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Ask the team: Some great tips for a road trip

smart car fuel road trip

It seems like everybody loves a road trip. We asked the team if they had any great tips for when you next take to the road. Some of them are predictable and some are a little quirky. See if you can use any of their tips for a road trip.

1. Make an early start

We like an early start! Peter, our UX designer, likes to start at 4am or even 3am. Sophie, our new COO, likes to start at 4am as well.

Nobody said why they choose an early start but perhaps they like to take advantage of those empty roads and watch the sun rise.

2. Have lots of breaks

Rachel, social media guru, believes in good breaks:

“I look up 5-star cafes or cute tourist destinations on the route every 2 or 3 hours. If I’m going to stop, it’s somewhere awesome.”

Peter says he stops every few hours and has a stretch, or even a 15 minute nap. Corrina, our blog writer, stops “nearly every hour in rest areas on a long trip. That way I stay pretty comfortable. I enjoy wondering about other travellers stopping on their own trips.”

It’s interesting that Stephen, our CEO and Sophie didn’t even mention having a break. Perhaps it says something about their strong work ethic.

3. Take your own food

There are two types of traveller – one who takes her own food and one who buys it along the way. Rachel and Sophie love taking carrot, cucumber or capsicum sticks. Says Sophie:

“First and foremost – carrot, cucumber and capsicum sticks. They all stay cold and fresh (unlike cut fruit) and they’re easy to snack on. Vegemite sandwich – with butter of course – cut into quarters or fingers, so small bite sized pieces. One packet of Twisties – that’s my indulgence, guilty pleasure, but sometimes I don’t eat them. My mother told me you can’t fall asleep if you’re eating.

Corrina says: “Ideally, I’ve packed a salad to eat for lunch in a rest area somewhere. Then I like fruit that’s easy to eat while driving, such as grapes, or apple or mandarin. If I’m getting tired or bored, I might give into the temptation to buy nasty, cheap chocolate. This must be eaten ASAP or it melts!”

Peter is a big fan of Oliver’s, which is “healthier highway food than Maccas”, but still takes fruit and snacks and supplies to make wraps or sandwiches.

Meanwhile, Stephen buys food on the road from local bakeries and shops. He says he’s not too fussy. We can’t imagine him taking carrot sticks.

4. Play some music (or a book)

Peter says he likes to make a road trip playlist.

Playing music does more than just pass the time. Corrina says she listens to music at least two thirds of the time, “the old-fashioned way, on CDs”. She says music takes her to other places in the world and other times in her life, that nothing else can.

Sophie likes to explore lots of “good new music based on recommendations from husband, family and friends – it’s such a great time to try anything because the time is quite focused.”

Rachel loves to listen to music too, but she also enjoys a good audio book.

5. Enjoy the silence

Driving on a long trip, especially alone, may be the only time you get to reflect. From Sophie:

“I LOVE THE SILENCE (her caps) and solitude of a long road trip. So I turn everything off, and when I’m out of range, enjoy the digital detox.”

Stephen adds: “I don’t find a road trip boring. Road trips are good times … for solitude, for thinking. A great time to dwell on things.”

“I enjoy watching the countryside and observing how it changes. I like looking at old houses, sheds and buildings, often abandoned, and wonder what their history is. How old are they? How did they come to be there? What was life like? What happened to the families that did live there?” He never crosses a river or water without checking it for fish.

6. Go anywhere

It’s a personal choice where you want to drive. Some of us were definite and some of us were happy to go “anywhere”.

Sophie “once drove to Tasmania, driving to Victoria and then onto the ferry – this was a great adventure, and highly recommended. It meant I had my car and could fill it with treasures, like an old crayfish pot I turned into a coffee table.”

Corrina says she has a soft spot for the mid-north coast, which means “anywhere near the Three Brothers”.

Meanwhile, Stephen likes to “go anywhere, particularly west of the Blue Mountains”. Peter enjoys snow, mountains, and camping in national parks – this just about covers Australia.

Strange habits on a road trip

When asked about strange habits while driving, the greenslips.com.au team was not very forthcoming!

Rachel said if she had any strange habits, she would keep them a secret. Stephen claimed he had none, not even while driving. Corrina admitted she’s “still playing CDs and doesn’t make phone calls while driving”.

But perhaps the strangest habit while driving is Sophie’s carrot sticks. She even gives them to the dog.

Make sure you’re insured before you go.

author image

Corrina Baird

Writer and Researcher, greenslips.com.au

Corrina used to lend her car to her kids and discovered what Ls, Ps and demerits mean for greenslips. After 20 years in financial services and over 8 years with greenslips.com.au, she’s an expert in the NSW CTP scheme. Read more about Corrina

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