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Travelling for the holidays? 5 tips for a worry-free trip during festive seasons

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Tips for a worry-free travel during holiday - Great Eastern Life Malaysia

Malaysia is never short of festive celebrations, and what most of us look forward to is the annual reunion with our loved ones near and far. 

But before we all gleefully pile into the car with family in tow, let's take a moment for some essential preparations regardless of whether you’re heading back to a familiar town or travelling to a distant city. By taking these five tips into consideration, you can ensure that your holiday travels are worry-free, leaving you to fully savour the joy of reconnecting with loved ones.

Check 1: Your vehicle’s condition 

Before embarking on your journey, it's essential to ensure your vehicle is in optimal condition for a truly worry-free trip as you'll be spending several hours on the road with continuous driving. 

For a hassle-free travel plan, opt to have your vehicle undergo a 36-point check, including alignment and balancing, by a mechanic. If you prefer a DIY approach, check the basics:1,2

  • Engine
  • Brake pad and oil
  • Tire condition, including the spare tire is in good condition
  • Car fluids (fuel, water, engine oil and wiper fluids)

Bonus tip: Aside from ensuring that your road tax is still active, make sure your motor insurance and personal accident insurance are also up-to-date for that extra level of protection! 

Check 2: Plans for the unexpected or emergencies

Be road-ready for anything with a well-stocked emergency kit that goes beyond breakdowns. Include essentials like: 

  • Reflective triangle 
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Bottled water 
  • Blanket
  • First-aid kit with bandages and pain relievers

Don’t forget to also have road assistance numbers readily available and saved on your phone in case of an emergency. 

Additionally, make sure your vehicle has its dedicated kit, complete with: 

  • Flashlights
  • Spare batteries 
  • Jumper cables
  • Basic car maintenance tools. 

This level of preparedness pays off in case of unexpected situations, preventing you from getting caught stranded.

Bonus tip: Get yourself a reliable motor insurance plan so that you can rest easy knowing that you will be covered in case of emergencies.

Check 3: Traffic updates, driving etiquette & precautions against road bullies

3.1 Traffic updates

Travelling home by car often comes with traffic surprises. Stay informed and stress-free by planning your route with real-time updates. Popular navigation apps, along with local news, can help you choose the smoothest path, avoid peak hours, and discover scenic detours. 

Don't forget to factor in the weather too! Check weather apps or local news for forecasts so you’ll know to drive extra carefully if it rains and pack sunglasses for sunny days. 

3.2 Driving etiquette

A little mindfulness goes a long way regarding safety on the road. Here are the primary driving etiquette everyone should possess: 

(1) Always using the indicator/signal, 

(2) Adhering to speed limits at all times, 

(3) Staying on the left lane if you prefer driving at a slower speed,

(4) Keep safe distance for the car ahead of you

3.3 Precautions against road bullies

At times, you may also encounter road bullies who will drive erratically, tailgate and taunt you on the road. If you do encounter one, don’t let their misbehaviour trigger an aggressive response. Learn to control your reaction towards them, and apologise to them with your hand gesture to help diffuse the situation. Remember to keep calm, avoid any confrontations, and seek help from the authorities immediately.  

Check 4: Home, sweet (and secured), home!

Annual homecoming trips and reunions typically take several days, which also means you’ll be away from home for some time, so make sure to secure your home before leaving. In addition to the routine steps of locking all doors and windows, also confirm that switches are turned off, especially the gas supply if you use a gas cooker. 

While these may sound like common sense, it’s the little things that will help make your travel plans as stress-free as possible. In addition to storing your valuables away in a safe place, take pictures of your valuables and essential documents before departure as well, as these can be invaluable for insurance claims in case of any incidents. 

Bonus tip: If your neighbours are staying put, enlist their help! Seek help to keep an eye out for anything suspicious. With these precautions, you can relax and enjoy your trip knowing your home is safe and sound.

Check 5: Packing family essentials for the road 

Beyond clothes, a well-packed bag can make a world of difference for your family adventure. Think essentials like medications, chargers (don't forget extra cables!), travel-friendly entertainment for the kids (books, games, downloaded movies), and plenty of snacks and water to keep everyone energised. Tailor your list to individual needs and preferences such as dietary restrictions, comfort items, and more. 

Bonus tip: Pack like a pro! Utilise space-saving techniques like rolling clothes or using packing cubes to maximise your luggage capacity. With a little planning and prep, your family trip will be a hassle-free one from start to finish. And if reaching your hometown happens to require travelling overseas, don’t forget to purchase travel insurance before you go to ensure that your vacation will be as worry-free as possible. 

One last check: Getting lots of rest beforehand for energy and focus

Remember, a well-rested driver is a safe driver. Before hitting the road, prioritise getting a good night's sleep and avoid late-night packing marathons. Free up the day before your vacation starts by packing in advance so you won’t be worrying about your packing checklist when you should be getting adequate rest. During the journey, don't hesitate to take breaks if you feel tired or lose focus. A quick refreshment stop or a switch in drivers can do wonders for everyone's energy levels.

Here's to a smooth, joyful homecoming journey filled with happy reunions and delicious memories! Drive safely, prioritise rest, and have a wonderful festive season. Happy holidays from all of us at Great Eastern Life Malaysia!

References

1. https://www.goodyear.com.my/holiday-road-trip-journey

2. https://www.carsome.my/news/item/roadtrip-car-service-checklist

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