Six tips for planning the ultimate road trip

28 July 2017

Everyone needs a spontaneous go-where-the-road-takes-you road trip at least once in their life – but for all those other road trips, a little planning could mean a lifetime of happy memories. Before hitting the road, it’s wise to do a little research, answer a few questions and create an itinerary.


Below are some tips to help ensure your ultimate road trip turns into the ultimate adventure:

Decide who you’re travelling with 
Think about who is coming along for the journey – your family, your best mate, your new flame, etc. This will help determine the kind of places you visit, how often you stop and what activities and foods you need to pack for the journey.

Where do you want to go? 
Use the Ultimate Journey website to research potential destinations. The Ultimate Journey website features more than 1700 South African destinations loaded to the site and voted for by South Africans. From cultural destinations to game reserves to casino complexes, Ultimate Journey can help you plan a road trip tailored to your style and travel tastes. What’s better than a recommendation from regular people who have been there, done that? 
Also use Google,Trip Advisor and travel blogs to find out more about the places you want to visit.

Plan your route and stops

Figure out how many days you plan to travel, how long you want to spend in the car each day and then design your itinerary accordingly. Use Google Maps to calculate distances between accommodations and map out realistic driving distances. If you’re a planner, you might want to include daily activities in your itinerary. Don’t simply plot out the fastest route – use a tool like Roadtrippers, a great online tool that allows you to adjust your route according to the activities you have planned for the day.

When it comes to planning your route, it’s a good idea to have an alternate route planned just in case there is construction, heavy traffic, floods, etc. Include frequent stops to help combat driver fatigue.


Worrying about money is one quick way to ruin a holiday, and running out of money is another way! Plan well ahead of time. Understand how much you are willing to spend on accommodation, petrol, food and activities/entertainment and budget accordingly. Remember to build in a little “fat” into your budget for unforeseen emergency or fun and unexpected activities that you simply can’t pass up!

Wherever your journey takes you, look into the area’s cheap and free activities such as hiking, museums, local markets, etc.

Pack your car with entertainment and food/drinks for the road

You’ll be spending a lot of time in your car, so make sure you’re comfortable. Prevent boredom by ensuring all electrical devices are fully charged and you’ve downloaded a few new apps before you leave. Make a road trip playlist, with a little something for everyone in the car, or consider downloading Podcasts before you start your journey. Pack a pillow and a blanket. And what is a road trip without padkos? Think of packing biltong, nuts, fruit, sweets, chocolate, sandwiches and caffeinated drinks and water.

Keep your space tidy by packing wet wipes and plastic grocery bags for collecting rubbish.

Make sure your motor is happy to go on the journey

Road tripping is a fun way to travel - whether it's with your family or a group of friends. But remember, you're transporting precious cargo! Before embarking on a long journey, ensure that your car is roadworthy and take the time to conduct a few pre-trip car-checks. Click here for more information: Your car’s happy road tripping check list

There you have it! Planning the perfect road trip is easy when you have tools like the Ultimate Journey  at your disposal – get out there and start exploring beautiful South Africa! We’ve taken the leg work out for you, though. Check out these blog posts for some great road trip ideas:

Vote for top SA road trip destinations and you could win a R50,000 road trip!

The best road trip route around South Africa is already taking shape – but thanks to the submissions and votes from South Africans, it’s constantly fluid and changing. We are giving away one spectacular prize: A road trip around South Africa valued at R50,000, driven in the brand new Kia Sportage. Go to to participate.Ts and Cs apply.


This article is intended to be used and must be used for informational purposes only. We do not make any warranties about the completeness, reliability and accuracy of this information. Any action you take upon the information in this article is strictly at your own risk. We will not be liable for any losses and/or damages in connection with the use of the information contained in this article.

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