Australia is such a large country, which means there are so many places to discover. It’s an open invitation for anyone who loves taking road trips. Whether you want to see the spectacular landscapes, wildlife, or even aboriginal culture, there’s always something for you in Australia. But before you head out to your vehicle and start driving, you should first have some road trip essentials with you.
These items are not called “essentials” for nothing. Having these essentials ready and packed well for your trip is just as significant as having an itinerary. They can help make your road trip safer, more comfortable, and a more enjoyable experience overall. Don’t know what to bring? No stress. We have compiled them for you, so you don’t have to.
Without further ado, here are the things you need to have on your next road trip:
Depending on where you’re planning to go, you will most likely need to protect yourself from the harsh sun, you may also need to alter your checklist for summer. Start with quality sunscreen with SPF 30 at the very least. Don’t forget to take the whole bottle with you, since you need to keep reapplying every few hours.
Choose clothing that can cover more of your skin, such as long-sleeved or high-neckline shirts. Make sure the back of your neck is protected, along with your arms, hands, and legs. Invest in sun sleeves, sunglasses, and gloves with built-in sun protection.
You should also install sunshades before the trip. It’s often difficult to find a parking spot when you’re out in the wild. The sun can quickly destroy your car’s upholstery because it produces a greenhouse effect as it passes through the windscreen. That’s why the interior temperature becomes higher than the air outside the car. If there is no sun shield installed, your car dashboard can quickly reach 69 degrees Celsius in just 60 minutes. It happens particularly if the dashboard is black or dark-coloured.
And when you’re back, the last thing you want is to sit in the scorching seats. Window Sox Sun Shades from Shevron can keep temperature low inside the car even if you park the vehicle in direct sunshine. These sun shades will ensure your vehicle, seats, dashboard, mobile devices, and other things you left in the car do not get too hot.
Health and Safety
HealthDirect.gov.au offers a list of essentials to keep in your first aid kit. Customise it when taking the kit with you by adding medication you regularly take at home, especially if you’re travelling with kids and people with health conditions. Headaches are a common complaint so take acetaminophen, aspirin, or anything else you normally use for pain, fever, and sprains. For allergies, take antihistamines and perhaps even antacids if you often suffer from heartburn.
Anti-motion sickness meds are crucial, as well, particularly if you’re planning to go hiking. Don’t forget your hand wipes and tissues, bandages, elastic wraps, gauze rolls, scissors with rounded tips, and safety pins. Take hydrogen peroxide with you in case you get hurt, and you need to disinfect wounds. Other items to include are:
- Tweezers for removing splinters
- Disposable rubber gloves
- Anti-itch lotion or hydrocortisone cream and calamine
- Aloe gel in case of sunburns
Don’t forget your mosquito repellent, especially if you plan to sleep outdoors. Children should only use insect repellent with 10 to 15% DEET. Adults can use from 30 to 50%.
Another way to protect your car and passengers is to use a bug screen. It should be customised to fit the car window to ensure no insects can enter the vehicle. Shevron’s heavy-duty bug screens are designed especially for your car. Whether you have a 4WD, commercial vehicle, or regular vehicle, the fitted screen prevents insects from entering the vehicle while also protecting its radiator. It’s quick and easy to install so that you can be on your way in just a few minutes.
Download music and audiobooks to help keep the journey tolerable, especially if you have kids or teenagers with you. You can also let them use a camera or phone to take a few snaps. They might even want to document the trip with videos. Listening to a podcast is a good idea, as well.
It doesn’t always have to be with the use of technology. You can even pull over and do something running or any game. That way, you use the built-up energy and also get to stretch your legs.
Food and Water
Bring some snacks with you on your road trip. The last thing you want is to have “hangry” passengers who get irritable when they get hungry. More importantly, you need to have water with you. Take a water bottle, including an insulated thermos. It also makes sense to bring cash with you in case you run out of food and snacks.
Take some pillows and blankets with you, even if you know you will spend the night at a hotel or inn. Meanwhile, if you plan to sleep outdoors, you should always be ready with a tent. Have an inflatable mattress, as well, especially when there are kids around. Keep the tent comfy by preparing for colder nights. Don’t forget to apply insect repellent.
You need a car charger and navigation apps, so you do not get lost. You may also want to take a powerbank with you in case you run out of charge. Granted, you already have a car charger, and you can always recharge your phone in the car. However, there may be times when you are not close to your vehicle, and you just need a portable power source to take with you.
On your smartphone, prepare for the trip by downloading your trusty navigation apps. You probably already have a favourite by now, so make sure you can use it when you’re out on the road.
Regardless if you spend the night outdoors or at a safe haven, such as a hotel, you should always have your own camp lights with you. If you rented your campervan or any vehicle, it might come with outdoor lighting. But it’s usually never sufficient, particularly if you need to cook or play some card games outside of the vehicle.
Therefore, you should have a power LED light with you, especially if you have to cook. Choose lights that you can attach to tents or vans. It may also help if the lights are waterproof in case it starts raining while you’re sleeping.
Have flashlights and head torches or headlamps with you, as well. Don’t forget to take fresh batteries if ever you would need them.
You may also need cooking pots, chopping boards, and a salad bowl. It may also be necessary to have large and small plates, along with cups and bowls. If there is extra food, you can store the leftovers in a container. If you’re planning to stay outdoors for some time, you may also need laundry detergent and rope to create a clothesline. Otherwise, you can just take extra clothing, along with slippers, sandals, or hiking shoes. That would mean you will need to pack a lot of stuff, but it shouldn’t be a problem if you have enough room in the vehicle.
Finally, you may want to consider taking a swiss army knife or multitool with you. It’s a great tool to have when you’re on an outdoor adventure because you can use it for slicing and opening cans, among others. Note that there are strict rules in Australia when carrying a knife, except if you have a lawful reason. Fortunately, a lawful excuse includes having the weapon with you for recreation, such as road trips.
That rounds out the road trip essentials you should install and pack before you go on an adventure. This list helps you save a lot of time when planning what to bring, so you can simply focus on searching for the best places to explore in Australia.