Finally my long and never-ending travelogue has comes to an end. I can't believe it took almost 4 months for me to blog and complete My 2018 Autumn in United Kingdom & Europe posts where I covered 4 amazing countries - United Kingdom, Portugal, Spain and Italy and also cities such as London, Porto, Lisbon, Barcelona, Madrid and Milan.
Summary of My Trip Itinerary
Kota Kinabalu → Kuala Lumpur
Kuala Lumpur → Muscat → London
London → Porto
Porto → Lisbon
Lisbon + Sintra
Lisbon → Barcelona
Barcelona → Madrid
Madrid + Segovia
Madrid + Seville
Madrid → Milan
Milan → Muscat
Muscat → Kuala Lumpur
Kuala Lumpur → Kota Kinabalu
Flying With Oman Air
What brought us to this trip is because I happened to stumble upon shockingly cheap deal by Oman Air. A round-trip from Kuala Lumpur to London and exit Milan for the cost of RM1,800 which is certainly so hard to resist with this incredibly cheap fare. Coincidentally at the same time, Malindo Air was having promotion where a round-trip from Kota Kinabalu to Kuala Lumpur for as low as RM225. In total, the whole fare cost us RM2,025 only. That's completely a great steal!
It's my first-time flying with Oman Air, a national carrier of Oman based at Muscat. Normally I don't have any expectations towards any airlines I will be flying with cause for me, my priority is always the fare itself. Honestly speaking, I'm not loyal to any airlines. As long as the fares offered by any airlines are cheap and great bargain, immediately I book without any second thought.
Oman Air's Amenities & Services
- For economy class passenger, each is entitled to check-in luggage per-bag weight of up to 23 kg.
- Access a full range of complimentary in-flight entertainment and in-seat USB ports for passenger to charge their electronic devices.
Visa & Currency Exchange
Visa is not required for Malaysian passport holders to visit these four countries. However, this will change from 2021 onwards. Malaysians will need to apply for an ETIAS visa waiver, which will be obtainable through the online application system. For more info, you can check out here.
Before embarking for the trip, it's advisable to print out your return ticket cause I noticed that UK immigration clearance seems to be strict and tight. Some of them will request to have a look at your return ticket.
As for currency exchange, I believe all of you should know by now;
United Kingdom - British Pound (£)
Portugal, Spain & Italy - Euro (€)
and these currencies shouldn't be that hard to find cause it can be found in majority money changers.
For Kota Kinabalu area, most of the times I exchanged at Wisma Merdeka Mall or E-Globex at Jalan Pantai.
I don't normally use any credit or debit cards when I'm travelling but for this round, I decided to give BigPay card a try. And guess what, I'm so in love with this card for its flavourable and best exchange rate. You can read out my post here: 5 Reasons Why You Should Apply BigPay Card.
I always made reservations and booked tickets in advance especially for airfare, train and bus tickets prior to my trip in order to ensure that my trip goes well and stress-free during the journey. In addition, the earlier you book, the cheaper deal you'll get.
Here are the reservations I made to get from one city/country to another:
- London to Porto - Flying with RyanAir.
- Porto to Lisbon - Took Comboios de Portugal train.
- Lisbon to Barcelona - Flying with TAP Portugal.
- Barcelona to Madrid - Took Renfe AVE high-speed train.
- Madrid to Milan - Flying with RyanAir for the second time cause it's pretty cheap.
Apart from means of transportation, there are several top-tourist attractions I booked earlier too in order to avoid the insanely crazy long queue. For your information, Portugal and Spain are the most visited European countries recording more than 20 million visitors per year. Therefore plan your trip ahead and don't be like us where we didn't buy our tickets in advance for Royal Alcazar and causing us to queue for more than an hour under the rain.
The most common question I always got; SIM card vs pocket WiFi - which will I recommend? I experienced both and from my own personal experience, I would definitely recommend to get prepaid SIM card better. Even my friends are agreed with me on this cause it's more convenient and hassle-free than renting pocket WiFi. Most of the times I got my prepaid SIM card from Hello1010. So far I used in over 10 countries and I don't have any problem with it.
Recap of My Travelogues
Day 2 - 4: London
A Repeat Trip To London With Oman Air
Day 5 - 6: Porto, Portugal
2 Days in Porto
Day 7 - 8: Lisbon, Portugal
Keep Safe & Stay Vigilant When Visiting Lisbon
Day 8: A Day Trip To Sintra from Lisbon
Pena Palace of Sintra
Day 9 - 11: Barcelona
Adeus Lisbon and Hola Barcelona
Park Guell - Gaudi's Iconic Park in Barcelona
La Sagrada Familia - Gaudi's Unfinished Masterpiece
Barcelona's Other Top Attractions
Day 12 - 15: Madrid
Farewell Barcelona! And Our First Day In Madrid
A Day Trip To Segovia From Madrid
A Day Trip To Seville - Royal Alcazar & Plaza de Espana
Fourth Day In Madrid - Our Last Day In Spain
Day 16 - 17: Milan The Last Stop - Milan of Italy
Total Expenses For 17D15N Trip
I have shared most of my total spending in each individual post. Hence for this post, I only select and highlight those essential cost for your quick reference.
Oman Air KL – London – Milan – KL
RyanAir London – Porto
TAP Portugal Lisbon - Barcelona
RyanAir Madrid – Milan
Porto – Lisbon
Barcelona – Madrid
Madrid – Segovia – Madrid
Madrid – Seville – Madrid
Livraria Lello of Porto
Pena Palace of Sintra
La Sagrada Familia
Royal Alcazar of Seville
12GB Travel Prepaid Sim Card
For our accommodations, it costs an average of RM150 per night throughout the 15 nights. Well at least it still stick to my initial budget of RM150 per night cause it seems to be pretty impossible to find the one with the budget of RM100 or even below. Bear in mind I tagged my mom along for this trip, therefore my budget allocation will be slightly higher than my own solo trip.
CITIES & COUNTRIES
NAME OF THE ACCOMMODATIONS
NO. OF NIGHTS
London, United Kingdom
Holiday Villa Inn
HM – Bonjardim Duplex Charming Apartment
LX Center Guesthouse
Hostal LK Barcelona
Apartmamentos Moratin Las Letras
iH Hotels Milano Ambasciatori
London – 3 days
Porto – 2 days
Lisbon & Sintra – 2 days
Barcelona – 3 days
Madrid – 4 days
Day Trip To Segovia
Day Trip To Seville
Milan – 2 days
£1 = RM5.47
€1 = RM4.86
And that's pretty sum up my 17D15N trip to United Kingdom and Europe last year.
Next travelogue - perhaps Japan, Macau, Sri Lanka, New Zealand or Vietnam maybe. Too many backlogs but too little time.