Going on a road trip is a fun adventure and, if travelling in a group, definitely the most cost-effective means of travel. The best thing about it, however, lies in the fact that it gives you so much time and opportunity to hang out as a group and bond on a deep and personal level like never before. When it comes down to it, there’s no place that’s as road-trip friendly as the Australian outback. Beautiful landscapes, open road and plenty of opportunities for camping and sightseeing.
Nonetheless, heading out with the girls into the unknown carries its own set of dangers, as well. What if something unexpected was to happen? Would you be able to respond accordingly and in a timely manner? It all depends on your overall preparedness and here are five tips to help you get going.
Map out your itinerary and stay on the grid
The first thing you need to do is plan the itinerary of your journey. Sure, you don’t know everything that lies ahead but with a simple consultation of apps like Google Maps, you should be able to figure out the very basics of the route that you’re about to take. Make sure that a person of confidence knows what this route is. Also, make sure to notify them along the road (via an IM service like Viber, Instagram DM or Facebook Messenger). This way, if anything goes wrong and the rescue party is needed, they’ll know where to look.
One of the most reckless patterns of behaviour that you can engage in on one such a journey is the idea that you’ll be able to restock your supplies anywhere you go. This is especially true on your voyage through some parts of Australia (like the outback) that are sparsely inhabited. You can drive for hours and hours without encountering a gas stop or a store. This is why you need to have enough supplies (water and snacks) on you to be safe.
Check the car
Another thing you need to make sure of is that your car is in a proper working condition. Everything about it needs to be absolutely flawless. So, take it to a mechanic and have them perform all the necessary tests. Ideally, before a long-distance voyage, you would check your fluids, replace your wipers (a simple DIY task that virtually anyone can do) and replace your tyres. Sure, your tyres may still be in a decent condition but sometimes decent is simply not reliable enough. Instead, you should look for retailers of new tyres in Sydney and set yourself up for longevity.
Be extra careful
When it comes to on-road safety, you need to understand that it mostly depends on your patterns of behaviour. So, adjust your driving speed to road conditions, don’t take hitchhikers and have some kind of protection (a pepper spray or a stun gun) on you. Other than this, avoid driving at night and try to trust your intuition as much as you can. In the outback, it’s particularly dangerous to drive at night, especially in locations where there’s a danger of kangaroo and emu crossing.
Keep valuables in a safe place
On your trip, you won’t always be able to rely on your pin-based credit cards, which means that your wallet might contain more cash than you are comfortable with. Second, some girls plan a wild night out somewhere along the road, which involves make-up and (yes) even jewellery. Nonetheless, it’s quite important to point out that you won’t have many opportunities for crazy nightlife in the outback, until you reach your final destination or return back home. Not to mention the fact that you’ll also carry papers, documents and all sorts of things. Keeping these items safe is a top priority and keeping them all together in one place is usually not a smart move.
One of the worst things about reading this list and following these instructions lies in the fact that it often feels as if you’re expecting the worst to happen. Outback can seem like a vast and intimidating place. Keep in mind, that being aware of the fact that things might go wrong and taking pre-emptive steps against it isn’t being pessimistic – it’s just a matter of having common sense. Sure, the majority of the above-described hazards aren’t likely to happen but why not be prepared for them, just in case?