8 Amazingly Affordable Destinations For Your Year-End Holidays


Iyesha Maria •  Jun 20, 2019

[Updated 19 Sep 2019]

We're already heading towards the last few months of 2019, and it's time to start planning for our year-end vacations ?

Credit: Giphy

There are plenty of destinations all around the world for an amazing end-of-year holiday! The months of October to December are full of places to visit across various parts of the world ?And the best part? With the right tips and hacks, you can totally cut down on plenty of unnecessary costs, making your trip much more affordable!

We've compiled 8 destinations around the world, with plenty of guides for an awesome end-of-year vacation that won't break the bank ?

1. Seoul, South Korea

Season/Weather during year-end: Autumn - Winter

Temperature average (°C): 9 - 20 in October, 2 - 12 in November, and  -5 - 4 in December

Budget-friendly guides:5 days 4 nights in Seoul under RM1800: the Muslim-friendly itinerary you've been waiting for, Top free Seoul attractions near halal food and 7 budget shopping spots in Seoul for the best bargain

Experience one of the most beautiful autumn places in the world in Seoul. With its foliage of fiery colours of yellow, brown, and red-lined along avenues and promenades, giving it a romantic atmosphere. It definitely takes the top spot for an amazing end-of-year destination ?Autumn peaks by the end of October, so as long as you're there around that time, you'll be having the time of your life in the ultra picturesque season of Seoul.

And some may say Seoul is an expensive destination, it doesn't have to be! With the right tips and hacks, you'll be able to explore the city for under RM1800 for 5 days and 4 nights (though please not flight and accommodation prices may be slightly steeper during the year-end)!

Visiting during different months also allows you to experience different highlights in Seoul. From November till Christmas, the streets of the main towns will be filled with vibrant festive decorations, carolling along with the streets, and the occasional free concerts! Don't miss out on the 20-metre at Seoul Plaza Hotel too ?

Visit the beautiful Gyeongbokgung palace and explore the traditional charm of the palace grounds and architecture, bargain hunt at Myeongdong where all the shopaholics are at or find the most Instagrammable spots such as the impressive bookshelves at Starfield Library.

Don't forget to savour delicious authentic Korean delicacies too! And fret not, there are plenty of attractions that are nearby prayer spaces too ?

2. Osaka, Japan

Season/Weather during year-end: Autumn - Winter

Temperature average (°C): 9 - 20 in October, 2 - 12 in November, -5 - 4 in December

Budget-friendly guide:Conquer Osaka & Nara in 5 days 4 nights with this Muslim-friendly itinerary

Osaka is one of the places to experience a stunning winter wonderland. Spend your days exploring the beautiful snow-covered Osaka castle, snap a photo with the iconic Glico Man, or take a day trip out to Nara and feed the deers ?

Not to mention that it's totally doable to experience Osaka and Nara in 5 days and 4 nights just under RM2500 (though please not flight and accommodation prices may be slightly steeper during the year-end)!

Credit: Patricia Vanelli on Facebook, at Osaka Castle

During winter, Japan's third-largest city is lit up with bright coloured lights and decorations from November 20th till January 9th. Take a stroll through The Midosuji Illuminations where you'll be in awe of a 4km stretch of the street filled with illuminated trees, or the Hikari Renaissance Illuminations where you'll find a 'Wall Tapestry Lighting Show' where you'll find giant projections on the walls of the Nakanoshima Library ?

Credit: Muni Rela Santi on Facebook, at Dotonbori

Not to forget the tasty authentic Japanese food you can find in Osaka too, from mouthwatering yakiniku and deliciously slurpy bowls of ramen ?

Credit: Affaf Musfirah Abd Rani on Facebook, at Nara Park

3.  Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Season/Weather during year-end: Warm tropical weather all year round!

Temperature average (°C): 22 - 32 in October till December

Budget-friendly guide:7 epic getaways in Southeast Asia for a weekend getaway under RM1200, and the only itinerary you'll need for a 5 day, 4 night stay in Yogyakarta

Credit: Eugenia Clara on Unsplash, at Borobudur

Located in the heart of Java is the iconic Yogyakarta, home to the magnificent Borobudur. With its all-year-round summer weather, the things you can do here are limitless! Spend your days exploring the ruins of Borobudur and Prambanan, visit the charming Taman Sari, or make your way to Kalibiru National Park and get some of the most photo-worthy shots deserving of your social media feed ? There are plenty of totally photo-worthy places for you to explore in this region of Indonesia!

Credit: @puspitaindahsari15 on Instagram, at Taman Sari

And don't forget to savour the best Javanese food at Muslim-friendly eateries in the area too. There's plenty for you to feast on!

Credit: Nung Kurniasih on Facebook, at Kalibiru National Park

4. Bangkok, Thailand

Season/Weather during year-end: Sep - mid Oct are Bangkok's rainy months, while Nov-Dec is cool and dry

Temperature average (°C): 25 - 33 in October, 24 - 32 in November, 22 - 32 in December

Budget-friendly guide:10 affordable accommodations in Bangkok under RM160 (near train stations) and Bangkok in 4 days 3 nights: explore the city like a local with this Muslim-friendly itinerary

Credit: @corielui on Instagram, at the Bangkok Grand Palace

Bangkok's coolest and driest season is from late October to February, making it the perfect time to visit this bustling city! There are plenty of things you can do in beautiful Bangkok. Be amazed by the grandeur of the Grand Palace with its intricate details, explore the ruins of Ayutthaya, and find yourself navigating through massive maze-like markets ?

In November, you'll get to witness Loi Krathong, the full moon celebrations. Watch as locals congregate around rivers and lakes to pay their respects to the water goddess by releasing lotus-shaped rafts with candles and flower to float away along the waters, giving a surreal sight of illuminated rivers. Closer to Christmas, the city is transformed with colourful and brightly lit trees and decorated tuk-tuks for a festive cheer

If it’s your first trip to Bangkok, we’ve got you covered with this 4D3N Bangkok itinerary.

Credit: @alma_safar on Instagram, at Talad Rod Fai Train Market

For the shopaholic that's dropping in, Bangkok will be a thrill for you! Fill your days exploring interconnected giant malls and markets, and plenty of them with Muslim-friendly food nearby too ?

5. Langkawi, Malaysia

Season/Weather: Tropical weather all year round

Temperature average (°C): 25 - 31 from October till December

Budget-friendly guide:16 budget-friendly accommodations in Langkawi for an amazing getaway (from RM68)

Credit: @solehahjohari on Instagram, at Cenang Beach

Pristine sandy white beaches, lush green sceneries, and peaks with amazing panoramic views of the island, and plenty of affordable accommodations for an awesome island vacation - what more can you ask for?

Credit: @joaalm on Instagram, at Langkawi Sky Bridge

Once you're done with all your shopping (the island is duty-free!), explore the island and find plenty of activities from beach activities, hiking, cable car rides, or take a dip in the beautiful Telaga Tujuh Waterfall!

Credit: @mariamitsura on Instagram, at Telaga Tujuh Waterfalls

Another main highlight you could check out is the mangrove tour through the reserve forest where you can explore the mangrove via a motorboat through Langkawi's lush forest and into the open ocean. The tour makes multiple stops at a fish farm, local floating restaurant, and even has an eagle feeding session ?

6. Colombo, Sri Lanka

Season/Weather during year-end: Colombo's coolest time of the year,  during the winter months of Nov - Feb

Temperature average (°C): 24 - 31 from October till December

Budget-friendly guide:12 family-friendly destinations with affordable attractions you must experience

Credit: @khathma on Instagram, at Galle Face Green Promenade

If you're looking for a super relaxing vacation, Colombo is the place to be! There's more to this beautiful country than exquisite Ceylonese tea. Families of all ages will surely enjoy this scenic destination ?

Credit: @cherry_marmelad on Instagram, at Colombo National Museum

Enjoy your days exploring the breezy city. Spend a few hours at Galle Face Green Promenade, where many locals and travellers come together for a nice evening stroll by the seafront. Or head to the National Colombo Museum and learn about the country's history - there's plenty to do there!

Another attraction worth visiting is the Gangaramaya Buddhist temple since it's one of the most prominent temples in Colombo. And oddly enough, it’s also the home to a number of vintage cars, Chinese statues, swords, and a bunch of other items you wouldn’t think to find in a temple. The temple architecture itself boasts a mixture of Sri Lankan, Chinese and Thai architecture.

Credit: @gavamags on Instagram, at Gangaramaya Temple

Or if you wish to enjoy something a little bit more fast-paced, head to the Pettah market and experience a local Sri Lankan market at its best! There's no better way to learn about a culture than to find out what they buy and sell at the local market. Find plenty of things to see, from fresh produce to non-food goods such as toys and electronics ?

7. Taiwan

Season/Weather during year-end: Autumn and winter

Temperature average (°C): 22 - 28 in October, 19 - 24 in November, 16 - 21 in December

Budget-friendly guides:5D4N Kaohsiung-Taipei Muslim-Friendly Itinerary (Under RM2,300)

Taiwan is an underrated travel destination that’s just calling to be discovered. With stunning natural scenery, fascinating history, and plenty of urban attractions, there’s so much to do! Plus, the cooler autumn and winter months of October to December post-typhoon season makes it a great time to visit.

There are many places to visit in Taiwan, and we have multiple itineraries to help you out, be it for Taipei and its surrounds in7D6N, or a 5D4n Kaohsiung-Taipei itinerary for under RM2,300 (though please note flight and accommodation prices may fluctuate during the year-end).

Credit: @loganwuj on Instagram, at Cijin Beach

Taipei and Kaohsiung is a great combo to explore some of Tawain's amazing attractions, especially since AirAsia flies direct from KL to both cities! In Kaohsiung, you'll be able to visit attractions such as Cijin Island and Pier-2 Art Center. For Taipei, prepare to be mesmerised by the iconic Taipei 101, beautiful natural landscapes like Yangmingshan Park and historical monuments like Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall.

Don't forget to visit one of Taiwan's most popular attractions - its night markets! Whether you visit Raohe Night Market in Taipei, Ruifeng Night Market in Kaohsiung or Feng Chia Night Market in Taichung, you'll be in for yummy street food and vibrant sights.

8. Bosnia and Herzegovina

Season/Weather during year-end: Autumn - Winter

Temperature average (°C): 5 - to 17 in October, 0 - 8 in November, -3 - 3 in December

Muslim-friendly guide:Uncover the best of the Balkans with this 14 days 11 nights itinerary

Credit: @danstone8 on Instagram, at the Stari Most, Mostar

Easily missed out by many travellers, Bosnia and Herzegovina is one of the most beautiful places in the world to visit ?And visiting during autumn and summer will allow you to explore the quaint old cities easily since there won't be a horde of tourist crowding the streets, unlike during the summer months. And since there are fewer tourists around, accommodation rates tend to drop significantly during this time of the year ?The months of October and December are much cooler too.

Credit: @ikeng on Instagram, at the Kravica Waterfalls

Bosnia is a place full of hidden gems from natural landscapes to charming rustic architecture. Although it isn't an Islamic country, you'll find that the place is rich in Islamic history, which can be seen from its religious diversity and amazing range for Muslim-friendly food ?

Credit: @kamenicaalma on Instagram, at Bascarsija, Sarajevo

Visit the iconic Mostar Bridge, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that will surely leave you in awe, drop by the Kravica Waterfalls for a scenic nature day, or simply roam the streets of Bascarsija ?

And there you have it, 8 totally awesome places to visit for your year-end vacations? Now, it's time for you to start planning your trip, and maybe drag a friend or two along with you for an epic trip that you totally deserve!