The thought of "Balik Kampung" can both be exciting and a nightmare at the same time. Most of the time, the nightmare happens during the journey home. It could be the bad traffic, car problems, restless children or more.
To avoid the unnecessary stress, you should plan ahead. Even a few minutes of preparation can cut down your stress significantly. Here are our tips for a stress-free drive to your kampung.
Choose an unusual time to travel
Depending on how far away your hometown is, choosing the right time can make a HUGE difference in travel time. Say you begin your commute at 4 am, the likelihood of traffic is much lower than travelling at 10 am. The trade off is having to wake up (and to wake your kids) at this unusual time. But if you can cut down 2-3 hours from a stressful journey, it is definitely worthwhile.
Be sure to get enough rest as you will be driving in darker than usual conditions and a long journey without enough sleep can be dangerous.
Be aware of your energy levels
To ensure the safety of your drive, get enough rest before taking off. If you start to feel drowsy on the road, make it a point to stop by any rest points for a short nap. Coffee and energy drinks may also help you stay alert on the road so remember to have a drink with caffeine available.
Accessorise for your drive
You do not want to be caught using your phone while driving so make sure you have your accessories ready before taking off. A phone holder is helpful to ensure that you have your navigation assistant within view.
You should also consider getting a phone charger that works with your car so that your phone does not run out of battery during your drive. Power banks are also great to have for your passengers who may not have planned ahead.
Having the right apps can make a big difference in your drive home.
Firstly, you’ll want to get the right navigation app. Depending on what you’re used to, it could be Google Maps or Waze. You can also use your navigation app to plan your journey by picking out convenient rest stops along the way.
Next, you will also want a good music app. This could be Spotify, Apple music or YouTube music. Put together a playlist that will elevate the festive mood. Not only will this alleviate stress, it is also great for family bonding.
Finally, we have the Touch ‘N Go app. This app is more for your pre-trip planning as you do not want to get caught at a toll booth with not enough credit. With the Touch ‘N Go app, you can monitor the available credit in your Enhanced Touch ‘N Go card or even top-up your RFID tag. Having this app available will surely help you get some peace-of-mind.
Prep your vehicle
Having a car breakdown on the road is not only a horrible scenario but a safety hazard as well. Avoid this by making your regular checks. Make sure the tyres are balanced and aligned, there is more than enough fuel for the journey and you’ve got all your emergency road assistance contacts ready.
Snacks and drinks
As traffic can be unpredictable, you do not want to be caught in a jam when hunger strikes. Preparing snacks beforehand also gives you more control over the type of foods you consume. Avoid unhealthy snacks that will keep you hungry such as potato chips but opt for filling, nutritious snacks like sandwiches or wraps. Instead of sugary drinks, go for water, tea or even UHT milk that will keep you satisfied for longer.
Keep the kids busy
No driver wants to deal with crying children on the road. To avoid this, you’ll want to keep your kids distracted and comfortable. Because you’ll be using your phone as your navigational device, it’s good to have something like an iPad or a second phone to keep the kids entertained. Download any videos beforehand to avoid data drainage.
You’ll also want to ensure there are enough cushions for your passengers, allowing them to fall asleep and leave you unbothered as you drive.
Thanks to technology, long drives are less stressful and safer. With proper planning, you can look forward to your next trip home and celebrate Raya in the best of moods. With Shop.CompAsia, you can get all the tech you need without having to spend big amounts of money. See what awesome Raya deals are running and get the second-hand device of your dreams by browsing our e-store now!