Balik kampung, oh oh oh, balik kampung~
by Stanley P, Carrybeans
Chinese New Year is upon us and I’m sure many of us will take the chance to go back to our hometown and visit our family there. But there are some things that you will need to prepare before you hit the road. Read on to know how to ready yourself before a long trip when you balik kampung.
1. Make sure your body is in tip-top condition before driving
I’m sure the excitement of balik kampung might keep you awake at night. However, it is important to get enough rest before going on a long trip, especially if you are the designated driver. If your body is well-rested, you will be more focussed and alert on the road.
And it goes without saying about alcoholic drinks; please don’t drink before driving. Alcohol will affect your cognitive skills (fancy words for your ability to take in and process information) and psycho-motor skills (your hand-eye coordination).
In other words, your driving skills will be affected under the influence of alcohol and it will endanger not just your life, but the lives of those around you.
2. Get your car checked
While it is important prepare your body for any long trip, you should also make sure your car is functioning well and won’t give up on you mid-way. Check the tyres, car fluids, lights, brakes, fuel level and wipers of your car at least one week before your trip. If anything looks questionable, head over to the mechanic.
If you have close to zero knowledge about car car, drive over to your mechanic and ask them to conduct a general check of your vehicle.
3. Plan your journey ahead
Before setting off, remember to prepare for the journey. Make a checklist of important things you need to bring for your trip, know which route you will be taking, and plan your stops so you can take a breather every once in a while. Also, don’t forget to bring plenty of food and water into the car.
If you are taking your children along with you, keep them entertained throughout the journey so they don’t become restless and irritable. Have a portable DVD player along with their favourite movies, download games for them to play or engage them in ‘travel’ games such as adding up the plate numbers of passing cars.
4. Get all things sorted before leaving your house
Before leaving your house, make sure you unplug all electrical equipment and turn off your gas stove. Remember to close all windows and lock the doors. If you are a forgetful person and may worry if you kept anything on, take photos after doing them! That way, you can always refer to the pictures and enjoy peace of mind while in your hometown.
Also, if your neighbours are not going anywhere for the holidays, you can ask them to keep an eye on your house. Exchange phone numbers so you can be contacted, and don’t forget to repay the favour when they balik kampung.
5. Prepare for emergencies
People are often unprepared when they run into some sort of accident or emergency. As they say, sediakan payung sebelum hujan. To prepare yourself from any unfortunate events, you will need a first-aid kit, one spare tyre, car fluids and tools in your car.
It is also important to remember this number in case of emergency: 999. This is the national emergency hotline that connects you to PDRM, Hospital, Fire & Rescue, Civil Defence or Maritime Agencies.
If you are on mobile phone, you could also dial 112, which is the alternative number for 999. However, please don’t believe the rumours saying 112 is more efficient; it’s just a hoax!
These are some of the things you need to keep in mind before going on your balik kampung journey. Please think of your loved ones while driving and don’t take any unnecessary risks. And remember, pandu selamat, jiwa selamat!
Do you know any other tips you want to share? Share with us in the comments below.
If you are up to some solo travelling, check out our pick for best place to travel alone.
Featured Image Credit: Nubia Navarro