Travelling quirks of Malaysians

Favourite destinations of Malaysian travellers.

Here are the habits and preferences of Malaysian travellers. How often and with whom Malaysians travel, how much money they spend, what are the top travel destinations and Malaysians’ approach to organising trips.

Top destinations

The vast majority of Malaysians prefer domestic travels. 74% of surveyed Malaysians declared that they would rather spend their holidays in their country over the 26% that opted for international travel.

The most popular countries to visit were Thailand, Indonesia, China, Singapore and Taiwan. The top local destinations are Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Melaka.

Once in a blue moon

Holiday preferences of Malaysians
Holiday preferences of Malaysians.

The shoulder season is gaining notice by Malaysians with 42% saying they travel during this season. It is a travel period between peak and off-peak seasons with lower fares.

43% chose the high season while the remaining 15% prefer to travel during the budget-friendly low season. An average Malaysian spends RM1,592 per travel.

67% of Malaysians declared that they buy tickets in advance and 50% book their stay ahead of time. 43% claimed their trips last less than a week. 41% said that they spend around a week on holidays and 16% two weeks or more.

One out of three Malaysians goes on holiday once a year and 46% twice a year or more frequently.

Malaysians mostly travel with their family or partner (54% and 33% respectively), 12% go with friends and only 1% prefer to travel alone.

All by myself

Do Malaysians prefer to organise their trips by themselves or with travel agency?
Do Malaysians prefer to organise their trips by themselves or with travel agency?

The majority 88% prefer to organise everything themselves while 12% rely on travel agencies. The main reasons for self-organised trips are the ability to match everything according to preferences (66%) and the cheaper price (33%).

Those who travel with agencies say it saves time (54%) and is more comfortable (23%).

Explore the unknown

Travelling habits of Malaysians
Travelling habits of Malaysians.

Most of them (79%) would rather explore new places and only 21% chose to go back to places they already visited. It turns out that men are more spontaneous in organising journeys.

Most prefer to plan in advance — 67% of men and 74% of women. More than half (61%) chose sightseeing as their favourite activity, followed by lying on the beach (28%) and the least popular — active rest (11%).

50% chose local public transport followed by renting a car (39%) and taxi (10%). As for food, 42% look for places that serve familiar dishes, 39% try local cuisine and 14% take food with them.

Taking a holiday is a way to rest from work. However, sometimes it’s impossible to break free from incoming calls or emails. It turns out that almost half (47%) of surveyed Malaysians are willing to perform job-related tasks during their holidays.

Around the world

How much money people around the world spend on holidays
How much money people around the world spend on holidays.

We asked travellers from 41 countries how much money they spend on average per holiday. An average Malaysian spends RM1,592 per person on a holiday which amounts to USD383.

It places Malaysia quite low in the ranking. Still more frugal travellers come from Indonesia and Pakistan as they spend USD207 and USD191 respectively.

Australians spend the most money on holidays — USD1,505 per holiday. They are followed by Hongkongers and Finns.


This report is based on the survey conducted in April and May 2019 among over 20,000 respondents from 41 countries.

This article first appeared in