By: Nthabiseng Moloi, MiWay Insurance Head of Marketing and Brand

After months without much in the way of movement, South Africa is once again open for travel, with Level 1 restrictions now making provision for unrestricted interprovincial travel. With warmer weather on the horizon and a break from school in the offing, now is as good a time as any to explore the many marvels of our beautiful country.

Given the rather sedentary nature of the past few months, it has likely been a while since you have hit the open road. As such, it is best to take a few extra precautions into consideration before you set out in search of a spring adventure. Prepare your vehicle for a long-haul stretch and take the security precautions before leaving home, ensuring that your property and possessions are secure during your absence.

Here are a few key tips to bear in mind to ensure total peace of mind:

  • Give your car a thorough once-over

If your car has spent most of the lockdown period parked in a garage, it is best to give it a thorough check before taking it on a lengthier adventure. Make sure your car’s tyres, spare tyre, battery, lights and brakes are all in good working order, paying special attention to the tyre tread and pressure. Given the unpredictable nature of spring weather, you would also be well advised to check your windscreen wipers in the event of a potential unexpected squall.

  • Brush up on your roadside skills

If lockdown has left you feeling a little rusty, it is well worth brushing up on your roadside maintenance skills and ensuring that you are well prepared in the event of a puncture or breakdown. Make sure that your tyre-changing and jump-starting skills are still intact and ensure that you have all the necessary tools to get you going again should you find yourself in a difficult position. You would also be well advised to jot down your insurance provider’s number in the event that you need emergency roadside assistance.

  • Stay safe on the road

With a likely surge in traffic as South Africa returns to its road tripping ways, it is important to remember the rules of the road. Always adhere to the speed limit and maintain a safe following distance to avoid becoming an accident statistic. It is also important to plan your journey with adequate breaks in mind, stopping at regular intervals to maintain your level of alertness. Consider curating a playlist ahead of time, to remain energised and keep your kids entertained.

  • Prepare your home

Crimes of opportunity are rife, especially during these tough economic times, so it is important to ensure that your home does not present itself as a target during your absence. If you can, it is advisable to make use of a house sitter, to deter would-be criminals. However, if this is not an option, consider asking a neighbour to keep an eye out or somebody to check in every so often, switching lights on and off to create the impression that your home is occupied.

If neither of these are feasible options, it is important to ensure that your alarm system is in working order and that all your valuables are kept out of sight, so as not to attract unnecessary interest. It is also worth double checking your insurance before setting off, to ensure that all your valuables are listed and properly covered in the event of an intrusion.

Remember that while you might be anxious to get your long-awaited holiday underway, it is worth taking a few extra hours to ensure that you are perfectly prepared. That way, you will be able to enjoy your getaway in peace and avoid any unwelcome pitfalls that could potentially derail your plans.

MiWay is a licensed insurer & FSP 33970. Ts & Cs apply.

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