Citizen Reporter
2 minute read
22 Jun 2022
2:57 pm

Road trip planning: Six tips to make your next journey a more pleasant experience

Citizen Reporter

Road trips remains a South African favourite and as such, here are a few tips in preparation for your next journey

Getting out on the open road remains a part of South African culture. Image: MasterDrive

Despite ongoing petrol price hikes, the length and breadth of South Africa means getting into the car and embarking on a road trip remains an enticing undertaking no trip by airplane can compete with.

Given the distances between major and small towns in different provinces, the sense of freedom provided by such trips continues to resonate highly as it conforms to the adage of “doing it my way”.

In preparation for the next journey, have compiled the following tips worth remembering before you set off.

1. Plan Ahead

Identify where you want to go and how, by judging your route accordingly and in good time.

Make sure of locations to fill-up and/or get food, as well as places of rest. Information centres remain key as they provide the ideal source for what you want to see or indeed how far to go.

2. Rest frequently

Long-distance driving without proper rest remains a huge problem in South Africa, as the temptation to save time by driving non-stop often takes over.

If symptoms such as weariness, yawning, painful or heavy eyes, and sluggish reaction times prevail, rather pull over where possible and take a break.

At best, a rest of 15 minutes after two hours should be taken.

3. Driving in pairs

One of the simplest ways to avoid crashes, regardless of the trip being at day or night, is to share driving duties should two or more people be present.

Worth noting is that those driving need to be rested beforehand and insured on your vehicle’s insurance.

4. Don’t put your faith solely in cruise control

While indeed one of the easiest ways to put less strain on your legs on a long trek, interchanging between cruise control and working the accelerator should be applied, since relying solely on the former can lead to laziness or loss of focus.

5 Animal watch

Animals crossing the road are often blamed for a large percentage of accidents, not only during the night, but also in the day.

The key, therefore, is to remain vigilant regardless of the time of day and either slow down, or use the hooter when noticing an animal.

Be careful or try to avoid, if possible, roads where animal related crashes are common.

6. Law abiding citizen

 The rules of the road are there for a reason and not be debated with.

Therefore, buckle-up, adhere to the speed limit, get rid of distractions, be respectful to others and have a safe journey.