Loading up the car and setting out with your other half, or a bunch of mates on an epic Australian road trip is one of life's simplest, but greatest pleasures. With such a vast country of varied scenery to explore, discovering the land Down Under by car is the finest way to see it all, but you'll need to make sure that you've packed the essentials – and we're not talking about the barbecue! By making sure the boot of your rental vehicle contains each of the following, you can relax and enjoy a rip snorter of a road trip!
Paper maps and sat-navs
Sadly, the use of good old-fashioned paper maps has declined due to the rise of satellite navigation systems, but it is still immensely important to have one as back up should technology fail. Despite Australia's size, it's hard to get lost in the country, and even harder to stay lost. Even so, a sat-nav can always point you in the right direction should the going get unfamiliar, and you can hire one from East Coast Car Rentals as part of your overall booking. If you're planning on exploring one of Australia's major cities, a guide book will prove useful – or just follow our blog which is constantly updated with things to see and do on the East Coast!
State your emergency
An extra helping of emergency supplies never harmed anyone, so fill your boots (your car boot, not your actual boots). Basic medication is an absolute must – ibuprofen and aspirin are good starters, and Dramamine can help with travel sickness if you or your passengers suffer from such a condition. Australia is home to plenty of bugs, and some of them can get quite big and nasty, so a can of insect repellent will keep the multi-legged critters away. If you or one of your passengers does get chewed on, cortisone will deal with minor bites. However, bites from a snake or dangerous-looking spiders should be treated by medical professionals.
Remember to bring a spare phone charger. If you need the emergency services, it will pay to have a fully charged phone should you find yourself out in the sticks. It's also worth bringing any spare batteries for equipment that might need them.
The Australian summer can get hot – really hot. In the daytime, temperatures rarely fall below 32 degrees Celsius and can attain over 40, according to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, so packing the sun cream is an absolute priority. The windshield provides no protection from the sun's rays, so slap it all over to decrease the risk of painful sunburn (and more serious conditions that extended sun exposure can lead to). Be sure to put a pair of sunglasses in the glove box too, as those rays can get dazzlingly bright.
How many times have you been in a car, eating something tasty and had nowhere to wipe your hands afterwards but your clothes? No one wants that, so bringing along a pack of serviettes or paper towels, which may well be overlooked during the pre-road trip excitement, will seem a stroke of genius out on the highway. It's also worth throwing in a few rubbish bags onto your inventory as well, as all that dirty paper and inevitable collection of fast food cartons, potato chip packets and empty cans of Dr Pepper will have to go somewhere.
Wear your most comfortable clothes when driving, especially if undertaking a long journey. Also, be sure to bring some spare blankets or a jumper – even though Australia is a hot country, it can still get very cold at night, especially in the countryside. It could even be worth packing extra pillows, just in case the worst happens and you have to sleep in the car – a sleeping bag could make things even more cosy.