How to travel smart – 10 things you should know about Malaysia

Your holiday fun starts with a smooth flight. We have a few tips to help you travels smart.

Depending on your complete itinerary, try to travel with the minimal amount of baggage. If you can travel light, the ease of going through the airport, traveling with your baggage will be make your travels much more enjoyable. Yes, packing light is a skill but worth the effort. Anything bulkier than your backpack or carry-on should be left out if you want to try this out. Think how long your holiday trip is and the number of times you will change your clothes. Simplify. Take only what you need, and plan to dress comfortably. Dress down, since you are unlikely to attend a Cannes Film Festival awards night.

Arrive early. The golden rule is to get to the airport two hours early for domestic check-in and two and one-half hours for international flights. When you are at the airport ahead of time, you can double-check your bag, make calls to friends and family, and relax before boarding.

Know airport and airline rules, which can vary from facility to facility. Know which rules are in place at your point of departure, and read and understand pertinent information such as e-ticket and airport announcements.

Know where you are and where you need to go. Check the flight boards regularly, locate your gate, and do not hesitate to ask airport personnel if you need help locating something.
Keep your identification and boarding pass easily accessible at all times. You will need both from the time you check in until you board the plane. So you do not lose them, insert them in a book or magazine you are reading. Again, read your boarding pass before boarding the plane.
Keep your cool. If the “D” word (delay) happens because of a lengthy security check, tell yourself it is for your own good. Putting on an attitude and ridiculing airport management can annoy other passengers. Neither should you comment about bombs nor terrorists in an already tense situation, as those are very sensitive issues in airport security.

Be kind and polite to airline staff and fellow passengers. Keep in mind that the flight attendants are doing their best to make your flight as comfortable as possible. If you believe you complaint is legitimate, state it politely.

Occupy yourself. It can be painfully boring on a long-haul flight if all you do is sit and stare at nothing in particular. Get your brain cells working by reading a book or magazine.
Get up and stretch once in a while. Drink water or juice on the plane: The recycled air in the cabin can cause dehydration, so avoid drinks with too much caffeine like coffee and colas.

If you sleep on a long flight, try to wake up about an hour before arrival and wash your face in the bathroom. You will feel much more refreshed and presentable when you disembark.

10 things you should know about Malaysia

1. Currency

The unit of currency is the Malaysian Ringgit indicated as RM, which is equivalent to 100 cents. Coins are issued in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20, 50 sen and RM1. Currency notes are in RM1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100. Foreign currency and traveler’s checks can be converted to Malaysian Ringgit at banks or authorized money changers throughout the country.

2. Airport Tax

An airport tax of RM5 and RM40 is charged upon departure for all domestic and international flight passengers respectively.

3. Telephone

Local calls can be made from public phones, whether coin or card operated. International calls can be made from phone booths with card phone facilities or at any Telecom offices. Most hotels are equipped with IDD services with a minimal service charge. – Useful Phone Directory

4. Tourist Police

Visitors who encounter unforeseen problems and difficulties can seek the Malaysian Tourist Police Unit for assistance. They often patrol tourist spots and will render assistance, as well as safeguard tourists’ security.

5. Business Hours

The country runs on a normal eight hours a day system with Saturday as half day and Sunday as a day of rest. In the states of Kelantan, Terengganu, and Kedah, Friday is a day of rest with Thursday as half days. Department Stores and supermarkets are open daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

6. Tipping

Tipping is not a way of life in Malaysia, but is fast becoming one.

7. What to Wear

Light, cool, and casual clothing is recommended all year round. For more formal occasions, men should wear jackets, ties, or long-sleeved batik shirts whereas women should wear dresses.

8. Water

It is generally safe to drink water straight from the tap, but it is safer to drink boiled water or bottled beverages.

9. Medical Services

Medical services are available in most towns at government hospitals and private clinics. Non-prescription drugs are available at pharmacies, as well as supermarkets, hotels, and shopping centers.

10. Local Touch

Food hawkers selling traditional and local delicacies make up the everyday scenes in big or small towns throughout the country. One can try “teh tarik”, a smoothened, creamed tea, and “roti canai”, a fluffy pancake prepared by a local person of Indian Muslim ancestry. Spicy Malay food, such as “nasi lemak” and various kinds of Chinese noodles are also popular. People from all walks of life frequent these food stalls.

As Malaysia is a multi-religious country, various Muslim mosques, Buddhist temples, Hindu temples, and Christian churches can be found almost anywhere. Despite the many changes and developments in the cities and big towns, Malaysia has many “kampung” (villages), jungles, beaches, and rice fields. Many houses in the “kampung” are built on stilts. Batik cotton fashion is popular in Malaysia . It can be used for casual wear, as well as formal functions.

NOTE: Drug traffickers are sentenced to death by Malaysian Law.

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