We Australians know all about long-distance travel; our nation is so big, it is also a continent and many families love nothing more than packing the ute and heading for the Outback. There’s a lot to arrange when you are travelling interstate, and with that in mind, here are a few important aspects to take into account when planning a long road trip.
It is wise to have your vehicle serviced before heading off on a long journey; engine oil change, check the belts for tension while giving the tyres (and the spare) a close inspection, looking for excess wear, bulges and tears. You should take a few spare parts with you; fan belts, spark plugs and also carry some engine coolant. If you have the room, bring a couple of containers of drinking water and refill them as you go.
Only if you are sure there are fuel stops can you omit carrying extra fuel; otherwise, keep a jerry can in the boot. Especially important when heading into remote territory like the Outback, a place where you don’t want to be stranded.
Of course, safety is paramount; start by ordering one of the car first aid kits in Australia from a leading supplier; they have several sizes and the high-quality kit can be replenished when required. If you are planning to travel in remote regions, inform someone of your planned arrival time at your destination; ask a good friend to call you periodically.
If this is a family outing, you need to prepare a few road games; I Spy works for a while, plus you can bring a few of their DVDs and they can watch cartoons. Make sure the kids have motion sickness medication unless they are good travellers. Of course, sleeping is the best way to pass the time when travelling long-distance in a car; bring a few small pillows and a couple of blankets. Can cannabis promote sleep? Click here to find out.
If anyone who is travelling suffers from motion sickness, make sure they take medication an hour before departure; we recommend dropping a few strips of tablets in your first aid kit for safekeeping. Car sickness is unpleasant and it can slow you down if you have to keep stopping every 10-15 minutes, so do take precautions and carry a few plastic bags in the car, just in case!
Drink coffee prior to departure
If you are going on a very long car journey, drink some coffee before you set off and if you have more than one driver, you can share the load. Stop every couple of hours and stay hydrated and if you feel drowsy, stop for a rest.
It is always wise to go over the route before you depart and you can also set up Google Maps, which will ensure you don’t get lost.