With Chinese New Year holiday just around the corner, I am sure you are probably trying to plan your Balik Kampung trip -and possibly getting a headache out of it.
This is peak travel season, and going anywhere out of town will be a hectic affair.
If not properly planned, you could be looking at spending quite a big amount just to return to your hometowns.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at a few ways you can save some on your balik kampung trip.
1. Consider Carpooling
If you’re from out of town, you probably know a few buddies that are from the same hometown as you.
They can be a housemate, a colleague, or even mutual friends who intend to head back during the upcoming holidays.
Suggest the idea of carpooling with them, and offer to split the cost even if they don’t live in the same city.
Say you are off to Penang while your friend is headed to Ipoh, see if they’re open to the idea of taking a slight detour to drop you off.
Be sure to chip in a little extra as basic etiquette.
2. Identify Optimal Driving Times
The traffic conditions a week before CNY will most likely be horrendous.
If you are driving, do consider heading out during non-peak hours – either in the early mornings or even late at night.
This way, you are less likely to be moving along with the majority of Balik Kampung folk.
This not only saves you a lot of time, it would save your fuel as you would be able to cruise through rather than sit through hours of traffic congestion.
Make sure you rest well as you need to be both mentally and physically prepared to drive long distances![adinserter block=”10″]
3. Check the Highway Reports On All Media Platforms
PLUS usually releases its festive travel advisory about a week before the start of each festive season.
The highway concessionaire’s advisory shows suggested travel times based on the destination, which means traffic should flow a lot smoother during these times.
On top of that, both PLUS and Lembaga Lebuhraya Malaysia Twitter pages offer regular traffic updates along the major highways in Malaysia.
While Twitter hashtags like #kltu lets you monitor traffic updates from other Malaysians on the road.
Using Waze as you drive is another important tool, because not only do you get real-time traffic information of what’s ahead of you from other Waze users, you can to report traffic conditions along the way as well.
Finally, you can also tune in to the radio, where all stations have regular traffic updates (usually every half hour).
4. Hunt For Cheaper Tickets
If you are going to balik kampung by train or aeroplane, there is no trick to getting cheap tickets during peak seasons.
What you can do, naturally, is to lock down your CNY break as early as possible, and immediately book your tickets.
Consider heading back slightly earlier or later compared to the rest of the crowd – tickets would be slightly cheaper.
For flights, websites like Skyscanner lets you search for flights from airlines and travel agencies easily, allowing you to find the cheapest option for your route.
Companies like Agoda, Booking.com, and AirAsiaGo usually offer discounts when buying flights and accommodation on their platforms.
Lots of companies now offer easy online booking for express buses, including CatchThatBus, EasyBook, and redBus. Be sure to compare prices between these platforms, as they may differ.
4. Ship Excess Baggage Ahead Of Time
While one way to go about saving money on baggage is to pack light, sometimes we also have things we want to gift to those back home.
Instead of forgoing these items and disappointing everyone at home because it was too expensive to carry, you could send these items via courrier or post.
The costs may be lower per KG compared to carrying them as paid baggage in a low-cost carrier flight.
Balik Kampung Time!
Whatever your choice of transport going back home this coming CNY, it is always beneficial to plan ahead.
Get plenty of rest beforehand if you are driving, or arrive early to the airport or station if you are taking a bus, train, or plane to go home – there’s bound to be a lot of people.
Do you have any other travel tips that will save you some money on your trip home? Share with us in the comments section below!
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Wishing everyone a HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR AND HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!