It may be on the other side of the world and feel a million miles away – but an Asian adventure can often work out to be a cheaper getaway than your traditional Mediterranean cruise! There’s no need to spend €200 on a day in Monte Carlo, just 1000 baht (£20) will do for a full day in Bangkok! Of course there’s the odd exception – Dubai for example – but on the whole, you definitely get more bang for your buck in this part of the world!

Once your cruise is all paid for, you can rest easy knowing your exploration of Asia won’t really pull on the purse strings. On your days in port, you can do so much for next to nothing! Here are three things to take advantage of when doing Asia on a budget…

Haggling

If you’re exploring local markets and the abundance of items on offer even in the streets, you’ll be expected to do a bit of haggling to get your bargains. Locals not only expect some good-natured haggling, but it’s an enjoyable part of the culture in these places! Failing to negotiate prices robs you of a fun interaction, and the chance to come away with some prized souvenirs to remember your trip by! From tuk-tuk rides to keepsakes and even excursions to the top tourist spots, nearly everything in Asia can be negotiated.

Food

Food is very inexpensive in Southeast Asia – if you’re spending a lot of money on food, you’re doing something wrong! Even with a balance of western meals and local dishes, you’ll rarely spend more than £15 per day on food unless you decide to feed a real sushi addiction!

In Southeast Asia, street food is the most popular form of eating. On average, these meals cost no more than £1. You find these stalls throughout this region lining major streets and in the markets. In Thailand, you even find markets specifically for street food. In Singapore, you’ll find street food or ‘hawker stands’ to be around $4 Singaporean Dollars (£2.40) for a meal. Even if you go into small local restaurants, the price doesn’t really jump up – food you can find for about £1.50 at a street stall will only cost £3-5 at a local restaurant. And with so many flavours to try, it’s just as well!

Activities

Activities here are pretty cheap. Most day tours only cost around £20, or often less if you organise them yourself – although obviously you can always choose to go through your cruise line for peace of mind, as this itself ensures that the ship won’t leave without you if you’re held up for any reason.

If you’re a do-it-yourselfer however, never book anything before docking in your chosen destination – that’s a sure-fire way to overpay. Do a bit of research on what you want to do and where you want to go, and wait until you get there – there’s always tons of tour operators and small shops dotting the streets, where you can negotiate a good price.

Time for an Asian adventure?

Call us on 0800 027 8302 and a member of our friendly cruise team will be more than happy to answer any queries you may have. Or simply take a look at our Deals section to see if there’s an itinerary to suit you!

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