Road trips are a great way to see this vast country of ours and can make for memories that last a lifetime. So, whether you’re going away for a weekend or you’re off for a few months of exploring, we’ve got some tips to make your trip even more enjoyable.
START WITH A CLEAN CAR
The trick to setting the tone for your road trip is to start with a clean car. Not only does it get everyone off on the right foot and more motivated to keep the interior of the car clean as you go, but a protective wax will also help to avoid road grime and bugs from etching themselves into your paintwork while you’re on your trip. Take your car to your local Magic Hand Carwash and they will recommend a service that will do the job.
GET YOUR CAR READY
Before you set off, it’s important to check some key areas of your car, like ensuring you have enough oil in the engine, water in the radiator and windscreen washing reservoir and also that you have a right tyre pressure. Breaking down on the side of the road is sure to ruin your holiday so ensure you make the time to check these thoroughly. It’s also worthwhile ensuring your roadside assistance cover is up to date in case of an emergency.
The main tip for packing the boot is ensuring that everyone packs light! Once you have all of the items you need to take set out, aim to keep the things you need throughout the trip in arms reach so that you don’t have to unpack and repack the boot every time you stop. It’s also worthwhile keeping some items in the cabin of the car, perhaps pillows for napping, a drink cooler, games and activities for kids (or for adults) and snacks to get you between stops.
MAKE A PLAN
Have a rough idea of where you’re going so that you’ve at least got a general direction to head in. In some cases, there may be a choice to take the road less travelled which can be exciting and show you sights that others would miss - however, be aware that there may be fewer facilities like petrol stations and roads that aren’t as well kept as the main road. If you’re travelling in key holiday seasons it’s always a good idea to book accommodation ahead of time, as some holiday destinations can be completely booked out for weeks in advance. Work in frequent pitstops to see the sights and stretch the legs. Depending on how much time you have you might like to stop for a few hours to take a bush hike, visit local artisans and food makers, view historical sites or relax by the beach or in a national park.
SHARE THE DRIVING
Driving can be tiring and fatigue is a major concern for road safety, so it’s important to share the driving load when possible. You could choose to swap after each pitstop or drive for a particular number of hours each. If it’s not possible to share the driving then ensure that the driver takes proper breaks and has the opportunity to take a nap if needed.
MAKE A PLAYLIST
There’s nothing like a playlist to make a memorable road trip. Try making a playlist that is not too long so you can listen to it over and over again on your trip. This way, when you hear the song in the coming weeks and months (and possibly years) you will be taken straight back to the fun memories of your road trip.
OCCUPY THE KIDS
It’s easy to hand the kids an iPad to keep them occupied for a little while, or pop a DVD on a portable DVD player, but if your trip is more than a day long you’ll need a few more things up your sleeve. For older kids, try recording the name of every creek or river that you drive over. Little kids love colouring and singing songs. And kids and adults of every age love a good game of eye-spy.
Once your road trip is all said and done and you’ve arrived back home there’s still a couple more things to take care of. Aim to unpack the car as soon as possible so you’re not still cleaning up the remnants of your trip in a week or two. After all of that driving, you’re likely to have sand and dirt in the carpet, a sticky mark here and there and of course a windscreen and grill full of bugs. So take your car on back to Magic and they’ll have it sparkling again in no time.