Travel Expenses in Malaysia

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17 days in Malaysia
$1,063.00 or €959.46

Per Person Per Day
$31.26 or €28.22

Our Average Exchange Rate
$1 = RM4.17
€1 = RM4.62

Traveling is a lot of fun but can be expensive as well. To find out exactly how much we spent during our round the world trip we painstakingly keep track of all of our travel expenses and analyse them for you. In this post: our travel expenses in Malaysia.

We spent 17 days in Malaysia in October 2015 and visited three different locations: George Town, Tanah Rata (Cameron Highlands) and Kuala Lumpur. This cost us $1,063.00 (€959.46) in total or an everage of $31.26 (€28.22) per person per day.

A breakdown of this average daily cost:

Average Spending Per Person Per Day

Accommodation is obviously a large piece of the pie. Traveling as a couple we always stay in private rooms and usually go for places that are recommended on Travelfish. We’re happy with simple, clean rooms that just have a bed in them, so if you want some more luxury you’ll have to account for that. If you’re traveling solo you could cut costs by staying in dorm rooms as well.

Our first 2 nights in Kuala Lumpur we actually stayed in a hotel. Without that splurge (a gift from our parents) accommodation would have only been $10.22 per person per day.

Apparently we spent most of our money on Food & Drinks, so let’s take a look at that in detail:

Average Spending PPPD for Food & Drinks

We eat out almost every single day and could definitely save some more money by going for food stands more often. Our cravings for Western food from time to time increase the cost as well.

If you’re looking to party, Malaysia probably isn’t the best place as alcohol is crazy expensive. We only had a few beers with our food and mostly just stuck with water or soft drinks.

One final chart to look at is the average spending by location:

Average Spending PPPD by Location

Kuala Lumpur is not surprisingly a bit more expensive for food and accommodation (although the last one is a bit distorted by our hotel stay), but not by much. We spent the least in Tanah Rata where it’s beautiful to just go hiking, enjoy nature and relax.

Overall, Malaysia is definitely doable on a budget, even in it’s capital Kuala Lumpur. Just stay away from alcohol during your stay, or you might have to double your budget.

Don’t forget: you need cash in Malaysia. When withdrawing our first ringgit in the airport the first ATM mentioned the possibility of an additional charge (pretty vague, right?), so we tried the Maybank ATM next to it. It didn’t charge us extra withdrawal fees like all banks we tried in Thailand, so we stuck with it.