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Flights, accommodation and tours. These may be the holy trinity of travel prep, but sorting out these parts of your vacation is only the beginning of the trip planning process.

If you want to achieve a smooth, headache-free trip to Malaysia (and who doesn’t?), make sure you utilize the following tips.

5 Ways to Prepare for a Trip to Malaysia

Research (Explore Travel Websites)

Booking hotels Online Laptop TRVL

There are plenty of travel websites you can use for planning your trips, and it’s so important to do thorough research, but the websites you’ll find most useful are those that actually specialize in travel to Malaysia.

If you’re looking to travel blogs, have a look at how many articles they have on the country. Finding information from someone who has in-depth knowledge, and is obviously an expert is often a lot more helpful than info from someone who’s only visited once, 10 years ago.

Likewise, niche sites also exist for finding accommodation and shaping your itinerary; for instance which is a website that focuses on Malaysian travel. The user-friendly design makes it easy to browse some popular destinations and hotels in Malaysia.

General travel sites and mainstream booking engines might offer the option to book, and compare hotels and flights, but niche sites often have far more in depth information that allows you to make a better decision.

For instance, on Bagasi you can browse hotels based on specifications like how much money you’re willing to spend or if the hotel is family-friendly. And you know that the information is reliable, and local.

Create a Budget

Money Savings RF

It’s way too easy to spend an absurd amount of money while on vacation. But being in the “treat yourself” mentality is all fun and games until you’re left with an empty wallet and bills to pay back home.

Malaysia is a very easy destination to live without limit, so it’s important that you design a budget before starting your trip. The currency is the Malaysian Ringgit, and the exchange rate is around 4.15 Ringgit = 1 USD.

You can spend as much or as little as you want in Malaysia; there are a huge range of luxury hotels, and fancy places to eat, though you can also travel quite effectively on a budget.

If you’re going as frugal as possible, food might cost you as little as $2-3 USD per day. For mid range accommodation you might pay between $20 – $50 USD per night. So you could easily travel Malaysia on $25 USD per day.

Do your research and develop a budget that is in line with your travel style and interests. Just don’t think that you have to spend a lot of money, because this is a destination where travelers can find fantastic deals.

Prepare for the Weather

Always need a backup plan where weather is involved!

The weather is the single factor most likely to positively or negatively affect your trip, though it’s also one of the things most travelers take for granted, and people quite often find themselves caught off guard.

Malaysia is hot and humid all year round, and there are quite often tropical rain showers. Though researching ‘weather in Malaysia’ isn’t enough, as it quite often changes from coast to coast.

‘The wet season on the east coast is between November & February, which is when the west coast experiences sunny, dry weather. Conversely, the wettest months on the west coast are April to October, which are the driest months on the east coast.’

So it’s really important to plan accordingly, and make sure you’ve checked the weather for the specific region of Malaysia you’ll be visiting. Don’t make assumptions as to what you believe the weather is going to be. Always check.

Downloading a weather app before you leave is a great way to stay on top of the most recent forecasts. When it comes to a free weather app that is the most accurate and has the most features, WeatherBug is one of the best (available on Google Play and iOS).

Plan Your Clothing

Malaysia woman RF Asia traveler female

Malaysia’s location close to the equator means you’ll be traveling in a tropical climate. As mentioned above, the weather is hot and humid, so keep in mind that if you’re planning an active vacation, you’ll probably go through changes of clothes – a lot.

There is also plenty of rainfall throughout the year, so be sure to have an umbrella and a raincoat on hand. It’s also important to stay properly hydrated so you avoid dehydration.

Be sure to pack a spare change of clothes in your carry on too. Even though most missing bags are generally found and delivered to you (free of charge) within 24 hours, having a spare change of clothes for that time is a godsend, especially in such weather.

Learn A Few Key Phrases in Malay

While many people speak English in Malaysia, the official language is Malay. This is very similar to Indonesian, though other languages spoken include Manglish (a combination of English, Malay, Tamil, Cantonese, Mandarin, and other languages), Chinese, and Tamil.

It’s a great idea to learn a few key words in Malay before you go. This is not only a respect for the culture you’re visiting, but also a great way to communicate with locals and enrich your experience by making new friends.

Alternatively, if you’re not great at languages, there are hundreds of translation apps available (though make sure the app you buy is available in Malay), or if you have the cash you could think about hiring a translator to accompany you on your trip.

Sometimes, hiring a bilingual local guide is simply the best way to go. Not only do they know the area, but they understand the nuances of the local language and can help you get the most out of your interactions with locals.


Malaysia Travel Guide

Lonely Planet Malaysia Singapore & Brunei 

Malaysia Travel Guide

Insight Guides Malaysia

Malaysia Travel Guide

The Rough Guide to Malaysia, Singapore & Brunei

Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; an online magazine dedicated to opening your eyes to the wonders of the wild & natural world.

Having visited 50+ countries across all seven continents, Megan’s travels focus on cultural immersion, authentic discovery and incredible journeys. She has a strong passion for ecotourism, and aims to promote responsible travel experiences.


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