How Much Should you Budget to Backpack Laos?
Backpacking Laos is amazing, its less touristy than Thailand and other places in Southeast Asia but theres still incredible scenery, nature, culture and spirituality here and lots of adventures to be had. Laos is also one of the cheapest countries to backpack in the world. Even so, it’s still useful to know how much to budget when planning and saving for a trip so I thought it would be useful to post a brief rundown of my average costs when backpacking Laos to help others save for their Laos backpacking budget.
My costs reflect my travel style and this is just a rough guide, your costs may vary. I have to admit I am not the kind of person who obsessively records every penny, cent or rupee I spend. I backpacked Laos on a budget but not rock bottom shoe string and splashed out on nicer accommodation or meals every now and then so these are average guideline prices.
These costs are for a average guideline only and it is always, always better to take more money to account for incidentals, emergencies, impromptu shopping sprees or a splurge on a posh hotel or internal flight. Doing activities like scuba diving, trekking, courses and tours will also push your budget.
If you travel as a couple or with a friend it is cheaper as you can split accommodation and taxi costs. Your costs for backpacking Laos could be less or more depending on your style of travel and comfort level.
I have displayed costs in local currency, British Pounds and US Dollars but be aware that exchange rates change. In Vietnam and Cambodia US Dollars are widely used.
My Average Daily Laos Backpacking Budget (per person) takes into account;
- Accommodation shared between two people, (apart from in countries where dorm beds have been the only budget option)
- 2 restaurant meals per day,
- A street food or convenience store like 7/11 snack,
- 3 bottles of water,
- A couple of beers,
- A long distance (12 hr) bus or train journey
- 2 short taxi or public transport rides
- Visiting an attraction.
My Laos Backpacking Budget:
|Item||Cost in Kip||Cost in GDP £||Cost in US$|
|Guesthouse Room for 2||100,000 Kip||£7.50||$12.50|
|Restaurant Meal||35,000 Kip||£2.60||$4.35|
|Street Food||12,000 Kip||£0.90||$1.50|
|Long Distance Bus/Train||85,000 Kip||£6.30||$10.55|
|Local Transport & Taxis||15,000 Kip||£1.10||$1.85|
|Bottle of Water||4,000 Kip||£0.30||$0.50|
|Average Daily Budget Per Person||315,000 Kip||£23.50||$39.00|
|Average Weekly Budget Per Person||2,205,000 Kip||£164||$275.00|
|Average Monthly Budget Per Person||9,555,000 Kip||£710||$1,188.00|
I hope this gives you a useful guideline of the costs of travel in Laos so that you can work out how much you need to save up for and how long you want to be backpacking Laos so you can work out your own Laos backpacking budget. Also think about saving for any extra activities like trekking, sightseeing, cooking or yoga lessons, shopping, souvenirs and wild nights out drinking that you do on your trip. For me, it’s well worth it for the adventure of a lifetime!
Please be aware that prices and currency conversions are always changing. For more info on budgeting an excellent resource for backpacker costs is Price of Travel which lists cities in order of price. Asia is the cheapest region in the world with cities in Nepal, Vietnam, India, Thailand and Laos dominating the top 10 cheapest from US$ 14 per day See here for cheapest cities in Asia Laos is one of the cheapest places in the world to backpack – check out this post for more cheap backpacking destinations.
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