Planning for ‘Balik Kampung’

Planning for ‘Balik Kampung’


It’s time to prepare for that annual exodus again. A time when you drive back to your hometown, or ‘kampung’ to be with the great and greater family. The young ones are filled with the excitement and the anticipation of the long drive home. The more seasoned drivers are filled with the dread of spending seven hours on a journey that normally takes no more than two.

Yes, folks. ‘Balik Kampung’ requires preparation, both physical and mental, that can take weeks. Most importantly, make sure your mode of transport is up to the task. Here are a few handy tips:

b2ap3_thumbnail_42-24941850.jpgDon’t wait till the last minute to get your car checked. Last-minute panicking does not work great for car maintenance. Everyone will be rushing to get their cars sorted, and the last thing you want is a frenzied mechanic doing a rush-job on your car. Worse, you might not even be able to get a slot for a car check-up. Some workshops tend to open on weekends in the run-up, so it’s worth calling up and checking.

Know your car. You don't need a car mechanic to know the basic state of your car. Check your tyres, lights (especially if you’re travelling at night), wipers, brakes, air-conditioning, engine oil and temperature. If anything looks of feels untoward, highlight them to your mechanic - don’t rely on him to pick up the problem. Keep breakdown and emergency services numbers handy too.

Be prepared for the longer-than-usual journey. Our highways often turn into gridlocked parking lots, so tune in and listen for traffic updates. Highway operators often publish travel advisories too. Toilet and refreshments (unless you’re fasting) stops need to be factored in, and do bear in mind highway services themselves get overcrowded. To get around this, try exiting the highway and explore local nearby towns. Keep essentials handy in the car, like bottled water and dry snacks. 

Prepare wisely and you too can enjoy the “balik kampung” drive! All of us at Liberty Insurance wish you a safe journey home!

5 things to do before you go on vacation.

5 things to do before you go on vacation.


Picture this. You’re at the airport, about to embark on a long-overdue holiday halfway across the world. You’re excited, you’ve just cleared immigration security and you’re casually browsing the duty-free section. Then your spouse drops a bomb. “Did you lock the back door?”

Goodbye holiday.

  1. It happens all too frequently to the best of us. Preparing for a holiday is often a task deserving of a holiday in itself. Here are 5 handy tips to consider before your next big break.
  2. Secure your home. Make a checklist of things to do before you shut the door, and give yourself enough time to do it. If you have a home alarm, test it and make sure it works. Invest in a few good light timers to simulate home activity. Make sure you have all entry points, like doors and windows, fully secured. If you’re using padlocks for these, label the keys and keep a spare set somewhere safe.
  3. Make sure your holiday is insured. Travel insurance is a must for many countries now, in order to get your holiday visa. Find a good policy that covers everything from lost luggage to falling ill whilst abroad. Also review your flight tickets, and if you’ve made purchases or bookings via your credit card. Often, these may already come with some form of insurance cover.
  4. Manage your bills and subscriptions. If you’re going away for a prolonged period, you’ll also want to make sure you don’t come back to a home without lights and a pile of newspapers outside. These can also indicate a vacant house, and make it easy prey for burglars. Pre-pay your electricity, water and other bills before you leave. Suspend your newspaper subscription too. If you have a neighbour you can trust, get them to clear out your mailbox occasionally too.
  5. Inform your family of your whereabouts. Tell your immediate family where you’re going and for how long. Give them a way to get in touch with you, in case of an emergency. Conversely, be cautious about posting your whereabouts on your social networks, especially if you have large groups of friends you don’t know very well. An alternative would be to compile and post up your holiday snaps once you return.
  6. Keep online backups of your identification documents. Scan all your important documents, like passports, birth certificates, marriage certificate and so on, and mail it to yourself at a web mail service, like Gmail or Yahoo! Mail. Should you ever lose your passport whilst travelling, you can always pull up a copy from any internet connection worldwide and make the process of getting a replacement much easier.

Bon voyage!


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