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.
Table of Contents
So why go a road trip in Malaysia?
- 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…
Just to name a few… And these places can only be accessed via road since there are no major airports here.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
To capture all those amazing road trip moments…duhh! 🙂
- 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.
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.
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.
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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.