4 Places for a Short Getaway While on a Budget

Going on a field trip doesn’t have to be wallet-busting. Find out how to have fun while still being thrifty below!

Need a break from your classes and assignments? Why not plan an exciting weekend trip with your friends. Planning for a memorable vacation is a fun thing, but you don’t want to exhaust your pockets just to have fun for a few days. What if I told you that there are many budget-friendly places in Malaysia to have a good time without breaking your piggy bank?

Here, I got you covered with a list of places for your next vacation spot. 

Note: The breakdown of expenses are based on my experiences and purchases. Prices may vary from time to time. Added expenses such as parking, rental, and number of personal meals required may not be included.

#1. Penang


Penang is a popular Malaysian destination when it comes to a weekend trip. The city’s popular for its holiday locations and mouth-watering food. The Nasi Kandar at the well-known Deen Maju is a must-try when you’re at the food capital of Malaysia. You’ll also find decent meals where hawkers sell for a few ringgit throughout the island. 

China House, one of the must-visit cafes of the city, is a well-known place for its meticulous design of 14 different sections. It’s an artsy space to let your creativity flow on the white canvas covered with crayons while listening to soothing music and indulging in the scrumptious cakes.

Don’t forget to check out one of the coolest cafes in the town, Ice Cafe at Victoria Street. The ice-themed cafe will freeze you with its cold ambience and refreshing desserts. Want more cool treats especially during when it’s hot? Stop by the Penang Road Famous Teochew Cendol just 5 mins away from these cafes!

Food aside, visit Penang Hill (also known as Bukit Bendera) for its panoramic view. Hop on the funicular train to enjoy the chilling climate at the top and the spectacular 360 view of the city. The Kek Lok Si Temple is another tourist spot where you can enjoy traditional architecture and learn about the Buddhist civilisation.

For the beach lovers, you may want to pay a visit to Batu Ferringhi to enjoy the beauty it has to offer. If you’re up to spending a little more than your budget you may try out the paid water sports such as the banana boat, jet skiing, and windsurfing available at the beach. Bora Bora Batu Ferringhi, a beachside eatery with a scenic spot and great atmosphere is one of the best options to enjoy the unique Penang cuisines for dinner as you dine with the rhythmic sound of beach waves.


Breakdown of expenses:

  1. Kek Lok Si Temple - Free
  2. Nasi Kandar Deen’s Maju- link RM7
  3. China House - RM12-15
  4. Ice Café Victoria Secret – RM16
  5. Penang Road Famous Teochew Cendol – RM10
  6. Penang Hill - RM12 
  7. Joez Coconut Shake - RM4.50
  8. Bora bora Batu Ferringhi - RM11.50 (dinner)

#2. Ipoh, Perak


Ipoh is a common transit stop to the northern cities of Malaysia but there are places you can take a look at in the city which cater to the average budget. The Mirror Lake should be the first spot you check out for a breathtaking view and I’d describe it as a picture-perfect spot. 

Just a 15 mins drive from the lake, you’ll reach Concubine Lane, a famous street in Ipoh. This nostalgic street is filled with cafes, souvenirs shops, and also murals that’s Instagram approved.

Once there, do try out the Rainbow Cheese Toast and also honey ice ball (known as ais kepal). If you’ve more budget, check out the Harry Potter-Themed Cafe, an Instagram worthy cafe that’s a showstopper with its tasty beverages.

If you’re craving for some Ipoh lunch, head over to the local coffee shop ‘Lim Ko Pi’, which means ‘to drink coffee’. Fun fact, this coffee shop was which was built to preserve the city's heritage. 

Gunung Lang Recreational Park is also a bucket-list spot with man-made waterfall and limestone hill view. Other than that, if you’re feeling brave, check out Malaysia’s only castle, Kellie’s Castle which is known as the unfinished mansion and carries a mystery in it.

Finally, I recommend spending quality time with your family or friends at the Lost World of Tambun. It’s an amusement and water park with natural hot springs and is surrounded by a tropical jungle. If you want to have the best time of your life and unlimited fun at this theme park, I’d suggest making time for a whole day to enjoy.

Image by: @_fanoula (Instagram)


Breakdown of expenses:

  1. Mirror Lake - Free (parking around RM5)
  2. Concubine Lane - Free to browse
  3. Rainbow Cheese Toast - RM14
  4. Harry Potter-Themed Café - RM14
  5. Lim Ko Pi - RM8
  6. Gunung Lang Recreational Park -RM1.50 (Child) - RM3 (Adult)
  7. Kellie’s Castle - Adult RM5 
  8. Lost World of Tambun - From RM70+ (Get it on promo here)

#3. Melaka


Malacca, one of the historical cities in Malaysia, serves as the best place for a one-day getaway. You may want to visit the ancient A Famosa fort for a historical experience.

Jonker Street is a popular street in Chinatown that you wouldn’t wanna miss too. Food is a huge temptation here and with the live music and performances, it brings up a colourful lively atmosphere. This ultimate food destination is a treat to foodies.

The Melaka River Cruise is another celebrated place to be when you’re in the city. You get to go for boat rides to witness the awe-inspiring sight of the city, especially at night.

The Melaka street art is also a great opportunity for you to capture moments as the impressive murals act as backdrops for your Instagram feed.

Moving on to more food paradise spots, drop by Hoe Kee Chicken Rice Ball to feast on Malacca’s famous rice ball dish.

For dessert, try out the Mango float royale Malacca — a  fresh mango float with vanilla ice cream. Some other note-worthy delicacies include Roti Canai Kayu Arang, Restoran Capitol Satay, and Klebang original coconut shake.

While indulging in the juicy coconut shake, why not spend the evening at Pantai Klebang  known for its dunes, to enjoy the scenic view of the beach?

If you’re an enthusiastic birdwatcher, then the Melaka Bird Park is perfect as you get to interact with various species of birds for a mere RM10 entrance fee. You can check for discounts on the tickets online or enjoy special discounts if you’re a Mykad holder.


Breakdown of expenses:

  1. A Famosa Fort - Free
  2. Jonker street - Free
  3. Melaka River Cruise - Free (Street Art)
  4. Hoe Chicken Rice Ball- RM10
  5. Mango Float Royale Malacca – RM7
  6. Roti Canai Kayu Arang – RM 6 
  7. Restoran Capitol Satay – RM20
  8. Klebang Original Coconut Shake – RM7
  9. Melaka Bird park - RM10

#4. Langkawi, Kedah


Langkawi, known for its quick getaway, is an attractive tourist spot that can be reached by air or sea depending on the budget you’re considering.

Makam Mahsuri, a famous tourist spot with traditional houses and handicrafts shops, is one that must not be missed when in Langkawi.

Try out the famous Ais Krim Goreng whilst learning the different stories of the Mahsuri tomb.  

With a beautiful coastline, Langkawi boasts of its island hopping experience. If you’re a tropical island lover, then this would be the next best activity for you.

While experiencing different beaches, you get to calm yourself with the magnificent views of nature and even witness the eagle feeding for free.

For a spectacular sunset view, be sure to make your way to Pantai Cenang.

The Skybridge experience, Langkawi cable car or Skycab, 6D Cinema, and Skydome are some fun activities to try in Langkawi.

Also don’t forget to grab the souvenirs, chocolates, and a galore of other low-priced items from the duty-free malls.

Lastly, before you depart from the island, stop by Dataran Lang, the landmark of Langkawi for memorable pictures, which costs nothing.

Image by: @_fanoula (Instagram)


Breakdown of expenses:

  1. Dataran Lang - Free
  2. Pantai Cenang - Free
  3. Makam Mahsuri – RM12 entrance
  4. Ais Krim Goreng at Makam Mahsuri- RM3.50
  5. Nasi Goreng Mahsuri- RM6
  6. Island hopping – RM35
  7. Skybridge - RM6
  8. Skycab + 6D cinema +Skydome - RM43

With all of these tips, you don’t have to worry about going broke during the holiday season. Pick your destination, pre-plan your activities, allocate sufficient budget, and have a whale of a time with your loved ones!

A Taylor’s Sports scholar, Shahmala is a passionate karate athlete and a math whiz with big dreams to inspire everyone. She’s now a Taylor's University alumni who pursued a Bachelor in Actuarial Studies.

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