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Top 6 Road Trip Tips

Try saying that 6 times quickly. Then read these 6 tips. For road trips.

It’s that time of the year where the coastal beaches of Australia and New Zealand start calling. Those with enough foresight have booked a van, downloaded WikiCamps and have mapped out the trip of a lifetime full of glorious hikes and cold showers. There’s a certain art to the road trip. It can be a tough slog at times but at others you feel like the luckiest person on the planet. Mother Nature is an erratic beast. The journey is the reward, they say: but just how rewarding it is depends on a firm commitment to a good attitude and wits. Without further ado, here’s our suggestions, ranging from the extremely practical to the pseudo-philosophical:


1. Get a van that has Bluetooth and pack some spare sheets

There’s two things you’re going to be doing on your road trip more than anything else: driving and sleeping. It’s therefore vitally important that you make both of these activities as comfortable as possible. Without Bluetooth or a reliable AUX port you’ll be consigned to local radio and whilst there’s some charming personalities strutting their stuff it’s no match for your curated selection of podcasts and tunes. And the spare sheets – well this could be your difference between 8 hours sleep and 5. Even with the utmost of care, any beach time at all inevitably leads to sand which inevitably leads to sandy sheets. And that’s disastrous. The first sleep after a change of sheets halfway is heavenly.


2. Look upwards at night 

If you’re a city slicker you’ll know that there just isn’t ever an opportunity to see the stars in all their glory. The bright lights of urbanisation are a blessing and a curse. They give us the privilege of feeling safe whilst driving a twisty road but rob us of the eternal wonder of the night sky. Such is the paradox of the modern world. If you’re somewhere semi-remote on your travels and nature calls at 1AM, then do yourself a favour and don’t forget to look up. It’s no wonder that the early civilisations defined themselves by the galaxies above. It’s the purest of pleasures, like drinking cold water after exercising or making someone laugh. Soak up the moment, and remember to drink lots before bed so you’ll rise at 1AM again the next night.


3. Move slowly…

… and enjoy the small tasks that make up your day. There’s no rush on a road trip. Time is your friend. Packing up and cleaning after making a meal or going to the beach can be treasured, if you do it right. There’s something very satisfying about keeping your movements slow and deliberate. All of a sudden that big project at work or uni exam means little in the scheme of things. The only thing that’s important is making sure your big toe is sans-sand, or your neck is properly sun screened, or the chairs are packed away nice and neatly. It’s a hark back to Grade 5 – simpler times, when your existence is lived moment to moment. At least that’s how we remember it.


4. Bring some squeezy EVOO

Have you noticed how we deftly weave in our brand to every blog post we do? Well, this is no exception. This one actually stands in its own right as a great tip though. Primo extra virgin olive oil is crucial for cooking meals and lugging a glass bottle around is both impractical and risky. Drop it and its sayonara to the tasty chicken and hello to picking glass out of your foot and a tough scrub of the pan post-dinner. Bring your Supper Supply Main Squeeze and you’ll like it better than your actual main squeeze by the end of the trip.


5. Cook yourself often - in a sheltered space

This one is for the free campers. If you’re legit you’ll hire a van (or if you’re really legit you’ll own one) that has its own gas burner and a mini fridge and pantry. Fish and chips from the local can get tiring and expensive over a couple of weeks. There’s nothing quite like making your own local fish and veggies out of the back of your van, cracking open a can and savouring the evening sun. Whilst it will be tempting to set up shop within stumbling distance to the beach and stay there, this is never an effective ploy for mealtimes. The ocean winds will keep your flame out and your stomach empty. Get a bit of cover from the trees and then get the potatoes pumping. Also: bring a fold out table. Seems obvious, but yeah – do it.


6. Take a multi-player game

I wrote this blog post at the Lorne Bowls Club (the restaurant there is called “Little Pickett”– highly recommended if you find yourself down this way) and the bartender looked like he’d seen a few roadies in his time. This assumption proved correct. He provided me with a great tip: bring a game that has the potential to crack the ice across campsites. Making some friends along your journey can be a big bonus to your couple of weeks in paradise. Dave from Little Pickett recommends Farkle: a simple dice game that tests your risk tolerance and doesn’t require you to lug around a Monopoly board for the entirety of your trip.