Travelling to foreign, exotic places comes with many costs including foreign exchange fees, transportation costs, meals, accommodation and unexpected emergency expenses. Before you resign yourself to just a Cuti-Cuti Malaysia, we have some tips on how you can travel overseas on a budget:
Tip 1: Plan Your Own Trip
It’s cheaper than booking a full-service tour plus you get to escape from the compulsory factory and shop tours if they are not your cup of tea.
- With good guide books and the Internet, you’ll have ample resources to help with planning your itinerary, suggestions of important festivities, free/cheap attractions, transport and accommodation.
- Don’t visit an attraction that you are not interested in just because everyone else is going there. You have the freedom to pick what you like and can afford.
- Contact a friend or relative living at your destination. They are the best insider travel guides and can bring you to the best and not touristy spots for an amazing local experience and affordable souvenirs.
- Go for free walking tours in the city and leave a nice tip to the friendly guide if they have been helpful (they usually are).
Tip 2: Travel Off-season
During non-peak seasons, the transport and accommodation costs are generally lower and there are shorter queues to famous attractions.
- Going to New Zealand or Europe at the end of summer will give you benefits of the lovely warmer weather without paying surcharges on everything else.
- Some must-see attractions are closed during off-season, so do check if they will be open during your chosen dates.
Tip 3: Look Out For Cheap Fares
Budget airlines like AirAsia and Jetstar offer cheap fares on a regular basis. The only catch is, you’ll have to book months in advance.
- It’s cheaper to pre-book meals and luggage allowance online, too.
- Sometimes it’s cheaper to book open jaw flights where you fly into one city and out of another. That way, you don’t have to spend unnecessary days and costs to go back to your starting point.
Tip 4: Exchange Money As Seldom As Possible
The less you exchange your money, the less you will incur exchange and administrative fees.
- Roughly determine how much cash you would need.
- Exchange all the cash you would need ONCE at the beginning of the trip so that you don’t have to frequently withdraw it on the ATM or money changer.
- Research the best rates available around town as the most expensive rates would be at the airport before you depart.
Tip 5: Travel Light
Packing light and bringing just what you need will save you from hefty luggage check-in fees. Not having to lug heavy bags around will also make moving about and climbing stairs easier.
- Pack the same amount of clothes if you are traveling for a week or a month. Hint: Use a Capsule wardrobe
- Bring clothes that are light-weight, quick-dry and wrinkle-resistant.
- Bring a travel clothesline that weighs next to nothing and allows you to hang clothes without clips. Use the hotel’s shower gel to wash your clothes. Or book accommodations that provide laundry facilities.
Tip 6: Avoid Luxurious Hotels
Four- and five-star hotels can cost a fortune. With the Internet at your fingertips, you can find the best accommodation deals in town that are close to the city centre, public transportation and famed attractions.
- AirBnB offers some of the best deals for families. Some hosts even include breakfasts at no extra cost.
- If you are traveling solo or with just another partner, research Booking.com, Agoda.com or hostel sites for budget accommodations.
- If you are comfortable bunking on some stranger’s couch, go to couchsurfing.com for free accommodation.
Tip 7: Get Insured
For a small sum of money, you will have valuable coverage that travels with you and can save you thousands of ringgit should emergencies happen.
- Get travel insurance for protection in the event of a flight delay or cancellation, lost baggage, health emergencies, medical evacuations, etc.
- Get EZHoliday which offers Personal Accident and Home Contents protection during a covered holiday period. For just RM0.35 a day, you can enjoy your holiday with absolutely no worries.
With a little planning, you can save a fortune on travel expenses without sacrificing any of the holiday fun. Most importantly, you won’t come back to a mountain of debt because of your high travel costs or emergency expenses.
To find out how you can protect yourself from life’s unexpected misfortunes, visit EZTakaful here.