Our expenses in Malaysia

Our expenses in Malaysia

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What were our expenses in Malaysia as part of our world trip? What was our budget? And, were we able to stay within our budget?

For our three month stay in Malaysia, we kept notes of our expenses and grouped them into categories such as transportation, food and accommodations so that we could keep track of everything.

We use an app that helps us keep track of our expenses on our world trip.

Get an app

If you’re wondering what the easiest way to keep track of all your expenses, it is best to use an app as mentioned briefly above. It is really great and very easy to use. Immediately after we buy something, we enter what we spent in the app so that we don’t forget anything and have a good overview of our costs and expenses on our world trip.

Tip: The app that we use is called Trabee Pocket for Android Phones. When we had iPhones, we used the Travel Wallet app on our sabbatical in 2016.

While the Travel Wallet is free, we paid a small amount (less than 5 euros), because the free version was limited to only 100 entries. The Trabee Pocket app which we use now does not have a limited amount of entries and is free.

You can also create as many categories with subcategories as you need. With both apps, you can download and export your expenses to Excel.

Our costs in percentages

Our costs in Malaysia
Our costs in Malaysia

Our costs in Euro

The costs listed below are our total costs, i.e. that is what we have spent together for our three months.

Category % Amount
Accommodation 41,1% 1.942,43
Breakfast 3,4% 162,25
Lunch 7,7% 362,89
Dinner 8,8% 413,87
Snacks, Groceries 9,8% 462,16
Total Food 29,7% 1401,17
Flight 6,1% 288,91
Metro, Bus, Tram 2,2% 104,03
Boat, Ferry,  etc. 2,4% 115,80
Car Rental 1,0% 47,83
Petrol 0,2% 10,87
Taxi, Uber 5,7% 268,57
Total Transportation 17,3% 833,01
Misc. 4,9% 230,00
Shopping 2,2% 104,32
Sightseeing/Culture 4,2% 198,92
Laundry 0,4% 16,85
Total 100,0% 4.729,70

*Snacks also include shopping at grocery stores and places like 7/11, Family Mart, etc., where we sometimes enjoyed an ice cream, or bought things like coffee or soap or other personal items.

**Miscellaneous are expenses such as postcards and stamps, SIM cards, cinema visits, as well as when we had to pay for public toilets.

Also, our visit to the dentist for a dental cleaning, which was 86.97 EUR for both of us, is included here.

Part of our costs in Malaysia Icecream
Part of our costs in Malaysia Icecream

The categories on our world trip

Accommodation

As you can see above, the largest expense for us was our accommodations.

We do not stay in hostels and prefer a double room with a private bathroom, which of course increases the costs accordingly.

Tip: If you’re going to stay in one place longer, just ask for a “long-term rate.” Often you can get a small discount.

But you can save a lot if the accommodation is not as important to you, or if you don’t need to have your own bathroom.

We also often booked at short notice and depending on the travel time (holidays e.g.) we didn’t get a really good offer. Nevertheless, our flexibility was more important to us than booking well in advance in order to save a few euros.

Here, everyone must decide for themselves where their priorities lie.

Our apartment in Kuala Lumpur
Our apartment in Kuala Lumpur

Transportation

Travelling with golf bags is unfortunately expensive, and therefore we didn’t get away very cheaply on our transportation.

Almost every airline demands an extra fee for golf luggage, and even Grab costs more! So, we had to pay a certain surcharge extra for Grab rides because the drivers only transported us in larger vehicles because of our golf bags.

Tip: Travel without golf bags, hahahahaha ?

The flights included in our transportation were from Sumatra to Kuala Lumpur, from Langkawi to Johor and from Kuala Lumpur to Kuching and back. Here we booked a return flight, which we would later regret. While we were in Kuching, I had a tick bite and wanted to go back to a hospital in Kuala Lumpur to make sure everything was ok. And unfortunately, we had to buy an additional return ticket…

Traveling with golf bags
Part of our expenses in Malays
Traveling with golf bags
Part of our expenses in Malaysia

Food in Malaysia

Our first month we had an apartment in Kuala Lumpur and often cooked for ourselves. When we went out for eating in KL, we often went to less expense places. However, we also treated ourselves to a visit to a cafe from time to time, or even Western food, which cost us a lot more than eating, for example, at Indian restaurants.

Saving costs in Malaysia
Saving costs in Malaysia

Is an apartment less expense than staying in several hotels?

It depends… we prefer middle-class hotels rather than budget hotels, so we have set a maximum price of 30.00 euros per night on average.

You can certainly find cheaper accommodations, but for us a better hotel is more important. And since we don’t do expensive activities like bungee jumping, we can save on activities.

If you’re wondering about golf, yes, that is expensive. But we have a separate created golf budget for our trip, and therefore the cost of the golf is not listed here.

So, was our first month in Kuala Lumpur less expensive for us than our next month? Not really.

Our accommodation in KL was more expensive than our next month in hotels. But, we must say, that we had a really great apartment, complete with a pool and a fitness centre.  Also, when it came to food, we didn’t really save that much even though we cooked for ourselves. This was the biggest surprise for us.

Month 1

07 May to 03 June in %in Euro
Accommodation 45,9% 771,96
Breakfast 3,2% 54,54
Lunch 4,6% 77,17
Dinner 8,3% 140,55
Snacks, Groceries 12,8% 215,03
Total Food28,9%487,29
Flight 4,4% 74,37
Metro, Bus, Tram 2,2% 36,94
Boat, Ferry,  etc. 0,0% 0
Car Rental 0,0% 0
Petrol 0,0% 0
Taxi, Uber 3,0% 51,25
Total Transportation9,7%162,56
Misc 8,4% 140,73
Shopping 4,9% 82,49
Sightseeing/Culture 2,3% 38,25
Laundry 0,0% 0
Total 100,0% 1683,28

Month 2

04 June to 30 June in %in Euro
Accommodation 36,2% 609,17
Breakfast 3,7% 63,02
Lunch 7,1% 119,64
Dinner 9,4% 158,7
Snacks, Groceries 8,2% 138,87
Total Food 31,6%480,23
Flight 3,9% 66,36
Metro, Bus, Tram 2,2% 36,31
Boat, Ferry,  etc. 1,8% 30,96
Car Rental 2,8% 47,83
Petrol 0,5% 7,61
Taxi, Uber 4,6% 78,27
Total Transportation 17,6% 267,34
Misc 1,0% 14,57
Shopping 1,4% 21,83
Sightseeing/Culture 7,5% 113,27
Laundry 0,7% 10,95
Total 100% 1517,36

Month 3

01 July to 31 July in %in Euro
Accommodation 33,3% 561,34
Breakfast 2,7% 44,69
Lunch 9,9% 166,08
Dinner 6,8% 114,61
Snacks, Groceries 6,4% 108,25
Total Food 28,4% 433,63
Flight 8,8% 148,18
Metro, Bus, Tram 1,8% 30,79
Boat, Ferry,  etc. 5,0% 84,84
Car Rental 0,0% 0
Petrol 0,2% 3,26
Taxi, Uber 8,3% 139,05
Total Transportation 26,6% 406,12
Misc 4,9% 74,7
Shopping 0,0% 0
Sightseeing/Culture 3,1% 47,4
Laundry 0,4% 5,87
Total 100% 1529,06

Expenses Germany vs. Abroad

Our costs on our trip around the world are definitely lower than our costs we had while living in Germany. And we see more and experience more. Win-Win, we would say ?

Unfortunately, we did not meet our daily budget of 50.00 Euros per day and were overbudget by 8.00 Euros per day. 

We also want to mention that 5 days are missing from our expenses, but this has a good reason.  We traveled for 5 days from Johor to Bintan, Indonesia, which was a gift for James (and me!). 

I have wanted to stay at the Banyan Tree Bintan for years, which is well above our daily budget.  I had saved separately for this previously, so it came out of my piggy bank rather than our world trip budget. 

And because it was a gift, I can’t say how much it was ?

Breakfast at Banyan Tree Bintan
Breakfast at Banyan Tree Bintan

Conclusion

Even though we were over our budget, we both agreed that it was more than worth it.  We invested more in our accommodations, but therefore we didn’t have any bad surprises. 

We really loved our time in Malaysia!  It was easy to travel, the food was delicious with a huge variety, the nature was stunning, and the people were very friendly and sincere.  Therefore, being a little over budget was acceptable and we are happy with our expenses in Malaysia. 

Bye bye Kuala Lumpur
Bye bye Kuala Lumpur
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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Hi guys I found this article extremely interesting and did our own study to compare .are there other expense studies on your travels.i found it so interesting

    1. Hi Tanja, Thank you for reading our blog. We are so happy to hear that you find it interesting. We will write more on our expenses on the countries we visited. So better you check frequently our Website 😉

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