You are here

How Much Money Do I Need To Travel Southeast Asia

10th October 2019

Planning a trip to Southeast Asia is no walk in the park when you’ve got Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam to choose from.

How long have you got? No matter what you said it’ll never be long enough to do all of Southeast Asia. You’d need a few lifetimes for that. Your only challenge will be in deciding where to go and how much time to spend in each place. But that’s easier said than done.

Whether you’re planning on scooting throughout the region or visiting one country for a quick holiday, don’t let the inexpensiveness of Southeast Asia fool you, enter here without a budget at your own risk.

What goes into the budget? 

When piecing together your travel budget for Southeast Asia it can get rather daunting pretty quickly thinking about everything at once. Splitting expenses into different categories can make it easier to remember everything and keep track of expenses as you go.

Pre-departure Expenses

Make sure you research the countries you want to travel to for any visas you may need before arrival, there’s nothing worse than getting to the airport and not having the most important piece of paper. Don’t skimp on the travel insurance here either, Southeast Asia might be cheap, but not if you’re sick or injured, don’t risk it. 

Holiday Expenses

These are the bulk of your main expenses: flights, accommodation, activities, food and any souvenirs the family want you to grab for them. You can travel through Asia on a shoestring and stay at backpackers hostels for just a few dollars a day and you can glam it up at 5 star resorts for less than $75 per night, just make sure you write it all down.

Unexpected event Funds

Every trip has at least one unexpected event pop up. Don’t get caught out by not having a back up in case something were to happen.

How much does a Southeast Asia trip cost?

Wouldn’t it be nice if there was some kind of magic holiday budget planning tool that just knew what everything cost and could just add it all up for you so you don’t have to? Well, science has got you covered friend. Using a super complex algorithm combining Numbeo data and our exchange rates, we can translate your budget into any currency with the click of a button. Try it out below!

Step 1

  • Enter in where you’re jetsetting off to
  • Pick your travel style
  • Choose your trip duration
  • Choose your currency AUD/THBAUD/KHRAUD/VND + plenty more


Still with us?

Step 2

Lets us get stuck into the nitty gritty of your daily expenses, things like fast food, coffees, beer and eating out are already priced by the holiday planning tool so all you have to do is put in how many times per day you’ll be planning on eating out. Trust me, you’re going to want to be eating out at least a little bit, Southeast Asia is a food lovers paradise!

Step 3

Is for all the shoppers! Planning on grabbing a few pairs of genuine Oakleys or a few items of clothing for mum? That’s all there too, just punch it in and the magic calculator will do the rest. Don’t forget to add in some extra spending money just in case.

Step 4

And we’re going to be looking at some basic transport expenses outside of the flights you’ve already factored into your budget. Getting around Southeast Asia is going to require a combination of transport options and this is an area we really suggest you focus on.

Step 5

Is relax. The holiday budget calculating robots are finished and you should have in front of you a pretty darn good looking basic budget for your Southeast Asian adventure. Keep in mind that these are the most basic expenses. Don’t forget to add in travel insurance, other daily expenses like food and drinks, sightseeing, activities and leave some extra room in the kitty for any shopping sprees and emergencies too!

Southeast Asia holiday budget examples

After a little bit of study, a rough budget for the big ticket items for your Southeast Asia trip could look like one of these bad boys:

The lovey dovey couple’s retreat


Transport $750pp Return flights to Singapore
Accommodation $1600 for 8 nights 4 star hotel
Food $150 per day For the foodies who love checking out top restaurants

$140 per day

$160 for couple

Singapore Zoo. Universal Studios
Total $4750



The family getaway

Budgeting an exact amount for family trips is notoriously difficult and your exact budget will likely look very different to the below.




Return flights to Vietnam

Local buses & trains

Accommodation $1500 for 10 nights For mid range to luxury
Food $100 per day for the whole family  
Activities $1000 For an activity in every city
Total $8400  


The solo traveller's trip

With a little bit more flexibility to choose the cheapest flights, the solo traveller can save a bit of money initially, but accommodation expenses rack up pretty quickly when you’re solo.

Transport $800 pp Return flights to Cambodia with a low cost carrier
Accommodation $1280 for 16 nights An assortment of backpackers
Food $350 Street food
Activities $200 Cooking classes and temple visits
Total $2630  


Last minute tips

Budgeting doesn’t have to be a dirty word. It might not be the most fun part of your holiday, but it is one of the most important parts.

  • Research your ‘per day’ budget and include the things you really want to do. Once you know the costs, you have a goal to save for and some flexibility to work with
  • Most things are cheaper to book in advance (especially if you’re going near peak times) but some things can be cheaper to purchase in the US
  • Don’t forget to factor in your pre-travel costs (e.g. travel insurance, immunisations and visas).
  • Budget for cheap eats some days so you can treat yourself on others.
  • Don’t forget other cheeky costs like airport transfers, tours and tipping


Flight costs based on search from and are indicative costs only, based on prices available on 04 August 2019. ^Accommodation costs are based on an average per night price for budget, moderate or luxury hotels, as indicated in the table. ~Food based on the average cost of 1 coffee, 1 fast food meal and 1restaurant meal per person, per day. 

COST COMPARISON TABLE: All costs are based on estimated approximate costs from major metropolitan cities. “From” costs indicate costs that start from the indicated price and may be higher than shown. Average prices indicate a typical estimated cost you would pay for the indicated item. Prices may vary from time to time, and in different cities and towns within Southeast Asia.

This blog is provided for information only and does not take into consideration your objectives, financial situation or needs.  You should consider whether the information and suggestions contained in any blog entry are appropriate for you, having regard to your own objectives, financial situation and needs.  While we take reasonable care in providing the blog, we give no warranties or representations that it is complete or accurate, or is appropriate for you.  We are not liable for any loss caused, whether due to negligence or otherwise, arising from use of, or reliance on, the information and/or suggestions contained in this blog.