Cheap and full of cheer

Rejoice, oh disorganised work slaves! Bargains still abound for those who don't book their summer holidays a year ahead.


Everything about Malaysia screams "bargain" and it's all done so nicely. Getting to Kuala Lumpur is cheap, thanks to respectable Malaysian budget airline AirAsia, and the shopping is fabulous, with Chrissy sales making it even better (psst, and heaps cheaper than Singapore). You can snap up a city five-star hotel for as little as $100 a night but for a cheap, authentic experience, try a home stay in a kampong (village) house with a local family, eating home cooking and experiencing the culture. The government-monitored initiative costs from $27 a day. In January, the holiday islands of Penang and Langkawi are starting to dry out from their November deluge but new hotels are keeping the competition fierce - check out the new Four Points by Sheraton on Langkawi and Penang's new Hard Rock Hotel.
airasia.com, go2homestay.com, tourismmalaysia.com.au.

Others on the budget radar include Singapore, Tahiti, Hawai'i, Cambodia, New Zealand and our own Cairns is on sale, too.
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