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Expert Tips on How to Plan a Memorable Self-Drive Holiday

With the freedom to explore at your own pace and choose your own destinations, it's no wonder that adventurous travellers are opting for self-drive holidays, both in South Africa and abroad. But where do you start? This guide will take you through the steps to plan your perfect self-drive holiday.

Choose the Right Self-Drive Destination and Route

The key to any successful self-drive holiday is to have a basic route and itinerary. But it’s a big country/world, so where do you even begin?

Start by considering your interests and preferences, as well as the time of year and weather conditions. Do you want to explore scenic coastal roads, winding mountain passes, or historic towns and cities?

Roadtrip spontaneity requires pre-planning

Once you have that narrowed down, research the best routes and attractions in your chosen destination, and plan your itinerary accordingly. Don't forget to factor in rest stops, meals, and accommodation options along the way.


Pre-book Your Self-Drive Accommodation and Activities

The whole point of a road-trip is that you can be spontaneous and flexible, but if you don’t plan a little bit ahead you may miss out on experiences that are fully booked, and you'll definitely lose out on pre-booking discounts.

Ready, set... bungee!

So always try to plan your accommodation in advance and, where possible, your activities. And don’t forget to factor in any necessary permits or reservations for activities such as hiking or visiting national parks.

Pre-book activities to avoid disappointment

Sure Travel makes a DIY roadtrip easy by providing accommodation, tours and activities bookings for almost everywhere across the globe via our online booking platform SureConnect. 


Make Sure Your Road Trip Vehicle is Roadworthy

If travelling locally, make sure your own car is in good condition and roadworthy. This includes checking the oil and fluid levels, tire pressure and tread, brakes, and lights. It's also a good idea to have your vehicle serviced before your trip to avoid any unexpected breakdowns. 

Check those tires before you hit the open road!

Additionally, make sure to pack an emergency kit with items such as a spare tire, jumper cables, and a first aid kit in case of any unforeseen circumstances on the road.

If you’re not taking your own car, be sure to hire a car via reputable car hire agencies, like these, as these rental cars will be up to date on services and have all the necessary insurance.


Stay Safe On Your Road Trip

It’s important to prioritise safety, especially when driving in unfamiliar areas. Before setting off, make sure to familiarise yourself with local traffic laws and regulations. Plan your route ahead of time and avoid driving at night or in adverse weather conditions.

Keep a first aid kit and emergency supplies in your vehicle, and make sure to have a charged mobile phone with you at all times. Finally, be aware of your surroundings and trust your instincts if you feel uncomfortable or unsafe.

Familiarise yourself with the rules of the road wherever you self-drive

Importantly, make sure your own or your car rental has roadside assistance as part of the insurance package. And always ensure that all passengers have the necessary insurance; this includes travel insurance, especially for non-domestic travel.


Pack Smart For Self-drive

Make sure to bring along all necessary documents such as your driver's license, registration, and insurance information.

Also be sure to include basic necessities such as a medical aid kit, and always keep water and snacks in the car because you never know when you may have a breakdown and need some sustenance while waiting for roadside assistance!

Packing smart is a roadtripping must!

Other than that, try to pack light in terms of clothing and other goods, and always travel with washing powder and a makeshift clothesline so you can do laundry on the road to reduce the amount of clothes you need.

Lastly, if you haven’t booked all your accommodation in advance, it’s advisable to pack a small tent, inflatable mattress and sleeping bags – just in case the only accommodation you can find is camping!


Take a Road Trip Without The Hassle

If you want the experience of a roadtrip without all the DIY hassle, remember that reputable travel agencies offer incredible pre-packaged self-drive holidays locally and abroad. These usually include fly-in with car rental self-drive packages, which often include accommodation and, sometimes, even activities en-route.

Explore independently without any of the admin with pre-packaged self-drive pacakges

Locally, Sure Travel offers local  self-drive experiences such as a 7-night Gqeberha, Garden Route, Winelands and Cape Town self-drive package priced from R4,490 pps, as well as one- and two-night overnight stays in hotels and lodges on popular self-drive routes such as  2 nights at Simbavati Fynbos,  2 nights at the Fancourt Hotel in George, a 2 night stay at the infamous Mount Nelson Hotel and a 2 night stay at Boschendal Wine Farm.

Explore Knysna while on the 7-night Gqeberha, Garden Route, Winelands and Cape Town self-drive package

Or you can head further north with Sure Travel's 6-night self-drive Northern Namibia and Skeleton Coast Camping package from R21,660 pps, or a 3-night Etosha and Swakopmund self-drive exploration from R15,950 pps, plus plenty more local, regional and international self-drive options.

Go off-road in Namibia

For more info on organised self-drive holidays, contact your nearest Sure Travel agency. Or book your own self-drive accommodation here and your activities here.

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