It’s that time of the year again: time to pack your friends or family in the car and hit the open road. Who doesn’t love a road trip?
Just writing this word sends shivers of excitement down my back. Road trips are fun and exciting, no matter where you go! So how do you prepare for such a long drive?
Here are a few things you should keep in mind as you plan.
Plan the trip … but keep it loose
Plan it, but expect things to go differently. Keep an open mind and go with a flow. Road construction, bridges being out, and messy accidents are almost guaranteed to slow things down along the way. Try not to stress about it too hard and remember that it will probably make a good story someday.
Apart from that, you never know when great opportunities arise, you could be driving by one of the most stunning views, meet people that point you to a different direction, or simply you just changed your mind.
I often have a general plan with things along the way that I definitely want to see or experience, roughly the distance and how long it would take and if i need to stress about take jerrican with fuel or i would be able to cover distance between petrol stations – believe me, I am an expert on getting out of fuel on a road! Check distance between fuel station, always, especially if you are going to venture in one of the long rides in Australia.
Use Multiple Tools to Map Your Trip
On my most recent trip to the Atherton Tablelands in Australia, I found myself using two maps. One was a map of the area by Australian Geographic, which had great information on places of interest. The other was the good old Google maps.
Make Sure You’re Covered
Whether you run your car battery down (as it happen to me when we were travelling around Tasmania) or lock your key in the car or get a flat or worse, it’s great to have roadside assistance on your side. If you have NRMA you’re fine in Australia. If you don’t you should check out their website for info – NRMA has a roadside assistance service that will help you get back on the road as soon as possible.
I remember when I was driving out to Warwick and the time belt just came off Lucy the Landy. I just called NRMA and within 2 hours they fixed it and I was good to go again – life savers!
Check Your Car
Before starting your trip, have your car tuned up and checked. Some people do a full-on check, I generally just check tyres, cooling system and I do change the oil.
Stay in Touch
Let someone at home know your route, when you leave, and when you arrive at your destinations. If you have WiFi, use skype or send a quick email. That’s all it takes.
Slow Down, Go Local
Slow down, save petrol and enjoy the scenery. On my trips through Morocco we listened to local radio – I was brilliant and really gave a whole different atmosphere to our road trips.
Hungry for lunch? Look for the diner in a small town and you’re sure to get some local flavour from the people as well as the food. Sometimes a local museum is the one that you’ll find yourself telling people about years later. Don’t overlook what may appear to be small experiences as they may be the most memorable.