2016-12-03 00:16:38date was

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  • The Five Rules of Sahel Road Tripping Etiquette

    sahel-road-trip-main

    With Sahel Season in full swing, everyone seems to be commuting every weekend to the North Coast (or the Red Sea or Sinai if you’re trying to avoid everyone). And since Sahel Season requires moving in packs, we bet you’ll be co-driving a lot with friends and family. Travel blogger @Suzeeoutofthecity is a seasoned road tripper/public transport expert/ fantastic co-pilot, and has these gems of wisdom to share with you…

    RULE NO. 1: Split the Petrol Cost…

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    An easy way to avoid tensions from the start of the trip (and to feel like you’re contributing if you’re not driving) is to split the cost of car fuel (as well as the rental charge if you’re renting) between you or agree on taking turns in paying. If the driver insists on paying, find a way to pay them back, like buying them dinner later on or maybe even wing-manning that person, or whatever – just figure it out. Once you reach your destination, you’ll probably be too tired, cranky and sweaty to agree on who paid what, so it’s safer to agree at the beginning.

    RULE NO. 2: Be a Good Co-Pilot…

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    If you’re sitting next to the driver, you are absolutely and unequivocally responsible for keeping him/her awake and helping to avert accidents. How? Stay alert, keep them awake, use Google maps when they’re lost, don’t let them text/call and drive, keep your eyes out for random people running across the highway, feed them or open their drinks for them while they drive; basically do everything they need to keep their hands on the wheel and their eyes on the road. Do. Not. Fall. Asleep.

    RULE N0. 3: Play the Right Music…

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    This sounds trivial, but imagine, if you will, spending eight hours in a tiny car where everyone hates everyone because one of you wanted to play Britney’s greatest hits on repeat, or even, god forbid, Bieber. If you’re the co-pilot, your job is to keep the driver focused and the other passengers happy; so try to find a happy compromise of a playlist that won’t end in murder. Trust me on this; music can make or break a trip, especially if it influences the driver’s mood and concentration. Check out my SoundCloud likes for some easy-listening playlists.

    RULE NO. 4: Double Check the Car’s Maintenance Before You Leave…

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    If you’re the driver, it’s your responsibility to have the car oil/tires/brakes and spare tire checked before the start of the trip. Don’t lie to your co-passengers if there’s something wrong with the car like a troublesome tire; if everyone knows then everyone will keep an eye on the issue. Also, make sure you know the nearest and most reliable petrol stations and car mechanics on your route. You’ll need your car agent’s contacts, papers as well as the emergency road rescue services.

    RULE NO. 5: Stay Updated on Road News

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    With a series of reports and rumours of attacks, shootings and failed hijacks on the Cairo-Alex Desert Road in recent days, we hope everyone stays safe and alert. I recommend travelling to Sahel during the day or in a convoy of cars if at night. Check your Facebook feed and Bey2ollak regularly for alerts on accidents or other issues on your route. Let your friends at your destination know when you’re on the road and have your emergency contact number saved into your phone (Here’s how if you’re an iPhone user). Always have back-up supplies of food, water and bedding just in case you get stuck in crazy checkpoint traffic jams or there’s an accident ahead of you, and you may have to sleep an hour or two on the side of the road (we’ve all been there).

    BONUS RULE: Keep Everyone Alive...

    I can’t stress this enough; especially with Egypt’s record-high road fatality rates. If you’re drinking and partying in Sahel, please opt for an Uber. They’re affordable and will take you everywhere without the guilt or, you know, death. There is really no reason to drive drunk in Sahel: it’s not fun, the roads are never empty or safe and no one will high five you once you kill someone and/or yourself.

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    Follow @suzeeoutofthecity on Instagram, or Snapchat: SuzeeoutoftheC and read about her travel adventures on suzeeoutofthecity.com.

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