International borders remain shut but thankfully, there are so many holiday destinations in Malaysia for us to explore. This year has turned out to be the Visit Malaysia Year as we discover the various experiences, attractions and cultures our country has to offer. From the beautiful beaches of Sabah to stunning nature retreats in Seremban, we are spoiled for choice! Moreover, going for a holiday also qualifies you for a personal income tax relief of up to RM1,000 until 31st December 2021!
But do remember that we still do not have a vaccine for Covid-19 therefore we must be more careful when planning for a getaway with friends and family.
Whether you are enjoying the breeze at Pulau Perhentian’s beach, doing a staycation, exploring the coolness of Cameron Highlands, on a makan road trip to Penang, or simply visiting your family in Johor, planning your holiday has never been more important. Don’t forget this checklist to keep your family safe during your travels!
Picking a destination
Choose your destination wisely! While it is exciting to be able to travel again (within Malaysia), you do not want your holiday to turn into a complete tragedy by exposing your family and friends to unnecessary risk. If you haven’t downloaded the MySejahtera app yet, this is the time to do so as it has a hotspot tracker. Super useful when planning a holiday as you do not want to go to any of the red zones for your holiday. Be sure to stay in the green zones!
Pack your virus prevention essentials
Even though interstate travel has been allowed since 10 June 2020, we must not be complacent! Pack all the things you need to keep yourself safe and have them with you all the time! Here’s a quick list of what you need for your holiday:
Face masks to last you and your loved ones for the entire trip (otherwise you will be denied entry to many places!)
Sanitisers that contain at least 70 percent alcohol to keep your hands clean and safe. Depending on your preference, you can buy sanitisers in the form of liquid, gel or spray.
Anti-bacterial wet wipes are especially helpful when you need to use a public restroom! But more importantly, you need them to wipe the germs, bacteria and viruses on your personal belongings such as phones or wallets while you’re out and about. People often forget to sanitise their phones when they are probably the most frequently touched object!
If you need to get these supplies for your travels, we’ve got you covered. Check out these local pharmacies on cari@unifi
Getting there safely
Travelling by car (rental or own car) is currently the safest option in terms of coronavirus transmission as it gives you complete control over who you travel with and how you travel. Minimise visits to the rest stops and petrol stations where there tend to be a crowd. But if you do need to go, have disinfectants with you to wipe down surfaces you need to touch.
If you can’t avoid the public transport, sanitise surfaces at your seat including seat belt, table, light adjust or anything you might need to touch! Please always remember to wear a mask or you will be refused the right to travel. DO NOT take them off throughout the journey. Safety first!
Be cautious at the hotel
As you are sharing the public spaces at your hotel or Airbnb with strangers, practise caution once you reach there. Maintain social distancing while checking-in and checking-out and go cashless for any payments – credits cards such as Visa and MasterCard as well as e-wallets are widely accepted. Be sure to avoid packed elevators. Take the stairs instead for some exercise.
Sanitise your room
Housekeeping would be working hard to disinfect your room but it never hurts to be cautious. The first thing you need to disinfect is your hands followed by the touchpoints – door, cupboard and window handles, switches, table lamp as well as the remote control and desk. You should also wipe down the sink, water tap, mirror, toilet cover and flush handle. Though it is relatively easy to tell if they are clean or otherwise. As an additional measure, you can also opt to spray the room with your own disinfectant.
Pro tip: Items that are usually changed the least? Decorative pillows and comforters. Set these items aside, as tempting as they may be.
Time your visit strategically
Typically, holiday destinations would be crowded over the weekend or on public holidays. The best thing to do is go for your holiday during the weekday as it almost guarantees a crowd-free holiday.
But if you don’t have the luxury of planning a holiday around it, strategise your visits at non-peak hours to avoid the crowd. Start your day before 10am and time your meals just before the typical lunch time (before 12pm) and dinner (before 8pm).
It is also always a good idea to check the opening hours of tourist attractions and restaurants as they might have amended their business hours due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Research your tourist attractions
Avoid disappointment by researching ahead of time on the rules and regulations of places you want to visit. Some places might have implemented a quota system to manage the crowd or might be temporarily off-limits to the public.
Maintain social distancing
Finally, wear your mask everywhere you go and maintain social distancing. You know the drill. Just because you’re on a holiday does not mean that you can forget about the coronavirus. Wash your hands before and after touching a surface. Change your mask (or wash it if its fabric) daily! If you are too lazy to wash them, bring enough masks for each day you are on holiday; but remember to store them in a sealed plastic bag for safekeeping.
For everything you need to know about masks (what are the recommended types to use, how to wear them or wash them, etc) check out this post here.
Wherever you are, wherever you go to, please remember to remain cautious and maintain social distancing. It is essential to not let our guard down until a vaccine for Covid-19 is ready. Otherwise, we might face another lockdown with interstate borders closed.
Stay safe, everyone!