*This is an affiliate post by Liza Wallace*
Southeast Asia is a popular destination for travelers from all over the world. It’s hardly surprising when you consider the beautiful beaches, tropical climate and once-in-a-lifetime experiences on offer. Indeed, traveling to new places opens your eyes to new opportunities and adventures you just wouldn’t have at home.
At the same time, it also can expose you to new risks and. As with any locale, Southeast Asia does have its local pitfalls that travelers can get themselves into. To ensure your trip goes smoothly, we’ve got some top tips. Check them out:
1. Be aware of the local hustles
Travelers are often so caught up in the beauty of the land that we fall for the tricks opportunistic locals. Some may try and take advantage of your lack of knowledge of the region. Before you travel, it’s worth reading up on common scams that trick travelers in Southeast Asia. Examples include Tuk Tuk tours in Bangkok, where you’ll end up feeling pressured into paying for knock-off goods, and friendly locals who’ll invite you to do something and leave you with the hefty bill. Knowledge is power and common sense goes a long way to ensuring a good time.
2. Don’t fear street food
When your food is cooked on the side of a street, it’s understandable to be a bit wary. But in Southeast Asia, you’ll have some of your best meals this way. As an insider tip, choose the stalls with the biggest queues of locals and where the food is cooked fresh in front of your eyes. That way, you don’t need to worry about any health scares.
3. Avoid animal attractions
Getting a photograph with a tiger, or riding an elephant – we’ve all seen the photographs of travelers enjoying themselves. A sad reality is that not all of these animals are getting the best treatment. Here are some excellent alternatives to animal street shows. At these various attractions you know the animals are receiving great care, so consider things such as elephant sanctuaries for your wildlife experiences.
4. Be smart with your money
You’ll probably have to change up money at some point during your trip. As stated before, going in with the knowledge of currency exchange rates beforehand keeps you from getting short changed during exchanges.
5. Get insured
Accidents can and do happen. When you’re traveling in Asia, it’s likely you’ll take part in some slightly risky activities. If something did go wrong, it could cost you a lot of money if you needed to be treated in hospitals. Estimates are around $5,500 for hospital treatment in Vietnam for injuries resulting from motorbike crash, and $2,000 rabies vaccination and treatment for a monkey bite in Bali. Give yourself one less thing to worry about by getting some travel insurance.
6. Prepare for the strange feeling when you get home
Believe it or not, there are some downsides to traveling in the region. Once you’ve experienced the amazing way of life as you travel from one buzzing city to a peaceful beach, life at home doesn’t seem the same. You’ll long for some authentic street food, the fresh sea freeze or even the company of staying in a hostel dorm.
Have you traveled to Southeast Asia before? Feel free to share your experiences with us.