Want a great alternative type of travel without the expensive airline costs? A road trip is just the thing for you…however, it is important that you know how to do it so your ultimate Road Trip doesn’t become an ultimate Disaster! Below is a short ‘how-to’ to get you on your way.
Choose the right companions
When travelling over a number of kilometres and hours, it is without a doubt an essential that you are travelling with people you like who don’t mind the sometimes stressed, hungry, tired you.
Plan route and stops prior to departure
Planning a route not only prevents the obvious ‘getting lost’ scenario but it also ensures your itinerary matches your transit. You wouldn’t want to be arriving at your hundred-dollar jet boat experience 3days late – for this reason, it is advisable that you leave more time than needed to complete each leg. While having a set itinerary for the trip is a great thing, it is also important to be flexible and willing to take up unplanned opportunities. To allow for these possible side trips and stops not included in the travel plan an idea may be to add in a few extra days for ‘free time.’ Another good idea is to have an alternate route in case of construction, traffic or flooded roads etc.
There is nothing worse than arriving in a new town/city after a long journey with nowhere to stay, this is particularly important when travelling in a large party, as availability for groups of four and five can be difficult to find without a booking.
Have your maps or navigation systems ready to go
Whether you prefer a GPS system that takes you through every turn-off and speed limit, or its paper ancestor, having one of these is a must and will avoid driving 4hours in the wrong direction!
Ensure you have a budget plan
Cheap and free attractions are the best way to save money on a road trip, these may include bushwalking, national park passes, museums, local markets etc. Supplying and cooking your own food is also an easy and effective way to save money. Bring refillable water bottles, and prepare packed lunches to take with you.
Plan entertainment and food/drink supplies for the road
To increase the enjoyment of the long hours spent sitting in the same position, entertainment is what will assist you in preventing boredom. Electrical devices can keep everyone entertained, especially if you download some new apps before you leave. Making a road trip playlist with lots of your favourite songs is also a great way to keep the driver entertained, who cannot read books or watch movies. When travelling with children snacks are the number one tool to avoid the dreaded ‘hangry’ and refillable water bottle are also a must!
Make sure you know the weather conditions of the destinations you’re travelling to. There’s nothing worse than having to buy clothes and shoes while you’re away because you can’t wear your best sandals for a day of abseiling. Other items you don’t want to have to be tracking down while you are on the road are band-aids, pain-killers, antiseptic cream etc so it is always a good idea to bring a small first aid kit. The most reliable way to prevent missing important items is to write a last minute to-do-list that you can check off just before you depart. You wouldn’t want to forget your wallet or phone charger.
Safety when travelling on the road is ALWAYS something that needs to be considered. Sharing the driving and making constant stops for the driver to revive before getting back on the road should definitely be pencilled into the trip itinerary. It is also good to make sure the drivers have a good night sleep the night before departure.
These are just a few tips on how to get started, but one of the best things about planning a road trip is that you can customise it to your taste!