#CuticutiMalaysia: 5 Tips for the Perfect Road Trip Getaway
Exploring Malaysia by land is one of the most exciting and thrilling ways to see the country.
When you’re travelling by plane or by train, there are tons of hidden gems that you’re missing out on. Going on a road trip gives you the flexibility of being able to stop at your own pace to check out a potentially interesting attraction. And in Malaysia, there are many!
It’s also a bonus that Malaysia has some terrific roads, which makes it road trip-worthy. Other reasons why traveling by land is so enjoyable here is because gas is cheaper, most people can speak and understand English, there are lots of rest stops around, and signs are clearly marked.
However, the country is rather large, so a successful road trip requires careful planning ahead of time. There are many things to think about that will save you time, headaches, and money as you explore this beautiful tropical country.
Here are five tips for the perfect road trip in Malaysia:
1. Get yourself travel insurance
Though there are many insurance companies, it’s in your best interest to research for the best travel insurance policy that suits your needs best. One that has a solid reputation will give you peace of mind – allowing you to enjoy the journey even more.
When you’ve decided on a travel insurance plan, don’t make the mistake of leaving your documents behind. As you set out on your road trip, be sure to pack your insurance documents as well as your passport along with other personal items.
2. Keep your car safe
Keep your car safe. Broken windows and theft are just some of the problems you can easily encounter while going on a road trip anywhere. Just like in other parts of the world, you too can be susceptible to car thieves in Malaysia if you aren’t careful. These days, thieves only get smarter, using technology to commit crimes.
However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t outsmart them. Your car should never be kept unlocked, even if it’s for a few minutes in a seemingly remote location. Take safety measures throughout your road trip – check the validity of your car insurance policy – and don’t keep valuables stashed away in your car even if you do lock it.
3. Use traffic apps
Google Maps is always handy when traveling, but if you’re going on a road trip, traffic apps such as Waze or the PLUS App definitely help with navigation. They also keep you updated on the best routes to pass while reducing the risk of taking you through bottle-necked routes.
Traffic apps will be a huge time saver especially if you’re traveling to Malaysia during peak season. This is when toll gates can have extremely long waiting lines, so you’ll want to save as much time as you can. Waze is particularly helpful in Malaysia; with millions of active users, the app provides users with user-sourced, up-to-date information on speed limits, hazards, accidents, and traffic. It’s best known for helping users locate alternative routes even in cities where you’re unfamiliar.
4. Remember the Malaysian way of driving
Malaysia’s roads follow the British way of driving, which means that drivers steer the wheel on the right. Most expressways and highways throughout the country are well-maintained; you’ll even find adequate stops that offer travellers food, gas, and rest.
Stick to the left lane at all times unless you are passing through. If you don’t follow this rule, drivers will end up tailgating you. Though Malaysian drivers aren’t as aggressive as those in other countries, they don’t like to be slowed down on the highway.
5. Read up on meters and tolls
The most convenient way to go on a road trip in Malaysia is to get a Touch ’n Go card, which is available for purchase and topping up at all gas stations. The Touch ’n Go card works by loading money into it, then swiped at the dedicated lanes you’ll see in toll plazas.
When it comes to meters, keep in mind that those in the cities operate from 9 AM to 5 PM, unless they explicitly say otherwise. Meter rates are inexpensive, but it’s still useful to keep this in mind.
Last but not least, keep an open mind while being respectful of the local culture. During your road trip in Malaysia, be prepared to encounter a refreshing array of new customs, people, and experiences. Be mindful of religions and traditions, but don’t forget to extend a smile whenever you meet many of the friendly locals.
Malaysia has so much captivating scenery and fascinating places to visit while you’re on the road, so it’s a shame if you don’t take advantage of going on a road trip. Just keep your eyes on the road and travel with an open mind!