If you are planning a trip to South East Asia then if you are anything like me your first step is to work out how you are going to travel from place to place. Luckily South East Asia, especially Thailand has some well-trodden backpacking routes. What this means is there it’s pretty straightforward when you want to travel around.
When I backpacked Thailand a few years back the only way to book your transport was in person at a travel agent or at the station. This made things a little bit more complicated as there were language issues, plus it was normally a cash-only affair. But for me, the biggest issue was when things go wrong… and let’s face it they often do!
I had a few hiccups when backpacking Thailand probably the worst one was when our transport just didn’t turn up one morning. Picture this is you will. It’s 5:30 am on New years day and I’m waiting outside my hotel for the driver to pick me up and take me to the ferry. This has all been booked, paid for, and confirmed the day before. No driver. No phone number of someone to call and help me at 5:30 am and not a single taxi in sight. Well, it was new years day after all!
Did You Get Travel Insurance Yet?
If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that you need to be prepared for anything! Travel insurance has always been high my list of things to get before I travel but now more than ever its at the top of my list.
I’m pretty sure we have all had travel plans messed up because of COVID and not all insurers covered this. So when looking for travel insurance it’s important to check it covers travel disruption due to COVID-19, Hey Mondo, Passport Nomads, Safety Wing, and Travel Insurance Master all provide cover for this.
Hey Mondo is great if you are looking for a great value flexible policy. They offer single trip cover, annual multi trip cover, and long term travel cover. You even have the option to start the cover when you are already on your trip, although you won’t be covered for the first 72 hours. For me my favourite feature is their app which offers you a 24/7 Dr chat and the ability to file a claim direct in the app.
Passport Nomads provides the most comprehensive cover for Digital Nomads. The game changer with them is that you have a red card and if you find yourself in need of medical care you just contact them and they will pre load your card with the funds to cover your treatment, meaning you won’t need to pay out of pocket and then put in a claim later.
Safety Wing is great value with monthly cover starting at $39. It’s super easy to use and it just renews each month. They have an excess of $250 and it’s simple to make a claim through their website. I currently use them as they offer me free cover for my son as part of my policy and I like that it renews on a monthly basis, so I don’t have to pay out a big lump sum up front.
I also use Travel Insurance Master for some short vacation type trips.
If you are doing shorter trips or an extended backpacking trip then Hey Mondo or Travel Insurance Master are the best option. If you are a digital nomad or planning travel of at least 6 months then go for Passport Nomads or SafetyWing.
So What did I do? I walked for a very long time in what I hoped was the right direction until someone took pity on me and gave me a lift. Unfortunately, it was to the wrong port! Luckily for me, there were others in the same position and so one of the staff members took us all by minibus to the other port. I made the ferry by the skin of my teeth.
Things like this happened when backpacking, it goes with the territory. But luckily for you, things have moved on since my travel disasters in Thailand and you can now book all of your travel through third-party companies like Bookaway.com.
What is Bookaway.com
Bookway.com was founded to provide a better and more efficient way of booking ground transportation when traveling. Traditionally you just went into a travel agent and paid the price they told you unless you had some good haggling skills and were able to talk down the price. You didn’t get to compare different busses, times or prices. But Bookaway.com changed that.
It’s a search engine that allows you to compare buses, prices, times, basically everything so you can make an informed decision about how you want to travel from A to B.
Pros and Cons to Using Bookaway.com
Of course, with any third-party booking site, there are some pros and cons you will need to weigh up. In my opinion, the pros outweigh the cons, but I wanted to lay them all out so you can make an informed decision when booking your transport in Thailand.
It is a third party and although there are no hidden costs with Bookaway.com their prices may be a little more than you may be able to get if you go to a local travel agent and book directly. Although no one wants to pay extra for anything, this slight increase will give you a lot of great benefits. Also if you are a student you get a 10% discount anyway. For me, the biggest plus for using bookaway.com is that they have 24/7 support which means that if anything goes wrong there is always someone there who speaks English there to help you.
As well as the dedicated support team I love the fact that you can compare all of the buses and times yourself. I know this may seem like a small thing. But trust me it isn’t. When you are booking through an agent you have to rely on them to be trustworthy and that they are giving you the best advice possible, which unfortunately they don’t always do. With bookaway.com all of the information is there at your fingertips so you can make an informed decision without any stress.
As a Quick Roundup Here Are Some More Things I Love About Bookaway.com:
- 24/7 support
- No hidden fees
- Search and book 100% online
- Hotel pickup for a small extra fee where available
- Over 6.5k travel routes
- There have service in 40 countries
- 10% student discount
- Pay by card
- Great reviews (4.7 out of 5)
If you are planning to add some yoga to your Thailand adventure, take a look at these posts: The 10 Best Thailand Yoga Retreat Options, Yoga in Thailand, The Insider’s Guide to Yoga in Thailand.