How much does it cost to backpack Asia

A simple question, however the answer is quite difficult, as we all have a different idea and preference on comfort.

We initially thought, that travel agents would be able to secure better prices than found on the internet for multi city flights and hotels, however after contacting many agents, we have found that it is 20-30% cheaper to arrange it yourself! I guess there is an increased risk of booking the wrong service, or a horrible hotel, but the price premium is just too high for me to consider travel agents.

So, how do you go about booking the flights and creating an itinerary?

After you decide how long you have for your trip, it is time to pick the countries and cities you may wish to visit. Going to Thailand? Bangkok is the major airport. Visiting Laos? Luang Prabang is a beautiful city with an international airport. If you need some inspiration, check out our initial itinerary below.

London – Bangkok – Luang Prabang – Ho chi Minh – Ha Noi (Saigon) – Siem Reap – Bali – Mumbai – London

We used Skyscanner to find the best fares, I suggest you do the same! I have then spent about 8 hours booking flights in many different local currencies. I have used a credit card from Revolut, with which you can exchange money to virtually any currency in the world and at payment, you pay no transaction or exchange fees at all!

Where to stay?

For us, it was important to stay in private rooms, preferably with a private bathroom, we did not mind if it had less facilities or extras, however we wanted the room to be clean and the hotel to be in a great location.

To simplify this process, we chose, quite straightforward, most of the hotels confirmed the booking straight away and even messaged me on their platform offering day trips and activities they can arrange for us.

How much does it actually cost

I thought it would be cool to post the complete breakdown of our costs, so I have literally just pasted the budgeting table I have created in Excel below!

ItemCost (per person)
Flights ( 11 flights in total)£1115
Hotels (42 nights)£440
Equipment e.g. backpack£100
Ground travel e.g. taxis (estimated)£200
Food and Drink (estimated) £500
Day trips (estimated) £500
ShoppingWho knows!
Total (estimated)£2935

As you can see our total cost came out to be around £3000 per person. We did choose the cheapest flights, however not the cheapest accommodation, if you are willing to go a bit rough in dorm rooms, you could save half of the money we spent on hotels! As we have not completed the trip yet, the food/drink and other costs are estimates, check back in July to see our actual figures.

I hope this was helpful, get in touch if you would like the excel sheet I have used for budgeting, or if you need any help.