As children eagerly count down the days until school ends and summer vacation begins, travel-savvy parents start to plan vacations as early as two months before the actual trip. With so many things on the travel to-do list, it can be overwhelming if you choose to leave tasks undone until the last minute, so planning ahead is actually good practice for anyone who wants to travel with their kids in tow. Anyone who has had to travel with children can attest to the screaming, tantrums and meltdowns that happen during the trip, but with a little planning, it’s possible to have a great time with the kids.
If you plan to go to another country for a holiday, know that this will be a lot more challenging than a regular road trip. But if you want to make the most out of the kids’ summer vacation, then check out Malaysia for its numerous family-friendly attractions that will prove to be lots of fun for the young and the young at heart.
Here’s a helpful list that you might want to consult before you pack for your Malaysian adventure:
- Passports. Does everyone have one?
- Medications. Do you need to bring any in case of emergencies? Or do you have a family member that’s on special meds?
- Clothes. It’s usually sweltering in Malaysia, so lightweight clothes made of cotton are a must. It’s very important to observe the dress code, so women must take care to cover their shoulders and legs when out and about. Comfortable shoes are needed for walking. If you plan to head out for a nice dinner, then one set each of dressy clothes for everyone will suffice.
- Entertainment. I cannot stress deeply enough how important it is to keep younger kids entertained, especially during flights. Prepare an entertainment pack for each child and pop them in their carry-on bags. These packs may contain crayons, a coloring book, a portable gaming unit such as a PSP or a tablet (make sure it’s fully charged), paper dolls, small board games and the like, and books. Update these packs before your flight home.
- Dietary restrictions. If someone in the family has celiac disease, is diabetic or has food allergies, make sure to check online if any of the local cuisine might contain ingredients that might be harmful or that could aggravate the disease or allergy.
- Special equipment. Check if the airline and hotel can provide a wheelchair if someone in the family needs it. For families with small children, consider bringing along a lightweight stroller so that it could serve as a resting place for kids, not to mention that it will be easier for you rather than toting the child in your arms while you gallivant all over the country.
Now that you’re all set, get ready for a super fun time in Malaysia! Here are the best places that you should visit:
Fees: Adult, RM50; Child, RM40; Senior Citizen, RM30
Located within the KLCC complex, this attraction is a real gem. There are numerous exhibits such as the Rocky Shore Touch Pool, where visitors are encouraged to observe and touch sea creatures such as sea cucumbers, chocolate chip sea star, box crab, and the harmless bamboo shark. There’s the Jungle Streams exhibit where freshwater creatures such as snapping turtles and small-clawed otters live. And don’t miss the Oceanarium, wherein you can walk through a 90-meter transparent underwater tunnel and come face to face with sand tiger sharks, humongous stingrays, green turtles, and much more. Take your time in the tunnel because management won’t let you go through it more than once. There’s actually a conveyor belt to move people along, but you can step off it so you can enjoy it a bit more. Aquaria is open daily from 10:30AM to 8PM.
2. Petrosains Discovery Center and Dinotrek 2
Fees: Adult, RM25; Child, RM20 to RM25; Senior Citizen, RM18
Opened by the Petronas oil company, this exhibit is a bit heavy on the oil-related information, but other than that it’s a great place to take your kids because of its amazing displays. Ever seen a singing dinosaur? Yeah, they have one of those. Housed at the 4th and 5th levels of Petronas Towers 1 and 2, the whole place occupies more than 70,000 feet, so plan on spending at least 3 to 4 hours there. Make sure to feed the kids before you go, as there’s very little food choices inside the discovery center. The center is closed on Mondays, and is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 9:30AM to 5:30AM
3. KL Tower
Fees: Depends on which exhibit or attraction you’ll visit. The cheapest are the Pony Ride and Animal Zone, both of which cost from RM9 to RM12. The most expensive is the open deck at RM99 per person.
A visit to the KL Tower makes for a really fun day. You’ll get a 360-degree view of the whole city at the observation deck, and you get to enjoy the many attractions the tower has to offer. Visit 1Malaysia Cultural Village, where you and your family can walk through Malaysia’s unique replicas of kampung houses in a village setting. Ever wonder how it would feel to drive in an F1 race? Try the F1 race car simulators that are both visually and audibly captivating. Your kids might find it hard to stop once they start though! Keep in mind that there’s a height requirement for the simulator, you have to be at least 4 feet and 9 inches to be able to try it out. Those who’d like to go riding on a pony instead of a race simulator can do that in the tower too. If the kids start to complain that they’re hungry, you can have lunch or dinner at one of the many restaurants in the tower. A visit to KL Tower will definitely make your wallet a bit lighter, but it’s definitely worth it.
Fees: Depends on which attractions you’ll visit and how long you’ll be staying. You can opt to just visit Legoland, or go for the combo package which will allow you to visit both the theme park and the water park. The combo package starts at RM120 for kids, inclusive of a food voucher worth RM10. For adults, the combo package is RM150 with a food voucher worth RM10
This is Malaysia’s first international theme park, and it combines a Legoland Park, Water Park and Hotel in one. It’s totally up to you if you choose to stay here, but be warned, your kids might not want to leave this place once you do so! There are seven themed areas of attractions for all ages such as The Beginning, Lego Technic, Lego Kingdoms, Imagination, Lego City, Land of Adventure and Mini Land. The centerpiece to all of the displays is Mini Land, where Asian landmarks have been recreated using more than 30 million Lego bricks. There are seven different restaurants within the premises that offer anything from kid-approved fare such as burgers and pizza, to traditional Malaysian food like Nasi Lemak.
The Water Park has more than 20 slides and more water based attractions. Try the Joker Soaker, an interactive play structure in a wading pool where children can aim water cannons at one another. Overhead the wading pool, there’s a gigantic bucket that soaks everyone with about 350 gallons of water every now and then. There’s also the Build a Raft attraction, where the whole family can work together to build their very own raft made out of soft Lego bricks before floating down an artificial river. Last of all, there’s the Lego Wave Pool, where families can ride the waves or simply beat the heat by splashing around in it.
These places are all kid-friendly and parent approved, so plan on staying in Malaysia for at least a week to make the most of your visit. Have a great stay, and enjoy every minute of it with your family!