5 things to do before going away

The school holidays are coming and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed with so many things to remember to do before you go away. But here are five quick and easy pointers that will make your holiday as carefree as possible – and even save you money in the long run – so that you can focus on enjoying time with your loved ones.

1. Service your vehicle
If you’re planning to set off on an overland adventure, it’s important to service your vehicle beforehand. This will ensure that everything is running safely and smoothly so that you can enjoy the drive and rely on your car to get you to your destination. By addressing any issues, such as under-inflated tyres and leaks, a good service will not only prevent accidents or the inconvenience of breaking down, but it will also make for a more fuel-efficient car so that you can save money on fuel.

2. Turn your geyser off
Turn your geyser off if you’re going away for a few days so that the element will not periodically kick in to reheat the water. As a result, you’ll conserve energy, use less electricity and save water, which will save you some valuable Rand to put towards your holiday.

3. Pack healthy snack options
Whether you’re going on a long road trip or just driving to the airport, it’s always best to pack some healthy snack options that will keep everyone’s energy levels stable. Nothing’s worse than feeling famished and pulling over at the service station to see that it only stocks overpriced junk food that will have a negative impact on your body and wallet. If you have kids, healthy snacks will also avoid sugar highs that will lead to them inevitably crashing after spending an hour kicking the back of your seat.

4. Pack a source of entertainment
In the same line of thought, bring a CD or upload your favourite music to your iPod to boost endorphins on any long journeys. You may also wish to pack some games or toys to keep the youngsters entertained. Otherwise, you could be in for a headache-inducing few hours, and a trip to Ouma’s house could cost you your sanity.

5. Get currency
It’s advisable to carry a mix of cash and cards with you when you go away – in case of emergency. If you’re off to far away land, arrange to buy the local currency beforehand and do some online research to find out who boasts the best rates and lowest commissions. Although you can exchange money at the airport or in your destination, you can often get better exchange rates if you do this before you leave. You may also want to compare credit cards to see which will give you the best rates and lowest fees abroad, and a pre-paid travel card is worth considering if you need a bit of help sticking to a budget.

The moral of the holiday story is to plan ahead to avoid potential disaster and to save money. Obviously you can’t be in total control of everything, but a bit of forethought and preparation could save you a lot of unnecessary drama and cost. Whatever you’re up to this July, enjoy yourselves, travel safely, and come back feeling happy and refreshed!

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