The end of June signifies the beginning of holiday breaks whether you’re on the southern hemisphere where winter is looming or you’re enjoying summer days on the northern hemisphere. Here are some tips for all of you who will be taking a road trip during these holidays
The last issue you want to deal with during your road trip is your car giving out on you. Ensure that you do a thorough service check before your trip especially if you are taking a long trip in areas where petrol stations are not closely available. Have your tyres checked and ensure your spare wheel is pumped and is at the right pressure. If your vehicle is prone to having problems regularly, look into renting a car or use someone else’s instead.
This is extremely crucial for any trip. There are some finances that go without saying when you plan for a trip, namely: accommodation, meals and activities.
Here are some key finances you need to plan for specifically for a road trip:
- Snacks or meals while en route (this is if you do not have snacks from home, which I highly advice you have instead)
- Meters/Parking tickets
This tip is a preference of mine because it eliminates stopping multiple times and spending money during the trip. You will obviously have to stop for meals throughout the day which already takes up time and you do not want to stop to just buy an energy drink.
- Bring a cooler to store foodstuff that need refrigeration
- Limit snacks that are high in sugar because eventually that results in a sugar crash and will leave everyone feeling groggy and tired. If you have a sweet tooth some good alternatives are: dark chocolate, fruit popsicles, fresh fruit, sugar free liquorice and granola bars. More ideas : Craving Something Sweet? 20 Snacks Under 200 Calories
- Avoid ingesting diuretics such as coffee, pineapple, peaches and cranberries. The last thing you want is to have a full bladder and too many bathroom pit-stops during your trip.
- Snack on foods that are high in protein because they can make you feel fuller for longer. Check out some more ideas from: 44 Healthy Road Trip Snack Ideas
- Bring condiments for food you buy along the way.
A playlist is not something I can suggest in that much detail because it does depend on your taste in music as well as the people you are travelling with. I would suggest that you plan a good playlist ahead instead of playing music on shuffle especially if you have music you know some people in the vehicle would not appreciate (for instance: parents, grandparents, people who don’t say the same religious beliefs if you play religious music). If you need some suggestions there are tons of playlists on Spotify for different genres and events that you can check out.
You don’t have to be limited to just listening to music, you can also delve into some podcasts, audiobooks or just tune into a radio station that you enjoy.
The responsibility of being vigilant and in-the-know regarding what’s happening in the areas you are travelling fall on all the people in the vehicle. Things to be informed about include:
- Weather-it may be drastically different from your point of departure to your destination and in between. Make sure you have the appropriate clothing and that certain parts of the vehicle work such as the AC and windshield wipers. Make use of weather apps to stay updated.
- Traffic-follow sources such as EWN Traffic (for South Africans) for traffic updates. The Waze app is also helpful-it lets the driver know which routes to use and which to avoid relating to the traffc.
- Listen to the radio news or read news articles relating to the area you are travelling to. News on the radio station are usually not more than 10 minutes long and should not be a pain to sit through.
- Have your car’s manual easily available in the event that you need it for reference.
I cannot tell you how many times we have completely trashed the car in crumbs, snack packets, empty food wrappers and bottles. The easiest thing is to have a plastic bag (or three) that everyone will throw their trash into. This will save your car interior, trust me.
This goes without saying. You always want to be connected when you travel and one of the ways to do this is to ensure that your battery does not die. Ensure that you have working car chargers, fully charged power banks, tablets & phones and have a conventional charger. When you make a stop to eat, sit at a table that has a power outlet for you to charge. Remember the phone from which the driver is navigating gets charging privilege.
Ultimately you can buy multiple port car chargers to ensure that several people can charge at one time, you can purchase these here:
Ps: these are really affordable.
In the event that somebody is injured or has a mild medical emergency (e.g: headache, blisters, bee sting, muscle pull…)have the necessary medicine and medical care items to treat them. Some cars come with a first-aid kid but if you happen to drive a car that does not, look into purchasing a fully equipped one or at least some items in it. Buy one here: Marco Home and Office Kit or if you want something smaller, opt for: Marco Large Red Kit
Being on the road for lengthy period of time is exhausting and can take a toll on your body. Take the following into consideration when you’re managing the trip’s schedule:
- Departure time-this is the starting point of your trip and it sets the tone for how the rest of the schedule is planned out. Leave early enough to be able to arrive to your destination at a reasonable time and to avoid speeding.
- Plan for pit-stops-this is essential for the trip goers to stretch, eat, recalibrate, go to the bathroom, take pictures, pump petrol.. you get the idea.
- Have multiple drivers for long distances
Not to be confused with the first-aid kit, the emergency kit is for emergencies other than than medical ones. Some things to include are:
- Flashlight (battery-powered)
- Food that won’t spoil quickly
Also include an emergency plan, Make An Emergency Plan
Other travel posts:
If you have any more tips please comment them below.