7 Tips if You’re Traveling in Asia During Gap Year

Asia can be safely called “another world”, everything is really different there if you come from the US. Here, the world’s poorest countries border the overdeveloped countries of the future. Here you can find unique nature and extraordinary people that you will not meet anywhere else in the world. At least in such numbers.

Asia is a continent of contrasts. Some people go there for exoticism, others seek spirituality. There, you will see stunningly beautiful nature and ancient architecture. In Asia, it is easy to get from a poor area to a prosperous and developed city and vice versa. You can find many adventures and pleasant memories for a lifetime.

So, you have been dreaming about a trip to Asia for a long time but never had the time or money for such an adventure? Sometimes school assignments keep piling up, so you just think: “I need Essaypro to write my paper for me to get it all done in time!” Ok, maybe it’s time to get some time off college and consider taking a gap year to fulfil your dreams.

However, travel comfort depends on finances. For example, with 200 bucks a week, you will not be able to:

  • eat lobsters for breakfast
  • rent a villa alone
  • fly on a private business jet.

But you can afford a backpacking trip, travelling around on a motorbike, and eating local fruit! Also, there are pleasant exceptions when a budget traveller can rest in style. So everything depends on luck and outlook on the world.

Students find opportunities to travel for little money. It all depends on the countries you are going to and your training. In Asia, you can sometimes spend from zero to a max of 100 dollars per day. Basically, it’s $50-$60 for a couple or $30-$45 for a single person per day.

To visit Asia, you don’t have to be scared of a long trip to the unknown if you know a few travel secrets.

What Do You Need To Know Planning Your Trip to Asia?

Choose Your Timing

It is no coincidence that Bali, Thailand, and Vietnam are chosen for winter travelling. In the summer months, there is a great risk of heavy and prolonged rains, which can wash away the good impressions of the trip. The best time to travel in Southeast Asia is from November to March. This period is considered the dry season.

During summer, you should choose the central regions of Vietnam (for example, Danang or Hoi An), the islands of Samui and Phangan in Thailand, or the more exotic Borneo.

Beware of Poor Sanitation

Unsanitary conditions prevail in some, if not most Asian countries. In many cases, even in the most expensive restaurants, you can spot a mouse or see insects and larvae in your salad. Not in all of them, of course, but be careful, especially in underdeveloped countries.

It is also not recommended to drink tap or filtered water under any circumstances. Westerners have no immunity to it, and it is quite unclean here. So, better stick to buying bottled water. The same goes for ice in cocktails, try to avoid it, and water-washed fruit and salads at street food.

Another nuance is water in the shower. Be conscious when showering and make sure you don’t swallow any water. Use wet wipes and dry shampoo if possible.


Take your medicines with you from home. Not everything can be found here. Also, this might save you money for some pleasant things. Be sure to take an antiseptic and a skin cleanser. Don’t forget the sunscreen. A portable battery and a socket adapter will also come in handy.


Download a translator to your phone because if you go deep into Asia, meaning, away from the tourist routes, locals will hardly speak English, but they can give valuable advice. In some places, those locals who know English make extra money from tourists by taking them to expensive establishments.


Card or cash? When travelling in Asia, you need to have both. Since the level of crime in the countries is quite high, cases of robbery are not uncommon. A card can always help you. But it is worth remembering that ATMs in Asia are not on every corner and that each withdrawal involves a fee of about $5.

A bag with documents and money must be carried with you. Separate the amount of money that you plan to spend per day from the total sum. So that when you open your wallet, you don’t flash all the money.

Always ask for the cost and clarify the details before you use or do something. Get information about the number of people, taxes, and fees.

Especially in hotels, taxes, commissions, and separate services are not announced at the first agreement but are billed afterwards. Commissions are often charged in restaurants as well, and they might be quite big.

For the first 2-4 days, familiarize yourself with the prices, even for things that you are not planning on buying. Consider getting a temporary job to get you some extra money. Hospitality or restaurants might be the easiest options for that.

It’s a good idea to have a GPS device with you to keep track of taxi and tuk-tuk drivers, who can circle for miles while taking you to your destination.

Transportation – learn to drive a scooter

Moving independently where there is no public transport (and in Asia, it can be entire islands) hits your pocket hard. So renting a scooter is a very good idea.

There are many tourists who get behind the wheel of a two-wheeler for the first time in Asia – please don’t do that. The best idea will be to learn how to ride a motorcycle at home. On Phuket alone (the largest and by far the most popular island in Thailand), foreigners get into road accidents almost every day.

Don’t go at high speed, it’s not worth it. For example, in Sri Lanka, one of the most insidious creatures on local roads is a monitor lizard. Its colour completely blends with the asphalt, and it runs unexpectedly fast. And it often runs right under your wheel.

There are also dogs who like to sleep in the middle of the road and other tourists on scooters who do not fit well in turns and do not know how to brake at all. In short, it is better not to push the speed limits while driving.


Asia is a continent where you can find unsurpassed mountains and unique landscapes. But, in some countries, prepare for mountain sickness. No one is safe from it. Symptoms:

  • constant lack of oxygen
  • lacrimation
  • dizziness
  • headache.

This can happen both during a hike in the mountains and in mountain towns. It is especially difficult in the Himalayas. Travellers recommend drinking a lot of water in such places.

Also, it is extremely cold in the mountains, so it is necessary to dress warmly, even in the Summer. Thermal underwear and a warm sweater are must-haves in the mountainous area.


Despite some hardships and difficulties, all travellers recommend visiting Asia because it is fabulous! A completely different world opens up there, which will expand your horizons and worldview.

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