You could teach English in a local school, learn about organic farming, or even help out in a medical facility. If a relaxing time on the beach isn’t what you’re looking for, volunteering is an excellent cost-cutting option.

There’s no such thing as a free lunch, but with these travel tips you can get stretch your dollar a little farther. Asia has never been closer!

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