The constant smell of the braai tells me that summer is in full swing and the year is almost over, which can mean only one thing in South Africa: holiday time is near. I’m sure many of you are looking forward to taking a break and our beautiful country offers the perfect weather, and the perfect locations, to do just that.
If you haven’t decided on a holiday destination yet, take a look at one of our AA Quality Approved Establishments at https://qa.aatravel.co.za/. Should you not find something to meet your needs there, the travel team has secured a number of Member only Specials that you can find at https://www.aatravel.co.za/promotions/aa-specials.aspx This site is also a great place to also book flights and secure vehicle rentals here; it really is an excellent place to kick-start your holiday.
But before you pack your bags, load the car, and drive to your destination, remember that planning and preparation are key to ensuring a safe and memorable vacation. And, if you are planning, please have your tyres checked before you embark on your journey. Don’t miss out on our amazing Bridgestone and Firestone tyre deals at Supa Quick, exclusive to AA Members. You can view these specials at https://www.aa.co.za/supaquick; just one more benefit of being a member of the AA this festive season.
While roads across the country experienced significant drops in volumes the past few months, traffic is expected to pick up steadily, especially following the official close of public schools on 15 December. And, if you are going to be one of the hundreds of thousands of holiday-makers traversing the length and breadth of South Africa be sure you pack the right driving attitude in before anything else.
Nothing compares to driving in a calm, measured, way and obeying the rules of the road will ensure you aren’t saddled with a fine, and you will be setting a good example for other passengers, particularly young people who will learning to drive soon.
Statistics show more people are killed in collisions during the festive periods than at any other time in the year, and the right frame of mind for drivers is equally as important as being physically able to drive, as well as the vehicle’s condition.
If you haven’t already done so – and you need it to be done – get your vehicle serviced or booked for a service now; if you leave it too late you may not find a spot for your vehicle before you leave on holiday. Check your tyres, ensure your eyesight is still good (and wear your spectacles if you need to), have your route planned, and get a good night’s rest before you embark on your journey.
As part of its service to AA Members, we have compiled a check-list for the year-end which includes ensuring all the essential items for a successful trip are taken care of in good time. This handy checklist for travellers is at https://www.aa.co.za/checklist-2020 and is printable so you can reference it easily when needed.
I mentioned earlier that a good attitude is essential to ensuring a safe trip when you travel on vacation. This is just one of the ‘essentials’ you need before travelling.
Another is making sure your AA Membership is up to date, and that you have downloaded the AA app. It really is an important tool that makes it easier for you to get in touch with us, and for us to locate you, in an emergency. It also includes the AA Armed Response app which is, in my view, a vital piece of software every person should have access to.
AA Armed Response is your mobile security app which essentially places a security officer in your phone. Once activated, the nearest security officer to your location is dispatched to offer armed security services, whether you’re in your car, in a mall buying presents, or even at your holiday destination. In addition to be covered for vehicle and medical emergencies, this provides a security solution for when you need it most. The AA app is available on Apple and Android so please download it before your trip if you haven’t already done so.
I am looking forward to taking some much-needed downtime in the next couple of weeks, as I’m sure you are. If you are going to be on the roads, please obey the rules, set a good example, and come home safely. If you are going to be staying home during the festive period, please protect yourself adequately, and make sure that you and your family have the necessary tools to summon help if you need to.
Yours in anticipation of a great holiday
AA South Africa