How to Travel South East Asia CHEAP | BUDGET AIRLINES 2019


You are not getting a free meal. What a joke!
(laughs) You’re not even getting free coffee. You are not even getting
a free glass of water. Hi, my name is Megan
and today’s video is “what to expect flying
budget airlines in Asia.” I’m going to cover 10 things
that you need to know that are going to save you
time, stress and money, and then I’ll finish up at the end
with some tips on how I’ve managed to fly three times
over the carry-on weight limit on dozens of budget airlines (Music) So, where do you even search
for these flights? And, by these flights,
I mean low-cost Asian carriers like AirAsia, Thai Lion, Nok Air… These would be equivalent to Ryanair
or Norwegian, of the Western world. Good news is that you can find
these low-cost carriers on popular search engines. My favorite two are
Google flights and Skyscanner. I have a whole video on how I search
these sites for the best flights and I can link that below. Definitely do all of your searching
for budget airline flights in incognito. This is the exact same flight
in an incognito browser for $70 as it is in a regular browser for 73. A major difference is the way
that I use these search engines when I’m booking low-cost carriers, because almost all of the flights
are priced one-way. When you’re booking
a long-haul international flight, it almost always makes more sense
to book it as a round trip. Ottawa to London, as a round trip,
is going to cost a total of $890. One way is going to cost me $668. This makes a lot of sense
from the airline’s perspective because it’s going to be
incentive for the consumer to book both ways with their airline
as opposed to booking one way with them and then potentially flying home
with a separate carrier. This is not the case
with most budget airlines. You’re not making any savings
by booking it as a package. So, even if I’m flying Bangkok,
Chiang Mai, and back to Bangkok, I’ll usually book them
as two one-ways, because then, it gives me flexibility
if I want to use a different carrier there to the carrier that I fly home with,
based on their flights and their times. Where you book the flight also matters. I love Google flights
because it gives you all of the options if you want to book
directly with the airline or if you want to book
with a third-party provider. There’s no real benefit
to booking with the airline because you’re not
going to be racking up points and they almost always charge ridiculously high debit
and credit card fees. I’m talking USD 5
to USD 10, minimum. I avoid this by booking
instead with Expedia – whenever I have the option – and then you’ll also get cashback
if you’re using Ebates. I recommend everyone does.
It’s free. You sign up in two seconds. And it gives you cashback
up to 10% on all of your bookings. So, I’ll book with Expedia
because they’re a partner of Ebates, so I’m getting the cashback
and I’m saving on the credit card fees. Regardless of where you go
to make the booking, make sure you go
to the airline’s website and you read their fine print. Don’t assume anything. Do not assume that you have
7 kg of carry-on baggage; you may have nothing. Many airlines are strict
on their carry-on limits as well. This is where they make
so much money. So, it’s often even worth it
to check your bag at the time of your booking because you have to check it
when you get to the airport for being overweight. Expect $40 minimum per bag. And then if you have
multiple connecting flights, they may even charge you
for each segment of the flight. So, see if it’s worth booking
your checked baggage in advance and you’ll do it at a discount. It’s important to be super mindful
when you’re actually making the booking because they often will preselect
add-ons for you that you don’t actually need. …will often preselect checked baggage
as well as travel insurance. If you’re covered
by a third-party provider (for example, I use Safety Wing),
you may not need that travel insurance and it’s an additional cost
that they’re adding on for you. So, you can deselect that. You also don’t want
to make any mistakes because a name change fee
– if it’s even available to you – it’s probably going to be
a quadruple the cost of the actual flight. So, make sure you type everything in and then dot your I’s
and cross your T’s, and triple check. That doesn’t make sense
‘cause you’re typing. Check-in online whenever possible and make sure you print
your boarding pass and bring it with you to the airport. You’ll often be charged an extra fee
for them to print a boarding pass for you if you check in in person. You can expect
a pleasant flight experience. In general, on Asian flights, I find that the service staff
– the flight attendants – are so friendly, really. And also, it’s generally going to be
three seats, aisle, three seats, or three seats, aisle,
three seats, aisle, three seats. Don’t expect to be
on some tiny, little, rickety plane like what I was expecting
my first time flying. The announcements over the speakers
are going to be in English as well as the local language and then they often play
acoustic versions of these really catchy pop songs
on takeoff and landing. So, it’s just…
It’s a nice flight experience. It’s pleasant, but there are
definitely a few quirks that are going to change the way
that you prepare yourself for taking a budget airline flight. For example, you’re going to want
to pee before you get on the plane and, fear not, they have toilets. The thing is that they’re
like really tiny, which makes sense because Asian are,
you know, generally tinier humans than say, Americans or Europeans. I find the bathrooms to be
like very claustrophobic and small. So, pee before you get
on the plane, if possible. You don’t want to be wearing
your biggest, heaviest clothes, terrified they’re going
to freeze you out. Cabin temperature
is actually quite warm. Most people around you
are going to be in shorts and a t-shirt and I dress that way
and I’m quite comfortable on the plane; it doesn’t get very cold. Expect to be charged
for absolutely everything. You are not getting a free meal. What a joke!
(laughs) You’re not even getting free coffee. You are not even getting
a free glass of water. So, bring anything you need with you. You can purchase all
of these things on the plane or you can purchase them in advance. AirAsia actually has some really good
deals on pre-booking meals, and they’re quite good. You may have guessed this by now, but you don’t have
an entertainment device. You don’t have any entertainment
or Wi-Fi of any sort. You also don’t have any plugs. So, if you’re bringing electronics,
don’t expect to have a USB stick or a plug that you can charge
your device with. Bring everything fully charged. …really into a series, I’ll pre download
a few shows onto my iphone from Netflix, and then I’ll put my phone
into a plastic bag and hang it on the seatback hook – so it’s like a little portable screen – because you don’t get
a screen on budget airlines. If you’ve been
on this channel before, you know that I almost always
travel carry-on. This includes when I’m traveling
on budget airlines, and, at budget airlines,
carry-on restrictions are small. It’s usually around 7 kg and a roll-on,
and then you have a backpack. Honestly, you are taking up most
of that weight just with the roll-on, so it’s very hard to travel carry-on
if you’re following the rules. Here are a few things that I do
to take dozens of budget airline flights and not be charged
for checked baggage. I’ve been charged once,
and it was USD 50 with VietJet, leaving Da Nang to fly
to Bangkok, two years ago. The charges are high, so it’s up to you,
if you want to risk it. The main way
I’ve gotten away with this is by checking in online
and then printing my boarding pass. This way, when you get
to the airport, you don’t actually have to go up
to the check-in counter or anything, you go straight with your printed
boarding pass through the security. And they don’t care what you’re
bringing through the security apart from your liquid limits
and, that’s a whole other topic. And then, you just get
straight to the gate and I’ve never seen someone stopped
at the gate, when they’re boarding, for having carry-on luggage
that is too large. Sometimes online check-in
isn’t available or, even more often, you try to check in online and they tell you that you have to do
a passport check in person at the airport. If this happens,
and you’re with a friend, I would say leave your roll-on bag
with your friend to watch, go check in, and then swap. If you’re not with a friend
you can hide it behind a plant, or beside a really
nice-looking family. Huge risk on so many levels. And also, I think it’s legal
to leave your baggage unattended. But that’s something that you could do
to avoid a checked baggage fee. My third tip is to research
the airline that you’re flying with. For example, AirAsia is notorious for letting people take
massive amounts of carry-on luggage that are obviously over the limits
and not saying anything. They are getting more strict.
All the airlines are getting more strict. But then, a couple of them,
that I would never risk this with, would be VietJet, especially
after that last experience, and then EasyJet. Their fees are insane
and they weigh every bag. There’s an overview
of what you can expect if you’re taking your first budget airline
flight in Southeast Asia. I’m really curious, if you’ve flown them,
what’s the cheapest flight you’ve gotten. Mine would have been from Bangkok
to Chiang Mai for USD 12, two years ago. Haven’t been able to beat that.
I’d love to know if you have. Don’t forget to subscribe
for more tips and hacks. I’m back here every single Tuesday
and I’d love to see you again next week. Also, give this video
a like if you enjoyed it. And, yeah, catch you next time. Bye! I really wish someone told me this
when I was booking that first flight for $25 expecting to be
on some rickety, little, one-wing plane, destined for a crash in the mountains
of Northern Thailand. It didn’t happen;
it was a great flight. AirAsia!
(giggles) Not an affiliate.

23 comments

  1. I have actually never been to South East Asia, so I've never flown with any carrier. But regarding food/drinks: I heard the carrier Scoot has a very strict no food/no drink policy on board except you buy it from them. So you're not able to bring anything along with you.
    But the rest of it sounds pretty much like any European low budget carrier. By the way, my best deal: 19,98โ‚ฌ roundtrip Pisa-Malta earlier this year

  2. Great tips and advice. I did NOT know about the Incognito browser thing. 7:03 – I Only carry a 20L Backpack and maybe a small pouch for id and passport/ticket this is Very important Information Thank You. There is a good chance I will be flying smaller Asian airlines soon. You can " buy" Hot water right ? I like those 3 in one coffee packs etc. On this one it is klm to Amsterdam then on to Bangkok then maybe just Ferry or speed boat to a few close Islands after the " Business " part of this jaunt.

    – Thanks !

  3. Hope this video was helpful to calm those "pre budget flight" nerves! Donโ€™t forget to SUBSCRIBE for weekly travel hacks and tips, Iโ€™d LOVE to see you back here next Tuesday
    ๐Ÿค—

  4. Such a great idea to get someone to hold your bag while you check in!! Another tip is that you can often put a bag in left luggage storage in the airport for a short time while checking in ๐Ÿ˜

  5. Good tips! budget airlines in north america definitely add on those extra charges too. I was once charged just to bring my one carry-on bag, which is usually free on mainstream airlines -_- Sometimes the cost is still cheaper than a mainstream airline, and sometimes it's not so I always try to compare prices.

  6. I have flown all over SEAsia with Air Asia and have enjoyed my experiences! Always young …friendly crews. It was madness … years ago …when they didn't have assigned seats!!! Can you imagine the stampede of people at the gate running down the gangway toward the plane…. all wanting those coveted front seats ? Yup. ๐Ÿ™‚ I had Air Asia weigh my carry-on at the gate several times. I was always overweight!! Secret is… look like you are carrying a " really" light bag when you approach the gate ๐Ÿ™‚ Lol Best fare ever with Air Asia? Hanoi to KL for $14.00 US !!! And yes… buying their meals in advance are great. What a relief to see that trolley coming with your food!!! Lol

  7. When youโ€™re in Southeast Asia, how do you print your boarding pass before you go to the airport? Itโ€™s often so difficult to find a place to print in Southeast Asia.

  8. Hello great vlog and even better information .. I flew from Singapore to Bangkok on NOK Airlines round trip with checked bags for $85.00 a year ago no entertainment or food but who cares its a short flight… better to wait and eat something once you get to Thailand… I am sure it wood be better food…

  9. Good suggestions. Would you consider doing a Review video on the various SE Asian budget airlines like Scoot, Jetstar, Air Asia, Vietjet etc?

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