It's become a South African tradition to go away during extended weekends due to public holidays like the upcoming June 16. You may be travelling to visit family or just taking a break and getting away from the hurried city life. Here are some helpful tips to consider before you travel.

Good sleep

Getting a good night of rest the night before you travel is an underrated but important aspect of preparing for the travel. Make sure you get enough sleep the previous night and try to have everything packed and in place, before you go to bed, to avoid anxiety and restlessness over what still needs to be done.

Have a plan

Good planning will ensure that things go smoothly. This includes what time you need to leave on the day of travel, where you intend on stopping for lunch and rest breaks, and for how long. Having a plan in place allows you to get to your destination at a desired time. Ideally, you want to travel during daylight for better visibility and safety - to do that requires planning.


Dress comfortably

The beauty of doing a road trip in a private vehicle is that you don't have to dress up, in fact, you can dress as you like. Dressing comfortably for a long drive is key and can be the difference between having a good trip and an uncomfortable one. 


Cables and electronics

These days we use our mobile phones for navigation, and some may still prefer to use traditional navigation systems. Either way, these things need to be charged and powered, and so do other electronic gadgets that may be on board, such as kids' iPads. Make sure you have all your charging cables packed in the car before you leave.


Having adequate drinking water in the car is always a good idea. It keeps you hydrated during the trip and can serve other purposes as well. You can use the same water to wash your hands or for washing fruits before consumption.


Air circulation

When driving long distances, we often keep our windows closed to reduce the draft and wind noise. You may not realise it but you need fresh air for your mind to operate effectively. At the very least try to have the air-conditioned running to bring in fresh air. The lack of sufficient oxygen is one of the causes of drowsiness behind the wheel. This leads us to our next point.


Take a break

The last thing you want is to become a road accident statistic. Some people can detect the onset of drowsiness due to fatigue, while others respond to it when it occurs. Either way, stopping for a rest or a stretch when feeling tired should never be taken lightly. Take a power nap if that’s what you need (at a service station), or swap drivers, but do not play Russian roulette with drowsiness. It can be fatal.


Be aware of the speed limit

The speed limit is there for a reason, and most often for the safety of you and other road users. Stay cognisant and obey all speed limits, because not doing so may compromise your safety and that of others around you, especially when you're required to reduce your speed.

We hope that you've found value in these tips – Have a lovely June 16 weekend.



Gugu Masuku – proudly CHANGECARS