Are you dreaming of packing up and hitting the road? With some of the most breathtaking views in the world, alongside a truly diverse range of wildlife and fascinating destinations, road-tripping through Australia is an exhilarating adventure that your whole family will enjoy. However, what are the road trip essentials that you should pack?
No matter where you are heading, ensuring you are prepared for all eventualities is crucial to a safe and enjoyable holiday. So, if you are wondering what to pack for a road trip, we thought we would use this latest blog to explore the essentials you should bring with you and some essential tips to remember when driving across the country.
The road trip essentials you need to pack
Before we take a look at how to stay safe on your adventure or what you should do before heading out, it’s first important to understand the essentials that you need to pack. Here is our ultimate Australian road trip checklist to keep you safe:
Before heading out you need to make sure that you have all of the essential driving documentation that you need. This includes:
- Driver’s licence
You should always keep your driver’s licence with you when heading out on an Australian road trip. You should also keep a digital copy on your phone just in case you lose your physical version.
- Insurance details
Another road trip essential is your insurance details. You never know what could happen, so ensuring you know who to call should you be involved in an accident will help save a lot of time and worry.
- Roadside assistance
Equally, you should also make sure that you have the details of your roadside assistance coverage close to hand in the event of a break down.
- Car manual
While roadside assistance is essential, being able to undertake minor vehicle maintenance will help you to save time and money. Carry a vehicle manual with you to help you troubleshoot potential issues and guide you through the minor repairs.
Navigation and Communication
When it comes to a road trip checklist, another vital part is your navigation and communication equipment. It might be a long time between rest spots, and in some of the more rural areas, you might not pass another person for several hours.
- GPS systems and maps
While most smartphones now have fantastic GPS systems, you might not always have a signal. That is why a spare GPS and physical maps should form part of your road trip essentials.
- Mobile Phone charger
Using your phone’s GPS can drain the battery, so having a car charger that you can plug your phone into will keep it fully charged while in use. A portable power bank can also be a worthwhile addition so passengers can keep their devices topped up.
- CB Radio
If your Australian road trip will see you venturing out into the bush, there’s a very high chance you’ll lose your mobile phone reception. That means it can be almost impossible to connect with emergency services if you need it, so a CB radio can help you stay in touch should you need it.
- Locator beacon
Being able to be found quickly can often be critical, so having a Personal Locator Beacon with you will allow you to send for help no matter where you are. With a 24-hour battery life, you will be able to quickly alert emergency services at the push of a button.
Comfort and Safety
With your navigation equipment sorted, the next step in your road trip packing list is your safety and comfort. Road trips will mean spending a long time in your car, so keeping your family comfortable and safe is vital.
- First Aid Kit
A first aid kit is one of the most crucial road trip essentials you can pack. You should make sure that your kit has the essentials, such as bandages, band-aids, and antiseptic wipes, to treat any minor cuts or scrapes. You should also include things such as pain relief, prescription medications, and motion sickness medication.
Our Adventurer Rescue Swag kit is a comprehensive solution designed for families and groups, giving you everything you need to cover minor accidents, sprains, snakebites, burns, and major injuries.
- Fire extinguisher
A small fire extinguisher can be a life saver in an emergency situation, so make sure you keep one close to hand in your vehicle on your next road trip.
- Spare clothing
You never know what could happen on your road trip, so having suitable clothing for any condition is vital. Alongside layers for warmth on those potentially cold evenings, also include things such as waterproofs, sunglasses, sun protection, and a hat.
- Sleeping bags and blankets
Make sure you are always prepared for any eventuality, including having to stay in your car overnight, by having enough sleeping bags for everyone travelling with you. A couple of blankets can also be great to keep passengers warm if you plan on driving through the night or in the cooler months.
A bright torch is another crucial addition to your road trip packing list, allowing you to walk along unlit roads safely at night. It will also let you see into the engine should you need to fill up any fluids or check for issues.
Food and water
Staying hydrated and fuelled for those long drives will help you stay focused on the road ahead and make your journey far more enjoyable.
- Water bottles
No list of road trip essentials would be complete without mentioning water bottles. Keeping some reusable bottles with you will allow you to stay hydrated on those hot summer days.
- Non-perishable snacks
The last thing that you want is to start feeling hungry and be several hours from the nearest rest stop! Keeping some non-perishable snacks with you will help keep those hunger pangs away and give you a quick energy boost when needed.
While the driver’s focus will be fully on the road, when creating a road trip packing checklist you should consider your passengers.
- Music and podcasts
Creating the perfect playlist is a vital part of your road trip packing list. Whether it’s your all-time favourites, those sing-along classics, or some upbeat party tracks, make sure you’re featuring something for everyone in the car.
- Books and games
If you are going to be road tripping with your children, then books and games are essential. These will not only help to keep them quiet while you’re driving, but they are also a great way to spend some time together during down time.
Portable tablets are also a great addition to any road trip. Passengers will be able to watch their favourite TV shows or films – just remember to download them first; otherwise, you might find a lack of signal stopping it halfway through!
Clothing and personal items
With your car road trip essentials sorted, it’s time to turn your attention to what to pack for a road trip. This will depend on where you are planning to visit, but we’ve listed the key details below.
Make sure that you are packing suitable clothing for the diverse climates we have here in Australia. Your road trip will take you through some unique places, so ensure you’ve got everything you need to go exploring comfortably.
- Personal hygiene check you have enough toiletries, sunscreen, insect repellent, and other personal hygiene products.
- Towels and wet wipes
Small quick-dry towels and wet wipes are perfect for freshening up during those quick stops – especially if you are planning on camping.
- Camping equipment
If you are looking to get closer to nature while road tripping, then make sure you have all of the relevant camping gear you need. This includes a reliable tent, sleeping bag, cooking equipment, and foldable tables and chairs. Just check all of these are in a good condition before you depart!
You’ll make memories that will last a lifetime on your road trip, and a camera will help you capture them so you can look back and reminisce in years to come.
- Garbage bags
Keeping garbage bags will not only let you throw all your waste away safely, but they are also fantastic for storing wet clothes!
How to prepare for a road trip
Now you know what your road trip packing list should feature, what should you do to prepare yourself and your car ahead of your journey?
The first thing that you should do is thoroughly plan out your trip and where you will be going. Use online maps and travel guides to plan your route, carefully considering the distances you will be driving each day, where you will be stopping, and potential places of interest along the way. Nearer your departure date, double-check for any road closures or detours that might be in place.
Next, it’s important to ensure your vehicle is road ready. Book it in with your local mechanic for a thorough service and inspection. This will see them check things such as your engine, tyres, brakes, fluid levels and lights, addressing any issues before you start your road trip. You should also double-check that your spare tyre is in working condition and that your car has essential tools, a jack, and jumper cables.
Before you depart, you should do one final check to make sure that your car is in working condition and that your planned route is all OK. You should also review your road trip checklist to ensure that you have all of the necessary items with you.
How to stay safe on your road trip
Ready to start your adventure? Road-tripping across Australia is one of the best ways to see all of the beautiful things this country has to offer. However, it is essential that you follow the best driving practices.
- Get enough rest
One of the most important rules when it comes to road tripping across Australia is to make sure that you are getting enough sleep. Research has shown that up to 30% of road accidents are caused by fatigued drivers, so if you are beginning to feel tired stop and take a rest. A quick walk or coffee can be a great way to revive yourself, but the best way is to ensure that when planning your route you never put in a drive more than you can handle.
- Know your route
While a GPS is a great way to help you get to where you need to go, they are not always reliable. Knowing where you are going, and some potential routes will help you should you lose battery, or a road becomes unavailable.
- Keep your eye on the weather
We all know how quickly the weather in Australia can turn, so keeping an eye on the day ahead will let you plan accordingly. If you are expecting heavy storms or extreme heat, try to work out a plan to avoid those conditions by leaving earlier or later in the day or even postponing your departure to the next day.
- Be aware of speed limits and signs
You’ll likely be travelling across a wide range of roads on your trip, so staying aware of your surroundings is essential. Keep an eye on your speed as well as any signage that might warn you of potential dangers.
- Keep your car clean
Long days of driving can quickly cause dirt and dust to build up on your car, impacting your vision. Make sure that you are regularly washing your windscreen and keeping your fluid bottles filled up so you can clean your screen while on the go.
Whether heading away on a family adventure or exploring with friends, a road trip is one of the best ways to discover Australia and make memories you will cherish. These road trip essentials will help ensure that you are able to stay safe and comfortable on your journey.
Here at Rescue Swag, our aim is to help our customers stay safe no matter where they are. That is why we offer an array of essential first-aid kits and supplies designed to protect you and your loved ones on your next adventure. Want to find out more? Check out our full range today!