How Much Should I Budget for Malaysia? | 2019 Travel Costs

Malaysia is often overlooked when travelers explore South East Asia. Malaysia is one of those countries which, once stumbled upon during your travels, quickly becomes a highlight.

This is your 2019 travel budget for Malaysia.

Tours will cost you extra, so don’t spend all your money on beer!

Tours will cost you extra, so don’t spend all your money on beer!

DAILY BUDGET (COSTS)

We have separated the Daily Budget into 3 cost groups; Backpacker, Mid-range Traveler & Luxury Traveler. Consider your budget and pick the group that best suits your needs, not everyone can afford ‘Jagerbombs’ & ‘Vodka Soda’s.’ The last thing you want to do is run out of money, having to make the, ‘Help Me!’ call to Mum.

All three budgets are based on US dollars, per day, per person.

BACKPACKER: UP TO $74 PER DAY (US DOLLAR)

Malaysia is another great destination for budget travelers but be aware, prices can vary greatly depending on your location. Although Malaysia is very safe for travellers, it is important to be wary of scammers. It is easy to get caught out, so be wise with your money, if it seems to good to be true… it probably is!
If you want to save some coin, you can live comfortably off $29 US per day.

Accomodation: $10 - $14 per night
Food: $6 - $16 per day
Water: $1 - $2 per day
Transport: $4 - $11 per day
Entertainment: $7 - $19 per day
Tips: $1 - $2 per day
Alcohol: $0 - $10 per day


MID-RANGE TRAVELER: $74 - $231 PER DAY (US DOLLAR)

If you are able to lift your budget to the mid-range, you will be able to afford some serious bang for your buck! Your entertainment budget alone, will give you more flexibility when it comes to touring; Scale Kinabalu, Book a Helicopter flight & find yourself on a romantic island with the love of your life.
For all the single warriors out there, if Diving is on the agenda then this is the budget for you. The dive resorts tend to be more expensive, if you plan on doing courses they start at around $100US per day (courses tend to last multiple days & are paid up front).

Accomodation: $14 - $41 per night
Food: $16 - $35 per day
Water: $1 - $2 per day
Transport: $4 - $11 per day
Entertainment: $19 - $110 per day
Tips: $2 - $10 per day
Alcohol: $0 - $22 per day (divers love beer!)


LUXURY TRAVELER: $333 + PER DAY (US DOLLAR)

If you are proud to say, ‘I want my luxuries!’ & you have the budget to back it. Then here is the budget for you. Malaysia is one of the more expensive countries to travel in South East Asia, with one of the fastest growing economies in Asia. However, prices are still far lower than western travel hubs, your money will definitely go further in Malaysia.
This budget allows extra entertainment allowances for dive courses.

Accomodation: $133 +
Food: $45 +
Water: $1 - $2 per day
Transport: $11 +
Entertainment: $110 +
Tips: $10 +
Alcohol: $22 +

Bonus Tip - If you are wanting a 7day getaway then consider booking package deals with your travel agent. Packages will always be cheaper due to the buying power that larger tourism companies have. You could spend 7 days in luxury for a fraction of the price.

Make sure you have a plan for accessing your money when you arrive in Malaysia. Credit cards are widely accepted in the developed areas, as you go rural cash becomes king.

Plan ahead, especially if you are booking into dive courses on remote islands. Draw your cash before you depart to any remote locations, ensure you store that cash safely on your person at all times.

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TIPPING

Malaysia is not known for tipping, in certain situations a tip is appreciated but never asked for.

  • Hotels: Common for services in top-end hotels.

  • Restaurants: Restaurants in the cities will include a 10% service charge. Tipping is not expected.

  • Guides/Tour Operators: Tip your guides as you see fit, it is not expected but a tip is a great way to thank a guide for exceptional service ($30US, that’s 120RM, for a 3 day Dive Course would put a smile on your instructors face, or a few rounds at the bar!).

  • Transport: Not Expected. Loose change is always appreciated though.

  • Bars: Not Expected.

Malaysia has so many diverse landscapes. Spend the money & escape the beaten track.

Malaysia has so many diverse landscapes. Spend the money & escape the beaten track.

Next step… book your flights!

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Thanks!
Paulo & Jacques | Massie Bros