There are two types of road trips – the ones you make with your own car, and the ones where you rent a car. The essentials are the same. Highway Bakkie Hire has listed your summer road trip essentials in the hopes that wherever you travel this festive season, you’re well equipped and well on your way.
You may think this is obvious, and we’re sure you carry yours with you, but to prevent any setbacks, make sure it has not expired. Having a valid licence is one of the most basic road trip essentials. Holiday road blocks are commonplace in South Africa, and you don’t want to be caught en route to your destination without one.
Number one in the list of road trip essentials should have been a car, right? While most people who go on road trips own their own cars, there is a rising number of city folk who have either gone car free, or choose to fly and rent. When hiring your holiday vehicle, never choose to forego rental car insurance in a bid to save money. All it takes is one blunder to turn a fun holiday into a financial nightmare, so it is definitely better to pay this cost up front.
Many people have gone paperless when it comes to money, but there are occasions where cards are not accepted, where there are no ATMs available, and where simple old cash is certainly king. One of the road trip essentials we recommend having, thus, is some emergency cash. Technology sometimes is not in our favour.
There are a lot of mobile apps which make road trips much easier these days. A variety of features can make life easier for drivers. For example, Waze is an app that shows you petrol stations, speed traps, traffic jams, accidents, and other obstacles that will slow the trip to a grinding halt. Another perk of a GPS or mobile system is that it can assist you in sticking to the speed limit. This could be a point on its own: remember to follow the rules of the road.
Smartphone and charger, and a battery pack to charge all your electronic devices. It’s a true life-saver if your phone tends to run empty long before you reach your hotel for the night. Entertainment is key to road trips, too, whether you prefer your favourite CDs, books, portable DVD players and so on.
While tech can help you get around on a road trip, one of the most basic road trip essentials is a physical map. Just like with cash, you may drive somewhere where there is no phone signal, or that battery didn’t last as long as it should have. A printed map, road atlas and a travel guide of the area you are traveling are must-haves.
A first aid kit is good to have on any trip, but it’s literally a life-saver on a long road trip. You can usually buy handy and appropriately filled kits for cars but try and include: a cold pack, plasters, disinfectant, mosquito repellent, pain pills, and sunscreen lotion.
A roadside assistance emergency pack and a Swiss Army knife can often come in handy. If your rental car breaks down, first consult your rental agreement for advice, then contact your rental company. Other handy items include a torch, paper towels, wet wipes, and a plastic bag.
Binoculars. You can use these pretty much anywhere in SA and you definitely want them on nature reserve trips. Neck pillows and blankets are great for long trips. Don’t forget your sunglasses, and a picnic blanket often goes a long way. Always pack water in reusable containers.
Above all, plan your trip to be an adventure of a lifetime. You can find alternative scenic roads leading to your next destination. Include some stops to stretch your legs, and add a few paths less travelled to your itinerary. Our country is filled with hidden gems. We hope you find some!