6 Road Trip Tips
6 Road Trip Tips
Australia is the 6th largest country in the world and is huge in a way that delights visitors from all over the world with its diverse natural landscapes. From desert to mountain valleys, from uninhabited beaches to metropolises. From snowy evenings to sunny days, tropical hot afternoons to cold windy mornings. There is a place for everyone, and the best way to make the most of what Australia has to offer, it is road-tripping.
Road-tripping is very popular in Australia, so there is access to a lot of information and assistance for travellers.
We put together six valuable tips to get started planning your road trip successfully.
Decide on the destination, if this is your first road trip It is a good idea to choose a destination that is not too far away.
A road trip can span from one day to months. So perhaps for the first one, choose a city only a few hours away. Somewhere that you can enjoy a nice drive, spend one day or two in a new place, and drive back home.
Set up a schedule and a route plan, this will facilitate specific details of the trip.
Examples of things to consider when planning your itinerary.
- How many days, weeks, months do you intend to travel?
- How much money do you have?
- How many places are you planning to visit?
- How long will it take to get from one place to another?
- What kind of accommodation will it be on the way? Do I need to book in advance?
Many people who take road trips like to take the scenic route to their chosen destination. Some drivers prefer to take back roads rather than interstate highways when they go on road trips. Although it may take longer to reach your destination on these roads, the scenery should be much more interesting.
Plan for stops. It is reasonable to estimate that you will need to take a break from travelling every two or three hours. If there is an interesting city, park, store, or restaurant that you would like to see on your road trip, schedule stops accordingly. It is all part of the road trip experience. Always allow extra time as plans might change (and they probably will) as you start discovering new new places to EXPLORE.
Consider your vehicle. Some vehicles simply are not made for long trips. If you are thinking of sleeping in your car, a van, campervan, caravan are the best option. If you have a small car, you can still do it but you might have to consider renting a trailer/caravan or bringing a tent which will take more time to set up everytime you stop and it might limit the stopover options, but still fun.
Get a tune up. If you are planning on driving your car over a long distance for several days, it is a great idea to let a mechanic check for problems before you depart. Get your oil changed, refill your windshield wiper fluid, and make sure all lights are in working order. These steps will reduce the chance of becoming stranded or experiencing mechanical issues during your road trip.
If you don’t have a car, don’t worry. There are plenty of options out there to hire a van/camper van but remember not to go only for the cheapest option as “cheap sometimes becomes expensive”.
Some cars have mileage limits. Others have no bed and offer tents. Some have a sink and stove; others have a refrigerator in addition to the cooler. Some are manual, some are automatic. Always review the items that fit your profile and check the reviews from other travellers.
Comparing all the information can be decisive when choosing the perfect car.
Don’t forget the extras but equally important.
Make sure you have the appropriate insurance for your car and always have an extra amount for emergency cases, such as flat tyres.
There are a lot of free campsites in Australia, but if you would like campsites with more infrastructure, you might have to book in advance depending on the time of the year that you are planning to travel and make sure you have extra cash in case you require emergency accommodation.
Bring lots of water, food, snacks this will help you save money instead of buying things on side road shops.
In case there are any paid tourist attractions you like to visit, check if you are required to book in advance.
Some of those you might book on the way as you go and as required, but it’s important to mention so you are prepared for it.
Getting familiar with the road/places and where to find important information for the trip.
The state governments provide all information for travellers such as: location of public restrooms, showers and free rest areas. You just need to do a search on your browser.
Download support apps. Google maps, google trips, waze, whichever you prefer. Maps.me is a good option as it can be used offline once you have the map/route downloaded while online. There are also apps such as Wikicamps or CamperMate that provide information about accommodation, campsites, restaurants, tours, things to do, etc.
Now, it’s time to pack. The more things you take, the less room you have in the car, so make sure to bring only the essential and important stuff.
Just to be efficient, we have put together below a checklist for you.
- Dressing for the occasion (clothes and bedding)
Comfortable and easy to wear, extra layer for colder days. It is possible to use laundries at a very economical cost in many stops, so you don’t need to bring heaps. Not to mention the essentials. And, bring some going out outfit, some restaurants/pubs might have a dress code and you don’t want to miss the opportunity to check some local places.
Shoes – suitable for long walks and hiking, flip flops for relaxing days and late night bathroom break.
Sunglasses and hat to protect from the sun and beanie for the cold nights.
Blanket and/or sleeping bag, versatility (think picnic blanket), that you could use for both, bed sheets, pillows, towels.
- Looking, smelling and feeling good (toiletries)
Toilet paper, toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss, hand sanitizer, soap, body/baby wipes, bug spray, painkillers (headache, body ache), lip balm, sunscreen, after sun lotion (in case of sunburn), shampoo and conditioner (in case you need), tweezers, nail clippers.
- Important stuff (documents)
Driver’s license, ID/passport, car registration and Insurance Information, car manual. Paper money and coins, for parking meters, air pumps at gas stations, tolls, broken ATMs, laundromats.
- Extras, but also important stuff (car and other accessories)
Electronic toll pass, if applicable where you’re driving. Extra car key, spare tire with a tire jack and tools to change a flat, car emergency kit and first aid kit, hands-free phone mount for safety.
Water Resistant Flashlight, in case you need to use it when it’s raining, phone charger, garbage bags or a car bin, umbrella/ raincoat, duct tape (seriously can fix almost anything at least temporarily), swiss army knife and toolkit (tools for many situations).
- Treat yourself (food and others related)
Tissues/napkins/paper towel, reusable water bottle, food storage containers, cooking utensils (cutlery, pan, can opener), eating utensils (cutlery, plates, cups), thermos (food and beverage containers), reusable shopping bag.
Cereal/protein bars (great for walks and long drives), snacks (dried fruit/nuts/popcorn/chips, crackers), fresh fruit & veggies (preferable the ones that don’t need to be cut like grapes, oranges, blueberries, apples, baby carrots, cherry tomatoes, etc), coffee & tea bags, canned tuna (with an easy-open can), instant noodles, jarred vegetables (marinated or pickled), sliced bread, peanut/almond butter, honey, mints and/or gum.
Well, we try to cover everything in this post (at least the most important things). Now, it’s up to you. Plan your trip, EXPLORE and enjoy this amazing country. And let us know how you go, dm us, tag us, share your story with us on Instagram @explorestudyagency #explorestudyagency
See you in the next tip.
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