So, you've decided who will be accompanying you on your great Australian road trip, brainstormed some exciting ideas as to where you will drive, and sorted out your finances and budget planning. You're almost ready to jump behind the wheel of your hire vehicle and set off into the great Aussie unknown, but there are still a few small details that you should iron out before you embark upon the journey of a lifetime.
It's important that you pack the correct supplies, even if you don't think that you will need them, just in case something goes awry or you make an unscheduled diversion. This will give you a semblance of self-reliance, meaning that you won't have to depend upon other amenities should an emergency occur.
You should always bring along some basic sleeping equipment. A sleeping bag and pillow can be rolled up pretty tightly, and one of each per person should be included in case you have to spend an evening in the car.
Basic household items such as bin liners, paper towels, kitchen utensil and toilet roll may not seem as though they are vital items, but you can really miss these taken for granted supplied when out on the road. You never know what might happen!
As some parts of Australia are a big, empty bowl of nothingness (with beautiful scenery, mind you!) it's important to pack some safety equipment. Be sure to include a first aid kit, a torch, insect repellent, a compass, map of the area and an umbrella for fending off the fierce sun. An in-car phone charger will also ensure that your device never runs out of juice, so you can call the emergency services if the worst really were to happen.
Water is an absolute necessity, as the land Down Under can average temperatures between 32 and 40 degrees during the summer days, according to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, so stock up on as many litres as you can.
Foods of fancy
There may be occasions on your road trip across Australia when you don't even see another person, let alone a shop to stock up on supplies. Hence, it's important that you bring along ample sustenance that's of a healthy disposition, as eating from the takeaways and fast food that you may come across will not do wonders for your stomach! Additionally, partaking in a poor diet when on the road can make you become sleepy and thus less aware, meaning that the risk of having an accident grows greater.
Eating healthily whilst on a road trip may seem something of a misnomer, but it's surprisingly simple. Energy bars, fresh fruit, nut and seeds are all great, while nourishing snack items and cooking isn't much more difficult. Pasta and rice are simple, quick-to-cook options, and there are plenty of nutrient-rich ready meals that you can prepare.
One of the great beauties of life on the road is that, along the route, you will find plenty of fresh fruit, vegetables, and even lakes to fish from if you so wish. You can pick up meat and seasonings from the local farmers you may encounter, meaning that you will always have a fresh supply of great, nutritional foods.
To store your big bounty of fresh food, why not invest in an Esky? These cool boxes are highly portable, and if you put an ice pack in there with your food, it can keep fresh for days.
For a little variety, why not stick to the ancient rule that the person who is driving gets to pick the music? In these days of MP3 players, where literally thousands of songs can be carried in the pocket, enabling the 'shuffle' mode means that you never know what might be thrown up next. If each person brings along their own player, the range of genres will be even greater, meaning that no one has cause for complaint.
Driving across the gorgeous expanses of Australia is a wonderful thing, but it's of paramount importance that you take care over every metre of road, especially if you are new to the country and unfamiliar with traffic laws. However, many of the following driving safety tips apply to all countries, and most are common sense:
– Don't overtake on blind corners or hills. Will waiting a few more seconds until you can clearly see the road ahead kill you? No, but a truck you never saw could.
– Don't drive for longer than you feel physically or mentally able. Tiredness and fatigue can lengthen reaction times, lead to terrible decision making and falling asleep at the wheel. Get to the nearest rest stop and recharge for as long as you need, or swap with one of your passengers.
– Australian trucks can be enormously long – they aren't called 'road trains' for nothing. Ensure that you have ample room when passing them, and if they are turning, give them as wide a berth as possible. Don't tailgate them – you'll come off worse in an accident.