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How To Plan The Perfect Road Trip

We have just come back from an epic 7 day road trip where we covered 3000km ( 1800miles ) from Cape Town to Coffee bay and back via the coast of South Africa. We had an amazing time and all the fears I had about travelling that distance especially into unknown areas were never realised. Michael has spent the last couple of years doing some crazy road trips, not only around South Africa but Africa as well so I knew I was in good hands but there is still a lot of planning that has to go into something like this.

Find the perfect road trip partner:

Whether you go with a few people or just one remember that you need to have a good dynamic with the people you are traveling with. This could definitely make or break a road trip as hours on the road could feel a lot longer when you are with someone you don’t get along with. Thankfully Michael and I do everything together and we seem to work together even better when we are on the road. While he is driving I am the assistant, opening drinks, taking photos out the window and being in charge of the maps and music.

Get a car that will go the distance:

A car is obviously one of the most important things of a road trip/ We knew our current car wouldn’t be up for the challenging roads on the Wild Coast so we organized one that is. Take your car in for a check up before you leave to avoid any nasty surprises along the way. We watched a really old and quite silly movie that you all will know called “Road Trip” the otier night. In the movie they try and drive across a small stream and the car ends up falling apart when they land on the other side. Its not something anyone outside of a movie will do but you never know when you might hit a pot hole ( there were so so so many on the roads that we went on ) or get a puncture in your tyre so be totally prepared!

Give yourself a lot of time:

There were so many things we wanted to see but had to pass on because of time constraints and while we were really sad having to do it in hindsight we knew we made the right choice. We only had 7 days and we really didn’t want to spend each day driving about 6 hours so we broke up our trip a bit more and stayed over two nights where we could. You feel way more relaxed, you get to see a bit more at the stops and you can actually enjoy yourself before hitting the road again. We knew some places on our trip would have really bad dirt roads with cows sometimes chilling in the middle so we planned for that and did not drive at night at all. Its always good to get familiar with routes and places so you know what to expect.

Have hard copies of everything:

There were a few times we lost connection but luckily I either had screenshots of where the places we were going were or an actual map to check quickly. Google maps is pretty boss when it comes to working with hardly any signal but you never know when your phone might run out of battery or something. We always like to have a map book handy to double check anyway! Its also fun to mark off the routes and places you have been to check out later.

Book your accommodation ahead of time:

No one really wants to sleep in a car, never mind that its not actually legal in most places, its not safe and you definitely wont feel rested. Make double sure your accommodation is all sorted out before you leave to avoid any nasty surprises. Whether it be a hostel, camping ground or hotel you never know how quickly it might book up.

Have a budget:

No one wants to run out of money for petrol ( gas ) half way through a road trip so try and work out an estimate cost of everything including meals, tips, road trip snacks, toll road charges and everything else before hand. Then take that amount and add about half of it on to make sure you are covered for anything. Its always good to have a credit card handy just in case!

Have fun:

Ok so after all of those stressful things you need to remember road trips are fun! Have an awesome up beat playlist, yummy road trip snacks and soak in your surroundings. We had the absolute best time driving with the most epic landscapes surrounding us and we cant wait to go on our next adventure!




  • February 24, 2017

    Awesome tips! I am guilty of not giving myself enough time on the road. Whenever I go on a road tip I’m like, ” We can totally do all of this stuff, plus some extra!” Turn out half way in I’m behind schedule and running out of time, so that’s a great tip. I always carry hard copies as well. We rely too much on technology, but sometimes you just don’t have connection. Looks like you all had a blast. I would love to do this!

  • February 24, 2017

    The road trip partner is so important! I used to “audition” my road trip buddy with a day trip before setting off for multiple days. Hard copies and pre-booked reservations are great advice. It is fun to be spontaneous, but I do not take a chance on where I am going to sleep!

  • February 25, 2017

    Road trips are really a great way to travel. We love road trips as they allow you to have an immersive travel experience. One can get close to the places one is visiting. The tips you have provided are all really practical and sensible. It is always wise to be prepared on a road trip, though the lure of the unknown is also irresistible.

  • February 25, 2017

    Wow!!! Road trips are indeed fantastic!!! My honeymoon was a 5 day bike ride!!! Lolz… You’re right, we find places that we don’t even know exists! Hope I go on one soon again!

  • February 26, 2017

    I did this exact trip and back again using the Baz bus. It is once heck of a way. We would have loved to have done it solo as it give you so much more freedom.
    I have also taken a few road trips in my time and the points you make are great. I always carry a phone charger for the car for low batteries but you are right about having a hard copy. Losing signal is a problem in rural areas.
    Its also nice to hear you both work well as a team.
    Enjoy your next road trip!

  • February 26, 2017

    Great tips, Carlinn (and your photos are gorgeous – what a view)! Having hard copies of everything is definitely a great idea, and not just on road trips. I’m off to Asia for two months soon, and although I tend to put all the info I need (flight and hotel details, etc.) on my phone, I always make sure I write them down somewhere else as well because… well, you never know. Choosing your roadtrip partner carefully sounds like good advice too – after all, you have to spend most of your day with that person, for several days in a row!

  • February 26, 2017

    I love road trips, so the distance you covered sounds like a lot of fun. The ride you had was awesome too, they must have had a phone charger in there though! You did right breaking up the days so you had time to relax.

  • February 28, 2017

    These are some great tips! Road trips have always fascinated me. You have some epic pictures out here!


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