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Discover the Best Travel Hacks to Borneo for 2018


November, 2017

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Who doesn’t love to travel? We all love to travel and we crave for the adventure to explore new places in the world. It is in our nature to travel. However, we are looking forward to traveling with less money spent, not overpack, and every trip in Borneo is running smoothly. So, to make our travel to Borneo easier by 2018, here are some of the travel hacks that I would like to share, which is very useful especially to those who plan to travel to Borneo in 2018. 

1) Use incognito window or clear cache/ cookies when online booking

Best Travel Hacks to Borneo for 2018
Choose incognito windows for ticket online booking to avoid increase in price

This is my personal experience, I was told that if we book our flight ticket online, the travel sites could track our visits and increase the pricing rate! Any booking sites will often use cookies to provide users a more personalized experience. So, if a user searches multiple times for a certain flight, the price rate will be higher than before. Unbelievable but it’s true. Hence, private browsing or clearing cache/cookies in the browser could save us some money to purchase flights or hotels at the best price. This has saved me about MYR 80 when I was purchasing my flight ticket to Kuching last June.

2) Don’t forget to inform your preferred bank before travel

Best Travel Hacks to Borneo for 2018
Don’t forget to inform your bank to unlock the card for international transactions

Whenever we travel, we always thought about travel with safety. However, we tend to forget one small but crucial step to do before travel abroad, which is to notify our bank. Imagine if we forget to notify our bank before traveling to Borneo, the bank will immediately block the debit/credit card and shut our account when they detect transactions in an unfamiliar location. Oh, bummer! This is because the bank is actually protecting us from identity theft. So, it is always a good idea to inform our bank before traveling to Borneo and prevent from getting a headache if we find out our cards are canceled or blocked.

3) Travel Insurance is a MUST!

Best Travel Hacks to Borneo for 2018
CFill in the Travel Insurance application form before travel to Borneo

Before traveling, it is recommended to get travel insurance. Travel insurance is an essential part for any travel plans, as it helps to ensure our safety, well-being, and financial security from any unforeseen event happening before depart or while away from home. Apart from that, getting travel insurance will provide us some peace of mind for it can let us reimbursed for any losses and expenses, especially to cover our delayed, stolen, lost or damaged luggage.

4) Bring own water bottle

Best Travel Hacks to Borneo for 2018
Bring own water bottle for traveling

Keep the water bottle empty and put into a carry-on backpack, fill the water into the bottle after passing through a security check. Having done this can eventually help us to save some money rather than buying bottled water at the airport vendors, which isn’t cheap. This is a lesson that I have to keep in mind while traveling internationally, as I always purchase bottled water at the airport vendor and it really cost loads (Oh snap!). Some say we can also bring the water bottle and pass through the airport security if we freeze it! Good tips, but maybe we can try it soon (hahaha…) Moreover, bringing our own water bottle not only saves the environment, but it also saves us from spending money over buying mineral water and keeps us hydrated at all times.

5) Use Google Maps to look for interesting places in Borneo

Best Travel Hacks to Borneo for 2018
Lookout for some interesting places in Kota Kinabalu city, Sabah Borneo

While traveling in Kuching, Sarawak Borneo, Google Maps was my lifesaver to go around the area. Just download the Google Maps application to mobile phone and it can show some of the destinations for food, bars or shopping malls. Apart from that, I have read in one article that we can use Google Maps offline in order to reach any specific destination that we want. We only need to download the destination in Google Maps, we can simply use it to navigate us to the destination, without using any internet access. How cool is that? This can help us to save from spending extra charges on mobile data and data roaming while traveling in Borneo!

6) Ask locals while traveling in Borneo

Best Travel Hacks to Borneo for 2018
Get to know and spend time with Borneo locals

No matter if we are on a short break or a long trip in Borneo, there’s no better way of getting to know Borneo than talking to the locals. Locals may know some of the off-the-beaten-places in Borneo, the do’s and don’ts, great places to eat, and more. In a nutshell, the locals are the best tour guide anyone could ask for! As a Sabahan, I will not know any best places to go in Sarawak Borneo. Hence, asking the locals during my Kuching trip really helped me a lot to know some of the hotspot places in Kuching. Apart from getting to know some of the places in Borneo, we can also create friendship through talking with locals. So, don’t get shy and start to mingle!

Want to know some of the Sabah Borneo’s colloquial terms – “Bah”? Click here.

7) Look for some local activities in Borneo

Best Travel Hacks to Borneo for 2018
A glimpse of tamu or local market view in Donggongon

There is no better way to get the feel of Borneo than taking public transportation. Skip the flight, let’s get on the bus or a van to go Sandakan from Kota Kinabalu city. This is a perfect opportunity to get a glimpse into the life of the locals, as well as appreciate the scenic view along the way. An opportunity to experience local’s daily routine is not something that is commonly offered to any tourists. Hence, a tour to the “tamu” or local market is the best way for us to mingle around with the locals and a perfect chance to scoop some special items that can serve as a memento or souvenir in our Borneo travel.

8) Bring Power Bank/ Portable Charger while traveling in Borneo

Best Travel Hacks to Borneo for 2018
Bring powerbank to charge your phone while traveling in Borneo

Smartphones have quickly replaced the need for several gadgets and most people ( including us) would always have a phone attached to our hand. Having a smartphone could help us a lot, especially when we are travelling. A smartphone can be a backup camera, if we forget to bring our camera, to capture the moments in our Borneo travel. Apart from that, it can provide us the travel information or places of interest in Borneo too. Unfortunately, using smartphone most of the time could consume a lot of battery. A battery running flat while traveling is not fun which we all can probably relate to, especially when spending a long time on a train/plane/bus/car and we might not have any access to a power outlet point to recharge our phones. Therefore, bring a power bank / portable charger while travel in Borneo, so it can give our phone extra juice to last the day.

9) Rubber Shoes or Adidas Kampung for jungle trekking

Best Travel Hacks to Borneo for 2018
Can you see the four yellow-stripes on the shoes, which made it similar to Adidas brand

Although the name itself seems weird to all of us, these shoes are the best when going for trekking expedition in Borneo Jungle. It is made in Malaysia and has been used by generations of locals, especially among rubber tappers and estate workers. Apart from that, rubber shoes or Adidas Kampung are 100% made out of rubber, it is cheap, easy to carry, fully water-resistant and easy to dry, making it even more useful when using it to venture into Borneo Jungle that is constantly wet and humid. Wearing rubber shoes/ Adidas Kampung could provide us a good grip for trekking, its thin soles also give us a good reflexology to the feet especially trekking on a muddy terrain, river crossing or mountain climbing. Therefore, to avoid any unexpected injury, it is best to wear the rubber shoes/ Adidas Kampung for any trekking expedition in Borneo Jungle.

10) Bring a neck pillow or inflatable pillow for Borneo travel

Best Travel Hacks to Borneo for 2018
Sleeping comfortably with neck pillow during flight

Going for a long-haul flight or long bus ride will make us feel uncomfortable in our trip, especially when we are trying to get a good rest throughout the journey. The uncomfortable seats, cramped conditions, unyielding hard armrest, and head banging against the window shade, eventually leads to a restless situation (Not forgetting, a sore and stiff neck) in our trip. Hence, bring a neck pillow or an inflatable pillow. At first, I admit bringing a neck pillow for a trip can be troublesome, because it took some space in my backpack and feeling dorky ( hahaha…!), but it actually helped me a lot to feel comfortable on a long-haul flight. An alternative to neck pillow would be the inflatable pillow, where we can just easily put it inside the backpack when not in use. I can say that neck pillow or inflatable pillow is the perfect travel companion to any travelers. Not only can it make us feel comfortable in our plane flight or bus trip, it can be as our pillow when camping in Borneo, in a hostel dorm that doesn’t have pillows, or airport floor.

11) Ziplock Bags 

Best Travel Hacks to Borneo for 2018
Keep your things dry in ziplock bags

Experience the exotic beach getaway in Borneo can be remarkable fun, but keeping the important things, such as camera, passports, or extra clothes dry would be very hard. Hence, use ziplock bags. It is truly a lifesaver when going for a beach getaway in Borneo. Apart from that, ziplock bags could help us to save an amount of packing space and keeping any liquids from leaking all over to our other belongings. In addition, using ziplock bags to keep your gadgets or miscellaneous items dry is the cheapest way!

12) Check out some of the travel hacks for packing in Buzzfeed

I love watching Buzzfeed especially getting ideas or coolest travel hacks, such as:

  • Roll clothes instead of folding to save space
  • Use dryer sheet in the luggage to keep our smelly clothes smelling fresh
  • Put underwear and socks in shoes to save space
  • Dirty shoes, rather than put in a plastic, wrap it with a shower cap to prevent other stuff in the luggage getting dirty
  • If you’re bringing some accessories such as necklaces, it’s best to wrap it flat with a plastic wrap to avoid it from getting tangled
  • Use a plastic straw to fill shampoo, conditioner, sunblock, and others. Don’t forget to label it!

I hope these travel hacks that I provide will help ease your burden before traveling! Trying to decide whether to backpack in Sabah Borneo? Read our tips for backpacking!

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