Picture this: you’re on a road trip with your loved ones enjoying padkos and singing along to your favourite tunes. Suddenly, you realise you have a flat tyre. Ugh.
Fortunately, preparing can prevent bumps like these along the way. Here are a few road trip tips to consider before you hit the road.
1. Ensure your car is roadworthy
It’s important to make sure your car is ready for a long road trip, especially if you’re travelling far. Some things you should ask a professional to check include:
- The battery: Ensure there aren’t any leaks, that it’s still working properly and that the connection is tight and corrosion-free. Tip: it’s a good idea to do this annually if your battery is more than two years old.
- The car fluids: This includes the oil, brake fluid, filters, water and engine coolant.
- The engine filter: This collects dust and other debris, so it may be clogged and affect your car’s performance.
- The brakes and tyres: Have the pressure of your tyres checked, including the spare ones. Your brakes should be checked in case they are worn out.
To put your mind at ease, consider getting Budget Insurance’s vehicle warranty, which covers any mechanical or electrical problems that may happen while you’re on the open road.
2. Get your budget in order
A road trip budget will ensure you don’t overspend or run out of money. Make a list of everything you may need money for in a notebook, your phone’s memo pad or a budgeting app like PocketGuard. Some expenses that you should consider include:
- Snacks and meals
- Accommodation and parking
- Toll tariffs
- Rental-car costs (if you aren’t using your own car)
3. Pack enough munchies
Home-made road trip snacks are easy to make and affordable and will help keep you well fed until you reach your destination. This could include chips, popcorn, home-made trail mix, biltong and dried fruit. Use a cooler bag to store sandwiches and water. Do some research beforehand for any popular rest stops on your journey where you can take a break and have a treat – ensure you follow COVID-19 safety protocols when stopping for refreshments. City slickers need to be responsible when travelling cross-country. Stay on budget by having your meals at small local eateries or food stalls. They offer great dining experiences and are easier on your pocket. The Inside Guide or Tripadvisor can help with this.
4. Get creative with entertainment
Having your favourite Spotify or iTunes playlist is vital but could become boring within a few hours. Try shaking things up by listening to some podcasts or audiobooks. Some good options for podcasts include Binge Mode(reviews of popular movies, TV series and books), Lesser Known Somebodiesby local comedian Simmi Areff and Sleep Tight Stories(for the kids).
5. Map out your trip
Google Maps can do more thanhelp with navigation; it can also save you time on your journey. It has a ‘saved places’ functionality where you can save locations on your route. So, when researching spots online, save every location you may want to stop at and Google Maps will remind you about these stops on the way.