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Avoid roadside breakdowns & meltdowns this festive season

Its that time of the year again — crickets — and we all know the holidays are all but breathing down our necks and whether you look forward to the family road trip or hyperventilate at the thought, the guys at Tiger Wheel & Tyre have a few strategies to help you get to your destination safely and survive the holiday travel season and we’re more than glad to share them with you.

1. Do your vehicle’s annual inspection. Knowing that belts, hoses and tyres (including the spare) are intact and inflated, and fluid levels are optimal provides peace-of-mind. Your local Tiger Wheel & Tyre also offers a free Multipoint check.

2.Plan your route, including stops. There’s no greater stress than wondering if you have enough petrol to make it to the next stop. Consider passengers’ needs too. Small children need frequent bathroom breaks and everyone benefits from a leg stretch and break.

3.Pack light. The bulk and weight of packing everything including the kitchen sink just increases your discomfort and fuel consumption. You should also always check your tyre pressure before a long trip, but make sure you haven’t driven too far yet so your tyres are cool enough to give an accurate result. This will help improve vehicle safety and maintain fuel efficiency.

4.Plan for emergencies. Check that you have a jack; spanner; your special key if you have wheel locks; an emergency triangle; and a torch. Pack a first aid kit for minor medical emergencies and if you have a roadside assistance plan, have the phone number and your policy number on hand.

5.Pack a cooler. This will cut down on stops, save money and, let’s face it, snacks and cool drinks are a good distraction for bored passengers.

6.Plan entertainment to occupy the kids. Prepare a bag of new books, toys and games, and dish these out as needed to save your sanity or incentivise good behaviour. The novelty factor alone is worth several hundred kilometers of smiles.

7.Travel on off-peak days. Why take a chance of getting stuck in gridlocked holiday traffic, when leaving a day earlier or later on an off-peak travel day can save you hours of frustration, hundreds of rands in petrol and even your relationship with whoever is along for the ride.

8.Stagger your journey. If you’re travelling from Garsfontein to Gansbaai remember there are no awards for getting it done in a day. Rather enjoy the scenery and plan to stop overnight, preferably in a place you haven’t been and would like to explore.

9.Pack car chargers for electronic items, because possibly the only thing worse than being stuck roadside with a dead cellphone, is when the kids’ electronic games run out of juice.

10.Enjoy the ride! Before you leave, do a last-minute check to ensure you have everything, lay down the law for passengers, load your favourite CD/s, then take a deep breath and enjoy the journey

Papi Mabele
Tech enthusiast at heart. Lover of all things digital. Papi is the founder of SA Vibe and has been sharing his love for gadgetry since 2010. Papi sees no need for wearable tech in his busy schedule and considers the Xbox One as non existant. He may come across as bias at times, and still holds a grudge at BlackBerry for creating the 8520.