Sometimes time does not allow for a long road trip yet a simple day trip can help one escape reality and get into the country. We recently had lunch at the ADA adventure centre and discussed the possibility of a brief day trip around the Hartbeespoort dam. Although it’s a short excursion it still requires a degree of planning.
Less planning than a long road trip however it’s important to know what you want to do – you only have one day so prioritise your most important points of interest. So a bit of research is necessary to ensure plain sailing. Once you have a destination you need to ask yourself the following;
- Are there any reservation requirements?
- What are the entry costs if any?
- How far is your destination?
- What are the operations hours?
- What is there to see in the area?
Then check the weather forecast, heavy rain can spoil an outdoor experience.
You should also plan your meals and check the availability of eating spots. Time is of the essence so a packed breakfast with a flask of coffee, water and juice will help. You will get to your destination on time.
Leave early, especially if you decide to go during the week. You will miss the rush hour traffic and any potential roadblocks. It also gives you a buffer for any other delays such as accidents or roadworks. You may have to travel home later to miss the afternoon traffic. Then stop for a light supper if you are heading home after dark.
Company is important, you may even split costs and a companion gives you someone to talk to.
Then never forget a good playlist as you may not be able to listen to your favourite radio station.
We tend to know what to pack for a long road trip in terms of clothing and equipment but you need to scale it down for a day trip. But use your standard guidelines so as not to forget anything. Don’t forget;
- Snacks and water
- Cellphone charging cable
- Printed maps to cover special locations
- Cash and debit and credit cards
- Some spare clothing ( you never know what could go wrong ) rain gear and a warm jacket. Even in summer, it can get cold after a shower or storm
- Cameras, a first aid kit and a tripod
- Tools, jack and jack handle
Some of the items may be in your car safety kit but it’s worth checking.
Then be flexible in your planning, you don’t want a surprise to spoil your day trip after you have left home. An unexpected closure or bad weather needs to be catered for.
So explore the alternatives in case you need to revert to plan “B”.You may even need to switch activities around or visit alternative attractions. Then chat with locals, you may even find an activity only they know about. Just have fun and enjoy the day out. There is so much to see and do.
Lastly, take photos and make notes for your journal, this helps plan your next trip especially if you want to return to the same destination or advise a friend.
My philosophy is always to try a new destination. But get out when you can and enjoy yourself.