I am planning on going to South East Asia in March for 3 months (very excited). I am 18 and it looks like i'm going alone as my mate who also wants to travel now wants to go to America.
It will be my first time traveling alone and my first time outside Europe. I just wanted to know what I should do about flights. I haven't got anything booked yet as i really do not know what to do. I was planning on flying out to Singapore and making my way up to Hanoi via Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam (possibly Laos) but i don't know if i should book my flight home before i leave and plan my trip around that flight or wait until i am out there and book a flight home when i know where i am going to end up. How easy is it to book a flight when you are out there? I will probably try to fly home from either Hanoi or Bangkok.
I also wanted to know the best way of handling money. Is it best to take an ordinary debit card and use ATMs or do i need to get a special travel account? And how much cash should you carry around with you at one time?
Any help would be greatly appreciated!
Many thanks, ThePanda
It’s a great glittering place! Perfect, pleasurable and throbbing with tropical passion…
You need to do some research on airfares. Try momondo and also Kayak. Then the big search engines like Expedia, travelocity. Plug in your dates and see if it makes sense to fly one way or buy a round trip ticket. BKK is usually cheaper than HAN for flights. More competition. Crunch the prices for your dates and you will know if it is better for you to book a R/T ticket or fly in on a one way and book a flight home from either BKK or HAN.
Now money. I would talk to your bank and tell them about your planned trip. Find out what the fees are to use your ATM card as you travel. I would have some travel checks with me as as a back up to your card. Their fees might be less than using your ATM card repeatedly. Check. I would try to keep less than $300 cash on me. If the worse happens, it will not ruin your holiday.
Good luck with your planning.
I suggest you buy a round trip ticket to either Bangkok, Singapore or KL, and then use Air Asia or ground travel to maneuver the region. ITA Software's calendar option can show you which days of any month are cheapest to fly. I was helping a friend from the UK yesterday, and I came up with figures about GBP501 or less from London to Bangkok (Oman Air via Muscat) and even less using Air Asia X into KL.
I travel to Vietnam on a regular basis, and use my debit card exclusively at the local ATM. I discovered recently that the CITI ATM in the larger cities is cheapest with a fee of 20,000VND. The best bank for foreigners is ANZ, but their fee is 40,000VND ($2.) Do inform your bank of your travel plans, and I recommend taking a cr card too for emergencies.
If you haven't been there already, you should look at the info at travelfish.org - the very best site for info on SE Asia. I just came back from trip #4 a few weeks ago, and my rec is to go to Laos definitely (Luang Prabang is the real diamond in the rough - jaw dropping beautiful) - Hanoi is the most interesting city by far.
are you from the UK? If you are then you could try looking at getting a flight to HK as it is generally the cheapest flight from the UK out to SE Asia and there are plenty of local cheap airlines that fly from there all over SE Asia. I used that little trick many times.