It’s finally time for your holiday! We know you can’t wait to hit the road, arrive at your destination and officially start your holiday, but before you plan all the things you’re going to do, you need to prepare for the drive.
From regular rest stops to road trip stopovers, here are some holiday travel tips to ensure you and your loved ones arrive safely at your destination:
1. Plan your trip in advance
Make sure you have a safe route planned and work out which rest stops will work best for you along the way. One of the most important travel tips for road safety on a long journey is to get out of your car and stretch your legs. Plan these rest stops every two hours or so.
Top tip: Always have an alternative route in mind, and stay up to date with road conditions and traffic issues on your planned route. Be sure to check out our road conditions and distance calculator.
2. Stock up on your sleep
Get some rest before you begin your journey. Aim for at least seven hours of sleep for two consecutive nights to build up your energy reserves.
3. Pack your car safely
Take care when you pack your car; do not overload your vehicle and do not allow your vision of the rear of the vehicle to be blocked. Should you be in a crash, unsecured baggage could potentially hurt you or your passengers. So, make sure that any baggage which is not packed in the boot is safely secured inside the vehicle.
Top tip: Don’t forget to pack these handy items for any eventuality on the road.
4. Last checks before you leave
Before you hit the road, fill your car’s tank, check the oil and water, and top up your engine coolant. Ensure that you check your tyre pressure and tread, and double-check that of your spare wheel.
5. Fill up on fuel for you, not just your car
Keep a variety of vitamin-packed, healthy foods in the car with you. Nibbling on carrots, almonds and biltong (for example) will help you to skip the fast-food stops. And stay hydrated to keep your energy levels up.
6. Sit up straight
Make sure your seat is adjusted properly for your body and tilted for maximum blood flow. If you feel a driving “trance” coming on, sit up straight, breathe, and even open the window for some fresh air.
7. Keep the kids entertained
Long drives with kids can often lead to squabbles and whining. This kind of aggravation is not only distracting but can intensify driver fatigue. So, make sure your children are entertained with books, puzzles and other time-killing diversions.
8. Stop for the night
Breaking your journey up over two (or more) days is a great excuse to explore some lesser-known destinations in South Africa. Plus, you’ll be putting safety first by prioritising your rest.
Top tip: check out our list of AA approved accommodation for your road trip stopover.
Safe and happy motoring!