Wednesday, December 1, 2010

How-To Plan The Most Interesting Asian Backpack Trip?

Backpacking is a term that has historically been used to a form of low cost, independent international trip. Term such as budget travel or backpacking trip are always used interchangeably.

Backpack trip is notably lower in budget and the length of trip is significantly longer compared to a conventional trip, or luxury travel.

And because of its nature, backpacker's experience is significantly more challenging and exploratory. Words that describe a backpacking travel are such like adventurous, budget, low cost, excitement, tough, tricky, taxing, mad, crazy.

The decision to book a ticket and fly out of country to a far land on a budget trip for several weeks to months needs to be backed by emotions.

What do I need to do?
  1. Decide where to go.
  2. Decide how much time I want to spend.
  3. Check the fare with one of the low cost carrier.
  4. Book if available.
  5. Google some info & reference, get a travel book from the store for reviews and guide.
  6. Plan my trip (itinerary can always change depending on context), usually 2-4 weeks before I fly.
The places where backpackers commonly gather and visit are very safe, but I've also heard a lot of losses to snatch thieves that made some bad experiences. It's moderately safe to travel alone but you can use a company on your first trip.

Tho survive everyday on a fixed budget is a very challenging task, I always request for a moderately acceptable discount and find out the interesting activities and excursions everywhere I go.

Use your emotion, try to book a return flight ticket of 7-10 days to nearest South East Asia cities, and start planning 6 weeks before your trip, start by asking friends who had experienced a trip to your next destination. Am sure you friends can share some thoughts and experience.

The good thing about staying in Asian countries is that I can make couple of trips to the nearest countries at different time and pick it up again where I left off because the air fare is low compared to European travelers could probably decide to stay longer due to higher traveling cost to fly down from home.

How do I survive with $35 per day?
  1. The simplest benchmark I have is an average USD$35 or RM100 per day and multiply by how many days you have for a trip.
  2. If you wonder how much can you do with RM100 per day trip, that includes accommodation, logistics, break fast, lunch, dinner, supper and some other entertainments and travel packages in most of the Asian countries.
  3. Wines, cigarettes, beers, marijuana are very cheaply and easily available too.

How do I book a guest house?
  1. I never need to pre-book guest houses to save some couple of dollars.
  2. I normally visit at least a few budget hotels or guest houses from the list that is recommended by my travel book or from my researched list.
  3. I take rooms between USD$8-12 for a decent single/double bed room that could probably have a private bathroom. 
  4. A room may or may not comes with private toilet and air conditioning, you would have to ask for it, and of course there's a price for those facilities, normally an additional of $1-2.
  5. Always ask to check the bed room first before you confirm the room from the care taker, and you can always reject the offer politely and walk out to check another and return if you feel you feel the other way.
  6. Most of the time, during semi peaked season, you can always negotiate for a good rental rate. You may ask politely to take the air conditioning remote away because you don't need it and ask for additional discount.

What Backpacking means to Me?

Backpacking gives me the opportunity to understand and explore uniquely about a country's souls and historically rich cultures of our neighboring roots that many had either forgotten or foregone.

It gives me the renewed thrust to move forward with positive energies, opening up my eyes that were so narrowly set a couple of years ago, that were almost blinded materialistically.

I'm more mentally prepared, confident in such a way that I'll survive an awful lot of storms ahead in years and yet, I feel blessed.

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