5 tips to prepare for Malaysia causeway jams

By Marisse Gabrielle Reyes, 24 September 2017 27498


Whether you're heading across the border for a holiday getaway or quick shopping and food trip, it's always a good idea to prepare for the sometimes unpredictable border crossing. The Singapore-Malaysia border is a busy one with 400,000 people making their way through every day. Although Singapore now has two causeways for private vehicles to cross into Malaysia, heavy traffic is a frequent and inconvenient occurrence. For a more comfortable, enjoyable and quicker trip, follow these five expert travel tips.

1. Know what you're getting into

You can cross over into Malaysia on two causeways: Tuas and Woodlands. Traffic situations on both routes can greatly vary depending on the time and date you're traveling. But thanks to technology, you can predict, almost down to the minute, how long it'll take you to cross the border. The Checkpoint.sg app, available for free on both iPhone and Android, provides a live video stream of the causeway. On this app, you'll be able to view the flow of traffic to and from both of the checkpoints with details like estimated time and weather. The Beat the Jam! app, also available for free on iPhone and Android, is a more comprehensive tool that compares the traffic flow on both routes. In addition to the current traffic situation, Beat the Jam! offers traffic forecasts for the next week plotted out on an easy-to-read flow chart as well as exchange rates, fuel prices, toll fees and a customs guide.

2. Where's the toilet?

If you're confined to your car for quite some time, it's quite natural to be beckoned by the call of nature. Before you leave Singapore soil, you'll need to pass through the Singapore checkpoint. Take full advantage of this stop as it's here where you'll find clean restrooms stocked with toilet paper and soap. Once you cross the border onto Malaysian soil, you'll have to go through the Johor Bahru checkpoint. There are bathrooms here, but make sure to bring your own toilet paper as the toilets aren't always well-stocked.

3. Be aware of potential accident zones

It's widely known that motorists coming to and from the border have the tendency to speed and carelessly weave through traffic. In addition to being extra vigilant around the checkpoints and causeway, the expressways leading up to them can tend to be accident zones. Before the Tuas checkpoint, the AYE can be an accident zone and leading up to the Woodlands checkpoint, the BKE is an area that's prone to accidents and breakdowns. Make sure that you are adequately covered when you travel. 

Insuring yourself with travel insurance can cover hefty medical expenses incurred in the event you meet an accident while overseas.

In addition, Income's Motor Insurance covers loss or damage to your car in the case of accidents not only in Singapore but also in West Malaysia, which includes Johor Bahru and Kuala Lumpur. This can provide you with peace of mind when travelling, even to places close to home.

4. Prepare for the unexpected

While there are several measures that you can put into place to ensure that your journey across the Singapore-Malaysia border is efficient, it's always a good idea to prepare for the unexpected. If you're making the journey during the early morning or late night to avoid congestion, bring coffee or energy drinks with you to keep you alert on the roads. In case you're feeling peckish, make sure to bring some of your favourite snacks with you on the road. Just make sure you don't consume too much fluids as having to stop to find a restroom can add extra time to your travels.

5. Whistle while you wait

Because spending time in the car for an extended period of time might test the attention span of some, turn up the music to make the time pass faster while still keeping your eyes on the road. You can always turn on the radio, but signal might not be the most reliable when crossing the border. Instead, download free playlists on music streaming services, such as SpotifyTidal or Apple Music. If you are worried about data roaming charges, download entire playlists for free such as Spotify's Roadtrip Singalong and roadtrip // chill
When crossing the border, the only thing you can do to manage your trip is to anticipate traffic flow and come prepared for the worst. But traveling is always unpredictable and perhaps that's part of the fun! You can, however, make sure that you travel smart by protecting yourself with Income's travel insurance so that you and your family will be covered for trip disruptions or cancellations, medical expenses, and loss of baggage, money and other personal items. Be sure to choose the right type of travel insurance to make sure you are properly covered!