Road tripping in Western Australia is potentially one of the most exciting things you could get up to this season. The lure of the open road, the fresh air filling your Subaru Outback’s cabin as you punch your end destination into Google maps – coffee in hand as you watch the city disappear in your rearview.
This is what life’s all about.
But leaving ill-prepared for your trip can not only turn your holiday into a disorganised mess – but it can also leave you in some tricky situations. Here are 10 essentials to remember for your next road trip.
1. (Real) Maps
Yep, we’re talking about physical pieces of paper with actual directions on them. After you’ve finished rolling your eyes and explaining that you only use Google Maps, hear us out. Depending on how far you’re going, having a backup map is always a good idea because our phones aren’t always on us – and they can’t be relied on for everything. This doesn’t mean you’ll end up using it – but as a precaution, this can prove to be very helpful in the unlikely event that your phone just doesn’t work.
Whether it’s your iPhone, Android, or your trusted Canon AE-1, you’re going to want to snap some good pics of your trip. Even if you’re only heading off for the weekend, being able to look back on your time on the road is always a nice thing – especially once you’re back in the swing of things at home. Make those memories count!
3. Power inverter
This one’s essential. Charging your phone, laptop, or setting up your portable fridge will require a power inverter to give you access to your favourite pieces of tech on the road. Power inverters are easy to come by at your auto shop – or you can drop into your local dealership and see which one is best suited to your vehicle.
“Are we there yet?!”
No road trip is complete without the tunes, films, and podcasts that will get you through those (let’s admit it) boring parts of the trip. Four hours in, even grown adults will start complaining – and passing the time with your favourite bits of entertainment is the perfect cure. So make sure you download those playlists and get those series offline before you lose signal.
5. Spare water and snacks
Snacks and water are always essential items to pack before you hit the road. While buying snacks on the road is fun, you know the variety is limited as soon as you say goodbye to the CBD. Make sure to pack plenty of extra ‘emergency’ supplies as well. Keep these in a place out of reach from the kids (and yourself), because these are your backups in case of an emergency.
6. Medical kit
No car should be on the road without a medical kit stored in an easily accessible location (the glovebox). But a road trip calls for a thorough inspection of your medical kit to make sure it’s up to date with all the essentials. If you notice something missing – make sure to remedy the situation before heading off. You’ll thank yourself later.
7. Jumper cables
Don’t find yourself without jumper leads. It’s just not cool.
Waking up to a dead battery can happen – even to the best of us. And while it’s tempting to rely on others to carry these vital bits of equipment – it’s better to be prepared rather than be forced to call up roadside assistance. With jumper leads on hand, you can get back on the road faster – as almost any willing car can help you get your vehicle up and running in no time.
8. Tyre deflator and pump
If you want to get off the beaten track and visit some of WA’s most prized locations on the coast, you’re probably going to need to deflate your tyres to get enough traction to pass over what is normally very difficult terrain.
Beach driving and some off-road tracks will require you to deflate your tyres. To do that, you’ll need the right tools. Don’t forget to pack other essentials like a shovel, ramp, and winch if you plan to do more serious off-roading.
9. Battery charger pack
Once your phone’s dead – that’s pretty much it for us modern folk. No phone means no music, no directions, no news, no communication. It’s pretty much the end of the world (we’re joking of course) but this can put a serious dampener on your trip.
Come prepared with some loaded charger packs to keep that battery life of your essential electronics sustained – even when your car is off or out of reach.
10. Car fluids
It’s never wise to leave the city behind without ensuring you have the right fluids on hand. Engine oil, coolant, a spare can of fuel, and of course emergency water are essentials for any long road trip. Make sure you keep an eye on your coolant and oil throughout the trip and monitor any drastic changes in engine temperature.
Being ahead of the game will save you time and money.