Check our article if you want to know how much it will cost to travel southeast Asia. To make a relatively accurate budget calculation for your South East Asia trip, plan for $50 – $60 per day for a couple, which equals $1,500 – $1,800/month. Plan on $35 – $40 per day for one person travelling, which equals $1,050 – $1,200/month. Now You Have a Southeast Asia Backpacking Budget!
Daily Cost Of Backpacking In Southeast Asia – Quick Answers!
- Cost of street food: 80 cents – $4 USD per meal
- Cost of Local Food in a Restaurant: $4-$12 USD per meal
- Cost of Western Food in a Restaurant: $7.50-$17.50 USD per meal
- Cost of water: 40 cents – $1.20 USD for a big bottle (For your wallet and the environment’s sake, you should take your own filtered water bottle!)
- Cost of beer: $1.40–$6.20 USD – per bottle
- Cost of a Hostel: $3.50-$18 USD per night
- Cost of a Private Room: $10-$80 USD per night
- Cost of Scooter Hire: $6.50-$21 USD per day
- Cost of a Massage: $10 USD per one hour
Cost of Street Food in Southeast Asia – Less than 5$
Southeast Asian street food has been the staple diet of many a backpacker. Whether it’s Pad Thai on the streets of Thailand or Banh Mi in Vietnam, you’re bound to find your new favourite dish while travelling!
The average price of a basic street food meal in Southeast Asia is mind-blowing. In many countries, such as Thailand and Vietnam, you can get a full nutritious (and delicious!) meal of rice or noodles for under a dollar. Even in more expensive spots, like Singapore, you’ll rarely be paying more than $3-$4 USD.
Cost of Restaurant Food in Southeast Asia – $4 to $18
While street food is a bloody great bargain, sometimes you might not feel like squashing yourself into a small plastic chair next to a busy road. Thankfully, throughout most of Southeast Asia, you’ll find affordable restaurants without too much trouble. The food is very similar to the food found on the street but you’ll be paying for the privilege of sitting indoors!
Cost of Accommodation in Southeast Asia
- Hostel Dorm (per night) = $3.50 – $18 USD
- Hostel Double Room (per night) = $10 – $45 USD
- Double Hotel Room = $10 – $80 USD
Cheap places to sleep in Southeast Asia are plentiful. The price of a hostel bed changes a lot depending on where you are but on average they’ll set you back $3.50–$18 USD. Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, and Thailand all have beds below this price range, whereas spots like Singapore or the Philippines can be slightly higher.
Pre Trip Expenses – Before You Go
There are a few things you’ll need before you go traveling and the costs for those, while unavoidable, don’t have to be monumental. Here are some things to think about…
$50 – $250 USD
Are you even a backpacker if you don’t have a backpack?! There are obviously other options like suitcases, duffel bags, or backpacks with wheels but most travelers chose ye olde faithful, the backpack.
$50 – $600 USD
The cost of vaccines will vary depending on where you are from so check with your local doctor well in advance of when you plan on traveling. They will be able to tell you what shots you’ll need, as well as when you’ll need them and how much they will cost.
- Visas – (Depend on your nationality)
$0 – $50 USD per country
Most Asia countries don’t need visas to enter if you’re European, American, or one of the members of ASEAN countries. But you still need to check with your government’s website for the most up-to-date information on costs and procedures.
- Flights (Initial flight to Asia from your home country)
$250 – $1000 USD
While we’ve already spoken about avoiding flights as much as possible, unless you are planning some epic overland journey from your hometown to Asia, you’ll have to fly at some point. Sadly this is a necessary evil but one that doesn’t have to break the bank.
For the best deals, begin looking for flights 6 months to a year before you plan to start traveling, and remember to use more than one comparison site. Skyscanner also gives you the option to look at an entire month to see what days have the cheapest tickets!
- Travel Insurance
$50 – $500 USD per trip
Much like our advice on travel vaccinations, travel insurance is a must-have. You probably won’t need it but if you are unfortunate enough to have an accident or get sick while away, you’ll quickly realize how important it is!