One of the biggest concerns for new backpackers is the cost of travel. How much will a one year trip cost through Asia and Australia? How many flights will you have to take? How much will rooms cost? What should you budget for food? We’ve given a brief rundown of the budget for 34 countries in an earlier post of ours called: Our Daily Budget For Every Country We’ve Visited.
Here’s a quick summary of costs on a trip around East Asia, India and Australia (add 20% for all big cities)
Food: Make sure you try to eat locally at every chance you get. Expect to pay $2-5/meal throughout Asia. These meals vary depending on what kind of restaurants you eat at. Try the little hole-in-the-wall where you’d never take a date… they’re usually the best! To save money on food in Australia, hit up the local supermarkets and cook for yourself.
Accommodation: This varies a lot from country to country. In S.E.A expect $10-15 / double room or $5-10/dorm bed. In Australia this will be at least doubled, especially in big cities. Try booking rooms on sites like Hostel World and you can save quite a bit of money. Also, get an International Youth Hostel card at a registered hostel and you’ll save even more.
Flights: Here’s where you can save a lot of money when planning for your trip. You’re going to want to try to book your flights either 3 months+ in advance, or last-minute. Using flight comparison sites like Cheapflights can save you a ton of money. It’s best to try more than one airline and do a lot of searches, including detours that could save money if you first fly to a major city, then on to your final destination. Before you leave for your trip, search a bunch of routes you expect to take, write down the costs and then budget accordingly (of course these prices will fluctuate).
Other Transport: In most of Asia, transport is extremely cheap. You can train across India for as little as $10US (31hrs) and buses in Southeast Asia and China are cheap as well. If you travel fast (not recommended) then budget a bit higher because constant trains and buses will bring up your daily budget.
Overall: Expect to spend about $70/day for 2 people travelling around Asia, and Australia. The cost of Australia will be considerably higher but keep in mind that other countries in S.E.A and the Subcontinent will be that much cheaper. If you’d like help budgeting, checkout this free budget table that may help you keep your money in order.