So, you have decided for the first time in your life to plan your own trip to Asia. Maybe you are tired of the standard offerings of travel agencies. You want to be independent, not attached to the hotel, or just want to keep everything in its hands – in this case, follow the instructions below and you will always succeed!
Ultimate guide to planning a trip to Asia:
1. Choose your destination
I would prefer first self planned travel with a visit to the Far East. First of all – it’s really interesting. Secondly – it’s hard. At such a difficult route you can actually test your strength!
So, for example, you want to go to Thailand, Cambodia, the Philippines or Singapore.
The first thing you need to realize that Asia – it’s a completely different world. In the Far East live totally different people with a different mentality. But, with all of this, all countries in Asia are quite similar to each other.
My advice is to start your trip in Thailand. Thailand – a crossroads of Asia, from which you can go anywhere in the Far East.
Of the delights of traveling through Asia, I would like to mention one major advantage – it is the airline «Air Asia». I recommend is to use the services of the airline, as the «Air Asia» – is «Low Cost Airlines». With the «Air Asia», you can get anywhere in Asia for very little money. Besides the trip will cost you less inside an Asian country!
2. Take care of visas
This point I leave to your discretion. The fact that my blog is read my friends from America, Europe, Russia, and so on. I do not know of any specific country my reader, so I can not say the general rules for visa.
But one thing is for sure – You can make an electronic visa or put a stamp on arrival at the airport in many Asian countries.
If you do not feel strong enough to make the visa by yourself, the independent travel – this is not for you! It will be easier to use the services of travel agencies.
3. Buy airline tickets
Buy tickets – this is one of the most important things for self planned trip. The main thing that the price of tickets, often between 20 and 50% of the entire trip.
I recommend to use the “www.skyskanner.com” to find cheap airline tickets, and I also recommend to buy airline tickets on sites owned by the airlines. Answers to the question “why?” can be found in my article.
4. Book your hotel
For booking the hotel, I recommend using the services of the site «www.booking.com» for the following reasons:
- Booking.com – a world famous brand;
- The Site «booking.com» You can always cancel your reservation (if conditions permit order);
- The Site «booking.com» gives you at least some sort of guarantee.
What to know when booking a hotel?
- The cost of hotel room depends on the season;
- In many Asian countries, there is a wide variation in taxes (Be careful, «booking.com» can’t report on all of them. For example, in some countries such as the Maldives, you may be taken from the bed tax. Yes – and such is!)
- My advice is to learn all hotels in the region in which you want to plan your trip. The fact is that very often you can find a great hotel at a cheap price.
5. Connecting Flights
One of the privileges of an independent traveler is able to choose cheap flights with a transfer (connecting flights). Thanks to a connecting flight, you can save 30 to 50% of the ticket price.
Connecting flights are of different length – from 2 hours to 3 days. Based on the foregoing, I recommend to take care of 2 things:
Suppose you bought a cheap air ticket with a connection in another country. A break between flights of more than 24 hours. In that case, I advise you to take care of the visa of the country, which will be docked. With this trick, you can stay in a country new to you in 1-2 days. In addition, a stamp in the passport would be evidence visiting this country. You will have something to show off to friends (Of course, this is a joke).
If the Break is from 3 to 10 hours – you will not be upset. Especially for this, you need to order the «Priority Pass» card, which gives you access to business lounges almost all the airports around the world!
I will write an article with examples of use of the card «Priority Pass» very soon. But at this point, I want to tell you that in just $ 37 per person, you can comfortably spend time in the business lounge of the airport! In addition, in some airports, this price includes food and drinks (even alcohol) drinks.
6. Transfer from the airport in the unknown country
After arriving in a foreign country and passport control, you’ll get up one more problem – how to get to your destination.
I can say that when leaving the arrival area in all Asian countries, you will find only expensive taxi (For example: BMW 7 Series or Mercedes S Class). I recommend to explore all the floors and airport terminals immediately after arrival. In almost every airport there is a “national taxi” as well as Shuttle Bus.
Do not try to negotiate with taxi drivers in Asia, given the fact that you do not know the language. I just can say that few people know the English language in Asia.
If you love the thrill, you can get to the destination on the tuk-tuk.
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7. Problems with language
As I said above, the problem with the language could be your main problem in Asia. Almost nobody knows the English language! I would advise you to install on your iPhone or iPad software translator. It will not solve your problems with the language, but can simplify your negotiations. At least, the translation software will provide you with a text translation of your phrase. But I assure you, in most cases, you have to communicate by “fingers.”
If you are going to buy something in Asia and you do not know how to name the price, ask the seller to give you the calculator – it will greatly facilitate your trades!
Now I would like to talk about your travel insurance. Moreover, under the insurance policy, I mean not only the health insurance and accident insurance, I mean the self-insurance.
As for conventional insurance, I would advise you to contact your insurance agent or insurance agency. But I would like to talk about something else.
Based on this situation, I want to give you a very important piece of advice! Never store all your money in one bank card. It could happen “everything” with you in the self-planned trip! I do not recommend to just take the cash.
The thing that anyone can steal your cash and your card may be blocked. You always need a backup option, just in case.
I strongly recommend you to take on the road two debit cards and one credit card. You need 2 Debit cards to split the money in half. Take your credit card with a maximum credit limit. In Asia, there is much to see and what to buy ! You should always have the means to purchase and unforeseen contingencies.
9. What to take with you on a trip
That brings us to the central question: What to bring in self planned trip to Asia?
The answer to the question you can hit! Do not take ANYTHING In Asia!
You need to take only what you need:
- Your passports;
- 2 debit cards and one credit card;
- Sunglasses (In Asia, a lot of fakes, better buy a real brand);
- Your medicines and pills;
- Laptop, iPhone, iPad (Make sure to install the software necessary to travel. Soon I’ll review a software for independent traveler)
- Good mood
Everything else you can buy on the spot!
You can ask the question – What about suitcases, trunks, flip flops, Hawaiian shirts?
All of these attributes for the rest you used to take with you when you buy tour packages. Forget about it! This is the meaning of independent travel!
All beach gear you’ll buy on the spot. Have you booked hotel and bought tickets, you have the money – what more do you want?
Good luck, enjoy the holidays!
In this article, I talked about the basic points for planning independent travel. In future articles, I will tell you the details!