A Cheapskate’s Guide: 7 Budget Travel Tips in Kuala Lumpur

Photo Credit: TheTravelHackingLife

Living standards in KL have skyrocketed to redonkulous heights over the past couple of years. Every item on a shelf seems to be hiking in price, except for our paychecks.

But wait! – Before we jump to conclusions, let us remember that a little research goes a long way. Here are a few tips for you to salvage some loose change at the end of your travels in the capital city.

#1 Be minimalistic

Photo Credit: ScandanaviaStandard

If you can survive without the luxury of a spa or a pool at a hotel, then you might want to consider your stay at an inn or a budget hotel. Fortunately, there are many in Petaling Street and Bukit Bintang relatively closer to the many city attractions and public transportation.

As research material, read up on positive ratings and feedbacks on various review sites, like TripAdvisor, Trivago and more. You can also contact these places to make reservations up front.

#2 Localise your delicacies 

nasi lemak
Photo Credit: TravelLobster

Nationalism is at its best when it comes to our delicacies, hence why we take insult to heart when our beloved Malaysian delicacies are deemed as not nice.

The trick to a budget-friendly, food-tastic vacay is to follow the crowd. You will almost always find something scrumptious to fill your rumbling tummies at an affordable rate. Local cuisines are more often than not reasonably priced, unlike western cuisines which tend to be sky-high.

#3 No Booze

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Photo Credit: StopDrinkingAlcohol

Abstaining from booze is a MUST should you have any shot on a cheap travelling experience. It is the company you keep that equates to a good time, not the drinks you consume.

Booze in Malaysia is sold at inflated prices as it is taxed for multiple reasons, even during promotional seasons.

Hydrate yourself with good ol’ H2o. A neat tip is to refill your own water container with the water bottles provided by the hotel, in doing so, saving your money instead of buying them from convenience stores.

#4 Best things in life are free

Kuala Lumpur is no Wakanda but holds their own when it comes to attractions – and most of them are free! Depending on your preference, different destinations provide a different ambiance with various activities in store:

  • KLCC Park
Photo Credit: KlccConventionCentre

Yes folks, there is a gigantic park smack in the middle of this metropolis. The park is a good place to relax and chit-chat with friends. Although not as serene as your quintessential parks, it is still home to many species of flora and fauna.

This park also has a lake which flaunts its beauty when night falls. The Twin Towers will begin illuminating the night skies and in combination with the lightings installed on the lake, the dancing fountain makes it all the more eye-catching.

Photo Credit: Ambafrance
  • Perdana Botanical Garden (Lake Gardens)
lake gardens.jpg
Photo Credit: AttractionsinMalaysia 

Lake Gardens is known for its cool and calming ambiance, a haven for nature lovers. This 92 hectares park is home to an array of flora and fauna after having been converted from a recreational park into a botanical garden.

Nevertheless, many still come here for their morning jogs and exercises at various outdoor gym equipment around the park as well.

Fret not about getting lost in this park, free guided walk services from 7am-8pm daily, allow you to experience the full Lake Gardens experience – even places you were unable to discover yourself.

  • Brickfields
Photo Credit: WondefulMalaysia

Brickfield has undergone some major makeovers from its historic brick-making days. Today, it is both a residential and commercial area in Kuala Lumpur.

It is known as ‘Little India’ for a reason – much of the Indian culture still remains till this day as reflected in the architecture, temples and delicacies found at almost every turn of the curb.

KL Sentral, a transit hub located in this town as well, making it all the more accessible for travelers.

  • Petaling Street
Photo Credit: Says

Petaling Street is a hotspot for bargain hunters, locals and tourist alike with souvenirs and food at almost every corner.

Maharajalela monorail station is just a 5-min walk away, meaning that this area is pretty accessible.

#5 Public transportation

Public transportation in Kuala Lumpur has taken some stick in the past, falling under scrutiny for numerous reasons. On the flip side, it is affordable, given that most currencies are stronger than the Ringgit. It is convenient and accessible, connecting people to many parts of Kuala Lumpur and the cities and towns nearby.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

The monorail covers many parts of the city centre and is commonly used by both locals and tourists, commuting many from the bustling transit hub of KL Sentral to other interesting sites along its routes.

Monorail coaches are rather small and are often packed during peak hours.

Photo Credit: TheStar

The LRT, MRT and KTM cover a wider range of locations, shuttling many to happening venues such as KLCC, Mid Valley, One Utama and more, including the mentioned admission-free tourist location (refer to 4). Similarly, peak hours would mean a packed platform and even compact coaches which will leave you jostling for space to stand.

Photo Credit: NST

Buses are another option, even with the traffic congestion in the city. Waiting for a bus may test one’s patience but their heavy build allows them to hustle their way through lanes. They are also able to alight passengers at areas that trains are unable to, such as residential areas and commercial shopping lots.

GrabCar would be another reliable source of transportation. It is relatively cheaper than taxis and when coupled with promo codes, will equate to an even cheaper commuting service.

#6 Walking is possible

Some places in Kuala Lumpur are located within close proximity between each other, which makes walking possible.

The unpredictable weather in Malaysia may be a small hindrance, but on the other hand, you get the chance to witness the wonders that Kuala Lumpur has to offer. Who knows, you might stroll upon a nice souvenir store on your way.

#7 Travelling further distance

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Some travels may require some intercity travelling, but instead of booking a flight which might break the bank, opting for an express bus would be a better option.

CatchThatBus app allows travelers to purchase their bus e-ticket from a number of reliable bus operators to your preferred destination within Malaysia and Singapore, without having to queue at bus counters. If you’re an Android user, the Promo Cash feature will come in real handy. It would allow you to save 25% on your bus ticket purchase.

You can download this app for free on both the App Store and the Google Play Store.

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