If you're an Australian, and even if you aren't, there's something about getting behind the wheel of a vehicle and embarking upon a road trip to just about, well, anywhere. The beauty of the road trip is that you never know where you may end up, what you might see en route, or who you might meet.
In a country the size of Australia, you can drive for the best part of a day and watch an ever-changing palette of scenery and weatherscapes mix before your eyes, but it's still important to plan ahead if you want to be on the road for more than a couple of days. Luckily, it isn't too tough to prepare yourself for the trip ahead, but it pays to be ready for any eventuality. Remember: Getting there is half the fun!
Are you going it alone or bringing the world?
If you just want to get out on your own, do things in your own time and see what you want to see, that's completely fine. You won't have to worry so much about the needs of others, argue over which genre of music will be played (German death metal?) or pull over for toilet breaks every 23 minutes. However, be prepared for longs periods of isolated feelings, as you could be out there on your own, with no other human around for perhaps hundreds of kilometres. Comforting music and stops at remote shops or petrol stations, complete with living, breathing people, can negate these feelings.
If you're bringing the crowd, however, then don't expect loneliness to be a factor! However, there are still certain aspects that you should consider when deciding upon who should accompany you on your great Australian road trip.
Roads trips should be all about fun, and if certain people in your prospective party don't really like the idea of it, then perhaps they are best left behind. This may sound harsh, but a road trip can be a long time to be stuck in a car with someone who may bring down your sense of fun and adventure.
Secondly, one of the ideas behind road trips is that you'll discover the great outdoors and the great bounty of beauty that Mother Nature offers. Sometimes, that can mean getting a little rough and ready with the big Australian bush, so your passengers should not be afraid to slum it out there once in a while!
If your passengers possess a valid driving licence, all the better. As long as they have registered themselves as a driver on the contract agreement with East Coast Car Rentals, they'll be able to take off some of the driving burden, giving you a welcome break and refreshing you, ready for your next stint behind the wheel.
A storm of the brain variety
Once you have determined your travelling companions, you can go about planning the trip ahead. Invite your friends to an evening's brainstorm session. 'Wine and beers can give you ideas', as they say, so an informal night in with a few drinks and snacks can conjure some spectacular motions.
The planning of your trip will build the excitement levels in your fellow road trippers as they anticipate the epic route ahead, so jot down a few ideas on a notepad and let your imagination run free. You don't need to be particularly meticulous in your planning or get bogged down in details – if you try and set ideas in granite, you're restricting yourself to a rigidity that will most likely come unstuck in the unpredictable nature of road tripping anyway, so there really isn't much point.
All you really need is perhaps a rough route, certain attractions that you and your group would like to see and how long you plan on the trip taking. The spontaneity of the trip will take care of the rest!
If planning your road trip can be of an informal nature, the financial side of it probably can't. Working out a budget so that you don't overspend or, worse, run out of money, is vital. If each member of your travelling party has a credit card to be used for emergency uses only, all the better. It's also worth carrying a small amount of cash on you, though not a huge wad, so that you can take advantage of cash-is-best accommodation and certain deals that may be on offer.
On the Australian countryside, petrol stations can be few and far between, so you may not have much of a choice when it come to looking for the best fuel prices. However, there are other ways in which you can save on money, such as taking steps to avoid expensive toll roads near the major cities, and bedding down in Australia's vast array of national parks for a low price, rather than splashing out on bricks and mortar accommodation. These parks often have basic amenities, including showers, available for a minimal cost, or even free, so find out how Australia's great outdoors can help both your wallet as well as your sense of adventure.