Long holidays during festive seasons like Hari Raya Aidilfitri, Chinese New Year, or Deepavali are often utilized by city dwellers to return to their hometowns. However, considering the expenses involved, many people think twice before deciding to go back to their hometowns for the festivities.
Money Saving Tips to Balik Kampung During the Hari Raya
For those with high income, the cost of going back to their hometown may not be a problem. However, for those with lower income, expenses such as fuel prices, toll fees, and others can be burdensome.
To help you plan your finances better, here are five money-saving tips that can be practiced to help you return to your hometown without putting a strain on your wallet.
Create a Budget Plan
Going back to your hometown during the holiday season is often a necessary activity. To assist in better financial planning, you can incorporate this plan into your monthly or yearly budget. Take into account the potential expenses involved, such as toll fees, car servicing, fuel costs, and more.
For example, if the cost of traveling from Kuala Lumpur to Terengganu for the homecoming trip amounts to RM200 (including fuel, toll fees, etc.) for a one-way journey, you should allocate at least RM400 to RM500 as preparation for the round trip expenses.
You can allocate funds for the homecoming trip in advance. For instance, if you plan to go back to your hometown in April, you can start saving from December, setting aside a minimum of RM125 per month (for four months). This approach can prevent you from having to spend a large sum of money at once.
If the allocated budget is insufficient due to increasing costs or unexpected car repairs, you can consider using an emergency fund. However, remember to replenish the funds that were utilized.
Use Public Transportation
For those who are newly married or single, you can choose to return to your hometown using public transportation. This indirectly helps you save on toll and fuel costs for your car.
The bus ticket price from Kuala Lumpur to Terengganu is approximately RM50 one way. This means you only need to spend around RM100 for a round trip, excluding meals and drinks.
By opting for public transportation, you can save up to RM400 on your homecoming expenses to the same destination. You can consider putting this extra money into your retirement savings.
Many express bus companies now offer online ticket booking processes to make it convenient for users. It also allows users to compare the cheapest bus ticket prices and choose the best deal.
Instead of driving back to your hometown alone, you can consider carpooling with acquaintances or siblings. Since many people take the opportunity to return to their hometowns during the festivities, it won’t be difficult to find someone who wants to go to the same destination as you.
Carpooling helps reduce travel costs, ease traffic congestion, and lower the stress of driving long distances. You can split the cost of fuel and toll fees among those sharing the car.
This makes the cost of going back to your hometown cheaper and more economical compared to each person driving their own car. For example, if the cost of going back to your hometown is RM500 and it is shared among five people, each person only needs to spend RM100.
Avoid Traveling During Peak Hours
During festive seasons like Hari Raya or Chinese New Year, you can expect many Malaysians to drive back to their respective hometowns. The roads during festive seasons tend to be more congested than usual.
If you are driving back to your hometown, plan carefully. Start your journey early or a day before the expected peak hours. Traveling back to your hometown in the early morning or late at night is highly recommended as the roads are usually less congested during these times.
This will also help you avoid being stuck in traffic for hours. Check the Travel Time Advisory or Travel Schedule provided by the highway authorities to know the best timing. The more time you spend on the road, the more money you will spend on fuel consumption.
Additionally, make sure you are mentally and physically prepared – get sufficient rest before starting your journey back to your hometown. Avoid driving after work or meals as it can make you tired and drowsy.
Service Your Car Before the Journey
Before embarking on a long-distance journey, ensure that your car is well-maintained and in good condition. A poorly maintained or suboptimal performing car can cost you more money.
Ensure that essential car components such as the engine, brakes, and tires are in good condition for your safety throughout the homecoming trip.
For example, worn-out tire treads or insufficient tire pressure can increase the risk of accidents. Low tire pressure can increase fuel consumption, affect driving performance, and compromise vehicle handling.
Get Sufficient Rest, Plan Your Homecoming Journey Well
Before heading back to your hometown, make sure you have obtained sufficient rest before starting the journey. Avoid driving back after work or meals as you may feel tired and drowsy. If you feel drowsy or fatigued while driving, take a short break at any rest area and stretch your muscles to alleviate back pain.
Do not force yourself to drive when you are sleepy to reduce the risk of road accidents. If needed, have a second driver take over while you take a quick nap to refresh yourself.
Safe Driving Tips during Homecoming Journey
You can also follow these provided tips for safe driving:
- Do not exceed the speed limit on the highway for your safety and the safety of your family. It also reduces the risk of getting fined by the Road Transport Department Malaysia (JPJ), traffic police, or the police.
- Avoid using your mobile phone while driving – focus on driving and be cautious.
- Value and cherish your life and the lives of your family members. Wear a seat belt and use child car seats for additional protection.
- Do not tailgate other vehicles too closely and avoid using emergency lanes to reach your destination faster. It’s better to arrive late than to risk your safety.
- Ensure that your Touch ‘n Go card has sufficient balance or top up before starting the journey to enable smooth toll payments.
- Carry essential items in your vehicle such as a power bank, emergency kit, and others for your safety.
Celebrate Hari Raya with Joy and Renew Your Car Insurance and Roadtax at Qoala!
If you’re planning to go back to your hometown but haven’t renewed your car’s road tax yet, don’t forget to renew your car insurance and road tax before starting your journey. Comprehensive insurance coverage can provide more thorough protection for yourself and your family.
For optimal protection, you can also add additional coverage that suits your needs and budget. If you want to get the best insurance coverage policy for you, visit the Qoala website for more information.
Qoala is the most comprehensive insurance comparison and renewal platform in Malaysia. The platform offers a variety of insurance options from several top insurance companies in Malaysia.