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Ultimate Road Trip Preparation Guide

September 30th, 2022

We look at ways to reduce the pain of road trip mishaps.

Looking to take a break , enjoy the beauty of Australia or just go on a spur of the moment getaway? Road trips can be the solution to all life’s worries.

To help you enjoy the ride without regret, here are some tips and tricks that will take your trip to the next level, without breaking the bank.

Sure, you could save by limiting your trip to a few days or travelling with a busload of backpackers, but, with the recommendations below, you won’t have to compromise on comfort.

Plan ahead

Whether you’re taking a quick trip to the coast or 4WDriving across the country, being prepared is always important.

Save time and money and double check your route before leaving. Make sure to map out all your rests, breaks, fuel stops and sightseeing destinations ahead of time. Help reduce the chance of getting lost or running out of fuel miles away from your next destination.

Unintended obstacles or driving without a destination can be a major cost to you and your pockets in the long-run.

Plan your trip to include 2 hour breaks to stretch the legs or switch drivers. It is recommended to not drive more than 8-10 hours per day1 Take time to check out the Driver Revival Areas across your journey or locate the nearest local attraction to explore.

Packing the Essentials

Make sure to cross check you’ve packed the essentials. Nothing is worse than being hours from the nearest shop and realising that you’ve forgotten to pack your phone charger. Take time out of your day to prep the essentials and ensure you’re ready for all situations.

A basic list should include:

  • Roadside Emergency Kit
  • Backup map app (offline use)
  • Phone, chargers and power banks
  • Portable Wifi
  • CB radio (outback/remote adventures)
  • Cash & Cards
  • Personal Hygiene Products
  • Rubbish Bags
  • Food & Water

Essentials differ from individuals and groups, so ensure you personalise your list to suit your needs. Check out online advice like the Australian Backpackers Guide to create your own packing list!

Research & Compare Accommodation

A major disruption to your trip is not choosing the right accommodation for your needs. Make sure to take extra time researching and comparing your options across the whole trip. Your overnight stays can be cost-effective and fit your needs, you just need to know where to look.

Camping

If you’re looking to keep costs low and be one with nature, find the best deals and availability, through using Australian Campsites or the Wiki Camps App. A cool feature for Wiki Camps App is that it can also be used offline. A great option for off road adventure or making sure you always have a backup stay in case of emergencies or to suit last minute travel changes.

Camping is always a simple option although more suited to prepared travellers. Being in touch with nature can be a rewarding experience, but without the right gear it can turn into a memorable one for all the wrong reasons. Camping can turn expensive depending on your need for comfort. Go back to the basics – there’s no need to worry about 5 star luxury.

A perfect stay option to make your trip memorable and embrace the beauty of road tripping.

Hostels

Looking for an inexpensive option? Try out local hostels! Accommodation suited to all travellers, especially if you’re looking to make new memories. The location and price means there’s always an opportunity to meet other travellers and make once in a lifetime memories.

Although not as attractive as other stay options, hostels are easy to book and are perfect for one-off overnight stays.

Hotels

Looking for more privacy and a longer stay, look to book a hotel for your group or even just for yourself… who doesn’t love a good solo trip?

Hotels of course will be available across your trip. It’s all about finding the one for you. But don’t make the big mistake of not booking in advance. Hotels may not be open for last minute reservations, so set some time out to book your stays.

A great option is to check out hotel comparison sites. They make it easy when it comes to choosing the right hotel for your budget and location. Don’t get stuck paying more than you should for the same room.

Just remember: no matter your accommodation, take time to plan and book. Although stays can be spontaneous, it could pay off to be prepared and book early.

Camp, hotel or hostel? Choose for your needs, but make sure to choose before you hit the road. If you get stuck for cash at any accommodation, check out a Nimble Small Loan for a quick and easy solution.

Meal Prep

A surprisingly expensive part of your trip is food. An important part of preparing is ensuring you choose the best meal plans for your budget.

Whether you’re planning to cook each night, meal prep beforehand or grab the closest fast food, being prepared is always handy. Before you leave, map out each day and the meal plans. This can even be just making sure you’re not strapped for options at each rest spot.

Snack Break

Another tip is don’t forget to pack the snacks! Keep yourself from being hangry with snacking options. No one likes to drive on an empty stomach. Try out some of Summerstar’s Best Healthy Road Trip Snacks to keep you enjoying the trip.

Rack Up Rewards

Unless you’re planning to take a bike or walk, you won’t eliminate the cost of petrol. This can become a major toll on you and your wallet.

Cost will depend on your vehicle type, weight, distance of trip and so many other factors. A big mistake made is not finding easy ways to save before you leave. When taking a trip look to use fuel rewards points or find deals online for major service stations on your route.

Before you leave, start using rewards cards and rack up points you can use across your trip. Start now, so you can save later.

A few dollars of savings at each stop can add up long term! So don’t overlook racking up rewards to keep you from racking up costs on fuel.

Check Car/Vehicle Before Trip

Avoid any nasty car problems and service your car before you leave. By checking your car before you leave, it could save you and your wallet. Although accidents may occur, taking preventative steps will reduce your risk.

Check out our article ‘Common Car Problems’ for Nimble’s list of common car problems before you set off on your journey. To learn more check out Safety Tips for Long Trips. Some basic areas you should check before and during are:

  • Tyres – pressure (don’t forget your spare)
  • Fluid levels
  • Lights
  • Coolant Hoses
  • Battery

Being over prepared about your vehicle will help ensure you and your passengers are safe throughout the whole journey.

Enjoy Yourself

A road trip is the perfect way to make memories so make the most of it. Leave your worries behind and hit the road. If you’re travelling with friends, family, yourself or even your pets, make sure to fill your trip with memorable opportunities. It’s about the journey, not always the destination, when road tripping.

Take time to relax and enjoy the moment.

If that means stopping to take pictures with the Big Pineapple 🍍 or Big Prawn 🍤 then take those stops. Check out the Big Aussie Icons across Australia you can add to your stops. A great opportunity to up your social media game!

Whether you are gone for a few days or a few weeks, planning and preparation will always pay off. Now you’re ready to hit the road and make the most of your holidays. If you want to take your road trip to the next level without the added financial stress, just Nimble it. Small or personal loans may help make your trip one to remember, for all the right reasons.

Please note this content is provided as general information only and does not take into account your objectives, financial situations or needs. For advice tailored to your financial situation, it is advised that you seek guidance from an accountant or financial advisor. The above post refers to application software (“App, Apps”) that is not affiliated or associated with Nimble. We do not have any control or responsibility over the content of the Apps. Use of the Apps may be subject to further terms and conditions imposed by the App provider, the owner of the mobile operating system and/or other related parties. The above links belong to a variety of websites and not Nimble, so clicking on, and using them, will take you away from Nimble’s website meaning we’ve got no control or responsibility over the content. Nimble does not endorse and is not affiliated or associated in any way whatsoever to the businesses named in this blog post. The information contained in this article is correct at the date of publication.

  1. https://www.racq.com.au/cars-and-driving/cars/owning-and-maintaining-a-car/facts-about-fuels/fuel-economy