How to Make Sure Your Tyres Are Ready for Summer Road Trips (and 5 More Travel Tips)
Posted by: Lydia on 23/10/2019
Summer is almost here, and many Aussies are drawing up plans for new road trips. Down Under is undoubtedly one of the best places in the world for a jaunt in the car. With iconic surf beaches, snow-capped mountains, desert sands, and dynamic modern cities, there’s no shortage of destinations to choose from when deciding where to drive.
But it’s vital to ensure the right checks are done on your tyres and car before you take off – and also that you take some steps to guard against the worst road trip mishaps. Read on to check out 6 important tips for the perfect trip.
1. Examine your tyres
It’s no secret that Australia is an all-star when it comes to great road trips, but you won’t get very far if your tyres are in bad shape. That’s why, before you drive out of the garage, it’s necessary to ensure your tyres are properly inflated and that they don't have any serious wear. And if it's been a long time since your last tyre rotation, now would be a good time to swap them around.
All being well, your four tyres should be good to go for the road. But this is also a great time to check the health of your spare tyre, just in case you end up needing it on your journey. If you’re in doubt about the health of any of your tyres, it’s vital to get them inspected before you take off. Road trips should be fun and carefree, but tyres that are in bad shape could potentially spoil all your fun.
2. Have your car checked out in advance
If you’re doing a drive just outside of town, there’s no need to visit your mechanic beforehand, provided your car is in good condition. But if you’re going on a longer journey, getting a service done beforehand becomes more important. In theory, a good car should perform consistently no matter what Aussie road it’s driving on. In practice, long trips where you are driving at high speeds for hours a day (and perhaps in extreme heat or cold) change the dynamic.
Even though each Aussie car travels an average of 13.4 thousand kilometres each year, a road trip really bumps up the strain on your vehicle. So if it's been awhile since your last service and you’re setting off on an epic summer trip, schedule a checkup with your mechanic first. It’s much better to find an issue in your mechanic’s garage than face a breakdown in the middle of nowhere.
3. Don’t rely on a single GPS
There’s no doubt that GPS technology is amazing, doing away with the need for big clunky maps that are harder to navigate with. But GPS is not foolproof. So in addition to bringing your regular GPS, it’s really good to have a backup, along with a paper map in case your gadgets go offline temporarily.
While it is unlikely that your main GPS device will fail, it's always possible that you could lose your signal, have a battery issue, or encounter some other unforeseen problem. So having backup navigation is critical when driving outside your local area.
4. Pack extra essentials
This next tip requires a disclaimer. Chances are good you know someone who overpacks for a road trip, leaving people squished and uncomfortable in the car. While you don’t want to be that person, you do want to be prepared for any setbacks on your trip.
If you encounter a traffic jam that delays getting to the next town, that extra food you packed will be the perfect backup lunch. And whether you're camping or staying in accomodation, packing an extra blanket and pillow per person could mean the difference between a good night’s sleep and a terrible one. Packing some extra essentials like these will give you peace of mind that you'll have your needs covered no matter what comes up.
5. Tell someone where you're going
Odds are good you’ll get many happy snaps on your trip and be regularly updating social media with your latest destination. This is great fun, and part of what makes a road trip in the 21st century so enjoyable. It isn’t a replacement for providing someone you trust a full itinerary of where you’re going, though. Even something as simple as losing your phone could make you unreachable unless those back home know what destination you’ll be arriving at next.
This is also an important step to take in case an emergency arises closer to home. If your phone is switched off or charging, having another person someone can reach out to as an emergency contact can be priceless.
6. Bring multiple cameras
Smartphone technology has come a long way, and most modern phones today will produce a good selfie. Nonetheless, mobile tech isn’t yet at the point where it can fully replace a regular camera, especially for photography enthusiasts on a road trip.
Be sure to keep your phone close at hand for those quick pics throughout the day, but also be sure to bring along a regular camera for those really special shots. Alongside promising to deliver you a better picture, having a second camera handy is great if your first one fails.
As the old saying goes, ‘Those who fail to plan, plan to fail’. Spending a little extra time before you set off on the road can save you plenty of woe and misery. It also helps ensure you can get the very most out of your summer road trip with peace of mind, knowing you’ve taken care of the most common issues that can pop up and ruin the trip.
So follow these tips, and you can be certain your next road trip will be unforgettable for all the right reasons.
What other tips do you have for summer road trips? Let us know in the comments below: