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Backpacking in Europe Or Backpacking In Southeast Asia? Tips For Indian Backpackers!

Europe and Southeast Asia can be completely different when it comes to travelling, and the many obvious dissimilarities like the differences in the cost of travelling, visa complications are no alien to us either. Southeast Asia offers easy visa possibilities, whereas Europe on the other hand, makes it tougher to get one.

So if you’re planning a trip abroad, and are confused about what would be a better choice for you, personally — is it holidaying in Europe or holidaying in Thailand, or Bali — then these four but more peculiar differences will help you make your mind better.


If money is no foundation, and you’re planning to cover a few numbers of countries in one trip, it makes more sense to backpack in Europe, because you’re only required to apply for a Schengen Visa and you’re free to cross 28 borders in Europe, without having to worry about border security. Southeast Asia, on the other hand, requires visa formality for every country. Though most nations in Southeast Asia give Indians the option of Visa On Arrival, which saves time, it still obliges them to bleed around a few thousand Rupees for each country’s visa. [Europe 1 | Southeast Asia 0]

But then with Schengen Visa, the question always remains… “Do you at all qualify?”

Getting visas in Southeast Asia is easier than you can imagine, whereas Schengen Visa has a high denial rate. It moreover is time-consuming, and a tall order if you’re doing all work by yourself. And this is another reason that drives people towards Southeast Asia over Europe, particularly among those who don’t want to plan too much for a short vacation. For example, you can plan your itinerary, pack your bags and catch your flight to Thailand or Bali or Singapore today. For Europe, however, you need to plan and apply for a visa at least two weeks prior to your departure! [Europe 1 | Southeast Asia 1]


If talking about VISAs, Schengen Visa is a bargain. And will always be! But for everything else — from flights (to and from India) to food to accommodation, Europe maintains a good lead. And this often discourages budget travellers from visiting Europe in the first place.

[Read: Budget Travel Tips For Europe]

Before anything, let’s understand what’s Europe and what’s Asia. Asia is… Wild. Raw. Real. And Do It Yourself place! Europe, on the other hand, is more pamper-me-with-good-experiences and oh-so-romantic sort. In other words, Europe is developed and gives better-quality experiences, and that’s what brings the costs up, making it impossible for many to be able to afford it at all. A week in Europe can cost as much as a month in Southeast Asia does. [Europe 1 | Southeast Asia 2]

Asia For Slow Travellers

A week in Europe can cost as much as a month in Southeast Asia. So if you’re more of a slow travel person, perhaps plan for countries like Thailand or Malaysia or Vietnam. [Europe 1 | Southeast Asia 3]

[But there are always other ways to Travel The World Without Spending Too Much Money]

Conclusion: Keeping Indian condition in mind, Southeast Asia wins over value for money and ease of travel, and with our weak Indian Passport in hand, which has no say in the outer world, Southeast Asia becomes even more lucrative. But, that doesn’t mean Europe should not be given consideration. I mean the kind of quality of experiences Europe offers, no other continent in the world does that.

Lonely Planet defines Europe in a few words as “A fairytale castle” or, “a voyage through history”, and there’s a reason for it. Here, beautiful Europe, in pictures

Also Read: Travelling Southeast Asia In A Month

Filed under: Miscellaneous


After my couple of years of corporate career, I left that lifestyle behind, and with it, everything that didn't fit in a backpack. I've learned that this world is too big (and too interesting!) to spend your life working at one place, and that's what inspires me to remain footloose and fancy-free for the rest of my life!

1 Comment

  1. Asia is a great place to travel. I personally travel india and bangladesh. Bangladesh is really awesome. The peoples are helpful. I visited the worlds longest sea beach cox-bazar, it wast nice. Worth to visiting.

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