Before travelling long distances, have a mechanic check your car - especially tyres and brakes. Check your tyres before the journey - when cool. Remember to pump higher bars for greater load and greater speed.
Plan your route carefully. Include all stops. Remember, little ones need a bathroom break every couple of hours, and everyone appreciates a leg-stretch. It is also important so that you don’t run out of petrol.
Pack lots of entertainment for the kids, and plan games you can play together in the car. Think of educational ones, like telling the history of the places you are passing through, or something of ecological or geological interest. Also pack car chargers for games, phones etc. Pack a few CDs - story ones, as well as music.
In South Africa only: keep your headlights on - even in the daytime. It increases visibility. (In other countries, you can be fined for doing so.)
If you are driving in the dark, and someone’s headlights blind you, l0ok at the left-hand side of the road and squint your eyes. This is only for countries where you drive on the left hand side of the road. Otherwise, you would look at the right side/kerb.
When driving on dirt roads, pump your tyres down a bit. It gives for firmer handling.
In rain, drive significantly slower. Even if your car can handle higher speeds, you may cause accidents by driving too fast. Besides which, you cannot slow down as quickly in the rain, and your car may aquaplane.
Drive as if everyone else on the road is a complete maniac, about to do something crazy!!
Look at the wheels of the car in front of you - they will tell you what the car is going to do before anything else.
Take frequent rest-stops. It is recommended that you stop every 2 hours. Make sure that you don’t travel more than 14 hours per day (swapping drivers every 2 hours). Rather take a break in a place you would love to explore.
Travel on off-peak days. Besides traffic being more manageable, accidents are also fewer, and the roads are safer.
Avoid traffic by starting very early in the morning. Travel overnight in a rural area can be dangerous, as there may be heavy animals crossing the road. If hit, they can cause much more damage to the car and its occupants than to the animal.
When driving on dirt roads, drive slowly until used to the area. Then travel sightly faster, but not as fast as you would on tar roads.
Plan for emergencies. You need a fire-extinguisher, jack, spanner, emergency triangle, and torch. Your insurance/roadside assist number should be on your phone and your side windows.
Last, but certainly not least, enjoy yourself! The journey is part of the holiday after all.
That’s all. Anything you have to add, please comment below.