My husband and I recently did a road trip from Cape Town to Lesotho to the Golden Gate National Park to Hogsback and back to Cape Town. In total, we covered just shy of 3 000 kms. We learnt a lot along the way, and I felt the need to share these lessons with you.
For some added road trip tips, read this story here:
Lesson One: Keep your map loaded all the time or download offline versions
Gone are the worn copies of AA Road Maps stuffed into the cubby hole. Nowadays we rely on our trusty cellphone apps. However, these apps also rely on an active data connection. If you accidentally exit out of your map and it cancels the navigation and you are in a no signal zone, you’re out of luck and you won’t be able to load it again, unless you saved an offline version. The road is long and sometimes the distance between signal is just long as well.
Lesson Two: Download your playlists
For the same reason as the first lesson, this should be something you do too. When you lose signal, streaming your favourite iTunes or Spotify playlist is not possible and you may be stuck with listening to your favourite five Christmas songs that you downloaded at the end of last year. Some great road trip songs can be found here.
Lesson Three: If you’re approaching a big garage stop and you have no idea when the next one is, use that stop
Well, this was a lesson I didn’t ever want to learn. We passed by the Bloemfontein stop thinking that the next one couldn’t be too far away. Boy, were we wrong! As a result, we ended up using a rather gross, dirty and dark bathroom in the town of Excelsior. Do you even know where that is? Probably not, and it’s a bathroom we’d rather forget, quickly.
Lesson Four: Don’t drink too much liquid
Seriously, pace yourself when it comes to the liquids. Especially us ladies who can’t (and would prefer not to) just pull off on the side of the road. I’d rather be thirsty and drink all the drinks at the end destination than have another Excelsior bathroom experience.
Lesson Five: Keep cash on you at all times
We don’t like travelling with hard cash on us - we prefer to swipe for all our payments as it’s safer and easier. But on more than one occasion, we needed small change on us for something. A prime example is to pay for the bathrooms at some of the smaller stops. It’s always R2 and it’s not in change - you need a R2 coin to get in. Sometimes it could be to pay for parking or just for something small in a shop - we discovered the hard way that cash is, indeed, king.
Overall, the road trip was tremendously fun, and we’d do it again in a heartbeat. Well, maybe in a few heartbeats. Driving 3 000 kms is no mean feat and we’re happy to stick to the roads closer to home for the next while.