Last week 27 Greenpop team members embarked on a 2,451 km road trip from Cape Town, South Africa to Livingstone, Zambia for the 5th annual Zambia Festival of Action! We were incredibly grateful that our fantastic long time sponsors, Mercedes Benz Commercial Vehicles and Sandown Motors, were kind enough to once again equip our team with a top-of-the-line Sprinter Van to make the massive journey up to the festival in style. Once our trusty sprinter was decked out (Greenpop style!), our team set off on a three day adventure — crossing two borders, ferrying across the Zambezi River, spotting roadside elephants, and spending a total of 51 hours on the road. You might say that we are now road tripping experts.
Lucky for you, we’re sharing our epic tips so you can make sure your next road trip is even more fun than your destination!
1. Music is key – even if your singing isn’t.
Have everyone in the car create hour-long playlists and shuffle through giving each the chance to DJ! You can all include favorite tunes or assign themes – best of the 80s, early 2000s, Beatles Mania – get creative and make sure to include throwbacks! If you have guitars, bring them along, and if not, air guitars don’t take up too much space.
“We were having these incredible jam sessions and sing-a-longs with these acapella harmonies. Depending on everyone’s energy level, we had funky jammy tunes in the day and than this mermaid lullaby music at night. It was just epic.”- Alex Paullin, Conservation Music Project
2. Snacks galore
Bringing healthy snacks for the journey is key to staying happy while on the road. Having everyone prepare something before hand like muesli, popcorn, nuts, or chopped fruit and veggies is the perfect way to stay fueled up while adventuring. Just make sure to leave the smelly snacks at home. Sharing healthy food with your fellow car mates and drinking lots of water means you can avoid the junk food at roadside stops – better for you and your wallet!
3. Stretch those legs!
During any long road trip, it’s important to take breaks. Stretch your body, get some fresh air, and just move around. If you were in Beaufort West last week, you may have see some of us practicing our Tai Chi on the side of the road.
4. Put your phone down
It’s easy to spend a day on the road catching up on your instagram or twitter feed. Try to resist the temptation for an hour or so and just look out the window and chat with your friends. Take in the trees and the people around you and reflect on how it’s different from your normal route.
5. Have your camera out and ready
Whatever you do, don’t keep your camera in the boot! Keep it front and center on your lap ready to capture all the action! Who knows what you might see on the side of the road…
6. Meditate on the move
The great thing about meditating is that you can do it anywhere, but car rides lend themselves specifically well to this activity because it’s specific time carved out where you don’t have to be anywhere else. If you’re not used to meditating on your own, download some guided meditation sessions before you set off, and you’ll be finding your breath in no time.
7. Games on games
8. Stay green!
So much waste accumulates on car trips but bringing eco-bricks along is a great way to manage it. Find an extra plastic bottle and stick in all the extra non-recyclable bits and bobs as you go. See how many bricks you can fill by the time you arrive! And, of course, don’t forget your reusable mug, Tupperware, and canvas shopping bags to reduce the amount of waste you wind up with in the first place!
Let’s face it, you probably can’t be jamming out or chatting the whole time. When you need a break, podcasts are the perfect fix. TED talks, Stuff You Missed in History Class, The Moth, and Serial are all great programs to accompany you to your destination.
10. Pull over for the sights
Breaks are important in any road trip, which is the perfect excuse to stop for interesting sight seeing! Farmers markets, waterfalls, giant baobabs on the side of the road – you never know what you might find. Not only will it be a fun way to break up the trip, but you’ll get to your destination with lots of new stories to share once you arrive.
11. Get crafty
Whether you want to spend time in the backseat wood working, knitting, embroidering, or plugging away at one of those adult coloring books you got in the Yankee Swap this year, you’ll have plenty of time to get going on those while on the move. Just be aware, it’s hard to color inside the lines on long stretches of dirt roads.
12. Read and write
That stack of best sellers next to your nightstand isn’t going to read itself and those empty journals in your closet that you bought to write the next great novel still have yet to be opened. Use part of your journey to catch up or get started. Take a look at these journal prompts or book recommendations if you need some inspiration!
13. Keep the driver happy
Driver has veto power on any music, can make the call for any stops that need to happen, and should be cared for with the utmost love and affection by all passengers. Try to have multiple driver shifts so you can rotate through, and make sure to keep the napping one as comfy as possible while they rest up.
By Chrissy Beluk
Photos by Lee-Anne Olwage Photography
Keen on planting trees and getting active about the future? Come to our Eden Festival of Action to help us regreen the Garden Route.