First of all, we Malaysians should know that there are about 50 countries located in Europe itself. And out of that 50 countries, 26 of the countries are known as Schengen Area.
The good thing about these Schengen Area is that we Malaysians are allowed to enter any of the 26 countries without visa and passport inspections. In other words, its similar like you travelling to other states in Malaysia.
Schengen Area – List of Countries
However, to enter one of the Schengen Area, you will at least need to enter through United Kingdom which will require your Malaysian passport. On the bright side, you don’t need a visa. By following the tips below, you will very likely travel around Europe without putting a burden on your bank account.
1. Plan on which countries you would like to visit
Some of the most popular destinations/cities that people travel to are Paris which is located in France, London in England, Brussel in Belgium, Amsterdam in Holland and Frankfurt in Germany.
Once you have planned on where you are going, the next tip is….
2. Who are you going with?
Travelling is certainly not for everyone. If the person you are about to travel with loves shopping, then we are sure RM5,800 is not enough. So its best the people you choose to travel with are okay with NOT shopping and okay with staying in a hostel or home-stay.
The best number of people to travel with is either 2 or 4 as its easier to rent a hostel, apartment or a home-stay.
When it comes to transportation, there are about 4 types you can choose from and they are bus, train, flight and renting a car. Travelling using a flight or a train is out of the list since this journey is all about budget.
If bus is what you prefer, then you can always look up online for cheap packages. One of the cheapest package we came across is offered by Euroline Pass – travelling to about 40 main cities in Europe for only €185 (RM765).
Another way of travelling is of course by renting your own car. This would be the best option as you get to witness amazing view along your journey. For example, if you are travelling to Switzerland, you will get to see the Alps which is one of the great mountain range systems of Europe or if you are planning to go to Germany, you will be able to drive on the one and only highway in the world without speed limits, Autobahn. (Just don’t drive like a Malaysian there)
Lets breakdown the cost here: (Example – Travelling from Frankfurt – Amsterdam)
Flight (Round-trip) – €230 per person
Train (Round-trip) – €198 per person
Rented Car – €80 + €70 (for petrol) = €150/the people you are travelling with. On top of that, you don’t need an “International Driving Permit” to drive around here as they also accept our Malaysian license
However, if you choose to rent a car, be sure to get the one with an option of unlimited mileage.
You can also place your bookings online these days to rent a car. Some of the well known websites are EuropCar, Avis, and BuchBinder.
4. Plan a Date
Seriously! We have to admit that we Malaysians love to “talk cock sing song”. But when it comes to this is either you do or you don’t. If you do, then plan it like at least a month or two in advance so that you could save a lot of money on flight tickets. If you don’t, I don’t know lah!
5. Use a proper map
Plan your trips properly by using a map. Well, Google Maps is a good option as it shows how long the journey is, and it is accurate.
6. How many days you need?
You don’t need to stay in all the cities you step in. The least you can do is just visit or just have breakfast or lunch in that place and continue your journey to the main place you are there for.
This an example how you can visit about 15 cities in 10 days
Amsterdam (Stay for about 2 nights)
The Hague (Visit, Breakfast, Lunch))
Rotterdam (Visit, Breakfast, Lunch)
Antwerp (Visit, Breakfast, Lunch)
Ghent (Visit, Breakfast, Lunch)
Brussels (Stay for a night)
Cologne (Visit, Breakfast, Lunch)
Koblenz (Visit, Breakfast, Lunch)
Frankfurt (Visit, Breakfast, Lunch)
Luxembourg (Stay for a night)
Paris (Stay for two nights)
Calais (Visit, Breakfast, Lunch)
Dover (Visit, Breakfast, Lunch)
London (Stay for two nights)
7. Maximum Budget
Some people think that they might need about RM10k – RM15k budget if they want to travel to Europe. But do you know that with only RM6k you can travel to more than 12 cities/countries including Paris, Geneva, Barcelona and Madrid?
However, the only way you can do it with only RM6k is by doing it backpackers way.
According to Khairul Abdullah (a well known blogger), he traveled to 12 cities located in 4 different countries (Germany, Austria, Italy & Switzerland) for 5 days with 4 adults and they only spent RM1,000 each. However, this does not include the flight ticket from KL – Frankfurt, hotel and food cost. Totaling up all expenses for the trip would be only RM4,200 each, he added.
He also added that the biggest cost for the whole trip was the flight tickets from KL – any parts of Europe. The cheapest round-trip ticket that he has came across was Qatar Airways whereby they only charged RM2,450 from KL to either Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Paris or London.
8. Tips to buy cheap flight tickets
Plan the trip early
Purchase a round trip ticket instead of a one way ticket and that’s because most airlines usually charge more for a one way ticket
Based on travelers experience (Khairul Abdullah), flight tickets are usually cheaper early in the morning. According to Khairul Abdullah, once he was going through flight ticket rates for Frankfurt – KL and the ticket price was RM3,200 in the afternoon. The ticket price reduces to RM2,620 at 2AM though which saves him RM600.
Always clear your cache and cookies on your computer so that airlines will not have a clue what you were searching before. If you do not clear your cache and cookies, the flight ticket will be more expensive day by day
9. Place to stay
There are many websites these days that allows you to book home-stays and even hostels.
For home-stays you can head over to airbnb, wimdu and homeaway. For hostels you can head over to HostelBookers or Meininger-Hotels.
10. Overall Cost Breakdown If You Travel in a Group of 4 – Based on Khairul Abdullah’s experience
Flight ticket – RM3,000 each
Transportation – RM400 each (9 Days)
Petrol Cost – RM300 each (9 Days)
Parking Cost – RM200 each
Hostel/Home-stay Cost – RM575 each
Food Cost – RM90 per day each X 10 = RM900 each
Other Expenses – Souvenirs and etc = RM450
Total – RM5,825