ROSSLYN, South Africa (December 18, 2020) 2020 has been a trying year for all of us. Confined to our homes, we haven’t been able to enjoy the beautiful destinations South Africa has to offer. As we transition into the holiday period, jumping into a car with friends or family is the perfect escape. However, it is important to be cognisant that we are still living through a pandemic and need to be mindful that our approach to road travel has shifted from previous years. With growing numbers of infections, President Cyril Ramaphosa has urged South Africans to limit their movements. However, should you have to travel, please ensure that you are protecting yourself and others by adhering to social distancing protocol and best hygiene practice. Remember to wash your hands often, avoid close contact with others, and cover your mouth and nose with a mask.

As you consider whether to soak up the sun in Durban or take in the views at the Cape, here are three key considerations to remember:

Plan your trip
While spontaneity is exhilarating, especially after a somewhat monotonous year, planning your trip before you leave is important. Not only will it ensure you are always putting your health and safety first, but you will also be able to optimize your time wisely. Figure out which routes make the most sense, and whether potential tourist attractions along the way are open and COVID-19 compliant. Throughout your trip, make sure to follow the World Health Organisation’s health and safety guides. It is also recommended to map out your petrol stops and use cashless options where possible to reduce the number of touchpoints.

Pack strategically
A great road trip is not complete without a great playlist and a bag of snacks. Packing food and drinks will not only save on costs, it will minimize the amount of interaction you need to have with other people. Make sure to also pack items that will assist should an emergency or unplanned event occur such as an extra power bank. Carrying a thermometer to keep an eye on COVID-19 symptoms, as well as extra masks, sanitizer and disposable gloves will do no harm and may come in handy should you have to extend your trip for any reason.

Ensure your car is in tip-top shape
Whether you have a four-wheel drive, a pickup or a sedan, it’s crucial that your car has at least had a minor service before you hit the road. This includes checking the engine oil, coolant and brake fluid, tyre pressure and car battery to mitigate any mechanical issues that may arise. To avoid the number of stops on your journey, fill up the tank before you leave.

Lastly, remember to enjoy your time on the open road. While the destination is oft what we most look forward to, 2020 has demonstrated that every moment we have counts.