We’re Going to Malaysia!

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Why did we choose Malaysia as the first destination on our family gap year? I’m going to tell you.

Air Asia had a fantastic flight sale, we are flying to Malaysia from The Gold Coast for just under $800 for all 4 of us. The flight sale was about to end, so we clicked the “buy” button. At that price, we really couldn’t turn it down. We leave to travel the world in just over four months, earlier than planned, but still plenty of time to finish organising everything before departure.

Why did we pick Malaysia to start our family travel adventure?

 We picked Malaysia as our destination because of price And convenience. Our nearest airport is Cairns, very few direct flights leave Cairns. We’ve often found ourselves flying via Brisbane or Darwin, sometimes even Sydney. We enjoy flying, but hours in the air aren’t good for anyone, so a direct flight, at a good price, from an airport that isn’t ridiculously far away (by Australian standards), is a winner.

It will take just over 24 hours non stop driving to get to The Gold Coast airport, we’ve done it before, it’s not so bad. We’ll have sold our lovely four-wheel drive truck by then, but we’ll work something out, I like the idea of hiring a camper van and spending a few days driving down.

Weather In July most of South East Asia will be in the middle of its wet season. Malaysia doesn’t get that so much, rainfall and temperatures are pretty steady all year round. We didn’t want to find ourselves in floods in Bangkok or Ayutthaya.  This way we can head north into Thailand by train and be there at the best time of year.

We’ve never been to Malaysia before. That’s always a good reason to go somewhere! We’ve never been, so it’s about time we did. Malaysia has never been high on my bucket list, it didn’t get a mention in our original trip planning (where are we going to go?) but I’ve had my nose in the Malaysia Lonely Planet for the last few days and it looks FABULOUS! Lots of variety, easy to get around, expensive for South East Asia, but still good value and brilliant food. Both the boys are pretty keen, they’ve been reading along with me, Boo will have his 7th birthday a few days after he arrives, we’ve promised him something special.  

Find our Posts on Malaysia With Children Here

Update: we arrived in Malaysia over a week ago, here are our Malaysia posts so far. Kuala Lumpur, Getting Around and a Rollercoaster Kuala Lumpur, Batu Caves, Petronas Towers and Petrosains Kuala Lumpur Chinatown, Temples, Street Food and Hedgehogs World Travel Family is currently in Malaysia and having lots of adventures, we will add more posts as we go, check out the South East Asia, Malaysia link in the right hand column or sign up for email updates to follow our journey.

Onward Travel From Malaysia

We will have a 3 month visa, plenty of time to explore all of Malaysia. While we’re there we’ll do Singapore and Brunei, pop over to Malaysian Borneo to visit the orangutangs (bucket lister!). After that we could easily catch the train up into Thailand or maybe fly to Bali and explore more of Indonesia.

Komodo Island is very high on the bucket list. I’m not sure if we need to have an onward flight out of Malaysia, sometimes it’s required for entry into a country, sometimes it’s not.

We’ll work that out when we come to it, we can always book a refundable or flexible ticket and change it later. So that’s all I have to say today, we’re going to Malaysia and I’m excited!  

My new backpack has arrived from the US and I found a great pair of trekking shoes in a sale, so things are moving along nicely. If you’d like to stick around to find out how our family travel adventure turns out, please enter your email address in the subscribe box and follow us around the world. Thanks!

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About the author
Alyson Long
Alyson Long is a British medical scientist who jumped ship to chase dreams. A former Chief Biomedical Scientist at London's West Middlesex Hospital she started in website creation and travel writing in 2011. Alyson is a full-time blogger and travel writer, a published author, and owns several websites. World Travel Family is the biggest. A lifetime of wanderlust and over 6 years of full-time travel, plus a separate 12 month gap year, has given Alyson and the family some travel expert smarts to share with you on this world travel site. Today Alyson still travels extensively to update this site and continue her mission to visit every country, but she's often at home on her farm in Australia.

24 thoughts on “We’re Going to Malaysia!”

  1. Hi Alyson. Found your blog a few days ago and have been catching up on your travels for the past few days. A great blog with great information and totally inspiring.
    We are planning our trip at the moment and I have a question about Air Asia, as I have read that you used them? I love the cheep flights, but read some horrific reviews re cancelled flights etc. What was your experience with them?
    Would love to hear your thoughts. In the meantime, we wish you an amazing ongoing journey.
    All the best, Alex

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    • All of our Air Asia experiences have been excellent Alex, never a problem. We never pre-book seats and we’ve always been seated together, I see a few complains about that too. Good luck!

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  2. Did Malaysia require a follow on or return ticket for entry, last time I had a round trip and didn’t ask? I really want to get into the “one way” ticket travel and country hop a bit better by saving more $$$ ๐Ÿ˜‰

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    • No Michael. It’s usually the airport you’re flying out of that requires a return ticket because they will shoulder the cost if you are refused admission and are turned around. We’ve never been asked flying into a country and only once exiting a country. That was in the US, unsurprisingly, flying to El Salvador. The Lady had the regulations wrong anyway, you don’t need an onward ticket for El salvador, we won! Always pays to check it out properly and know your rights. In practice people just buy a refundable ticket at the airport if they run into problems, we never have. You seem to be reading my whole blog, thanks so much, highly appreciated, come chat on Facebook!

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  3. Hiya! I stumbled upon your blog by accident – I was searching for more info on paleo eating as i’m on week 2 of the paleo diet. Just thought I’d let you know that I live in Kuala Lumpur and if you’d like any info about coming here, what to see, what to do and what to EAT – drop me an email ๐Ÿ™‚ alyshealow@gmail.com Safe flight and enjoy the holiday! x

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    • Thanks Alyshea, that’s great, what a lovely offer, if you know anywhere in Kuala Lumpur with cheap family accommodation I’d love to hear about it! The Nest has been recommended to me, but I was hoping for cheaper. Thanks again, Alyson

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      • I think accommodation for 4 pax would be roughly RM150 pernight per family, scouted around for cheaper. Will look again for you this evening. How long are you planning to stay in Kuala Lumpur for and what are your plans when you get here?

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        • Thanks Alyshea, we wont pay that much for more than a night or so, if there is nothing cheaper we’ll scoot through pretty quickly. That’s almost $50 Australian, we’d be hoping to pay around half that, we don’t need a bed each, a double and a single in one room is plenty. If we find cheap accommodation we’ll stay longer, I haven’t looked into it much yet, I’ll check out AirBnB, see if they’ve got anything.

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  4. We started our travels in Malaysia too. Actually Malaysia was our first overseas holiday with kids and convinced us that it could be done. It’s such lovely country. I love the diversity of Malaysia over Thailand. You’ll have a wonderful time I’m sure. We’ll be around in July, would love to catch up. In all our time flying in and out of Malaysia with AirAsia we’ve only been asked once for proof of onward flights and that was from the Australian end. But we haven’t flown into Malaysia in over 9 months so maybe things have changed. We fly out of the Gold Coast next week. I’ll let you know!

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  5. We’ll be in Malaysia in July too! We’re starting in Singapore and then heading into Malaysia. I was also just researching the onward ticket requirement. You’re right that it’s the airline in Australia who will ask. When we flew to Thailand in 2004 we were asked to show proof within the 30 day visa exemption period as our onward flight was for three months later. Luckily we had a flight to Hanoi booked. I’m not sure what to do about Singapore yet. I guess there’s time to look out for cheap onward Air Asia tickets (and not use them) or book a refundable ticket.

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    • And that was going to be my next question Madeline! Does the onward flight have to be within the visa period? I was assuming Singapore would be easy as we’d be going in and leaving by land, not air. It’s only the airlines that get antsy about all this, I thought.

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  6. Kirsty, it’s been real since we sold the bed! Having my hot, sticky hands on my lovely new backpack is a good feeling, too. We’re already in holiday mode here, just chilling out, doing nothing, the wet season always makes us lazy anyway. Life is good but I can’t wait to leave, Malaysia looks excellent, there are so many great family travel blogs I’ve been reading about there.

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  7. Excellent! Now that you have the tickets does it feel any more real? I have to say, seeing so many posts from people in that part of the world does make me want to go there more!

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  8. I LOVED Malaysia, more so than the previous 30 days we’ve spent in Thailand which has been slightly disappointing.

    Really excited for you, and equally jealous too.

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  9. We’ll be there next month. So far have only spent a few hours in Kuala Lumpur, but even with that was impressed. It’s a great country. Hopefully we can connect with you guys somewhere in Asia!

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  10. Yes you will need an onward flight from Malaysia, I was just reading about this very topic yesterday!

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    • Thanks for commenting! Crazy isn’t it Shona? When you can take a train to half a dozen countries from there. Quite a few people have told me that it’s not enforced, that they’ve been into Malaysia without an onward ticket, so I really don’t know which way to roll with this.

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      • A onward flight is a requirement, but it’s rarely checked.

        We flew in to Bangkok from Singapore a shade under a month ago & no one near me and neither my partner or I were asked to provide any information at all, jkust ‘stamp’ and on we went.

        Having discussed it with others recently, it seems they never check. But, don’t be the one to get caught out the one time they do. We had info in place just in case.

        BTW, recently we tried using a printed bus timetable stating when we intended to leave a country & it was okayed, so might be a cheaper option than buying a ticket?

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        • I’ve heard that the problem will be in Australia Dale, they have to check to let you board the flight, the Aussies don’t muck about, usually. It’s really annoying, it would be so easy to just get a train or a bus out of there. I’ll have to see what my new friends Air Asia have got for me in the sale.

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