A popular cheaper alternative to a full gap year is to take just the summer travelling.
- Where I went, and for how long
Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia then back to Thailand over the course of 10 weeks
- What was great?
Visiting Halong Bay was amazing. Jungle trek in Northern Thailand. Diving in Vietnam and the Thai islands was very cheap and great visibility and wildlife compared to European places. "Tubing" in Laos. I'm not a big drinker but it was still a great fun day out. Imagine a pub crawl down a raging river on old tyres with crazy rope swings and giant slides into the river at every bar.
- What was a letdown?
When booking on some things you get herded around like tourists which is a bit disappointing. Halong Bay was like this with the popular sites having thousands of tourists at once. Doing a lot more of it yourself gets better results.
Avoid the zoos and most elephant places since the animals are treated barbarically and there are even places where you can touch tigers that are drugged to a near comatose state. Elephant Nature Park is the only good place to go see elephants being treated correctly.
- What does it cost to do it bare bones/live comfortably/live like a king?
£500 for return flights.
Can stay in most places outside of Bangkok for 50p(No AC)/£1-2(AC)/£10(imagine the nicest hotel you've ever stayed in, ever) for a hotel for the night. Times those prices by about 3 or 4 or big places like Bangkok.
Can eat for £1 a day if you go cheap and for £2 a day you can eat very nicely. And the street restaurants are very nice and it's where the locals eat so are very cheap.
- Tips on being prepared
I honestly turned up in Bangkok Airport with a return ticket for 10 weeks time and 0 plans except "do a loop up to Vietnam and back" and it worked out fine. Make sure to get the visas you can sort out earlier sorted out and be prepared with all the vaccinations though. Check the FCO website for latest travel advice as well.