"If you're travelling anywhere by car, why take a chance when a little preparation can save a lot of trepidation?" said Tiger Wheel & Tyre’s Group Marketing Executive, Joe du Plooy. "Who knows what trials or adventures your road trip will yield, but to help you, we asked our team for their top 10 travel tips."
- Do your vehicle's annual inspection. Knowing that belts, hoses and tyres (including the spare) are intact and inflated, and fluid levels are optimal provides peace-of-mind. Your local Tiger Wheel & Tyre also offers a free Multipoint check.
- Plan your route, including stops. There's no greater stress than wondering if you have enough petrol to make it to the next stop. Consider passengers' needs too. Small children need frequent bathroom breaks and everyone benefits from a leg stretch.
- Pack light. The bulk and weight of packing everything - including the kitchen sink - just increases your discomfort and fuel consumption. You should also always check your tyre pressure before a long trip, but make sure you haven't driven too far yet so your tyres are cool enough to give an accurate result. This will help improve vehicle safety and maintain fuel efficiency.
- Plan for emergencies. Check that you have a jack, spanner, special key if you have wheel locks, an emergency triangle and a torch. Pack a first aid kit for minor medical emergencies and if you have a roadside assistance plan, have the phone number and your policy number on hand.
- Pack a cooler. This will cut down on stops, save money and, let's face it, snacks and cool drinks are a good distraction for bored passengers.
- Plan entertainment to occupy the kids. Prepare a bag of new books, toys and games and dish these out as needed to save your sanity, or incentivise good behaviour. The novelty factor alone is worth several hundred kilometres of smiles.
- Travel on off-peak days. Why take a chance of getting stuck in gridlocked holiday traffic, when leaving a day earlier or later on an off-peak travel day can save you hours of frustration, hundreds of rands in petrol, and even your relationship with whoever is along for the ride.
- Stagger your journey. If you're travelling from Garsfontein to Gansbaai remember there are no awards for getting it done in a day. Rather enjoy the scenery and plan to stop overnight, preferably in a place you haven't been and would like to explore.
- Pack car chargers for electronic items. Possibly, the only thing worse than being stuck roadside with a dead cell phone, is when the kids' electronic games run out of juice.
- Enjoy the ride! Before you leave, carry out a last-minute check to ensure you have everything, lay down the law for passengers, load your favourite CDs, then take a deep breath and enjoy the journey.
If you're aiming for less stress and more fun this summer, then why take a chance? Head to your nearest Tiger Wheel & Tyre and have your free tyre safety check done.