With travel restrictions loosened, road trips have become a popular option for travellers. According to tourism statistics from the Australia Trade and Investment Commission as of June 2022, there has been a total of 85.8 million domestic overnight trips by Australian residents. In addition, this year’s quarter also saw an increase in trip spending — rising by as much as 60% or $5.2 billion from June 2019 to $25.3 billion. Considering the amazing landscapes of Australia, road trips are great ways to enjoy the views.
When planning a road trip, you must prepare everything carefully to ensure you don’t face any hitches along the way. Listed below are some tips to keep you safe and sound on the road:
Service your vehicle and practice driving
Before going on any road trip, it’s essential that you get your vehicle serviced — be it your everyday car, caravan, camper trailer, or RV. Our post “Time To Hit The Road, Finally… But Don’t Compromise Safety For Freedom” notes that tyres can degrade and become worn out from not being used, so it’s crucial to give the vehicle a warm-up and maintain it. For longer road trips, you should consider bringing extra car gear such as a spare tyre, jumper cables, and engine oil for when your vehicle needs them. If it’s your first time towing a caravan, it’s recommended that you take a towing course to maximise your safety on the road.
Keep track of your things
It’s critical that you take the necessary precautions against theft or misplacement, especially since no one else should be accountable for protecting your stuff. Forgetting to secure essential things like your wallet can be an easy way to invite thieves, so one tip recommended by travel writer James Gonzales is to write out a checklist of all the things you’ve packed. This helps you visualise everything you brought that you might have forgotten about otherwise. Using packing cubes for your bags also ensures your stuff is organised, so you don’t miss anything. For small essentials such as your keys, you can also opt to attach a Bluetooth tracker to ensure it’s on you whenever you’re out.
Hide things out of sight
Another way to prevent theft during a road trip is to keep your things out of sight. When leaving your car to visit tourist spots on foot, carry your valuables and keep other items out of view from the windows. Even if you use a blanket or jacket to hide your things, potential thieves may still be tempted to break into your car to take your stuff. It’s important to plan ahead and avoid retrieving items from your trunk at your destination, lest anyone is watching for any valuables to steal. Pack your things so that everything you need for the next stop is just in one easy-to-carry backpack. By keeping your car neat and empty, you can keep your vehicle safe from break-ins.
Bring a reliable charging bank
It’s undeniable that one of the most crucial things to have always available is your smartphone. In any emergency, like getting lost or your car breaking down, your phone can help you navigate and reach out for help. Seasoned solo traveller Maddy Ziper notes that a reliable charging bank is essential to keep your phone alive, especially when driving in remote areas. When going on a road trip overseas, you can also avail yourself of phone and internet packages to ensure you’re always connected.
Although you need to take precautions, don’t let your fear dampen your road trip experience. Following these tips and building good habits can keep yourself and your companions safe and enjoy the most out of your vacation.
Article was specially written for https://www.nrspp.org.au/ by Anne Nicole.