How It Works
HOW IT WORKS
Stray's South East Asian travel network has been designed for adventurous travellers. We link outstanding attractions on and off the beaten track; we take our time getting to our destinations so that you can enjoy every inch of our travel network; we use four different types of transport (boat, bus, train and tuk tuk) for the best adventure; employ both western and local guides to make sure that you get the most authentic cultural experience possible, and run a flexible service in Laos so that you can get on and off the bus anywhere you want to spend more quality time with the Lao locals. You're here, now prepare to Stray.
YOU NEED TO KNOW
+ What's included? Your train, bus and longboat transport is included in your pass. Your guides will help you book accommodation and activities, and give you commentary on the local history, wildlife and culture of the area. You just pay for your accommodation, food and activities (plus extras like museum entries and short tuk tuk rides as you go).
+ Where can I hop on and off? You can get on and off the Stray bus in Laos anywhere on the route, as often as you like, so long as you verify your trip changes online or with our reservations team. You can also hop off at an overnight stop on the rail/unguided sectors in Thailand and Cambodia, but you can't hop on and off between the overnight destinations. Overnight destinations are shown as a white dot on our maps (with the name in capitals), whereas places of interest or activity stops are normally in an orange colour. You need to update your plans on our online booking system or by contacting our reservations team after any changes, to ensure that your seat is confirmed.
+ How long is my pass valid? All passes are valid for 12 months from your 1st day of travel, subject to normal Thai and Lao visa restrictions (see fine print for conditions).
+ Is accommodation included in my Stray pass? We reserve accommodation for each night on your Stray trip (even in peak season). Prices vary depending on location and season but expect to pay from US$5 for a shared room to US$24 for a twin or double (up to US$60 for top end private rooms in the main cities) and you pay for this direct to the accommodation. Our preferred accommodation is usually in guesthouses – but in some remote stops we have home stay and premium tent options. Please note: this is South East Asia and we have to be prepared for anything - so if the unexpected happens we have tents available for us.
+ How will we travel? Be prepared to take on any form of transport, you will be on buses, boats, trains and tuk tuks where needed.
+ How much money do I need? Extra money of up to $15 will be required each day for toilet use, view points, caves, waterfalls, and other entrance fees of places Stray stops on the way. A minimal price for getting you off the beaten track!
+ Visas. When crossing into Laos a visa will cost you between US$30 and US$45 depending on your nationality. You need to bring a passport size photo to give to the immigration officials on entry for this visa (if you don’t you’ll be charged for a photocopy of your passport). Please note: the Lao officials don’t like working on weekends just like the rest of us so it will usually cost you US$1 more if you enter Laos on a weekend!
+ What do I bring? Light clothes for the wet season (May – Oct) and something warm for the dry season (Nov – Mar), especially for the north of Laos and Thailand; a good travel medical kit supplied by a doctor (for any inconveniences, dietary or otherwise); your travel insurance details; sunscreen; bug repellent (at least 30% deet content); girls - a sarong for swimming in remote areas, Lao culture requires modesty; a poncho or light raincoat (it can rain even in the dry season in the north), shoes/trainers for walking, a roll of toilet paper and hand sanitizer is always good, and of course, a sense of adventure!
+ How do I carry it? The best (and easiest) way to carry gear around Laos is in a sturdy backpack. You can bring a suitcase with wheels but you may find yourself dragging it down a dirt track! Bring a smaller daypack so you can carry bug repellent, a camera, sunscreen and water.
+ What do I eat? Western food is sparse outside the main centers of Laos so be prepared and open minded about eating local food. At our stops we recommend tasty restaurants but when you get into local villages and homestays be prepared to eat simple local fare, with maybe the odd wildcard ingredient (which is part of the fun). Supermarkets are not the norm but we will point out places where you can stock up on food for the day. Depending what you eat, you can spend US$5 - 15 a day on food. Please note vegetarian meal options are not always available but excellent fruit and vegetables are plentiful at the local markets.
+ Should I reconfirm my trip? You will be emailed a link to allow you to book and confirm your pickups online, please log in via the Travellers’ Login (located at the bottom of the homepage of www.straytravel.asia) and check we have your correct date and correct location to meet or be picked up from. We recommend your 1st travel day should be booked/confirmed 1 week prior to departure. Sector bookings close at 5pm the day prior to departure. If you do not receive your login link, please email us and we will send it to you. If you are short on time and travelling in peak season we recommend you book all your sectors in advance to guarantee your seat.
+ Where do the trips depart from? We pick up from selected locations in each town (specific accommodation places and our offices). You need to advise us before 5pm the day before you want to depart where you want to be picked up. Please login to your bookings to confirm your departure time and place. Please note we do not visit all departure points every day, only if we have confirmed pickups, so please ensure you let us know where you will be waiting.
+ What we do: Things may change depending on the group, driver, season and local conditions, we make updates on this website as regularly as possible to make sure you're aware of any changes. On our bus routes you can break your journey and spend longer anywhere along the way.
+ Travel Insurance: There is no travel insurance cover included in the price of a Stray pass. Adequate and valid travel insurance is compulsory to travel on Stray. A good travel insurance option is Worldnomads (recommended by Lonely Planet).
For Stray Asia's full terms and conditions please read more here.