When we think about teaching abroad in Asia, the first thing that comes to many of our minds is, no surprise – travel. We imagine beaches and exotic animals, mountains and mopeds, food, new friends, history and culture, and the list continues. As the daydream passes, we’re hit with another more practical thought: cost. How can we make the most of our travels without sinking our savings? Below you will find 5 tips on travelling on a budget while in Asia.

Book your flights – don’t procrastinate! 

Depending on where you are flying from, the early bird gets the worm. Asia is vast, and some of the longer flights can grow exponentially in cost closer to departure date. Given that as teachers we are working with standard holidays, it is well worth your while to start planning your trip several months beforehand. If you are travelling from China to Southeast Asia, for example, book your long-haul flight well before and leave the travel plans between cities to when you arrive (see tip #2). Some great flight sites to monitor are: 


Love the locals: barter (but be nice!) 

The saying “Listen to the Locals” is true, yes. The locals know best – they are from the area, they know the ins and outs of all things related to travel. When it comes to planning transportation within and between cities, it is best to wait until you arrive at the location. The hotel or hostel you are staying at may have a group of people that are also planning the same travels whom you can tag along with to lower travel cost, or there may be other options that aren’t seen online before you arrive. Before accepting a price, ask some other travellers for input. It is always worth negotiating the price given, but remember – be nice! The locals will respect you and take better care of you if they get respect in return. The most special and life-changing part of travelling is your relationships with the locals. 

Eat from the street 

Myth: street food is dangerous. In fact, street vendors selling food can often be the safest, as the food is cooked right in front of your eyes and goes from grill to mouth. Street food gives you a true sample of the local cuisine, and can be absolutely delicious! It is also CHEAP – you won’t break your wallet eating outside with the locals and tourists combined! 

Book cheap accommodation

Finding a great, cheap place to stay has never been easier with the likes of www.hostelworld.com.  Hostels and guesthouses are the best way to meet new people, discover the culture and activities of the location you are in, book cheap transportation, and have a great time. There are many hostels and guesthouses in Asia, with pictures and reviews online. Hostel World has a great mobile app that makes booking seamless and simple. You will find a wide variety of people of different backgrounds and ages.  Some sites offer private rooms as well as the dorm style rooms, so you have options. For those looking for something slightly more serene, some lovely guesthouses and local hotels can be found on www.booking.com as well. 

Go with the flow 

One of the biggest traps for delving deep into your budget is not going with the flow! Things never happen exactly as you plan when travelling, and if you go in with an open mind you will inevitably have a better trip and save more money. It is worth doing some planning before you go, such as booking longer flights and having an idea of which locations you would like to visit and when. But, don’t plan every detail ahead! You will get caught in expensive online pricing and miss out on opportunities to save money once you arrive by travelling with groups or local entities. Be smart, but have fun and expect the unexpected! 

Asia can be one of the most exciting places to both teach in and explore. For more advice on how to do just this and land your dream international teaching job, contact our team today.