Planning your holiday as never been more important than in recent times. Gone are the days of taking the car in for a quick service the day before the trip, filling up with petrol and hitting the road. And when you were budgeting for your holiday, the costs were pretty straightforward and constant.
Since those days (whenever they were) there are a whole lot of other factors that weigh in – one being the variable cost of fuel. According to the latest reports, it’s coming down on 5th November. That’s good news. But will it still be down or change again come the beginning of December? And if you take into account the December price, will there be a nasty surprise at the beginning of January when you have to make your way home again?
Accommodation is usually treated by many as the thing that gets the most attention in the planning stage. Those folk who don’t use the convenient services that companies like Africa Places provide have even more of a battle to find the perfect place to stay, looking for what’s available, discovering when it’s available, and what the facilities there will be and then trying to match them up with the needs of the family. It’s a bit like buying shoes – the shop has lots of shoes, but what you like is not available in your size, and what IS in your size, you wouldn’t be seen dead wearing them! The accommodation arrangements are all “stuff” that Barbie, Elaine, Gill and their experienced team remove from their client’s shoulders and deal with on their behalf.
So if your accommodation is sorted out, the story doesn’t end there. These days the route planning can also be fraught with obstacles that you might not want to negotiate. Like toll roads. As a rough estimate, if your journey took you from Cape Town to Johannesburg add on an extra R120 for tolls and another R120 if you’re heading from Pretoria up to Limpopo. Travelling from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth is not as pricey, only R35 – but that doesn’t take into account the myriad of speed cameras near Wilderness where it is possible to get “caught” up to 5 times. And that won’t be cheap!
And if you’re driving around Johannesburg what’s the e-toll going to add to your costs … that is, if you subscribe to the system?
Some folk decide to avoid the tolls and take the alternative routes. Then they have to factor in the extra cost that the increased distances of the alternative routes might add to their fuel bills. And then there is the reality that some alternative routes haven’t been adequately maintained and there may be potholes that could damage tyres and wheels!
No. Planning the journey is not as simple as it used to be many years ago. I’m just glad that arranging the accommodation has advanced in leaps and bounds!
(Next time – Resources to use to make the planning much easier!)