Save Money Tips for Holiday to Malaysia

Save Money Tips for Holiday to Malaysia

How you save your money on your trip to Malaysia equals how long you get to stay and enjoy the country.

For frugal savvy travelers planning on an extended stay in Malaysia, your first move would be to check out the favorable exchange rates.

  • 1 Pound sterling equals 5.41 Malaysian Ringgit
  • 1 Euro equals 4.74 Malaysian Ringgit
  • 1 United States Dollar equals 4.33 Malaysian Ringgit
  • 1 Canadian Dollar equals 3.10 Malaysian Ringgit

There are many ways in which the savvy traveler can save through cheaper alternatives for transportation, food, and accommodation.

Malaysia may not be the most budget-friendly destination in the world.

However, the country has excellent plus points for accommodation, transportation, and well food.

You can easily live on less than US$20 for food in various inexpensive restaurants, Kopitiam, or hawker stalls.

Whether you’re a budget-conscious traveler or an experienced backpacker, these six ways to save money on your trip to Malaysia will come in handy.

Save Money Tips for Holiday to Malaysia – Eat like a local

The key to finding cheaper eats is to do as the locals do.

You can find cheap Malaysian Street Food below $5!

For breakfast, make your way to a warung (Malay stall) or a Kopitiam (Chinese coffee shop) for tasty yet affordable favorites meals of rice, noodles, or bread.

Don’t worry about running out of food, as 24-hour Mamak (Indian Muslim)  stalls are plentiful and provide freshly brewed coffee.

Mamak hangout has South Indian delicacies like Roti Canai to Mee Goreng that is filling, cheap and good.

If you’re traveling in big groups, look for food courts in the shopping malls which are air-conditioned.

There is a massive variety of food for different tastes and can be cheap if you share or watch out for promotions.

Look for Free Continental Breakfast in Hotel Deals

You can limit your search to hotel chains that advertise free continental breakfasts.

You don’t need to go upmarket to find them: most basic hotel and motel chains have good breakfast options.

You can easily book a hotel without a credit card; no prepayment is needed – you pay at the property.

These come with FREE cancellation and, best of all, FREE breakfast for as low as USD24 for twin occupancy a night.

Save Money Tips for Holiday to Malaysia

Weigh Lower Room Costs Vs. Higher Transportation Costs in Outskirts

For frugal travelers, it is staying outside the city center is the obvious choice.

However, lower room costs on the outskirts may add high transportation costs to and from major attractions.

If you can get near public transportation or plan to use a motorcycle, it will work out well.

It is not easy to find the perfect balance. You can save on a night’s stay and spend all that on transportation and food.

Save Money Tips for Holiday to Malaysia Transportation

The big-ticket item would be your flight tickets. So planning is perfect.  

Track flights and prices

If you’re not ready to book a trip, you can use Google Flights to track prices for a flight or route.

Track prices for a route or flight

You can get emails when the price for a flight you’re tracking changes significantly.

You can sign up with Google for alerts.

Take the train or the bus.

Bus travel in Malaysia is economical and generally comfortable.

Seats can be paid for and reserved either directly with operators or via online sites such as Easybook.

You can take the Electric Train Service or ETS Kuala Lumpur to Ipoh or the KTM from Kuala Lumpur to Butterworth.

You can choose a train with limited stops along the way, so the journey takes just a little over two hours to Ipoh and four hours to Butterworth.

The KL and Penang Hop-on Hop-Off City Tour is an informative tour bus service where you get to disembark and spend more time in certain areas within the city.

Look out for flight deals or choose a flight with a stop.

There are plenty of budget airlines connecting Kuala Lumpur and Southeast Asia, and beyond.

Low-cost carriers, AirAsia, Jetstar Asia, and Scoot, are just a few.

You can follow the airlines on their social media pages to be the first to know of their promotions and offers.

If you’re on a long-haul flight to Malaysia, you may want to find that flight with a stopover, which costs much cheaper.

It gives you a chance to stretch your legs a little before reaching your destination in Malaysia.

Save Money Tips for Holiday to Malaysia

Malaysia’s low-cost carrier, AirAsia, is a no-frills option to fly and save money.

Save Money Tips for Holiday to Malaysia on Accommodations

The next item that will cost the most is your accommodation.

Biggest Save Money Tip – Early Hotel Bookings

The best way to save money is to decide quickly where you intend to stay before your trip.

Once you lock down on the area, you can start searching for the best deals on hotels online.

Use comparison sites to check on the best rates before you book your stay.

Find hotels friendly to extended stays, long-term hotel stays, and checks if they will throw in a complimentary daily breakfast for you.

Waiting until the last minute or worst still after you arrive will leave you with a big hotel bill, especially high-quality ones.

Save Money Tips for Holiday to Malaysia

Negotiate Room Rates Directly with the Hotel or Hostel

Hotels, airlines, and rental companies pay commissions for online booking sites and travel agents and tours.

Their commissions can be as high as 25% for sites that offer affiliates’ commissions.

Most travelers don’t realize that they can book directly with hotels to save a no-frills room.

You can check the latest hotel and homestay options on

You can ask just for a room without a buffet breakfast to save money.

In Malaysia, you can quickly get a local breakfast of a Roti Canal with Egg and a Coffee in a Kopitiam for under US$3.

If you are flying low-cost carriers, book ahead of time to secure good deals.

Use a Cash Back Website When You Book

There are plenty of tools and apps on your mobile that funnels part of the commissions they make back to users as a cashback or instant refunds.

Check out the providers to expect 5% to 7% back on the deal.

Use a Rewards Credit Card When You Book

There are many travel rewards cards that you can apply for if you qualify.

Depending on your destination and itinerary, that could be more than enough to cover the cost of your next trip – or at least go a long way.

Get Some Guides Before the Journey

There are FREE tours to join if you do your research well.

You can plan your routes and have a simple strategy that will save you cash every step of the way as you travel around Malaysia.

Every last Friday, Saturday, and Sunday of the month, visitors to Penang can join in Free cultural activities and sightseeing tours.

  • Khoo Kongsi
  • Penang Botanic Gardens
  • Street of George Town

Light up your weekend in Penang and join in with one of these FREE activities.

Set Price Alerts on Google

Google rolled out a new shopping search tool with a price tracking option that can help you save money.

You can search for different products you might buy — a T-shirt, board game, or new video game system — and Google will notify you with an alert on your phone when the price drops.

Here’s how to search for something you want to buy with Google Shopping and set up alerts for when the price falls.

Travel Insurance

Buy your travel insurance early or for the entire year if you plan to travel a lot.

Travel insurance typically only covers the cost of nonrefundable bookings canceled for specific covered reasons, such as unexpected job loss or illness.

Save Money Tips for Holiday to Malaysia

Save Money Tips – Look for Last-Minute Deals

A last-minute trip is not always more expensive than booking well in advance. If you need a hotel at the last minute, check last-minute deal sites such as Hotels Tonight.

Use Borrowed Luggage

If you don’t travel very often, you can borrow a piece of luggage or two from friends or family. For short trips, remember to pack light.

If you are buying a hard case, look for a suitcase with a 1 to 1 replacement policy with a 3-year warranty – this will lengthen the replacement cycle by years.

I found we base the best luggage on the recommendation from the shop.

If you ask the assistant, they will recommend a bag with the fewest return to the shop for repairs.

Pack Light To Save Money

No matter how long you plan to be away, it would be best if you packed minimally. A week’s supply of fresh clothing is sufficient.

Remember to pack weather-appropriate clothing that matches.

Don’t forget your medicines, and do bring along a list of generic names for your medication.

Other essential access includes travel-sized hygiene items, chargers and USBs, power adapters (for international travel), plastic bags, and a lock for your stuff.

If you forget to pack, you can always buy when you reach the destination.

Keep a Spare Outfit in Your Carry-On

For me, I pack a spare outfit and two changes of underwear in my carry on. For lost luggage, you can buy replacements and put in your claims later.

However, sometimes it isn’t easy to find the right size and type of undergarments.

Most delayed bags are located within a couple of days, so one outfit should be enough.

If you are flying a Low-Cost Carrier, please check with individual airlines for their cabin luggage allowance.

In Malaysia, your cabin luggage will be weighed before you enter your gate.

Save Money Tips for Holiday to Malaysia

Best Time to Travel to Save Money

If you’re flexible, it is easier to plan your trips. You can choose to travel offseason.

Travel During the Low Season

The cheapest time to travel to any destination is the low season.

Malaysia is a tropical destination with two rainy seasons, neither of which are fun for sun-seekThe. The wet season on the Peninsula East Coast and the Sarawak region is between November and Feb in Malaysiaruary.

The Peninsula West Coast experience sunny weather.

The wettest months on the west coast and in the Sabah region are April to October. So, plan your holidays accordingly.

Fly Midweek

Suppose your travel dates are flexible if you can schedule your trip for the middle of the workweek.

Most major airline’s fare calendar rises on Thursday and Friday, spike again on Sunday, and falls to a low point on Tuesday or Wednesday.

Know the Local Holiday Calendar

It pays to know if you are planning a trip to Malaysia.

You want to avoid local public holidays and during the school holidays when the locals go for their trips.

Thaipusam attracts over 1.6 million Hindu devotees and tourists.

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