During long weekends and public holidays, many opt to go on a road trip. For those planning to go, we recommend doing some preparation. During public holidays there is an increased amount of traffic and congestion along all highways and main roads. To make your road trip less of a hassle, here are some planning tips to consider.
1. Plan Your Trip Ahead
Do some research on road conditions and plan accordingly. Keep an eye on live traffic updates for any changes to road conditions such as accidents, congestion, road work and road closures.
2. Avoid Highways and Main Roads
These will be the most congested. Consider taking the scenic route – drive through local and country roads. It may take a bit longer, but it’s much better than sitting in traffic for hours on end. Not to mention, the view will be much nicer.
(Photo by Shultz6, Alterations by MG, via WikiMedia Commons)
3. Prepare Your Vehicle
Prior to setting off, check the condition of your vehicle. Check your lights: make sure your brake lights and turn signals all function and check your high and low beams for any late night driving. Make sure your tires are adequately inflated, as under filled tires will wear out quicker and worsen your fuel consumption. Also, be sure to check your battery strength and make sure all fluids are filled to their proper levels. But most importantly, check your brakes. You can do this by pushing the brake pedal several times while the engine is off. This will stiffen the pedal, and you should be able to push it for ten seconds without moving it. If the pedal feels soft or there is excessive movement, there could be a problem.
4. Start Early and Beat the Traffic
You may need to wake the kids up and drag them out of bed. While they may be grumpy they’ll most likely fall asleep on the road and be glad to arrive at their holiday destination early.
5. Don’t Drive Angry
Holidays can be just as stressful as much as they are relaxing. However, channeling your frustration into your driving is a sure-fire way of ruining your holiday. Driving angry can lead to a higher chance of accidents as well as increase your fuel consumption.
6. Double Demerits
Be aware that Double Demerits are in effect during public holidays and long weekends. So, drive safely and legally – make sure you stay within the speed limit, everyone in your vehicle is properly restrained, avoid illegal use of your mobile phone and stay below the legal blood/alcohol limit (0.05). If you plan on drinking, arrange a designated driver or use your plan B – walk home, take a taxi, hire an Uber, use your flying carpet, whatever. Just, don't drive.
(Photo by Highway Patrol Images, via WikiMedia Commons)
7. Keep your Possessions Secure
With your home vacant, it becomes a prime target for thieves. Before you leave the house, lock all doors and window and set your lights on a timer. If you have a vehicle left at home, store it in a garage. Or use a GPS tracking device to remotely check its location using your phone or tablet.
On the road, thieves may be about at campgrounds and caravan parks, as well as motels, lodges and petrol stations. Park your car somewhere in plain sight and take any valuables with you. For an added layer of security, install a GPS tracker on your vehicle to keep it secure. Should the worst happen, at least you have the peace of mind knowing it can be recovered. As an added bonus, you can use the GPS tracker history and show off to your friends where you went. Or share your tracker login details and have them track your movement in real time.