If you ever plan to travel to Umrah, it is highly advisable to engage a travel agency. In Malaysia, there is lot of travel agencies that can help you find the best tour package for your Umrah trip.
Although most of us young people wish to travel on our own, we strongly advise for first timer to engage a travel agency to ensure the smoothness of the trip.
Most of the Umrah Travel Agencies will include services as followings:
- Arrangement for Umrah Visa
- Flight arrangements
- Umrah course
- Learning or education throughout the journey
There are various kind of tour packages that are available to choose from. A single package usually starts from RM 4,950 to RM22,000 per person, including accommodation at the nearest hotel, which is around 50m – 500m from Makkah and around 50m – 500m from Madinah.
Prices differs depending on the distance from Masjid Haram in Makkah or Masjid Nabawi to the hotel. It will be cheaper if the hotel is much further from the Mosque. There are also package as cheap as RM 3,500 if you are willing to walk close to 2km. On average, a tour to Umrah costs around RM 4,950 to RM6,900.
To get the best of tour packages, you might need to do some homework. Most of the common Umrah agencies in Malaysia will be Andalusia, Zahafiz, Triways, Tripfez and many more to be mentioned here. If you ask around, there will be many who would share their personal experience of the travel agencies they have engaged with.
Ramadhan and school holidays are considered peak and will therefore be more expensive.
How to choose a good travel Agency
To protect from the unscrupulous travel agency, you need to check if the travel agency has LKU license. This is a special license by Malaysian government to any travel agency in Malaysia that wish to be a tour operator for Umrah and Hajj. Any company who doesn’t have this license is better to be avoided at all cost. You don’t want to be stuck at the Saudi Arabia immigration later on.
In today’s world, it is easy to check the reputation and expertise of the travel agency. It is very important to know if they are capable of delivering what they offer. Don’t just look at how the website looks like and also the promotion being used. Always ensure the feedback and testimonials before decision making is being made.
Don’t forget to check out the cancellation policies, in case you might need to cancel the trip.
Other things to consider
To save money, the best thing to do is plan in advance. You should start early at least 6 to 12 months in advance. This gives you enough time to look for a good Umrah Travel Agency in Malaysia and thus you can plan based on your budget and also preference.
There are a few things to consider when going to Umrah especially on the expenses bit.
Laundry, tipping, excess luggage, travel insurance and visa application is something not to overlook.
One important question to ask the travel agency: How many times can Umrah be performed? This is a very important question, especially for first timers.
More often than not, the agency will provide 1 Umrah wajib and a few more Umrah sunat. Thus if you are planning to go more than once, you need to consider doing it at your own, which means you will need to spend on your own transportation (Taxi, Van, etc.).
Normally the tours will be aound 10 days to 12 days inclusive of two days travelling. It is advisable to get the copy of itinerary so that you can plan your travelling and also know what to expect when you are with the tours.
Normally, pilgrims will need to do some shopping before going to Umrah unless you have been going there on yearly basis.
Normal items to be purchased are telekung (prayer wear), telekung mini, stockins, jubah, tudungs for the ladies. For the men, normally they’ll buy ihram, white tshirts, pants, socks, tahlul sets, belts etc.
In conclusion, Umrah is one of the best rituals a Muslim can perform. Therefore, for those who has a chance to perform Umrah must always have gratitude and syukur as not many has the chance to perform.
This picture is taken from Google.