So, you want to go on a road trip. Great! It’s one of the best ways to explore a country, especially a country as vast and picturesque of Australia. However, there are a couple of things you’ll want to keep in mind before you buckle up and hit the road.
DO make a plan
Having some sort of a loose plan will help you when it comes to pre-booking accommodation and finding petrol. It also means you can let someone know roughly where you’ll be and when so that if you happen to get lost without any phone reception (a very easy thing to do in Australia), you’ll have people to help you out.
DO stop at the toilet when you find one
You’re not always going to know when the next toilet stop is going to be, so make the most of it while you can. Remember to bring toilet paper with you so you don’t get caught out too!
DO carry extra water
Always pack extra water and fill up your bottles as often as you can. It’s hard to judge when you’ll next be passing through a town, petrol station or convenience store so don’t take the risk. Especially if you’re travelling in summer!
DO reconsider the need to drive at night
Not only is driving at night incredibly dangerous in Australia (thanks to the wandering kangaroos and wombats), it’s also very easy to get tired and you’ll miss a lot of the beautiful scenery. Try to drive during the day so you don’t miss anything.
DO make it easy to reach what you need
It might be easier to simply throw everything into the back of the car, but if you’re stopping at a beautiful beach you weren’t expecting to stop at, and the water temperature is just right, you’ll want to be able to quickly and easily reach in and grab your swimmers and a towel.
DO make the trip with some friends
Road trips are always more fun with company. Whether you bring along the dog on a dog-friendly road trip, travel to a new country with your partner in crime, or you travel with some close friends, company can make a huge difference on the road. Plus, you’ll be able to share the driving (not with the dog of course).
DON’T stick to a strict schedule
Allow yourself plenty of time to discover new things on the road. You’ll come across lookouts, animals or beaches that you’ll regret not stopping at because you wanted to get to the next stop sooner.
DON’T rely on Google Maps
If you’re travelling off the beaten track, don’t expect to be able to pull out your mobile and Google how to get back to the main roads. You’ll struggle to find reception at the best of times if you’re travelling anywhere outside of Australia’s major cities and towns so have an actual road map with you just in case, or download your maps ahead of time.
DON’T forget about tolls and petrol costs
The cost of petrol and tolls varies everywhere you travel but it’s important to factor them into your holiday budget. In Australia, there are few toll gates left and we use a tag system instead. If your car doesn’t have an e-tag you can be fined for passing through the toll without paying.
DON’T plan on driving too many hours per day
You’ll ware yourself out if you’re planning on driving five plus hours each day. Plan no more than three hours so you have time to explore and enjoy the journey.
DON’T let the cleanliness slip
You might want to lay back and enjoy the ride but without making an effort, the car will be filled with rubbish from lunch takeaways, snacks and bottles in no time. Clean up after yourself at the end of each day or whenever you stop near a bin to maintain a comfortable ride for the rest of the journey.
Where’s your next road trip? Let me know in the comments below!