Are you planning a road trip in South Africa? There is nothing more exciting than hitting the open road to start a new adventure, explore and see what the journey brings. We have put together a list of essentials that will make your road trip in South Africa is filled with happy memories, laughs and safe travels.
Photo by Epicurrence
Here is a list of the essentials before starting a road trip in South Africa:
1. Check your tyres
Always spend time to ensure you have a safe set of tyres on your vehicle. Before you start your road trip, check your tyre pressure and thread on all tyres. Don’t forget to check your spare tyre too! (and that all the tools are in place.) Thousands of accidents can be avoided by ensuring your tyres are safe and in a suitable driving condition. According to the experts you should check your wheel alignment and thread of your tyres at least every 10 000km.
Photo by Evan Kirby
2. Check under the bonnet
Basically, if your car runs out of oil the engine will have no lubrication and seize. This unfortunate event will not only leave you with a broken down car and a hefty mechanic bill but ruin your road trip altogether. You can check your oil and water at the nearest petrol or service station. Checking under the bonnet periodically will ensure your car is well maintained and head off problems before they become costly.
3. Make sure you are covered
Accidents happen. Having car insurance will offer you peace of mind during your road trip in South Africa. Even if an accident is not your fault, it can leave you and the other people involved in a vulnerable situation. Especially if you don’t have car insurance. A good comprehensive car insurance from King Price Insurance will cover you against accidents, theft, hi-jacking, third party incidents and fires. Get a car insurance quote before your trip so you won’t have to experience a financial freak-out during any of these stressful instances. Various insurance options from King Price Insurance will also offer road side assistance and rental car options to your policy to get you back on the road as soon as possible.
Photo by Kevin Schmid
4. Padkos for a road trip in South Africa
Lets face it… no road trip is complete without a few snacks along the way. It’s it is important to stay alert, especially if you driving for a long time. Keep your energy levels refreshed with a few healthy snacks and stay hydrated. A few “padkos” favourites include: chips, chocolates, sweets, biltong, sandwiches, fruit, nuts and water. Packing your own snacks for a road trip can save you money and keep the grumbling and rumbling from dampening your trip. Don’t forget to stop and try some South African street food on your trip.
5. Music and entertainment
It doesn’t matter if you jamming to “Where the Streets Have No Name” or on the “Road to Nowhere”. Make a playlist with your favourite songs to keep you entertained and your spirits up throughout the trip. Many smart phones offer free music apps or compile your own playlist on a USB or CD. Audio books are also an entertaining way to pass time and stay focused. Passengers can pack some magazines, a tablet with games or even a deck of cards which will help pass a few hours.
6. All charged up
Make sure your electronic devices, cellphone and batteries are all charged. It can be very frustrating when you want to capture those epic road trip memories, only to realise that your camera’s batteries are flat. It can be even more traumatic if you broken down next to the side of the road without a cellphone to call for help. Keep in mind that if you using your phone as a navigation device or using the playlist on your phone, that your battery can run out quickly. If possible, always try pack a charged power bank while travelling just in case.
7. Cash for tolls
Have you ever realised that you don’t have any cash or a petrol card on you going through a toll? Not only is it embarrassing but trying to reverse back with a line of cars behind you is not half as easy as it sounds. Asking the cars behind you for money is not very entertaining either. Some tolls will accept cheque cards too but it is not guaranteed, carry a small amount of cash on you just in case.
8. Don’t forget the essentials
Often we get to tend to get so excited and carried away with all the beautiful places that we going to that we forget some of the essentials we were suppose to pack. Make a check list if you planning a long trip with things not to forget. Make sure your drivers licence is packed, booking confirmations saved and of course, don’t forget your tooth brush if you travelling for a few days.
9. Plan regular stops
Taking breaks and making regular stops during your road trip is crucial. Long distance driving requires a consistent level of vigilance. Driving and sitting for long hours can have a negative effect on your health and increase your risk of fatigue and risk falling asleep behind the wheel. Avoid driving for more than 8 hours in a day and take at least 20 minutes break every two hours on a long journey.
Photo by Etienne Boulanger
10. Don’t forget your sense of adventure
It is the journey, not the destination, that really counts. You can stop and enjoy the Durban vibes, spend 48 hours in Cape Town, admire the beaches along the KZN South Coast, plan a day trip adventure up Sani Pass or get lost in the wild coast of the Transkei. The list of possibilities are endless.
Don’t be in such a rush to get to your final destination that you miss out on the little things along the way. Stop to admire the view, take a few pictures and make new memories, South Africa is surrounded with beauty everywhere.
Photo by rawpixel.com
Related read: How to do the perfect South African road trip
Where are you planning on going for your next road trip? Have you done a road trip in South Africa? Let us know if you have any tips in the comments below.
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