Hari Raya is all about spending quality time with family and friends while eating delicious food. It is also the time of year when the annual balik kampung exodus occurs, increasing traffic on the roads.
Here are a few tips to make your balik kampung road trip less stressful this year.
1. Follow Travel Time Advisory (TTA) Schedule
PLUS advises highway customers to follow TTA to avoid congestion or expect longer travel times during the Hari Raya Aidilfitri festive season, which runs from April 29 to May 9, 2022. The TTA’s purpose is to distribute traffic and avoid the convergence of traffic entering the highway at the same time on major highway stretches, toll plazas, and rest areas, thereby reducing congestion.
2. Service Your Car
If a service is due soon, schedule it three to five days before your trip. Check tyre pressure, water or coolant, engine and transmission oil, and battery water on the day of your trip (if you are not using a non-maintenance battery). Air conditioner maintenance can help you save money on gas.
3. Install GPS Application
Even if you think you ‘know the way,’ it’s a good idea to have a backup plan in case you take a wrong turn. You don’t need to buy expensive GPS devices; simply download free apps like Waze to help you navigate your journey. Bring a travel charger or power bank when using your smartphone as a GPS device to ensure your phone’s call and data plan is sufficient to stay connected in case of an emergency.
4. Pack Light Snacks and Drinks
This is crucial, especially if you’re travelling with children. You can’t avoid the possibility of a traffic jam no matter how early you leave. When travelling for very long journeys (e.g., five hours or more), make sure to stock up on travel snacks. If at all possible, avoid packing salty foods, as this will necessitate more frequent bathroom breaks. Homemade sandwiches, crackers, carrot sticks, grapes, and apple slices are excellent low-cost snacks for a four to five-hour journey. To keep the food fresh, store it in resealable bags or a cooler box. It’s also critical to stay hydrated on your journey, but make sure to plan your bathroom breaks carefully.
5. Save on Petrol and Toll Expenses
The prices of petrol and tolls are beyond our control, but we can try to reduce our expenditures in both areas to maximise our returns by doing it with the right cards. When you use the right card for your needs, you can earn significant cash back, reward points, and other value-added benefits when you buy petrol. It’s also worth noting that the way you drive can help you get the best gas mileage. Driving cautiously, adhering to speed limits, and removing unnecessary weight can all contribute to a more efficient fuel economy for your journey.
6. Check the Essentials
Safety is always prioritised. Don’t just pack your belongings and leave. Make sure to keep all of your valuables in a secure location. All windows and doors should be locked. Unplug all electrical outlets and turn off all appliances. Before you leave, notify a neighbour or close friend that you will be away so they can keep an eye on your house.