Hey everyone! I am back here in the site-sphere (no more blogphere, *nose-up high*), after 2 months of hiatus. Okay, not hiatus, just that I have to put my head into work and zipping my pocket (no shopping, eating out, whatsoever) as I am saving all my hard-earned money for the year end trip. This is not the RM1000 all-in-trip to Thailand, Indonesia, or whatever but it was my FIRST trip to the United States.
It all happened when the low-cost airline opening up new route to the Hawaii early this year, and being… whoa.. Hawaii is one of my travel-list, my friend and I quickly snapped the cheapest (OK, not the cheapest but second cheapest) tickets on the day they open the route for purchase. We bought it at RM1313.00 per person for return flight ticket (No luggage, food etc yet). WHAT??!? RM1313.00 is cheaper than my flight back to KK for raya this year. I paid for a RM1500.00 return ticket for KUL-BKI. OK, honestly I only paid like RM900 for the ticket the rest, I used my enrich miles. But then again, RM1313 is like winning a lottery! It is a total of 18 hours-ish flight from KUL to HNL, transiting at KIX, Kansai International Airport for 2 hours. 2 hours is doable, and doesn’t require Japan visa when transiting. I managed to buy Hokkaido cake and Royce chocolate at the airport.
Average return ticket price for the said flight is about RM 3000.00-ish, and also depending on the season, etc. We decided to go on the first week of december because it is a shoulder season, and it’s winter time. Shoulder season is good, because most of the hotel rate is considered low, and the place won’t be packed with tourist, as yet. IF you decided to go during, say christmas-new year week, I tell you not, that the flight ticket will kill you, and the hotel rate will go up three-fold or more. Unless, you are filthy rich, and money is not a problem, I reckon you go ahead with your travel during high season.
Second thing to do after the purchase of ticket is applying for US Visa. Malaysian required a visa to enter the US and it’s territory (except for Guam and Northern Mariana Islands)
It is written in the news that, Malaysian may get a waiver for visa by 2018 but, with the current US administration, who knows. Anyway, for now, you need to apply from the US embassy website for a B1/B2 type of visa. B1/B2 is for leisure and business purposes. I am not going to write on how to apply as you can simply go to the website and read the procedure. Do note that you need to pay for the non-refundable visa fee of USD160 (or so) and to schedule an appointment at the US Embassy here for an interview.
The interview itself, is not as scary but, you usually will psycho yourself and getting nervous for nothing. As long as you are able to converse in English, and answering all their questions, you are good to go. Usually questions asked: what is your purpose to go to the US, how long you are going to be there, etc. More of a personal question like, what do you do, what is your profession and things like that. It took me a minute or so, to be more specific, the officer only asked me like, 4 questions? and then she said, congrats and welcome to the US.