Easy Ways for Funding your Travels through Asia

Traveling throughout Asia can be expensive; however, there are many easy ways to cut costs and fund your journey through the eastern countries. From credit-card rewards to saving money on food and transportation, the following tips are designed to help you get the most out of your Asian travels. Do a little investigating before leaving home. Compare prices and check out recommendations from other travellers.

Easy Ways of Funding Asia China National Park Zhangjiajie
China National Park, Zhangjiajie

Air Fares, Accommodations, and Reward Points:

The reward points offered by American Express travel credit cards, for example, can be exchanged for airline miles and other cost-cutting advantages. Purchasing tickets for trans-world flights helps credit card users acquire travel rewards rapidly. These benefits may then be applied to short and long distance flights, as well as travel upgrades. Booking your hotel accommodations online is another great way to get the best prices for quality rooms. Compare rates and check out hotel and room photos. It is possible to reduce the cost of booking fees with your reward points. Travelers receive substantial benefits that may be used toward future reservations while offsetting the fees associated with booking.

Another good way to reduce travel cost is to book much in advance, or placing a price alert on the websites when you have a destination in mind. Many booking portals have this option.

There is also another way through which you can actually travel for free! Surprised? Read more: Travel Hacking Basics: How to Travel for Free Using Miles and Points

Booking Hotels:

Easy Ways of Funding Asia double bed budget hotel
Double bed in a budget hotel

The time of year when you book your travels also affects the price. Off-peak seasons usually provide substantial savings, sometimes by as much as 50-60%. Likewise, when you check into a hotel, the day of the week is likely to impact the cost, as does the area in which you plan to stay. There are widespread chains of budget hotels throughout Asia that provide quality rooms with amenities, such as Wi-Fi connections.  It’s also worth looking into alternatives to residing in a hotel, such as renting an apartment, a house, or checking into in a hostel.

Another interesting concept that is fast catching up is called AirbnbYou must check out their website to see how can do do both - host people who come to your city as well as stay when you are traveling outside. The places to stay are approved by Airbnb in advance so you can be completely assured of a comfortable and safe stay :) 

However, my favourite is Couchsurfing, a concept which not only allows you to explore a place like a local but often allows you to make lasting friends. I used Couchsurfing for the first time in United States on a trip to Denver in Colarado. I was not only pampered by my hosts but was also taken to ski in the mountains! 

Saving on Food and Restaurants:

Easy Ways of Funding Asia local food south inidian thali india
Indian thali

Stay away from western foods as much as possible and enjoy the local cuisine. While it may be tempting to resort to some of your favorite foods from home, these items are often overpriced. Whenever possible, follow the native customs and buy foods within local markets. Check out the best restaurants and read guest recommendations before you arrive at your destination. Asia is a gourmet’s delight, and the foods are one of the many benefits of travelling throughout the region.

For instance if you are travelling to India its best to try out the local thalis, which are both extremely nutritious as well as affordable. Alternatively you can also visit a local tiffin house (many cities have those) to grab an affordable bite. This allows you to get a local flavour of food and also get up, close and personal with the locals. If you need any recommendations, its a great idea to ask a local - he/ she would recommend a place of their choice and most likely that would be affordable!


Easy Ways of Funding Asia green train nara
Green Train, Nara

In most countries, there are several affordable modes of public transportation. Systems such as the BTS Skytrain, the MRT, LRT, and subways are just a few of the popular forms of networking that connect most areas. Many regions throughout Asia provide comprehensive public transportation with reduced prices on passes for extended periods of travel.

Trains in the Indian subcontinent are extremely affordable, and also generally safe. Sometimes in a place like India its tough to get tickets, but now there are quotas for international travellers. Do make sure you make use to those. Its best to book the tickets yourself online, than use the local travel agent who often charge heavily even for making small and easy bookings. If at all you need to use a tour operator, pick one which is approved by the government.

Many countries also have low cost airlines and you must always check out the deals there before finalising. At times you can even find cheaper options to trains!

I also use Meetup to travel within the country if I am solo traveling. You can either hitch a ride with someone already traveling to a destination that you want as well, or pay for the ride (which will be a fraction of taking a cab by  yourself).

Hitchhiking is also an option, though you need to make sure that its safe in the country where you are. Also, some areas in a rather safe country can also be unsafe. Please err on the side of caution. 

Other Ways to Fund Your Travels:

Easy Ways of Funding Asia Terraced Fields, Cang Chai District, Yen Bai
Terraced Fields, Cang Chai District, Yen Bai

Never underestimate the power of negotiation. Whether you are reserving a room or negotiating the cost of items while shopping, many proprietors expect their customers to bargain. Avoid purchasing unnecessary travel supplies, step away from the beaten path, try not to splurge on alcohol and high-end products, use low-cost and internet options when calling home, stay away high-cost tourist attractions, and earn money along the way. Travel blogging, volunteering, and teaching opportunities are easy ways to earn extra income and to fund your travels through Asia!

For buying souvenirs you must always go to a local craft market. I think this is one place where you can give the full price for exquisite hand-made crafts :)

Here's another guide to some of the best things to do in Asia: 30 things to see in Asia


This is a guest post by Julie Abrams. The images have been taken from the open source image source Pixabay!


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