Hey everyone, today I am back with my final blog post on my Cambodia series. I wanted to sit down and go through all of the financial aspects of the trip as well as some of my top tips. This was my first time travelling properly alone on a group tour, I did visit Hong Kong alone the year before but my friend lived there so I wasn’t technically alone. I was a mixture of excited but also quite nervous to go but it ended up being one of the best trips of my life.
I decided to book this trip through Real Gap which was the ultimate Cambodia tour, however, the tour was actually run by Tru Travels who are another UK based travel company. Sometime Real Gap will partner up with a third party tour group which I wasn’t aware of before however, this ended up being absolutely fine.
The trip itself was £649 which you can pay a £49 deposit and then pay the rest later. I, however, decided to pay a larger deposit of £199 and then I could pay the rest when I felt like it as long as I paid it off before a certain date. This suited me as I felt more in control of the finances and when I wanted to pay it off.
My tour included the following:
- Airport pickup on start date
- 11 nights of accommodation
- All transport between destinations on the itinerary
- A dedicated tour guide
- Cooking class in Siem Reap
- Sunrise tour of Angkor Wat
- Market tour in Phnom Penh
- S21 Prison and Killing Fields tour
- Water activities in Kampot
- Kampot river cruise
- Jungle trek
- Farewell dinner and party
- 24/7 emergency support
What’s Not Included:
- Travel insurance
- Meals not listed on the itinerary
- Optional activities
- Return transfer to the airport
I paid £585 for return flights which I thought was quite good, my Cambodian e-visa was £30 which you can pay on arrival, however, I found it easier to do this beforehand and have the visa already with me. My travel insurance was about £50 for the whole trip which I didn’t think was too bad. I took out £200 on the way there in $ which ended up being around $260. I budgeted myself $23 a day which was a lot as everything in Cambodia is really cheap. Towards the end of the trip, I took out another £75 which was $94 as we were heading to an island with no ATM’s so I wanted to make sure that I had enough cash on me.
Essentials I recommend bringing:
- Bug spray in the maximum strength
- Mini first aid kit
- Cheap trainers that you don’t mind getting ruined
- Comfy clothes to travel in
- Sun cream & aftersun
- Flip flops for the bathrooms
- A jumper in case it gets cooler during the evening
- Lip balm
- A waterproof dry bag
- Some sort of raincoat (Especially if it’s monsoon season!)
- Microfibre towel as they dry quickly and fold up small
- A bumbag or a small bag for your money or important bits…
- One or two padlocks for your bag and hostel lockers
- After bite (These were a lifesaver when I got bitten do death)
- Spray moisturiser for your body as it’s easier to apply
- Travel wash if you are travelling over a longer period and want to wash your own clothes
- Imodium in case you have an upset tummy
- Travel sickness tablets
- Hand sanitizer
- Savlon as it’s good to have an antiseptic cream or wipes with you in case of emergencies!
- Dioralyte which are rehydration packs that you just put into water they’re great for if you get sunstroke or a sickness bug and lost a lot of liquid
- Plasters and compeed plasters in case you get blisters easily
Some of my tips, if you are going on your first trip, would be:
- Pack what you feel comfortable with. Looking back on it I definitely overpacked, however, back then I knew that I was taking everything that I felt comfortable with. I wanted to make sure that I had things for every eventuality. Of course, there is only so much you can plan for, however, I definitely had a few things that I am glad that I packed in the end.
- You may not get on with your group and that’s okay. I was only a part of a small group and we didn’t have a lot in common so it made some of the days seem quite lonely. However, I did end up making new friends at some of the hostels which made up for it.
- Remember this is YOUR experience. Each and every person is travelling for their own reason whether it’s for a holiday, to get away from something, or because they don’t want to settle down. At the end of the day, you need to remember that you will only remember the trip the way you experienced it. Therefore, make sure to try new things, say no if you really don’t want to do something, and just have fun.
- It is okay to not want to do something. I often see people telling others that they should do a certain activity or try a certain food because of the experience which is true, however, if you really don’t want to do it and feel uncomfortable then don’t do it. You should never be forced to do something that you don’t want to do. You will be able to do it again if you decide to travel back to that country later on in life.
- Your tour guide is there to help. Our tour guide Hul was amazing as he knew so much about each place we visited. Hul was also so lovely and answered any questions that we had. I felt a lot more comfortable being with Hul as he was able to speak the local language and could help us out if we wanted to speak to any locals.
- Make sure to check in with your doctors to see what vaccinations you need to get. I ended up having the hepatitis A & B jab which is for infections passed by food, drink, and any infections that can be passed through blood transmission.
Overall, I had an amazing time and I can’t wait to go on my next adventure. I am looking to travel back to Asia at some point in the future as I would love to visit Bali, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, China, Indonesia, and Japan to name a few. I loved Cambodia and I can’t wait to explore more of Asia as there is so much more to discover. I think next time I will be a bit more streetwise and won’t pack as much as I know what to take and what I don’t really need to take anymore. Like most of us, I am unsure when I will next be able to travel as far as Asia so I may be sticking to staycations here in the UK for a while. I really enjoyed my recent staycation in The Cotswolds which I will be writing up a blog post on soon.
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