Travel Planning that perfect Aussie road trip August 25 2020

After a year we’d all rather forget, families across Australia are now gearing up for a road trip to remember over the summer holidays. As it’s likely been a while since you last loaded up the car and hit the road for a week or two, here are some helpful tips on preparing your family for a four-wheel getaway.

Book your accommodation early

Ordinarily, the summer holidays are one of the busiest times to travel interstate and intrastate. But after a tough 12 months, Aussie families in need of some rest and relaxation are expected to road trip into regional areas and support hard-hit businesses more than ever before.

With that in mind, if you’re heading to a particularly popular spot, or you’re after a specific type of accommodation – from something quiet, to a place with enough beds for the whole family – avoid leaving your booking request to the last minute.

It’s not only an effective way to dodge those dreaded ‘no vacancy’ signs, the sooner you book, the better chance you’ll have of scoring a competitive rate – and that could leave you with extra cash to splash on other holiday fun.

Do your research and plan ahead

Some of the best memories are made from being spontaneous. However, tensions may fray, plus time could quickly be wasted, if you pull out of the driveway without a decent idea of what you’re looking to get from your summer escape.

You don’t need to plan things down to the second, but if your family wants to tick a few sights and experiences off its list, it could help mapping out your journey well before you load up the car. Factoring in things like big attractions drawing their largest crowds on weekends and public holidays can help you see and do a whole lot more when time is scarce.

Also, from addresses to phone numbers, pop as much info as you can from your itinerary into your phones, given you’ll no doubt turn to Google for a hand more than once while you’re away.

Kids sit in back of car laughing

Make nice with the neighbours

The last thing you should think about when you’re on holiday is, “What’s happening at home?”. But when Christmas has come and gone and families head away for some downtime, the empty houses left behind can quickly become targets for unwanted mischief.

While sorting out home insurance is a good place to start, asking a neighbour for their help in keeping up appearances around your house (in return for a fun fridge magnet from your favourite holiday spot when you’re back) can go a long way in deterring troublemakers.

Occasionally parking a car in your driveway, emptying your mailbox and – if you’re away for a while, and it’s not pushing the friendship – mowing your front lawn are great ways to help throw would-be criminals off the case. Add timers to inside and outside lights and it’ll be like you never left!

Pack essentials – but try and shop local

There’s always a risk with packing delicious treats for a road trip: they can disappear well before you reach your first stop! Nevertheless, with a little willpower, a small esky with water and snacks can be an economical way to help keep smiles on faces and vicious hunger pangs at bay.

The same goes with games. The days of tape decks and ‘eye spy’ may be over, but brains of all ages still need stimulation – both between destinations, as well as in motel rooms and caravans. So, while you should pack the iPads and subscribe to Spotify, also take the chance to rediscover the power of easy-to-stow time-passers, like decks of playing cards, and practice the art of conversation.

And if you can, pick up the odd item or two along the way and pump a few extra dollars into local areas that could do with them. (Even if that’s just begrudgingly buying new chargers for gadgets – they’re as easy to forget as they are to lose.)

Man and woman drive in car, woman holds map directing man

Help protect your set of wheels

Fun fact: cars make family road trips a reality. That’s why, while you’re away, perform regular maintenance on your own – from regularly checking your oil, water and tyres, plus your windscreen for chips and cracks, to topping up the tank ahead of long stretches of country highway.

As you’ll also be venturing down unfamiliar roads, it could be worth getting cover you can count on beforehand, for any bumps you encounter along the way. And with Australia-wide coverage, 24/7 claims assistance and a trusted repairer network, Bupa Car Insurance can help get you back on the road sooner.

Learn more about Bupa Car Insurance and how it can help protect your set of wheels – both for day to day running around, and memorable family road trips.

Aussie Roadtrip Infographic
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