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Holiday season is literally almost here. Crazy to believe it though because it feels like just yesterday when we got back from our crazy spontaneous 7 Countries road trip back in December 2016.

To be honest, it wasn’t until last night that I realized that December is in 2 weeks. 2 WEEKS!  So we scrambled along with my boyfriend and came up with a plan of how we going to spend our December holidays. Without a doubt, we both opted for a ROAD TRIP. We spent about a couple of hours just working out the details and we finally have them bedded down.

Considering how long it took us to get all the details and the work behind it, I wanted to share with you some tips and tricks you can use to plan your road trip. I am no professional; and YES, half the time our trips are very spontaneous, however, there are some very important things that one needs to do before going on a road trip – especially if you will be going with little ones.

Here’s a few things you need to do before going on a road trip

  • Decide on how long you want your road trip be – start date & end date – This will come in very handy when you do your planning around everything else.
  • Decide on the depth of your road trip {Will it be an in-country road trip or a cross country road trip}
    • This is were you will be spending most of your time with decision making. A road trip is a very fun and casual way to spend time with family. You get to explore and make a ton of memories while you at it.
    • If you decide to do an in-country road trip, it will be far more easier – planning wise. You won’t have to do much with this option besides making sure that you are ready and excited on the day of departure. The nice thing is, we are already so blessed to be living in such a fabulous country – South Africa – with so much to see and explore. So don’t worry, it will be just as much fun.
    • However, should you decide to do a cross country road trip, you will need to put in a little bit of effort into research before the departure day – trust me, it’s all worth it though. First, you have to make sure that every single person who’s going on the cross country road trip with you has a valid passport; then decide on how many countries you want to visit and how many days you will spend in each country. Once done, you must:
      • Find out the currency of each country and whether or not they will allow you to use SA rands to perform transactions in their country
      • Decide which boarder gates you will use to get into each country – Google maps is amazing at helping you map your road trip route and showing you the different boarder gates
      • Do research on each boarder gate to find out how much you’ll have to pay at each and what currency you have to use to make such payments. *Just a quick note* – Some boarder gates actually allow you to pay in rands while others even allow you to exchange rands to their currency while at the boarder.
  • Based on the length of your road trip and including the amount of money you will need at each boarder gate, figure out how much money you will need to complete your road trip. Remember to take into account:
    • The car you will be driving – will it be a hired car or your own?
    • Number of full tanks you will need – PS: Once you have the road trip route mapped out, google maps will tell you how many kilometers it’ll be. Just make sure to have an extra provision for about 2 extra full tanks just in case you discover something while road tripping and go off route.
    • Whether you will be camping or booking hotel stays – accommodation. If you choose hotel stays, you will have to call them before the arrival date to make a booking. Camping usually an easier bet because half the time even without reservation, you have a higher chance of still getting a camping spot.
  • Make sure you have all the paperwork you will need for your car to cross the boarder. Please note that the documents differ depending on the car’s financial state – is it still financed by the bank or you are full owner of the car? Quick tip: If you are the owner of the car, make copies of the car ownership certificate. DO NOT TAKE THE ORIGINAL with you on the road trip.
  • Decide on the kind of food you will want to eat. Personally I prefer to buy food on the go but if you are travelling with little ones, some powdered milk and cereals will come in very handy during the long stretches. Also buy water, plenty of it – this is a basic need, right? If you don’t have a gas stove, it might be a good idea to invest in one if you will want to have some cooked meals while road tripping and/or camping.

Lastly remember to have fun. Embrace the road, take pictures, make videos, and make sure the memories last forever. Pack comfortable clothes since you’ll be spending most of the time on the road – denims won’t cut it.

Hope this will come in handy for you as you plan your next or first amazing road trip.

Here’s to making memories