Honeymoon Road Trip Tips
Avoid Maintenance Mayhem
Before you put the pedal to the metal there are a few things you need to keep in mind. First, get your car checked, especially filters, fluid levels and brake pads. Also make sure you’ve changed the oil before you head off. Check your tyre pressure and the condition of your wiper blades, indicating signals, brake lights and high and low beams. Examine your tyre treads and make sure your car is prepared for any kind of weather you might be headed for. You might need more antifreeze, some snow tyres or to recharge the air conditioner. You don’t want to be on the road on a roasting summer day and find the AC on the blink!
Wheeling Into Motion
Before you hit the road make sure you take your car for an old fashioned car wash with your sweetheart. A clean car is a good way to start a long trip. Make sure you have a detailed map on hand and a planned route. Don’t forget to take plenty of water and munchies for the ride, it’ll be much cheaper to buy at the supermarket before you leave than to pay corner shop prices along the way. Blankets and pillows for a sleepy passenger is a must. In addition, pack an emergency kit, including a battery powered radio and extra batteries, torch, jumper cables, first aid kit, spare tyre, tyre repair kit and pump, and flares.
Rev Up Your Rental
If you are renting, agencies like Avis, Hertz and Thrifty have many locations Australia wide, while online travel sites like australianexplorer.com, escapetravel.com.au and travel.com.au can offer good rental deals (often in conjunction with booking a hotel and a flight).
If you need to rent a car abroad, get an international driving permit called an IDP. Find details of where to apply for one in your state by going to smartraveller.gov.au. If you’re renting a car overseas (especially in Europe), keep in mind that most models come with a manual transmission. Call or book online well in advance to reserve an automatic if you can’t drive a manual car, since they might not have many in stock. If you book online, print out a copy of your confirmation number and the booking details so you can produce this in the event your booking gets lost in the system! Also, cars in Europe tend to be on the small side so don’t expect much space in the boot. Leave the bulky luggage at home!
Are We There Yet?
Planning for the time spent in the car together can be just as important as packing your essentials. The last thing you want is to ruin your romantic adventure with road trip boredom, so prepare some on the road entertainment. Include games and music, or even a few audio books. If you find yourself in a lull during your journey, here are some highway hints to keep the long drive interesting.
- Car games: They’re not just for kids! No road trip is complete without a round of “I spy” or “the license plate game.”
- Story time: Instead of curling up in a corner and reading to yourself, share the story with your sweetie, and read aloud.
- Create an on-the-road scrapbook: Take pictures of the funny sites you see from the car window. Then, create a scrapbook or photo album for your pics and fill your album as you drive along.
- Tunes for the trail: If you’re addicted to your iPod, buy an FM transmitter to play your collection through your car radio. Griffin Technology’s iTrip Auto fits any iPod model, so no matter which highway or country lane you’re on you won’t be without your favourite tunes.