Have you been dreaming of a getaway after months spent in lockdown? Or are you ready for your first interstate road trip in who knows long?
Whether you’re simply heading off up the coast for your annual family holiday, ticking off some of the great sites and things to do on your bucket list, or simply having a quick weekend escape, no one wants to break down on the freeway or be stranded at a not-so-restful rest stop. Although it’s tempting to just throw a few things in the back and hit the open road, those well-versed in the art of road tripping will tell you that preparation is the key.
To enjoy the wonders that the land we call home has to offer and to avoid mishaps and hassle along the way, it’s all about the three Ps: Preparing, Planning and Packing. A safe and roadworthy car, a well-planned route and packing the right gear could mean the difference between an enjoyable and safe trip, or not.
We’re here to help you ensure you enjoy your well-earned break. Before you leave, check out our top five tips for preparing for a road trip!
#1 Get your car serviced
Before you get started, ask yourself—are you due for a service? If your car is currently due for a service or will rack up the kilometres to be due for a service while you’re away, then it’s time to book your car in. The beginning of summer is the busiest time of year for mobile mechanics, so don’t delay, get it booked ASAP! When you’re getting your car serviced, let your mechanic know that you’re off on a road trip. A good mechanic will complete all the safety and mechanical checks necessary, so you have peace of mind when you head off. Need a good mechanic? Find your local Blue Toro Mobile Mechanic!
#2: Roadside Assistance
Do you have any? This is worth considering prior to heading off. If you do have roadside assistance, do you know its coverage area? Do you know the number? Will the company tow you and your vehicle? And how far will it tow you if you’re a long way from home?
#3: Find the best time to leave
You won’t want to be stuck on the freeway the same time everyone else decides to head off for summer holidays or on a long weekender. When planning a road trip, avoid the obvious peak hour… Friday afternoons (especially before a long weekend), Sunday afternoons returning to a big city, Boxing Day, and returning on a Monday public holiday.
#4: Charge all your tech
You may be packing your phone, tablet, DVD player, other kids’ entertainment and more. You don’t want to be in the middle of nowhere only to find that none of it is charged. Charge the night before you head off and consider taking a car charger or portable battery for those long car trips.
#5 Don’t forget a spare key!
It’s amazing how many people lose their car keys while away. If you don’t have a spare, you’ll be stuck. Pack a spare set in your suitcase, daypack or handbag!
Road trip checklist
It’s important to plan for a road trip as it will result in a smoother, more enjoyable holiday for both you and your car. If you are going on a long trip, make sure you get your car serviced before you head off and don’t be afraid to ask your local mechanic for a hand when needed!