Monday, September 10, 2012

PRE-KUALA LUMPUR TRAVEL PREPARATIONS


I’ve never experienced traveling alone. Although I’ve always wanted to try, I didn’t have enough courage to face my fears. Truth be told, one of my major fears in traveling alone is to be abducted by crazy people. Paranoid much? Anyways, last week I gave in to the challenge of traveling alone. I was in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia for a four-day holiday, which ticket and pocket money were my prizes for winning in Brunei’s 2012 I love Brunei National Day Competition (Essay, English, Open Category).

My officemate was supposed to join me in my trip. We already planned that we’ll go together in tourist spots in Malaysia. My officemate is a Malaysian and I was counting on her. Apparently, after I booked my ticket, which I was charged with BND118 for the surcharge, my officemate suddenly backed out. The high airfare ticket was her reason. Okay. As much as I wanted to rebook my flight, well, I couldn’t for there’ll be charges. So with a tight budget and a pinch of courage on traveling alone, I proceeded with my travel. So from being a "travel with a friend" series, I ended up with a solo traveling challenge.

How did I survive with traveling alone? Read on to know more about my preparations.


Weeks before I left Brunei for my Kuala Lumpur trip I started to gather information. I talked with my friends who had been to KL. I asked them the do’s and don’ts. I even consulted them on must-visit places. Okay, I was very eager to list with some "horror stories"; I said to myself, I have to know everything. Additionally, thanks to the Internet, I was able to gather hefty information on tourist spots, bus and train stations, haggling with vendors, and food alleys through blogs. Anton's blog entitled Pusang Kalye was very informative and helpful in my research. Meanwhile, in my Kuala Lumpur trip, I met Riz, the Pinay blogger behind lamyerda.com, which I will talk about in a separate entry. Riz was referred to me by Anton.

Kuala Lumpur Map
I was anxious prior to my KL trip despite the research that I’d been doing. For the past years, I’d never traveled alone. Most of the time, I’m with my family or with my friends. Also, I’d never traveled outside of the Philippines and Brunei, alone. So, my KL trip is definitely a "coming out" in my comfort zone. Positively, I learned a lot in traveling alone. It’s one of my best travels, I must say.

Weeks before leaving Brunei, right after my officemate backed out and I panicked, I chanced upon some blog entries that talk about the joy of traveling alone especially on a young and vibrant age. With those words I got encouraged and so I took a leap of faith.Apart from confidence with my age (hello, 30 na ako!), I counted on my research skills in discovering a foreign land. 
Transit Map
Itinerary was the first thing that I mounted my KL Trip list. I listed all the must-visit places. I checked on Malaysia’s Tourism website. I also browsed a stream of blogs to get personal advices on hovering in Malaysia. I also listed emergency hotlines ranging from police, hospitals and everything that would be of great help in times of emergency. After gathering information I slowly plotted out my days – from arrival, dining out, shopping, settling in, touring place hopping, and up to departing Kuala Lumpur.

Riding trains and buses was also prioritized as I worked on my KL Trip list. With a tight budget, I told myself that I’d frequent riding taxi cabs and zo I downloaded a KL and train stations maps.  Lo and behold, research helped me to save cost on transportation as I rode trains at most travel in and outside the city, which is cheaper compared to getting on taxi cabs. Thanks to free city maps as well! Additionally, I learned that Kuala Lumpur has a “Hop on, Hop off” bus, which charges RM38.00 and serves a main key in touring most of the must-visit places in KL. I tried the Hop on Hop off bus and it was a glorious experience.

I handled booking accommodations via hostelworld.com. Apart from checking per night charges, comments about accommodation and services were considered in selecting the best place to safely stay in. In the end, I booked at Lacomme Budget Inn, which is along Jalang Angsoka and near Bukit Bintang (Shopper’s Haven) and Jalan Alor (Food Haven). Meanwhile, to secure my pocket money, I exchanged my Brunei dollars in Brunei. I also brought some extra Brunei dollars (for emergency purposes). Interestingly, emergency purposes for me is "last minute (at umaatikabong panic) shopping!" Kaloka!

Malaysian Ringgit
With traveling alone in mind, I opted to travel light. Honestly I’m not a light traveler. I prefer bringing a lot of clothes. However, in my KL trip, I chose to allot one to two shirts per day. I also brought shorts for travel. In total, I had a 6 kilos for check-in.

Apart from bringing clothes, I also brought coffee sachets and some skyflakes. In some of the blog entries that I read, one of the tips in traveling alone (backpacker style) is to bring a coffee sachet or some biscuits, which can be used for immediate hunger. Plus, for the coffee, you can just ask warm water in a cup. Amazing, right? In my trip, the biscuits were helpful in filling my tummy on a long walk and bus travel.

After securing everything I need for my KL Trip – Map (check), Itinerary (check), Bag (check), Mobile Phone (Check), Malaysiang Ringgit (Check), and Courage (Check)- I began my journey.

Now, sit back and enjoy I give some tips and tricks in touring Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia!
 

10 comments:

  1. I like your post, you had a great experience. I guess, I cannot to it, travelling on my own. You are so tough. You really had the right decision and I love your story of your travel. Thanks. I had fun.

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  2. Thanks Joan! You just have to prepare and plan your itinerary. It's tough but as you go through the process, you'll get the hang of it and enjoy! =)

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  3. Earvs! You inspired me to pursue my dream to travel alone! I might do the same thing in the near future. :)

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  4. Pam! Go na! Basta ingat lang at i-research well ang bansang pupuntahan! =)

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  5. hi! kasya ba yung 10k for pocket money? :)

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  6. Hi Mr. E, we'll be traveling to Malaysia this August. And I'm so glad na suggest ni Google blogs mo. Babasahin ko lahat about your travel to Malaysia. It will be our first time there so salamat for the details. God Bless

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  7. Hi Anonymous! Sorry for the late reply. It depends on where will you go and where will you stay. Does that 10K include your airfare?

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  8. Hi Ca_Ne! Thanks for dropping by my blog and reading my entries. Enjoy your trip to Malaysia. Surely you'll love it! =)

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  9. sight seeing malaysia provides kuala lumpur tour packages and Malyasia tour packages .if you are looking for hotel accoummodation in malaysia we are also best.we also provides cheap kaula lumpur tour packages and cheap malaysia tour packages.

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  10. Hi,

    Can I ask for your itinerary? I am planning on going solo to KL this coming February and I really have no idea yet :) Thanks!

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