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How to Prepare for a Family Road Trip | Safety Tips and Essentials

DirectAsia Insurance_Asian family sitting at the boot of their car with the mother holding a mini guitar while all are looking at one direction

A Handy Guide to Preparing for a Family Road Trip from Singapore

Reading time: 6 mins

Going on a road trip is a fantastic bonding experience for you and your family; it is time to get to know each other and make memories. You want to do it right - knowing the tips for going on a road trip makes all the difference whether your road trip will be a disaster or a memorable one.

This article will explain all you need to enjoy a successful road trip from Singapore to Malaysia.

Most families here in Singapore commonly travel to Malaysia for their road trips, this is what this article is all about. But you can also use some of this tip for road trips to neighbouring countries too.

Things to Do Before A Family Road Trip

Start Planning for Your Road Trip

To enjoy your trip, plan it to the tiniest detail. Do thorough research about places to visit in Malaysia. Find answers to questions like: Where is good food sold? Are they suitable for kids? Are they suitable for pets (if you have any)? Join forums to know more about your destination.

Plan how long you’d like to go on this trip. Pick the month for your road trip; it should be a time when you and your partner can take time off work, and the kids are on vacation.

Start Saving Towards Your Road Trip

Road trips are not cheap; on average, the cost of a 7-day road trip with family can be quite high. This might cover things like vehicle rental if you don’t already own one,-accomodations, food, fuel and some other miscellaneous expenses. It is smart to set aside some money each month towards your road trip.

Get Everyone Excited Towards the Road Trip

Let your kids and partner get excited about this trip; talk about all the fun stuff you all are going to do together, along with some safety or family rules to adhere to on the trip. When you have picked a date, start a countdown to the day of the road trip. This will keep everyone optimistic about what is coming.

Plan the Itinerary

What is a road trip without one? Here you and your partner list down all the places including stopovers that you will be visiting. It will keep you organized and stress-free. but it also helps to keep things organized and chaos out of the way.

Let your kids share ideas where they’d like to see or visit as you all travel along. This helps to manage everyone’s expectations (especially the children). It reduces the amount of stress you might encounter on your trip.

Malaysia has a lot of beautiful destinations and is kid-friendly. You can be certain it will be a memorable experience for the entire family. 

Pack Everything You Need

The idea is to only pack the important things; nothing too much or too few. Pack enough to make everyone happy. Travel neck pillow, favourite blankets, favourite toys, some entertainment downloaded into their mobile devices or entertainment system for the kids (this should be a last resort thing for the kids). Or get them a kiddy map of Malaysia for them to follow along on the trip.

Take along your travel passports, and also some loose cash in hand to pay for tolls as you go on your trip.

Pack your road trip essentials: toothbrushes, pyjamas, underwear, etc. for the nights you stay in an accomodation.

Take along on the trip a First Aid kit that contains medication for car sickness, headaches, slight fever, and treatment for bruises for the kids.

Bring along some mess-free snacks like crackers and biscuits, lots of water (you have to keep hydrated), and some fruits, too.

Also, to make your travel as seamless as possible, get a Touch ‘N’ Go card at immigration checkpoints or petrol kiosks on your way into the country.

Learn Malaysian Rules

Malaysia might be a neighbouring country, but just like any other country they have certain rules and regulations that govern their country. Read all about them.

In 2016, Malaysia introduced the Vehicle Entry Permit scheme, which mandates all vehicles travelling into the country to get this permit.

To apply for this permit, click here. They can fine motorists that do not get this permit a penalty as high as RM300.

Get A Malaysian Sim Card or activate Roaming Services

Chances are your Singaporean sim cards will not work in Malaysia, unless you have a roaming plan on your sim card. Do research on roaming plans that would fit your budget or simply get a sim card in Malaysia from roadside kiosks. It is advisable to keep in touch with your folks back in Singapore and have internet access for emergencies.

Have Your Insurance Coverage Policy Handy

Nothing gives peace of mind than knowing that you have measures set up against contingencies, especially when you are on a long road trip. Anything can go wrong during a trip. The kids can fall ill; your partner might need to get an emergency appendectomy. Anything can happen.

Take along all your insurance coverage policies, health, vehicle, and even travel insurance (Yes! Get travel insurance, it is worth it).

Get A Large Car

A road trip takes hours and hours on end, so you need a large car that provides enough legroom for comfort. It takes more than 4 hours to drive through 360km. It is an awful lot of time for your kids if this is their first time.

You might already have car insurance, ask your insurance agency if your policy covers your vehicle if it takes trips out of Singapore.

A large family car is important for everyone’s comfort and enough room to pack stuff for the trip. If you do not already own a large family car like a sienna or a van, you can rent one from these car-renting companies like Drive.sg, Tribe Car, and more.

Start Your Trip Early and Bright

For the safety of everyone, it is important to begin your trip when everyone is well-rested and ready to start the day. If your trip is longer than 5 hours, starting your journey at 6 o’clock is ideal.

Take A Lot of Stops for Rests and Stretches

Stopping after every 2-hour trip is not only important for your kids to stretch and play around and for you to rest if you are the driver or switch up with your partner to drive. Resting is crucial for you and your family to enjoy your trip. Make reservations with hotels and relaxation spots as you travel.

Observe Safety Precautions

What is family road trip advice without some family road trip safety tips? Do a thorough check of your vehicle before you start your journey. Check the brake oil, engine oil, lights, battery, and ensure their conditions are excellent.

Ensure you install a car seat for toddlers, and everyone is wearing a seatbelt. Have a paper map handy in case there’s no network connection to navigate with your phone. It is also crucial you share your itinerary with a friend or family member. Share your ETA to each destination; check-in with them from time to time about your location.

Remember to Take A Lot of Pictures and Have Fun

The reason for going on a road trip is to bond and make memories. You might not have the time to do it another year; life has its uncertainties. Enjoy the moments. Bring along power banks to keep your phone and camera devices powered, so you capture all the moments.

A Quick Getaway!

There you have it: our 13 tips to prepare for a family road trip from Singapore to Malaysia. There are a lot of cool places to see in Malaysia. A quick search will give you ample information about places to have fun.

Remember to stock up on drinks and snacks when you are ready to go back home. Remember to buy some souvenirs to bring back home, because sometimes it is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.