Ready, set, ROAD TRIP!

It’s one of our favorite ways to travel, so of course, while in Malaysia we ventured on a road trip.

When travelling, there are so many hidden gems to find along the way, and it’s not like you could spot them from the plane and say “hey pilot, can you quickly land so I can take a look?” Whereas when you’re doing the driving, you essentially control the journey (and destination).

And with the roads in Malaysia being pretty darn great, it was time to hit the road.

So why go a road trip in Malaysia?

  1. It’s one of the best ways to travel around Malaysia

When you calculate the time to get to the airport, wait to board, then arrive, pick up your luggage, get a taxi etc…you might as well have driven to your destination and could have saved yourself a few hours. And heck, you probably will also see more along the way.

There are also a number of great places to visit that are not far from Kuala Lumpur…but you pretty much can only get there by road. Going on a day trip from Kuala Lumpur by car or doing a road trip have taken me to some amazing places in Malaysia including…

Cameron Highlands

Road Trip Malaysia - Cameron Highlands | Hello Raya Blog

Want to head to Cameron Highlands? Here are 9 amazing things to do in Cameron Highlands.

Melaka

Road Trip Malaysia - Melaka | Hello Raya Blog

Curious about visiting Melaka? Here are my suggested things to do in Melaka

Janda Baik

Road Trip Malaysia - A Little Farm on the Hill | Hello Raya Blog

Looking for an awesome day trip from Kuala Lumpur? Head to A Little Farm on the Hill in Janda Baik for their Farmer’s Brunch.

Just to name a few… And these places can only be accessed via road since there are no major airports here.

  1. Get spontaneous & go off the beaten track

You’ve ticked off all the major sites to see, but what about those places that are slightly off the beaten track. Hop off the highway and explore the smaller roads…who knows what you’ll find.

Road Trip Malaysia with GoCar Malaysia | Hello Raya Blog

There are so many things we would’ve missed if we weren’t driving. From local food stalls to amazing green landscapes to random attractions – we would have totally missed these off the beaten track gems if we hadn’t been driving.

  1. Ohhh the laughter & conversations you’ll have

You’ve raced around to make sure you’re checking all the places to see on your travel… but what about taking a moment off to bond with your travel partner. And I don’t know about you, but smartphones these days can be a real blessing and a curse. While I do love them because of the opportunities and information it presents, I do feel that we also should give ourselves the chance to switch off and enjoy the present moment.

And a road trip is the perfect solution for that.

Put the phone down and get talking with your road trip buddy. You’ll find wonderful conversations and laughter will come out of it.

  1. It’s budget friendly

Exploring Malaysia via car is at times more cost-friendly than hopping on a plane to the next destination. Hiring a car in Malaysia is super affordable, especially with companies like GoCar which offer fantastic rates on an hourly, daily, and monthly basis. They offer flat rates all year round – no peak and off-peak season pricing! Whether it is a weekday, weekend, or public holiday, all GoCar pricing remains the same. Plus, you’ll find the tolls and the petrol is quite reasonably priced.

And hey, if you do plan to book with GoCar, there’s a special GoCar promo code available just for Hello Raya readers – keep reading to find out the code.

  1. Food Galore

If there is one thing this country is known for, it is for its delicious Malaysian food…amongst many other things of course. But the best part of going on a road trip in Malaysia is you’ll get to explore the many foods that the different towns in Malaysia are known for.

Pretty much every town in Malaysia is famous for some sort of food item – in Cameron Highlands, it’s their steamboat. In Melaka, it’s the Nyonya cuisine. In Ipoh, it’s the…well it’s food paradise in Ipoh. In Cherating, it’s the sata and keropok lekor. And to get to these towns, you’ll need to drive.

Want more food ideas? Here’s 10 irresistibly delicious Malaysian food you must try while traveling in Malaysia.

Planning your Malaysian Road Trip – hiring a car with GoCar Malaysia

It’s simple really.

GoCar is a Malaysian born company, which is an on-demand car sharing platform – an alternative to the traditional car rental services. No more waiting in line, no more limited pick up locations, no more random hidden fees. With the GoCar app to book, unlock and access a hire car all from the convenience of your smartphone.

Road Trip Malaysia with GoCar Malaysia | Hello Raya Blog

With over 100 locations across the city of Kuala Lumpur, Klang Valley, Langkawi, and Johor Bahru, the world’s your oyster really with convenient pick up locations. You’ll find that the locations are strategically placed at airports, shopping malls, selected hotels, LRT stations, Shell petrol stations – this means you’ll be sure to easily find a pick-up location that is most convenient for you. And the best part is that GoCar Malaysia continues to grow and expand their fleet so you can look forward to more locations

The current fleet includes four styles of cars, to fit with every driving need. For the purpose of your Malaysian Road Trip, I recommend booking one of GoCar’s Renault Capturs.

Road Trip Malaysia with GoCar Malaysia | Hello Raya Blog

Road Trip Malaysia with GoCar Malaysia | Hello Raya Blog

Why?

Ok apart from their awesome range of colors…. Driving on the highway with a Renault Captur in Malaysia is oh-so smooth, and the car is fuel efficient which is great for the environment and also means cost savings, there’s plenty of storage space for your luggage, and there’s a great sound system so you can plug in your phone and singalong to those road trip jams.

Ohhh and do you know what the most interesting part of the whole experience driving the Renault Captur with GoCar Malaysia? It’s keyless.

This means you only need your smartphone to lock, unlock and start your car. It’s seamless, keyless driving by simply using the GoCar app as the ‘car key.’

I recommend booking at least 3-5 days in advance. If it is your first time booking with GoCar, you will have to register as a member first and submit a copy of your driver’s license via the GoCar app. This will take about 48-hours to process before you can then book your car, so do keep this in mind.

Want to learn more about GoCar? Check out my 5 reasons why I love GoCar Malaysia.

Packing for your road trip

The best part of a road trip is that you don’t have to worry about your luggage weight limits the way you do when you travel by plane. But to make your road trip in Malaysia all the more comfortable, I recommend the following essentials…

  • A Local Phone Plan

Having a data plan is a good idea when traveling around Malaysia. It means you can navigate using Google Maps, keep in touch with family and friends so they know your safe and sound whilst on the road, research the heck out of your final destination… I am sure I don’t have to explain all the benefits of having data on your phone.

Best part – in Malaysia, organizing a local number and data plan is easy and affordable. I recommend going with Hotlink, which is a company tied to telecommunications giant, Maxis. I have found their network pretty strong and they also offer great data packages. You can easily sign up at the Kuala Lumpur airport or any any Hotlink/Maxis stores.

When signing up with Hotlink, you will need your passport. Then I recommend adding about RM60-RM100 of credit upon signing up.

Do download the Hotlink app, which is where you can track your data usage, and top up on credit as needed. And if you run out of credit along the way and can’t access data, just make your way into any petrol station or convenience store where you’ll be able to purchase credit over the counter to top up.

  • Touch ‘n Go Card

You might be wondering what the heck a Touch ‘n Go card is…. But it is a super duper awesome card to have when traveling in Malaysia.

Touch ‘n Go is a prepaid cash card that you can use to pay for all kinds of things throughout Malaysia including public transportation such as the LRT, paying for parking, and in the case of your Malaysian road trip, you’ll need it to pay for tolls.

To get one is easy – we got ours at a Shell Petrol Station (don’t book it online). You pay a RM10 fee for the card itself, and then you can top up the card with however much you might need. I recommend topping up with around RM50-RM100 to start with.

We learned this the hard way, but you will need a Touch ‘n Go card to pay for tolls.

It is also possible to top up your card at the toll booth (make sure to head to the booth that is furthest to the left to do so) – though you can only top up with cash here. If you need to pay with card, you’ll have to go into a petrol station or convenience store.

  • A Kick Ass Playlist

With GoCar’s Renault Captur cars, you can easily plug in your phone via USB connection and play those road trip jams. I love using the Spotify app for music, because there is so much variety. And with a premium account, you can even download songs offline which means you never have to worry about not having data access.

  • Bottled Water

Staying hydrated on your road trip is important, so make sure you have bottled water handy. It’ll keep you alert while driving.

And if you run out of water, fear not young grasshopper. There are plenty of rest stops with petrol stations on the highway so you can purchase extra water if needed.

  • Toilet Paper

Yes. You heard me right.

Unfortunately more often than not, toilets in Malaysia don’t have toilet paper. So definitely handy to carry some of your own.

  • GoPro

To capture all those amazing road trip moments…duhh! 🙂

Road Trip Malaysia | Hello Raya Blog

  • Phone Charger

You’ll need a phone cable to play those wickedly amazing road trip jams anyways, and it’ll charge your phone at the same time. Win-win!

Hitting the Road

One of the best things we did was to leave first thing in the morning. I mean like before sunrise kind of first thing in the morning.

Trust me, you’ll be so grateful that you did.

Road Trip Malaysia with GoCar Malaysia | Hello Raya Blog Road Trip Malaysia with GoCar Malaysia | Hello Raya Blog

The roads are relatively clear, which made for a great driving experience, and watching the sunrise is just magical. Leaving before the sunrise also helps you avoid traffic and hey, it’ll also help you make the most of your road trip in Malaysia.

The best part about hiring with GoCar is that you can pick up your car at the oddest of hours. This means that leaving before sunrise is a true possibility – with GoCar, picking up your car at 5am is no problem, because you only need your smartphone to pick up the car. Heck, if you want to go a bit more hardcore and pick up your car at 2am…you could do that too! No more needing to wait until the car rental office opens so that you have to fill out forms galore and pay for hidden fees. Booking your car via GoCar is perfectly streamlined through the GoCar app.

Road Trip Malaysia with GoCar Malaysia | Hello Raya Blog
Picking up GoCar in the wee hours of the morning

A Promo Code Just for You

So now dear reader, it’s time to hit the road and explore Malaysia.

To get you started, together with GoCar, we are offering Hello Readers a special GoCar promo code. Get RM15 off your GoCar rental by entering the promo code HELLORAYA upon booking. This is valid for all GoCar members with a minimum of 2-hour booking, and for travel up to 20 June 2018.

Loved this post? Pin it, it’s more fun!

Your Ultimate Guide to Road Trip in Malaysia | Hello Raya Blog

No compensation was received for this review, however we were guests of GoCar. All opinions remains my own and I only promote products/services that I love. 

17 Comments on Your Guide to an Ultimate Malaysian Road Trip

  1. We visited Malaysia a few years ago and loved it. I would love to come back and do a road trip like this! GoCar sounds like such a great idea! Just added this trip to my bucket list!!

  2. What a great idea to road trip around Malaysia! I wish I would’ve thought about that when I was there. The Cameron Highlands look gorgeous – I’m adding that to my list for next time. And I totally know what you mean about the food there – I ate SO much and it was all so affordable!

  3. HAHA, I just love the opening GIF, it just gets me immediately into the road trippin’ mood. Malaysia looks and sounds like an amazing country for road trips and you’re so right, most of the time by the time you boarded a plane, you could have been there and had the whole experience to go along with it. I have to giggle on the carrying tissue with you thing. I learned that in Morocco and ever now always have some in my purse even now that I’ve been back in Western countries.

  4. Taking a road trip around Malaysia would be incredible! I’ve only done road trips around some parts of the US and Italy. GoCar sounds like a great choice and very convenient too! Good tip on the toilet roll; I hate running out!

  5. I’m fascinated by the keyless feature of the Renault Captur! It’s such a clever idea as I’m always forgetting or losing my keys but you’ll never find me without my phone. I love exploring new places by car as, like you said, you can go well off the beaten path and discover so many new things. GoCar seems like a really good rent a car option and I’ll definitely keep it in my mind for when I visit Malaysia next! Although, I don’t drive so my boyfriend will have to be my chauffeur 🙂

  6. Thank you SO much for this, I feel like you’ve covered every question I might’ve had about taking a road trip in Malaysia. I’ve never been before, and your pictures certainly convinced me that this is one of the next trips I should do! Good to know that renting a car there can be budget friendly, Go Car looks really great 🙂

  7. I really want to try this as I simply cannot imagine unlocking my car using my smartphone. What happens if the battery dies? I love a good road trip too as it’s the sense of freedom, going at your own pace and where you want…like an intrepid explorer

  8. I so agree that taking a road trip is the best way to see an area. When the locals mention a great place that is off the beaten track, how are you going to detour and check it out if you don’t have a vehicle. Some of the best places we have seen were because someone from the area mentioned a must see thing and we listened to them. I wonder, does GoCar also rent out motor homes? Malaysia looks so nice that we might want to go slow and check it out for quite sometime.

  9. I have never thought of the possibility of doing a road trip for tourists in Malaysia. It think this will solve our problem since we wanted to drop by KL, Legoland, Melaka and Johor Bahru. Will check out GoCar and thank you for the promo code.

  10. Go Car looks like a perfect way to visit Malaysia. There are so many gems outside of KL that you really need your own set of wheels to see them all efficiently. That’s a great way to get off of the beaten track.

  11. I usually am dependent on public transport when I travel. However I fully understand the benefits of self drive, as you have very effectively explained. With platforms like GoCar, I think I too should start exploring self drive holidays.

  12. What a fun way to explore Malaysia! We planned out a trip there a couple of years ago that didn’t end up happening, but it never occurred to us to make it a road trip! We’re hoping to pick that trip idea up again soon, so maybe we’ll look into driving. The Cameron Highlands look amazing–they’re very high on our Malaysia to-do list.

  13. I live just next door in Singapore, so I have been on a road trip through Malaysia before. Certainly loved visiting Melaka and Kuala Lumpur by car, but I wasn’t very thrilled about the ride up to Cameron Highlands – really got my motion sickness going!

  14. I always love to go for a road trip while exploring a new country. Road trips give the true flavor of that place. Your road trip in Malaysia looks perfect as it is budget friendly and passes along the beautiful green local landscapes. I would love to drive to Cameron Highlands as it looks amazing and relaxing. Janda Baik fields look very appealing. I would surely look for Go car when plan for Malaysia.

  15. I am a big fan of road trip. It would be fun to do it in Malaysia. Haha, I loved your analogy. Of course, pilots will never listen to you even if you said that. Melaka is definitely on my to do list. I would love to sample local food. I hope vegan food is easily available there. Go Car looks like a reliable company.

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