Travel Smart


If you’re feeling bored on a weekend or want to escape from the daunting pressures of work and study, then, the weekend is just the right time to reenergize and replenish oneself. Two days of relaxation and soul searching may be the perfect antidote to motivate the soul. However, some say that Saturday and Sunday alone is not enough. Well, the good thing about Malaysia is, everything is within reach. We have beautiful beaches, modern urban city life, laidback kampungs, exciting theme parks, refreshing spas and resorts and so much more all right in Malaysia. Therefore, today we shall discuss on tips and tricks to pull off a perfect getaway. Timing is essential in planning a weekend trip. Most people resort to last minute planning because they often procrastinate. However, make it a point to go check the calendar and mark them. This is the first step to having a perfect weekend getaway. Mark your calendars and inform the relevant parties, such as your family and colleagues or other commitments that your weekend will be booked.

Once the date has been confirmed, you will need to figure out where to go. If the budget is slightly better, book a flight. This gives you a different experience as compared to driving daily. Taking the flight to somewhere although it is merely a one hour flight can bring you up to 400 kilometres. Essentially, booking a flight would mean that your holiday options can go all the way up north to Langkawi or all the way down south to Johor or even to Sabah and Sarawak. Besides that, you need not worry about fuel costs as well as maintenance as compared to driving. This is because everything will be paid for before the trip.

Alternatively, if you decide to take a drive, ensure that the car is in good condition with perfectly working brakes, tyres in working condition and engine in good running condition. Any one of those failures can cost you the weekend as the schedule would have to be rearranged.

After choosing the destination and mode of transportation, book a hotel by calling in or booking online. This gives you less of a headache when you reach the destination. It is also always cheaper booking online than being a walk in guest. However, if you do not want your holidays to be ruined by bad service and dirty hotel rooms, take the trouble to just go through reviews. Hotel reviews are widely available and easily found.

You now have a starting plan of where to go, how to get there, when to go and where to stay. This is all the information anyone needs to run away from their hectic work life. The next part of planning is what to do while at the place. As this is a weekend trip, generally it would mean that you would either be at the destination by Saturday morning or noon already or have one night to spare only before you leave the next day. Therefore, think of a general theme or objective of the trip. Having a few aims or wanting to explore the city would not be a wise idea as time is a constraint. If the idea of the trip is to relax, then, go for a spa, reserve a table by the beach side restaurant or have a drink in a laidback bar. If the idea of the trip is to try the food there, then, get a local map and mark the destinations to be covered. Make sure to not overeat as it will make you feel lethargic and not leave enough room for more. The idea is to eat a little but many times throughout the day. .

If the point of the trip is to experience the place and culture, for example a kampung area, then the best way to do so within the given time frame is to plan the trip on a local map. Having a GPS would be really helpful. Ensure that you have all addresses before hand to avoid driving around lost. Do take lots of photographs and behave like tourists because after all, you are on a holiday.

Last but definitely not least is the budget allocated. Set aside the relevant amount plus a little extra for the planned and expected expenditures such as accomodation, car rental, flights and so on. As for the unplanned expenditures, do remember to take into account the meals, souvenirs and other activities. If possible try to use a mix of cash and credit. The reason is with cash, you can visibly monitor how much is spent. However with credit, you may over splurge and this might worry you when you get home. On the other hand, travelling with too much cash can be a bit risky as you become a potential victim of theft or just the traditional case of misplacing your wallet. Then, in this case, a credit card seems to be the slightly wiser choice.

Well, these pointers serve as a rough guide to planning a weekend trip out; do remember there will always be a next time travelling back to the same place. Time may be a constraint so if it is going to be your first time there, worry not because there are 52 weekends in a year, chances are you can travel there again. • Mark your calendar and clear all plans • Plan mode of travel – flight, drive or bus. • Choose a destination • Book a place to stay via internet/phone booking • Arrange checkout time to suit your timing • Plan a general objective or theme of the holiday • Bring map/GPS and pre-planned the places of interests to go • Plan budget and bring a mix of both, cash and credit

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