Holiday trip? A little planning will go a long way…

  • Take a few minutes, perhaps save hours
  • Simple checks even a non-expert can do
  • Did you book your overnight accommodation?
IS THE OPEN ROAD AHEAD? Make sure you're car - and you - are up to it. Happy holidays! Image: Supplied
IS THE OPEN ROAD AHEAD? Make sure your car – and you – are up to it. Happy holidays! Image: Supplied

THE EASTER HOLIDAY season is upon us and that usually means a family trip, by road.

Tiger Wheel & Tyre has suggested some preparation before you load the luggage and the kids and head for the game park or holiday resort – or to join family in a distant town.

Group marketing executive Joe du Plooy told The Corner in a media release: “When you fly, you trust the pilot to do a pre-flight inspection, the cabin crew to prepare you for take-off. Much the same applies to the car trip to your holiday destination.”

TIPS FOR A HASSLE-FREE TRIP

A South African family trip could easily mean a 1000km drive so why leave things to chance? A pre-drive inspection and planning for trip comfort are worth every second to lessen the chance of being wheel-less in Worcester, stranded in Soebatsfontein or at the end of your tether in Geduld.”

Here are Tiger Wheel & Tyre’s tips for a hassle-free holiday drive, duly edited by The Corner…

Pre-drive vehicle inspection. Check engine hoses and belts, brake fluid and coolant levels; that the battery is in good shape, the tyres (remember the spare!) are at their service-book recommended pressure (espcially for the extra load!).

Check tyre tread depth to ensure it’s above the one-mm legal minimum (The Corner seriously believes that’s too little and will not account for the expected wear on a long trip – go for at least two millimetres, especially in the Highveld rain season).

WILL YOU BE TOWING?

Check that jack and wheel-nut spanner are in the boot – and add a good-quality torch – perhaps one that can flash as an emergency light.

If you’ll be towing a caravan/trailer check its lights are working, tyres are roadworthy (they often deteriorate if left unused for some time) and inflated, and that it has the required licence disc.

Plan your route. Use an online resource such as Google Maps to determine the best route, travel time and perhaps points of interest for comfort breaks. Note likely points to refuel. Print the information in case you lose GPS or cellphone signal along the way.

If you plan to take two or more days on the trip remember to BOOK YOUR ACCOMMODATION. If not, give the driver a break every two or three hours.  Carry a list of emergency numbers, especially for any roadside assistance programme to which you are signed-up.

STUFF FOR THE CHILDREN

Pack car cellphone charger(s), a first-aid kit, a large bottle of water (in case you get stranded or need it for the vehicle) and enough padkos – you don’t have to stop and its a helluva lot cheaper than a garage restaurant.

And for passengers… especially children. If you take an in-car or portable DVD player take twice as many movies as you think you’ll need. Pack electronic games (and their chargers), colouring and activity books, some surprise new toys .

And a plug for Tiger Wheel & Tyre, seeing as they provided the basis for this feature: stop by for a free battery, wheels and tyre check. You’ll find your nearest branch and more safety info on their website.

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