Malaysians love to travel, be it within the country or overseas. This has been proved recently by very strong statistics. According to a survey carried out on MasterCard Consumer Purchasing Priorities, the attitude of Malaysians on avid travelling was tested out. Nearly 90% of the participants in this survey went for domestic travels and more than two-thirds went for international vacations last year.
Malaysians show a very positive trend in future travel possibilities with the majority intending to travel more and nearly half of them opting for travelling to international destinations. The top three local destinations that Malaysians are interested to travel are Kota Kinabalu of Sabah, Malacca and George Town of Penang.
Kinabalu has become a great resort destination, mostly because of the lavish rain forests and the divine tropical islands. If you’re looking for some adventure, Mount Kinabalu is a heaven for hikers, rich in flora and fauna and is also the highest peak of Malay Archipelago. Malacca and Penang have exotic culture and history for the best family vacations and sometimes considered as the food mecca to Malaysians. When it comes to travelling overseas, the top three international destinations for Malaysians are Singapore, Australia and Japan.
Besides, we also love to travel to Cambodia, Vietnam, China, Nepal & Thailand. Travelling to international destinations are very expensive, but the expenses can be reduced with a few tips and tricks. The biggest chunk of the holiday budget is taken up for transportation and communication along with the additional shopping costs, which we’re extremely fond of. Let’s check out some of the best ways to travel overseas on a tight budget.
How To Save On AirFare
This is the most crucial part of travelling overseas and usually costs the maximum portion of your holiday budget. There are a number of ways to save your money on airfares. Firstly, check out modes of travelling other than only air routes. If you’re prepared to go for connecting flights, this will definitely save you a lot of money than direct flights.
However, try out a few different combinations of air routes and add one or two road or waterway trips and calculate how much you can save. For instance, if you want to travel to Hong Kong, you can save a lot of money by taking a direct budget flight to Macau and then taking a ferry from Macau to Hong Kong! Look out for the cheapest carriers such as AirAsia or Tiger Airways of Singapore. Try to travel during off-peak periods, i.e. when other people are less likely to travel. Avoid travelling during the Chinese New Year, Christmas holidays and national or international school holidays.
Travelling in the off-peak period can save more than 20% of your airfares. Flights timed at odd hours (long hour flights) or in the middle of the week are usually cheaper than that in the weekends. Night time flights are nearly always more expensive.
KL to London flights are 21% higher than the day time flights! By signing up the newsletters of different airlines, you can grab one or two promotion offers as well. Do some online research on Google before checking out the official website of any airlines. Expedia is a great site for making comparisons and finding the best airfare deals.
How To Save On Hotels
When you’re travelling to a domestic or an international destination, it’s less likely that you’ll spend the hotel for anything other than sleeping during night. The best option to save on hotel is to look out for staying at a friend or relative’s home. If that’s not an available option, you can sleep the night by renting a bed in someone’s home. You can find this type of accommodation from Airbnb.com, featuring options from living room futons to expensive apartments. However, if there is no other way than staying at a hotel, look out for the hotel with the cheapest night rates.
Hotels will charge you for a lot of things that you won’t need. For instance, a television or a pool, that you’ll probably never use. That’s why it’s a good idea to choose value-focused hotels where you’ll be paying for only what you need only and at the same time maintain the best quality for essentials like bed or shower.
Travelling with a partner is a great idea to save money on hotels. A double room will cost lesser than two single rooms and you can split the hotel fare, taxis, chores etc. and save a lot of money. Most hotels today offer special prices for online reservations. Making a booking via Booking.com can get you some healthy discounts.
Make sure to confirm your hotel reservations at least two days beforehand. You don’t want to find that your booking was not confirmed upon arrival. Checking in to business hotels during off-peak periods will be cheaper than the tourist hotels during peak periods. Make smart choices about your hotels. If you’re happy with a 1 or 2 star hotel, staying at a 4 star hotel will be a complete waste of money.
Similarly, if all you need is a place to spend the night, it will be a mistake to choose a room with an ocean view.
How To Save On Local Transportation
The best way to save money on transportation at the destination is to choose your hotel wisely. The higher is the distance between your hotel and the tourist spot, the higher will be your transportation expenses. Renting a bike is a great idea to move around. It’s a lot more comfortable than travelling on a bus and faster than walking on your foot. Learn to travel like the local people.
Hang out with the locals and get to know the cheapest ways to travel around. Using public transports is the best idea to travel at a low cost. Besides, travelling in public transports also offers a more refined and enjoyable travelling experience. This is more effective when you’re travelling to a country in Asia or Europe. You can also share your transport costs while travelling by a car, taxi or mini-van.
The hotel you’re staying is likely to have tourists like you planning to move around on a low budget. Make friends and travel in a group to reduce the transportations costs by sharing.
How To Save On Guided Tours
The best option to look around in a foreign place is to buy a guidebook. It costs less than $20 and can give you a $3000 experience. However, visiting a foreign country without a guide to show you around is not the best idea ever. Look out at your hotel for guided tours to the places you want to visit and instead of choosing personal guides, look for guided tours in groups.
A guided tour consisting of 10 or more tourists will be cheaper than a tour for just two. You can save money on guided tours by hiring a taxi for the day and the taxi driver will provide you the guided tour you need. Although this will increase the transportation cost, it’s still a good idea when you’re travelling with your family or a bunch of friends.
Many countries in Asia and Europe offer free guides for tourist spots and despite being ‘free’, they still expect you to pay some tips. On-the-spot guides usually recite memorized pages about cultural or historical sites, but are cheaper than a day-long guide. So the best option is to get yourself a guidebook and look out for on-the-spot guides once you’ve reached your destination. That way, you get to save a lot of money.
How To Save On Car Rentals
There are many sites where you can compare the prices for car rentals all around the world. Two of these sites are Travel Jigsaw and VroomVroomVroom. For saving on car rentals, always beware of hidden fees and extra costs. Check out the taxes and fees added to the basic rental prices and estimate your budget accordingly.
Try to avoid airport rentals. Renting a car from the airport is extremely convenient and at the same time, extremely expensive. Nearly all the international airports have some other form transportation such as shuttle or bus. Decline the insurance offers from car rental companies. They generally make a huge profit out of these insurances.
They will try to convince you with a lot of stories where the customer failed to cover the damages due to an accident. In most cases, these insurances are useless add-ons and very expensive as well. It’s still important to check that your credit card company can cover any potential damages.
Choosing a smaller car can reduce your car rental fare to a great extent. Rental companies usually order a higher number of full-size or mid-size cars for tourists, but if you’re traveling alone or with one other partner, a small car will be cheaper and handy. Look out for deals from websites like Hertz.com.
A 3 day or 4 day car rental package can reduce your daily rental fare by more than 30%. It’s great fun to travel overseas and having a small budget does not mean sacrificing the fun part. You’ll be amazed at how much you can save on your travel and spend that amount for enjoying something else. These tips and tricks can be really helpful for Malaysians planning for a budget vacation to any international destination. Happy holidays!
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