It is one of the busiest land crossings on Earth with good reason. Those who brave the crawl from Singapore to Malaysia are rewarded with an excursion filled with shopping, mouthwatering meals, budget-friendly back rubs and more. But just the thought of spending hours in trickling traffic is enough to put off even the biggest of penny-pinchers.
Instead of dreading every stagnant second in your car, here is a list of things you can do to help make your journey more entertaining and productive.
Before taking off
This is probably the most important part of your journey as poor preparation could lead to further delays and frustration. As the length of your stay could vary, this list only focuses on the journey. Here’s what you’d want to check:
- Ensure that your fuel tank is at least 3 quarters full (so that they don’t turn you away at the border)
- You’ve got your required documents (Passport, driver’s licence, etc.)
- Your phone is fully charged
- You’ve got a fully charged power bank
- You’ve got cables and a car phone charger
- You’ve settled your business(es) in the toilet
- You’ve some substantial snacks (like sandwiches or onigiris)
- You’ve got your drinks ready
- You’ve downloaded the Netflix videos and audiobooks beforehand
Things to note
As a safety precaution, it’s important to not use your phone while driving. Most of these activities should only be done when traffic is heavy and your vehicle is moving very slowly. When talking on the phone it is also good to remember that data used in Malaysia (including some parts of the border) counts as roaming, to avoid exorbitant costs, download videos and audiobooks beforehand.
Catch up with a loved one
Talking to a loved one can significantly reduce stress and make you feel warm and fuzzy inside. Instead of getting triggered by the next Vellfire to cut you, take the time to catch up with ma, pa or even a friend. Not only will you feel better, the one receiving the call is likely to be just as delighted. Remember to make the call BEFORE you cross the border to avoid roaming charges. And always use speaker mode or a handsfree device.
Watch some drama
Time flies when you’re following some drama series on Netflix. To avoid poor connectivity and data draining, download the episodes you want to watch beforehand. It’s important to have a reliable phone mount that keeps the road within your vision. Also, remember to put your phone away or switch back to Maps as traffic clears up.
Learn something new
Throughout the pandemic, you may have heard of Skillshare, if you haven’t it’s basically a Netflix like platform that is filled with tutorials. Here you’ll find a vast library of video tutorials by top creators from around the world. Videos are downloadable, so remember to get the ones that appeal to you beforehand. Who knows, you might even acquire the skills to become a travel influencer by the end of your trip.
Listen to a book
If you’d rather keep your eyes on the road, a less attention demanding suggestion would be to listen to audiobooks. Apps like Storytel and Scribd offer a great selection of audiobooks that will keep you engaged while driving. Audiobooks are also less data hungry, making it an excellent alternative if you forgot to download your Netflix favourites.
Plan your itinerary
If you are blindly heading into Malaysia without knowing where to go, you can always count on Google for suggestions. Right from the Google Maps app, just call out “hey Google” and you can pretty much ask anything related to Malaysia like “where can I find the best Dim Sum in JB?” or “direct me to the nearest place for a foot rub”
Thanks to apps like Spotify, YouTube Music and Apple Music, you can sing to your heart’s content while on the road. You never have to worry about neighbours telling you to “shaddap la!”, or having to fork out money just to share your vocal skills at karaoke bars.
Thanks to technology, every moment can be an opportunity to learn, be entertained and stay connected. With that in mind, stressful situations like traffic jams are no longer as bad as they seem. Looking for a better phone to accompany you across the border? Upgrade for less by getting a high quality second-hand phone from Compasia.sg