The endless summers. Those wide open roads. The sheer number of free campsites. Just 3 reasons why road trips in Australia are so popular.
From backpackers to families right through to pensioners have you even travelled Australia if you didn’t go on a road trip at some point?
We’ve all seen the idyllic Instagram shots of someone lay on a campervan bed looking out to the beach or some other spectactular view. I don’t blame you if you want a slice of that pie for yourself.
The reality can be a bit daunting though.
I mean if you’re anything like me you have a perfect image in your head of how you want your road trip to go. Of all the cool stories about how you stumbled across this place or changed your plans last minute to go to here instead.
Well, to help you out I’m going to share with you my top 5 things that you absolutely must do to while planning your Australian road trip to ensure that it is just as awesome as you want it to be
1. Choose your Australian road trip buddies… Wisely
Everyone knows it’s the people that you share your adventures with that make them all the more special. So its important to choose those who you’re going to be travelling with carefully.
I mean you’re going to be living in close proximity to each other for the whole time so if the way that Becky constantly interrupts you gets on your nerves now, well maybe she’s not the most ideal road trip buddy.
While I’d recommend going on a]your Australian road trip with your friends that you feel you know really well this isn’t always possible and could even backfire.
For instance, I recently had to bail half way through a road trip because it turned out my friends were not the people I thought they were and I just stopped having fun (you can read more about that here).
Don’t get me wrong it could be the making of a friendship.
All that time together may give you a new bestie for life. Just in case it doesn’t though take a second to make sure that you’re spending so much time in such a small space with them first.
2. Hire a Campervan
If you don’t happen to own a car then your best option is to hire a campervan.
There are so many options to suit every budget and size of your group. You just need to keep in mind that during the summer months demand will likely be higher and so you may need to book earlier in advance.
Companies I would suggest looking at include
Personally I recommend the Juicy vans.
My Brother and I rented a Juicy champ for 3 weeks for our Australian road trip and it was perfect. It came with all the pots pans, plates and cups you needed plus a cooker a fridge and a 50l water tank.
The van itself is advertised as a 4 person as the back seats rearrange to form a bed and then there is a rooftop tent which can also sleep 2.
What they don’t take into account is backpackers bags.
In my experience, most backpackers who road trip are not doing a round trip and so are taking all their stuff with them. This is fine during the day but can be awkward at night when you don’t really want to leave your bags outside.
We overcame this by putting our bags on the front seats leaving us both plenty of room.
I’m not sure how 4 people would have coped. Definitely, think about this when you are picking your campervan and I’d suggest going up a size if you can. Purely for comfort reasons.
3. Plan a route
OK so I’m not suggesting you go all Duke of Edinburgh Award
I found that having a place to be by midway through our 3 week road trip really helped keep us on track and be able to see everything that we wanted. Apart from that we kept things pretty flexible basically planning each day the night before.
I recommend wikicamps as a great app to help you find campsites along your route. The app isn’t free but it does have a free trial and is so useful from finding those free campsites to help you save money.
Having some idea of the route your taking also helps everyone be on the same page.
It means that it is easier for everyone to contriubute to ideas of places to visit and hopefully will mean you all get to see the things that you want. Or at the least are able to compromise.
4. Check your camping gear
Whether your camping in a vehicle or a tent its important to check that everything is in order before you leave. You don’t want to be setting up camp in miles from anywhere to find out that you are missing a tent pole right?
Now the guys at the hire place should have covered most of this for you, as it is their job, but you should still check yourself.
We came a little unstuck by this when the first night we realised that we didn’t have any knives apart from the big kitchen knife.
We had forks and spoons but no knives. I still have no idea how that happened. We bought a bunch of disposable ones in the end.
A few days later we then found out that we hadn’t been given any spare gas
So yeah make sure you check your stuff before you head out.
5. Sort a Playlist out
iTunes, Spotify, Google play music, however you get your music fix get yourself a road trip playlist. In fact, make everyone who is going on your road trip make one and then you should have a good mix.
There’s nothing worse than driving o
It’s not just music though, if you’re planning a longer road trip then expect to become bored of your own music – at least I know I will.
I combat this by throwing in some podcasts or maybe even an audiobook. It just mixes things up a little bit. There’s only so many times you can listen to George Ezra’s shotgun Afterall.
There are probably many more little tips and tricks I could offer you for your Australian road trip.
From always refuelling at every service station especially on the more rural roads, to investing in a power bank or solar charger for your gadgets.
Until next time