Tips for a top holiday road trip

The end goal will all be worth it hen you get there... especially if you are prepared for your road trip. Picture: ON FILE

Before setting off on a road trip, it’s important for Melton and Moorabool residents to be prepared and ready to tackle a long journey.

Here are some of the top road trip tips and tricks:

Keep your car serviced – Complete the regular jobs like checking your tyre pressure and replacing windscreen wiper inserts before visiting the mechanic to get a service done.

“Undertaking a car service is essential before getting on the road, because if your car is not in safe working order the consequences from an accident can be more severe,“ said RACV training manager for auto services Peter Smith.

Plan the route – Know the directions and have map options both GPS, internet and physical like an old and trusty Melways or other map at the ready. Know where the major towns are and plan any fuel stops.

Consider emergency roadside assist – Anything can go wrong. Your car battery could go flat, you could get a punctured tyre or lock yourself out of the car, among others. Consider whether emergency roadside assist is worth it for you. Also ensure you have adequate car insurance.

Charge devices – Ensure mobile phones, laptops, tablets and backup batteries are fully charged, with their charging cables packed in an easily accessible location. If you’re in trouble on the road and your phone battery is low, Smith recommends recording a new voicemail: “If you are about to run out of phone battery with no way to charge it, an effective thing to do is to record a new voice mail message with details on your location – so if someone needs to contact you, they’ll know where you are.”

Conduct a full car clean – A clean car helps to prevent driver distractions, keep kids comfortable and keep the driver focused. “If you’re heading away on a long trip, take the time to properly organise your car,” said Smith.

“Things like storage boxes for the boot to house loose items, a secure place for your pet and bags for kids’ toys can stop loose objects from flying around the car, which poses a risk to the driver and passengers.”

Check for any insects or spiders in cars that haven’t been used for some time, or in storage or luggage before packing to stop an unwanted stowaway from making an unpleasant appearance.

Get comfy – For younger kids, add pillows, and a blanket and if someone is in the middle seat, make sure they get a break. For adults, backrests and a travel pillow can make a big difference. Bring snacks and water to keep everyone fed and hydrated. Pack a ’just in case; kit – As well as the aforementioned chargers, map, snacks water and comfort items pack the following in case of an emergency or change in plans: wet wipes, nappies (if needed), toilet paper, jumpers or coats, bathers and towels, torch, cash, socks, First Aid kit and jumper leads.

Keep everyone entertained – Devices for passengers with headphones, colouring books or other books and your favourite songs, audiobooks or podcasts can help pass the time. Remember to plan ahead and download ahead of time on wifi to avoid excess data charges and drop-out zones while having chargers and/or backup battery devices and extension cords easily accessible as mentioned prior. Seeing interesting sights and stopping to take a break and look around can also be a good way to break the monotony, as well as being an opportunity for eating, toilet breaks and just stretching your legs.