The current tax holiday gives Malaysians a good reason to go on their dream holiday before the Sales and Services Tax (SST) starts on September 1. No extra charges will be imposed on many travel-related services, including domestic airfares.
There are two major public holidays coming up at the end of this month (Hari Raya Haji and National Day), and it’s not too late for you to plan for a trip locally or abroad. Start looking for the best travel deals, travel insurance or coverage, and travel credit cards now for your trip!
Once you’ve found your dream destination and picked the date for the trip, there are a few things besides making reservations and bookings that you also need to take care of before you leave so you’ll be able to enjoy your trip more.
Make sure you do these 8 important things first before you leave for the trip:
1. Contact your local pet boarding centre or pet sitter
Most pet boarding centres will be fully booked during holiday seasons, so make sure your beloved pets have their spot at a nearby pet boarding centre prior to your departure. Find a nearby centre or private pet sitter at:
For those with exotic animals that require special care, consider hiring a private pet sitter instead or find a family member or a friend to take care of them while you’re away.
You can also send them to MASkargo Animal Hotel, as they accept all kinds of animals including horses, fishes, birds, reptiles and elephants.
2. Pay your doctor a visit (get a vaccination if necessary)
Visit a doctor before your trip for some health advice, shots, and medicines that are recommended for you. You may be required to get vaccinations depending on your destination, if you plan to participate in some adventure sports, the length of your trip, your current medical state, your medical history, and your age.
People with weak immune systems or disabilities and women who are pregnant or travelling with babies and small children need to take extra care when preparing for international travel, as they’re the most vulnerable to infectious diseases. Check out WHO’s tips on international travel and health to stay safe.
3. Get a travel insurance or coverage
Travel insurance keeps you protected financially when something goes wrong during your trip. From lost luggage and cancelled flights to medical emergencies, you’ll be covered against most eventualities. Read our blog How Travel Insurance Shields Your Trip for more insights.
Besides the conventional travel insurance policy, consider getting a credit card that offers complimentary travel insurance cover. Basically, you’ll be covered for travel inconveniences, trip interruptions, and medical emergencies. If you’re wondering which is a better option, do read our blog Standalone Travel Insurance Policy or Credit Card Travel Cover – Which One Should You Go For?
4. Take care of your personal matters
Whether you’re a working professional or a housewife, make sure you do the following before you leave:
- At work – Complete unfinished projects, send pending emails or settle work-related matters. If you don’t plan on staying connected, set up an email autoresponder.
- At home – Settle all bill payments (or make advance payments if you’ll be away for a long time), clean out your fridge (eat or give away perishable foods), take all trashes out, and mow your lawn so your house doesn’t look abandoned.
5. Settle important travel documents and other related things
Don’t leave things to the last minute, especially when it comes to your travel documents. For international trips, check whether the destination of your choice requires a visa, and make sure your passport is still valid. Malaysians are not allowed to board a plane if their passport expires in six month’s time.
Also, look up the monetary conversion before you go and convert some of your cash as soon as possible. Create and bring a list of important people and numbers to contact during an emergency. Other travel-related things to do include:
- Confirming all reservations and bookings: e.g. flight, hotel, car rental, restaurants, attractions.
- Downloading travel-related apps: e.g. food guide or offline travel maps for convenience.
- Contacting your communications service provider: Set up the cheapest plan for making international calls, sending text messages, and accessing the Internet from your smartphone.
- Contacting your credit card company: Your credit card company needs to know your travel plans to ensure your credit card works while you’re travelling.
6. Secure your home before departure
Making sure your house is safe and secure while you’re away is a must if you want to enjoy your journey. If you’re leaving for two weeks or longer, notify your home security system operator or your neighbourhood watch.
Update your home security system and make sure everything works well. Appoint someone you trust to watch over your house while you’re away (leave them a house key if necessary).
Lock all doors and windows, unplug or turn off all electrical appliances, shut off all taps, and set up a timed light system (indoor and outdoor) to prevent excessive energy usage. Store valuables in a safe place, and don’t leave any valuable furniture or other things outdoor.
7. Buy travel essentials locally to save more
Take advantage of the current tax holiday before SST kicks in on September 1. For those planning to travel abroad, buy travel essentials locally to save more, especially if the exchange rate is high. If you’re not sure what to pack, read our Your Ultimate Guide to Essentials You Should Pack for Your Next Trip article.
8. Choose the right luggage or bag
As a rule, always choose a luggage or bag that is durable, big enough to hold all your belongings, lightweight, and versatile regardless of your destination. A luggage or bag that comes with a warranty is even better. Some of the most recommended luggage and bags for travelling are:
- Rolling luggage (perfect for city destinations)
- 4-wheels luggage (when you need to walk long distances)
- Duffel bag (for on-the-go trips)
- Wheeled backpack (if you’re constantly going from place to place)
- Travel backpack (for added mobility)
- Carry-on luggage (helps to save time at the airport and save on check-in fees)
You’ll be well-advised to check out some of the top travel credit cards in Malaysia right now. That said, be mindful of things like air miles conversion rates, partnering frequent flyer programmes, lounge access facilities and minimum spending requirements before you select one.
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Not sure which international destination to pick? Here are some suggestions:
- 6 Reasons Why Taiwan Should Be Your Next Holiday Destination
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- 4 Unusual Attractions in Bangkok You Must Check Out
- 7 Offbeat European Destinations That Will Charm You to the Core
- Beyond Bali: 5 Breathtaking Indonesian Destinations You Must Inquire About in MATTA Fair