Travel Tips Guide to Southeast Asia – 8 Months of Backpacking Experience

I see the world you got the beach you got the beach sweet night hey guys, I’m Kristen. And, I’m Abby. And for eight months Abby.

And I have been traveling all around Asia, we’ve seen ten countries. And, we’ve done a ton of things. So we want to share some of our favorite travel tips with you guys let’s get started all these travel tips will be kind of sporadic basically there’s no order to them but there’s a lot of tips that we think can help you guys on your upcoming trip travel tip number oh oh all right the first tip is under pepper if there’s anything we learn about being in Southeast Asia, it’s that everything is so cheap. And you’re always. So tempted to buy your shirts new bags everything is so accessible while you’re there. So really under pack especially with clothing the top things you should put your bag are a pair of running shoes a pair of sandals maybe three pairs of shorts maybe four. And like four tank tops a t-shirt.

And probably to make it dress shirt for guys babe. So I said for Southeast Asia bring one pair of pants many shirts a couple swimsuits five to seven pairs of socks. And underwear.

And a light sweater because it actually gets kind of cold during here on airplanes. And busses pasta sometimes not the AC cranked. And it gets really cold.

So good to have that. And bring it out. And for girls.

I would suggest maybe wearing like a drunk or a dress or something because. So many do go to a bit nicer places. So along with like the five pairs of shorts.

And five tank tops or whatever. I would bring some dresses or just one nice outfit, I’m actually just pair of jeans here are my stevie dreams i’ve been lying about my name here. And they’ve been great i wore them through asia on like for going out again you know Abby wear the wrong person but no wear my jeans yeah.

So even though, it’s still pretty hot you know you need something slightly actually they’re aging are. I trained up grandparenting sauces dressings you to get that. And like a t-shirt like this.

And you’ll get into whatever um for Footwear. I recommend bringing at least one pair of shoes obviously you can easily buy shoes over there there’s actually awesome like knockoff Nikes. I got some for like 30 bucks.

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And that you can buy some really cool shoes over there flip-flops yeah you can bring some or just buy some the religions sold everywhere like five to ten dollars. So, it’s just a spring pair flip-flops. And runners.

And yep 101 Abby said bring hand sanitizer bring some medication Abby went overkill she literally had a bag like this big of medication. And that’s why my bag was full of her stuff because she can carry it all but when I got hurt yeah she was only when.

I got her to bring some stuff you know an Tylenol gravels great uh muscle do crawl which stops you from diarrhea your pants yes. And that’s you have to get it before. And then you take it like to install installments.

And it stops you from like e.coli poisoning. I think.

I never took it. And I never got sick. So I mean.

I got like mild food poisoning once it was nothing yeah but you didn’t have man while we were traveling we had the very unfortunate experience of having both of our checking accounts hopped into. And that can be done through basically any rigged ATM machine where it takes your card information as well as your PIN and. So Abby.

And I had thousands of dollars taken luckily was covered by the bank but we could have averted that situation what. I recommend for you guys is first of all have multiple cards. So multiple credit cards multiple checking cards if possible.

And have your money spread in several accounts because, it’s all sitting in one spot. And someone takes it well then you’re without money. And you’re in a really really bad situation Abby literally had everything broken.

And you know once we got all her money back it didn’t matter because you can’t get a new card. And she was without any cards you couldn’t even access her funds like too much and. So basically it was all on me to use my one remaining card to pay for everything.

So that was a huge headache spread your spread your money across accounts. And another cool feature that we realized is you can help emails sent every time your debit card as. I new withdrawals taken out yeah and.

So if we had had that turned on we would have known immediately if someone was hacking our account because. I would say you know someone’s removing on hundred dollars but we never did that. So that would have stopped that problem earlier we would have had less money stolen rather than everything stolen.

I got one money stolen. So I would suggest that ATM fees are really huge. So if you’re taking money out of the ATM you actually get charged from your home bank.

So for us we paid a Canadian bank about client dollars we also paid the bank in Asia that we were withdrawing from another five dollars. And then I’ll talk about those like transaction fees. And conversion rates.

So it ends up being almost fifteen dollars to withdraw money. So basically my advice is take out as much money as possible without being you know um reckless you don’t want to carry around thousands of dollars but you also don’t want to take out small amounts of money because you’re just paying so much to these stupid ATM fees one awesome way to see countries.

And cities is to rent scooters. So you can actually rent scooters for like five dollars, it’s going to be the best way to actually understand the culture because you don’t. I don’t know when you’re on a bus you just sitting there you kind of phase out when your scooter you’re like immersed in what the people live in you get to see the countryside.

And, it’s just so much fun it gives you lots of flexibility. And freedom.

And, it’s five dollars roughly for the scooter. And then you always have to fill up gas right when you get it not, it’s going to be another. I don’t know dollar fifty two three older.

So, it’s you know under ten dollars for the day usually, it’s pretty cheap. And a lot of fun. And split between two people, it’s even better yeah we split their scooters in half every time because she feels that.

I really got accident left foot. And yeah she got one going back to scooters if you read one try not try never give away your passport they’ll always try to get your passport at first. And just be Stern.

And say no you’re not going to give it to them you can give them your driver’s license or some other form of ID or collateral but if you have your pipe if they have your passport they can literally do anything to screw you over they can ask you to pay $300. And you really have no option then they could charge you for a scratch on the scooter that’s already there. And you can’t do anything.

I’ve had a couple friends who actually had to pay basically the full value of their scooter because they scratched it. And that’s because they gave up their passport they couldn’t really do anything about it yeah okay. So the next tip we have is to make sure your phone is unlocked before you go it will just save you.

So much hassle. So you’re just pretty much phone your service provider. And ask them to transfer you to people who will unlock your phone for me it was like $50 Canadian.

And then when you go over there you can just get a SIM card right away. And stick it in. And it just saves you.

So much hassle yeah. And basically unlocking your phone means that you can use your phone on any carrier yeah. So if you’re in Vietnam or if you’re in Cambodia you can use your phone.

And actually every country you go to that’s the first thing we do we always get a new SIM card put into our phones because each country has their own cell phone carriers. And their own cell phone company. So you can’t have a SIM card from Vietnam.

And then go to Cambodia. And keep texting it won’t work. And cell phone plans are pretty cheap especially on Asia we paid as little as $10 a month for like unlimited data.

And we actually never really did minutes because minutes weren’t that helpful because everything can be done for Facebook or Skype which is old data. So my recommendation is stick to data plans. And you know get the basic unlimited, it’s like $15 max okay.

So the next tip you have which is a absolute lifesaver in my opinion worker girls. I guess for guys but is to carry around 12 paper. And also hand sanitizer and.

So that’s just for me but Christian also is vallah grade 12 paper isn’t a must-have because most of places you’re shopping to go to the bathroom do not have toilet paper. And it could just get real bad this is all. I have to say bravely yeah my recommendation is to buy sunscreen before going abroad.

And that’s because sunscreen is actually a lot more expensive if you’re in Thailand or if you’re in Cambodia Vietnam wherever it is. And that’s because the locals actually use a bleaching agent in their sunscreen and. So because you’re probably coming from you know a western country you don’t want to put bleach on your skin and.

So if you want to buy the regular sunscreen that you have back home you’re going to be paying like double. And triple because. I know that, it’s mainly Western who’s buying this sunscreen yeah.

I definitely bought face wash with bleach an X. And it was your choice yeah another piece of advice is keep a receipt when you think it’ll be handy whether it means you’re buying a cell phone plan or you’re buying a bus ticket ask for the receipt sometimes will try to tell you you don’t need it you do need it because if anything goes wrong. And you know you’ve nothing to show for it you’ve lost that money even though, it’s not a lot of money, it’s pretty cheap usually but, it’s not worth the headache trying to get a receipt winter weekend, it’s the next thing is for like booking hotels.

And hostels. So I’ll go to calm is a website we’ll have a link down below but, it’s a must say pretty much that it tells you like hot really good just searching over comm will link anyway. So, it’s a website that will give you prices pretty much like the best website to use in Southeast Asia for looking at the castles.

And hotels just because it gets you the best price. And, it’s what we kind of relied on the whole time, we’re traveling. And yeah.

I think you can actually create a account with the gota to envelope like loyalty points we never did that. And we never did loyalty points which. I like any of the flight companies which we showed up because we flew.

So much. I would have gotten a free flight or two but anyway, it’s looking to loyalty plans yes look it below Oh going back to a goda if you guys do use a goda, it’s great it gives you a good idea before you get somewhere but let’s say you’re going to a city you can search out the hotel. And then you can actually go to that hotel before paying on it gota.

And sometimes you might get a cheaper price if you pay in person or, it’s better because instead of giving money to gota you’re giving money to local to up. So you can use them any more than a gota. So I think a goal is always what.

I use before arriving at a city I’ll search it yeah I’ll see what options. I have. And then I’ll get a taxi to go there.

And you know 90 percent of the time. I just end up paying in person rather than through. And ends up being what same price but you can also use it as a reference point point because if someone’s trying to charge you more back to like the ripping off thing it does happens yeah just kind of figure out like what yes sometimes you’ll show up at Hotel Valachi charge me more than price on it go to okay.

So you haven’t seen it but then you just tell them hey. I see it, it’s this price i gota. I want this so.

I even kind of negotiated it. So one thing you want to know when you’re going to a country is visa on arrival versus visa in advance basically. So some places you can just show up.

And get your visa right at the border others you actually have to pre-plan and. So Vietnam is one of the countries where we had to actually get our visa all sorted out before entering the country. And this can be a total headache for someone who doesn’t know this because, we’ve heard of stories where people have been basically turned back when they arrive to the border.

So they had to get back in another bus. And go back into another country because they couldn’t get it yeah. So just do your research Philippines is also another one uh where you have to have your flight in.

And out pretty much how we didn’t know that we like shout out to the airport. And the ladies like. So what are you leaving, we’re like sorry what they bought a twelve hour layover.

So we went. And had a booked a flight now but if we were in a rush if we would have missed our flight. So you need to like look at the restrictions from yes twenty-one days max.

And Philippines other than that most of the countries, we’ve been to or just visas on arrival. And rush do your research yet one of the biggest struggles Abby. And I faced was our desire to carry around electronics.

And our desire to feel free. And the problem is like when you have a laptop a camera you know a bunch of GoPro stuff it gets really heavy. And, it’s also a problem because when you have a hostel you feel scared that someone’s going to steal all your stuff, it’s very valuable to you.

So that’s kind of a toss up obviously there’s huge perks they’re just having nothing but the clothing on your back because you don’t care about yourself you just go to hostel you meet people us we have to be more concerned. And that’s why we actually didn’t stay in hostels as much as we would have liked to we did a lot of small hotel rooms where it was the same price but at least we knew that no one else was in our room. And thinking about taking your stuff.

So you have to kind of you know measure is it worth it for you to have your camera your laptop versus your social life because yeah or just not care about your electronics, it’s really up to you. I mean. I have to say, it’s been very good.

I did not hear many thefts going on but, it’s a possibility okay. So yeah yeah okay. So one thing we suggest before you go over is get a universal adapter.

And I was decided because. I talked to Christian he’s like no you don’t need to bring one you can get one over here. I never found one over there so.

I had to like struggle with like these was. I bought from market. So I was just ten from make everyone safe yeah that’s the thing so.

I spent like creamy 20 bucks. And I had to throw both of them up because they just didn’t work after one try. So just buy one it like a Walmart or like a Target or stuff like that.

And it would just save you so much pain. And also, I’m suggest buying one of the ones that’s like all-in-one versus like.

I had a whole bunch of tiny little ones too that. I originally brought. And just yeah yeah.

I had a bag full of these little doctors free because each country has their own outlet plug but you can find ones that have the all-in-one. And don’t really more expensive but gently birthday yeah you don’t want carry on too much junk. And also for girls you might be tempted to like bring like a straightener like a curling iron if you’re a Thai person who likes to your hair a lot but you’ll find once you get over there, it’s too hot to do anything thank you pretty much is where you’re hurt up the whole time so.

I would probably not recommend bringing any huge jewels yeah also mention straighteners. And blow dryers are gonna run on a different voltage. And it actually needs a converter at that one.

So can’t work with the out of the power that is in Asia. And we also noticed that the power kind of screwed with our electronics. So I actually went through a math charger they started they caught on fire my battery life went downhill my phone’s battery life went downhill basically the powers just a different one it didn’t.

I think it really messes things up you don’t even call all the parts okay. So, we’re going to talk about the pros. And cons of hotels versus hostels.

So hospitals obviously you meet a lot of people the social life is absolutely amazing this times we did stay in hostels we met people right away we had so much fun hotels are really nice because sometimes when you’re traveling with people a lot you just kind of want like you’re like a long time just like relax. And then obviously if you look electronic you don’t worry about it too much yeah like Lauren said the social life’s way better in hostel but you also will want your private time sometimes they’re about the same price if you’re willing to split your hotel room someone.

So you know hotel rooms usually about $10 if you have two people in is five a hotel or sorry a hostel where you just have one bunk. And a shared bathroom is also going to be around $5. So you know some people would think hostels are the cheapest but they’re actually sometimes even more than splitting the hotel room in half.

So it just really depends but often it is going to be worth paying the extra a little bit just to have the ability to meet all these awesome people from all around the world. And I know there’s always been a bit of concern about safety in hostels. And basically just want to say that.

I have never experienced that. I’ve never heard anything really going on even theft. I’ve not really heard much stories about that or any.

So hostels are generally going to be a good spot to stay. And you don’t have to worry about that. And a lot of houses do they do have lockers you can lock your stuff up.

So when you’re traveling there are a few ways you can get around you can either take a plane sleeper bus sleeper train or mini bus. And basically just give you an idea of what each looks like well my favorite, it’s obviously a plane but the plane is going to be a bit more, it’s still fairly you know inexpensive if you’re doing it in Southeast Asia. And if you booked ahead of time if you booked ahead of time too you can get a real deal so.

I recommend planes when you know you’re not too concerned about your budget. And you need to be somewhere in a certain amount of time, it’s obviously gonna need fastest the next best is going to be sleeper train sleeper trains are awesome because you get to sleep you actually get a full bed. And, it’s only like 20 bucks for like.

I don’t know 12 hour sleeper trains move on yeah we do not it comes like you have dated once because it was booked in the full the air cons were booked. And it was much worse yeah but still sleeper trains your next best then sleeper bus sleeper bus you can still sleep but buses deal with crappy roads in Southeast Asia especially where basically you’re going back. And forth up hills.

And I know you’re trying to sleep but you can’t really because you’re constantly hitting the wall. And concerned that your bus will go up a bit which can take gravol just take growl it will save your life. And the worst is the mini bus.

So many boxes are basically like twelve person carriers. And they’re going to be cheaper you know but you can’t sleep you’re sitting in a little tiny thing where your legs are like touching the front seat. And someone’s next to you.

And they’re sweating sometimes, it’s Abby sweating, it’s gross, it’s not awful but, it’s definitely pregnant, it’s either thing there’s that awful but, it’s like Oh Mitchell thanks gravel she’s pretty much a gravel night girl. I should sleep some you doing. I want you to gravel, it’s a life saver though it just makes you.

So tired in my crumbs. I get super carsick. So I was just like.

I did by recommend okay one thing. I bashed Abby first was bringing a sleeping bag in a pillow because well first of all. I had to carry on.

So much of her stuff in my bag she over packed but I didn’t think it’d be helpful but it was. So helpful to have that sleeping bag because, I’m just few nights where we literally crashed on the floor.

And it was nice to have you know something to sleep on, it’s only Tiger J a very tiny sleeping bag a very tiny what the whole entire trip. I heard nothing but him complaining that. I brought my freezing Meg but it was one of the ones that is like, it’s super super thin smells like an egg.

I remember you even if you’re working. So one thing you do need to keep in mind is that there is a bit of theft especially in Southeast Asia there is the renowned motorbike thief’s. And basically they’ll drive by on their bike.

And they’ll grab your purse. And just keep driving there’s nothing you can do at that point and. So there’s a few things you can do obviously the first is the most obvious keep yourself close to you.

And kind of be aware that you know there could be someone close by with a bike just ready to steal it one thing that’s been good is you can get reinforced purses that actually have a metal strap. So they have just a thin cable that stops people from cutting it. And running.

And that’s that’s you know that’s pretty big in Europe from the sounds of it in Asia. I didn’t really meet anyone that had to happen but Europe sounds like, it’s pretty bad for that kind of thing especially for wallets being stolen from the back of your pocket. So maybe keep wolves in the front pocket when you’re busy there are in a money belt – money belts.

I never used it but anymore did. I did yeah. I used a lot.

So you’re gonna get one that goes around your waist or one that goes around your neck. And then, it’s pretty much impossible but again. I didn’t really see any theft so.

I mean either look at your painting you’re up a tiny bit versus but bacon conscious yeah we heard of a story where someone’s our first day in Vietnam they have their iPad. And you’re taking a picture something don’t just punch them in the gut. And stole the iPod.

And fries Haeju yeah it’ll be really smart tell them that we really didn’t hear it in my chest yeah. I leave behind jewelry watches um you can buy cheap watches there. I brought you know a nice watch.

I thought I’d lost it turns out it was like wedged in my bag but basically, it’s just not worth bringing expensive things you don’t even need them. So hot you don’t want to wear jewelry yeah. So Wi-Fi was generally good in Southeast Asia, I’m pretty much any like hotel or hostel you go to will have Wi-Fi as well as like restaurants.

And stuff they even just connect your phone to. And then also Skype calling that’s pretty much what. I use to talk to my family at home.

And Hughes as well, I’m su sons FaceTime yeah. So pretty much don’t have to worry about not be able to communicate whose Wi-Fi is actually really good over there yeah we did two months of long-distance relationship before she came over. And we just we’d always chat the FaceTime it was actually like it literally felt like she was there we talked.

So much. So the Wi-Fi is really good actually places like Cambodia where the upload speed was better than. I have in Canada.

So the Wi-Fi again, it’s pretty pretty strong in most places. And Skype is great because you can literally call you know let’s see have to call your bank at home or you just call a business at home calling sky : yes mom put $10 credit on skype. And then you can basically call for pennies you know my minute call might be 15 cents, it’s really junior.

So this guy called this group another tip. I have is sounds pretty obvious but say hello to people one of the coolest experiences, we’ve had has actually just been through saying hi to people that we wouldn’t. I thought we’d be hanging out with.

And next thing we knew we were singing karaoke with them until 5:00 in the morning. So you know just really really go out of your way to make new friendships. And realize that backpackers are all in the same boat as you everyone is so friendly everyone’s looking. I know. And you know share experiences with.

So, it’s not like being at home where you’re going to get rejected. And they’re just gonna like go back to reading their book but people are like that people are looking to hang out. And young people.

So just say hi everyone’s in the same mindset which is nice yeah not really a tip but basically, it’s giving understanding what food’s going to be like if you’re going to Southeast Asia that is lots of rice obviously lots of rice. And chicken lots of rice but you have Western food, it’s going to be like the best thing you’ve ever tasted in your life. And are there’s any times we had burgers.

And it was just like it was like the best elbows you can easily get Western food but it can be quite expensive if, it’s like authentic Western foods sometimes you’ll get like the Asian recreation or recreation of Western food. And, it’s just terrible. So I don’t always recommend that can be still okay but you know you kind of get what you pay for if you pay for you know $10 $15 meal which is like what you pay back home you’ll get like a meal that you get back home.

So the prices for Western food are going to be very similar to what it is you know at home if you like red wine that’s just tuner bad you’re have to be in Eddy know you can get some Judaism’s expensive. And you becomes. I found.

I became. So cheap. And I was over there like.

I have nothing, I’m far from cheap when, I’m here I’ll vote for dinner and. So like all, it’s got that all the time but when you get over there you kind of get in the mindset. And look you only have a limited amount of money you’re no longer making money you’ll notice you don’t want to spend money on anything it is kind of funny cuz you see yourself changing as a person.

And then you kind of go back to normal once you get back but, it’s out saying really interesting. I found it because in Bangkok. I mean.

I was getting meals for under a dollar violent you’re a dollar for you know chicken soup rice. And water. So like a full meal for a dollar.

And, it’s just crazy but then again you can go get a Western meal for $15. So yeah I’m so cheap because you look at the huge comparison of a dollar fifteen.

And then you have a harder time rationalizing spending that amount. So, it’s actually a good thing in my opinion, it’s nice to try out the local food -. I actually you know really grew to liking the food food in Thailand is so good you don’t realize that you’ve left Thailand but I yeah pad thai Thailand. And Japan just fantastic food Philippines.

I love the country the food was just okay Cambodia. And Vietnam the food was not that great. So you’ll just find that each country kind of berries food you’ll find places you like better than another your travel tip kind of random but you should try cooking classes, we’ve done two cooking classes one in Bangkok.

And one in Vietnam. And, it’s just an awesome way to try it out their food. And kind of get an idea of their culture it was really enjoyable to do something.

I never thought I’d do but I loved it can. I see that except for traffic bye guys ah no.

I mean yes ah. So that is it for our Travel Tips we hope you guys enjoyed this post. And thank you.

So much for reading you guys let me know if you guys have any other travel questions just comment them down below I’ll try to answer as much as. I can. And if you guys have any other you know tips feel free to comment them down below for others as well I’ll be really helpful.

And I will also be making another post. I want to do a series where. I kind of explain my tips for each country.

I’ve been to and. So, I’m going to do a Southeast Asia you know travel tips post that’s more catered to like what you should see what you should do maybe how you should travel it. And I’ll try to get that up within the next month or.

So make sure to subscribe guys. And next are my tattoo. And my script or also does YouTube service yeah more like fashion lifestyle but get at me we’ll see you guys later see you guys Oh.

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