Bags packed. Home cleaned. Cars inspected.

It’s time to hit the road for the most awaited Lunar New Year. With long holidays at the front, most of us will be using this opportunity to travel back to our hometown. As appealing, it is, the long, crowded journey back home can be energy draining. So here are a few things that you can do to keep you entertained during your balik kampung journey.

1. Pack up good music

This is a MUST, especially if you’re traveling alone. Radio stations are great if you want to catch up on current road updates, but after one too many time hearing Sam Smith’s Goodbye, you’re going to wish you had your own music to keep you entertained. Most cars have a Bluetooth connecting feature but if yours don’t, you can purchase a USB adapting MP3 player which does pretty much the same thing. Radio frequencies change from state to state, so rather than fumbling with that, you can have your own collection to keep you company during your journey.

2. Turn it down

On the other hand, if you’re traveling with your family, it is better to turn the volume down. It’s not uncommon for families to not see each other sometimes. But, since you’re all packed up in a car with a long journey ahead of you, catch up with their current endeavors. Use this time to bond with them, get to know what’s new in their lives and be a part of their growth.

3. Listen to an audiobook together

This is quite impossible if you have young children with you (they’re more visual creatures) but if it’s just you and your partner (or if your kids sleep like a log), download an audiobook that both you and your partner enjoy and listen to it throughout your journey. A thriller sort of audiobook keeps you entertained and active-mind at the same time (just personal experience) so try to hunt for a mystery book.

4. Watch a movie

Normally this would not be suggested but if you’re in a crawling traffic and if you’re a great multi-tasker, whisk away a movie time. If you have children, this would keep them entertained too.

5. Play fun games

There are a lot of interesting things to spot while you’re on the highway. You may not be able to play ‘I Spy’ but games such as ‘Spot the License Plate’ or ‘Finish the song’ are easy and fun to play while on the road. Plan some fun games to play with your family so that your journey back home won’t be a dull one.

As exciting it is to hit the road during this festive season, it is necessary to be mentally and physically equipped before you begin.

1. Make sure you have plenty of sleep (especially if you are traveling alone).

Falling asleep while driving is one of the main cause of accidents and road kills. So, do yourself a favour and hit the bed early before getting on the road.

2. Take turn driving.

Driving all by yourself in a crowded road (plus the long distance) can be tiring. So, change drivers now and then so you would not wear yourself out.

3. Plan your stops

Plan your R&R and stick to it. Unless you really got to stop for a quick coffee or some leg stretching.

4. Get your kid a car seat

Malaysian has a tendency to neglect children car seats once they could move around. Children should be placed in a proper children seat until the existing seat belt could fit them properly (when they have reached 4 feet 9inches in height and are 8 through 12 years of age). So buckle them up, properly.

5. Fuel up and top-up

Don’t wait until the traveling day to fuel up and reload your touch-n-go card. This could save you ample of time and you don’t have to start the day by queuing up at a fuel station.

6. Get your meals before traveling

Much like your car, your body needs ‘fuel’ as well. Don’t drive in an empty stomach as it could make you sluggish and sleepy.

7. Get your car inspected

Due to busy schedules, we tend to forget our car maintenance. Send your car for inspection and get it thoroughly checked before you start your journey.
Since it is a peak season, the roads are expected to be crowded. As exciting it is to get to your destination quickly, it is also important to get there safely. So be patient and courteous to other drivers. We at MyMotor wish you a safe balik kampung journey and a happy Chinese New Year.