When it comes to planning any holiday short or long it can be quite a stressful & frustrating period, sometimes so much so that you may feel like you need a holiday just from the holiday planning! Planning a road trip is no exception, but approaching it with the right attitude and goals in mind it can turn out to be a lot of fun and very exciting.
Well where do we start… We are preparing to pack up and head off on a three week road trip leaving the Sunshine Coast down south to Tasmania over the Christmas/New Year break.
We believe the planning stage is the most important part of any adventure. A well-planned trip can be the difference between having an amazing time full of great memories or a time that you wish to bury in a memory box deep in the back yard.
Below are some tips & tricks we understand should be a part of your planning stage to help you have a great holiday.
IS YOUR VEHICLE READY?
When it comes to long road trips & camping adventures your vehicle is probably the most important part of your equipment for the journey ahead. Not only is it your means of getting from A to B, but it becomes your mobile home for the duration of your trip.
Prior to leaving make sure you have your car serviced by a professional, and do not leave it until the day before departure. Allow a week or two; there are always issues that can arise. They may find something that needs replacing and it can take time to order that part in.
Another big thing to consider is your tyres, their condition and how many more km’s they have left in them.
It also pays to take a short course in basic 4wd mechanics. This is something that may come in very handy when you are in a sticky situation. A simple offroad/ mechanical course can teach you the basics of how to fix a puncture, stop a leak, how to safely conduct a 4wd recovery and much more.
One of our most essential additions to our house on wheels is our dual battery system, which powers our 65L Waeco fridge, 40L Engel freezer and our roof rack mounted camp lights. This is all managed by our REDARC Manager30 Battery Management System.
After looking at different options, The Manger30 was the right one for us. Not only does it give you 30amp of charge but it has the capabilities and capacity to keep our two 100amp lead crystal batteries at optimum health. It also has the ability to plug 240V into The Manager30 allowing you to charge up before departure & whilst parked up at base camp you can also charge your batteries via solar panels through The Manager30.
Having such a reliable battery management system allows us to not stress about our power needs while on the road and knowing that The Manager30 will never leave your main car battery drained.
DO YOUR RESEARCH!
With today’s modern technology & abundance of knowledge just a simple mouse click away or a quick tap on your smart phone; It is almost ridiculous to go somewhere without doing a little research. Not only does researching give you an insight of what to expect or see, it also helps with the planning of what you may or may not need.
It is also a great way to discover other travellers experiences and tips from their perspective of what to visit and see. Something we believe you must do when researching & reading blogs is to keep an open mind to all that you have read.
Everyone has their own opinions, tastes and likes, don’t just read one review and think you shouldn’t visit a certain spot based on what they have reviewed.
Some important things to research about your next destination would be:
o General local laws (surprising how different each state can be)
o Rest stops
o Travelling distance
o Special Events/Public Holidays
o Local food
o Phone reception
o Fire regulations
o Specific dangers
o How remote will you be?
o National Parks & Permits
WHAT TO PACK & PACKING TIPS…
TETRIS! Yes we all know the age old game of Tetris, and if you are good at it then when it comes to packing the car this will be your time to shine!
Probably the number one tip would be ORGANISATION. Create Lists. Don’t just write everything down in a random order. Break it up into sections Eg. Clothing, electronics, kitchen, lighting, etc. This may sound like a painful way to pack but when it comes to getting it all together you will be forever grateful that the list doesn’t have you packing your favourite undies then off to the shed to grab the shovel followed by the bathroom for your toothbrush.
We like to do a double check list. We will highlight all our items off the list as we pack them into a section in the garage, then once it is packed into the car we cross the highlighted item off the list. Just a safe way to ensure we have got it all. Some remote places won’t have much around let alone a convenience store so this helps us to ensure we don’t miss a thing.
This is also a stage of planning which the research will help, especially for climate & what clothes to pack – windy/rainy conditions may require different clothing. Our tip would be to always pack one extra thing for expecting the unexpected. You may be going in summer time to a place that is 30 degrees, but at night time it may drop down to 10 degrees. So always take that extra piece of clothing.
Another ‘Tetris’ packing tip is to take a photo of the vehicle once it’s packed up. This way when it comes time for your next trip & your Tetris skills are failing you, just turn to that photo to help remind you how you made fitting the impossible… Possible!
With the Christmas period not far away, we hope these tips and tricks will help you gear up for your next trip. Do your research, spend time planning and most of all have FUN! Get out there and explore our great backyard!