Top 5 Tips on Preparing for a Road Trip

Posted by: Reshika Pillay on 20/10/2021

Category: General



A road trip with family and/or friends can be an exhilarating experience, and road tripping in and around a beautiful country like Australia can be especially memorable. But if you don’t plan correctly, it can also be a not so fun experience for you. As the saying goes, ‘Hope for the best but plan for the worst’ and it is with these words echoing in our ears that we have put together this list of the top 5 essential things to help you prepare for the journey ahead and avoid any issues that may potentially arise on your trip to ensure a safe and pleasant journey. Here are the top 5 tips to prepare yourself for a road trip of a lifetime!

1. Check tyres

The very first step in preparing for a road trip is to make sure your vehicle is in the appropriate condition to travel long distances. Checking the tyres should be the first thing you do to make sure the tyre isn't bald or underinflated, which can cause trouble on the road. It is also important to note that an underinflated tyre will reduce your economy on the road and cause you to use more fuel. When inspecting your tyres, keep an eye out for any cuts, embedded nails and the tyre pressure. The correct tyre pressure for your vehicle will be labelled inside the drivers' door. Don't forget to check your spare tyre as well, in case of an emergency or flat tire situation on the highway.

2. Car service

Panning ahead is vital when it comes to creating a memorable holiday. Thus, it is essential to take a look at your vehicle's vitals and engine before starting your road trip. It may be worthwhile to take it to the mechanic for servicing as well as a general check up to ensure the safety of yourself and your passengers.

A long drive can put strain on your vehicle's mechanics, especially when driving constantly at high speed for hours (always obeying the posted speed limit of course). As such, a trip to the mechanic can save you a lot of money in the long run and also provide that peace of mind that your road trip is going to be as hassle free as possible - at least from a mechanical point of view. We would recommend you taking your vehicle a month ahead before your trip to allow time for any repairs to be carried out.

Don't forget to clean your car thoroughly before going on the road for a nice smelling car and providing extra room for luggage and other essential items like masks, personal items, hand sanitisers etc.

3. Entertainment

One of the most important things for a road trip is creating the perfect music playlist. Even when driving to the supermarket we need to have the best songs playing, imagine hours on the road. The choice of tunes can make a big difference in the journey, and thus collaborating with your passengers on music is essential for a happy driving experience. Of course, nothing beats throwback sing-alongs to uplift the sprites and keep yourself alert when driving.

Another great suggestion instead of music is podcasts and audiobooks. This will keep the whole car entertained. If you are driving with kids, it can get a bit hectic. To avoid your kids getting bored, download lots of games and movies on their electronic devices. Especially when road tripping, you may come across places with little or no reception at all, so it's a good idea to download them before you start your trip.

Packing toys, books and playing games like ISPY are also another way of staying entertained without having to rely on your electronic devices.

4. Route planning and stops

Going on a road trip is fun but not when you get lost in the middle of nowhere. Planning a route is a great way to ensure you end up at your destination. By planning your route, you will be able to determine how many hours you will be driving and how many stops you need to take. Depending on how many drivers you have in the car, you will designate each driver accordingly, as well as establishing if you need to sleep somewhere overnight.

The season you travel will determine how busy the roads are. They may also affect the route you may take for example snow, flooding, cracked surfaces etc. As a result, it's vital to plan ahead your routes to avoid any hiccups along the way, as you may need to change it and take a longer route to avoid these situations.

Road tripping in Australia can be fun but service stations are not every 10 kms like the suburbs. Especially if you are driving in the outback, you may not find any stops for over a hundred kilometres depending on where you are. Thus, it is a great idea to take advantage of any stops you come across for you to rest, use the toilet and grab any snacks.

An essential item to pack is a hard copy map of where you will be travelling with road routes and nearby suburbs. This is good to keep in case you end up being lost and your phone loses reception.

It is also a good idea to use a comparison website to review your comprehensive car insurance plan before you depart and ensure that you are covered for additional benefits like roadside assistance, towing and emergency accommodation in case things don’t go according to plan.

5. Book accommodation and activities ahead

As mentioned earlier, seasons can play a major factor in planning and preparing for your road trip. In general, if you are travelling with kids, it's best to book accommodation and any activities you wish to do ahead of time. That way you avoid your children getting bored and you have secured a place to sleep rather than trying to cram into a car if the place is sold out.

Don't forget to keep all your confirmations for hotels and leisure activities on your phone or printed out to avoid any misunderstandings. Also keep an eye out for the dates you booked so that it matches with your plans, as sometimes mistakes happen and you may book for next year rather than this year!

Now that concludes our top 5 tips on preparing for a road trip. Our last advice to you would be to go have fun! Enjoy all the moments you spend with nature and create memories that will last a lifetime.

Written by Reshika Pillay