Above: This Week’s Car Review – 2020 Kia Sorento Sport Black Edition

Is a road trip on the cards this year? Read on … for great tips from the road trip experts

A recent survey from JP Morgan says 42 per cent of Australians are going to be driving to their next holiday location but the team at Navman Australia who help a lot of people take safe road trips, believe the numbers could be a lot higher.

“It’s little wonder this is going to be the year of the road trip,” said Wendy Hammond, general manager, Navman Australia & New Zealand.

“We’ve all been stuck at home or limited to where we can go for so long. It’s a thrill to be driving to work, let alone going further than the supermarket!

“It’s understandable that some people may be reluctant to take a road trip but travelling with your loved ones by car may be one of the safest ways to go in this current Covid-19 world, and our team has put together some great tips to help Australians have the best possible getaway,” she said.

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1: Not feeling well? Sorry, no trip for you this time

It really should go without saying that if you or any of your family or loved ones are feeling under the weather, stay at home and if you have symptoms, get tested.  There is no value in taking away potentially seriously unwell adults or children and worst of all you could be spreading illness around.

2: Be flexible:

Think about your trip, and when opportunities arise, if you have the time and money to get away, just go wherever you can – it doesn’t have to be a dream destination!

The opening and closing of interstate borders seems to be ever-changing and it can be difficult to book and plan for a trip to another State or Territory, so first off consider somewhere within your own backyard.  It could be somewhere you love or somewhere you’ve never been before.

3: Book refundable accommodation or better still, take your own

Make sure you book accommodation that is refundable up until the date of check-in in the event of any changes due to Covid-19.  Better still, you could always take your own accommodation, like a tent or even try a caravan or campervan holiday.

4: How long can you tolerate being in the car?

Some Australians love a long road trip and think nothing of driving from Sydney to Byron Bay in one hit, while others – especially those with small children – may feel a little trapped.  When you’ve narrowed down places you may like to go, pull out your Navman and see how long it will take you to get there.  You’ll also be able to check for points-of-interest along the way, places to stop for a break or find a restaurant and plan a route with several stops to keep the kids interested.

5: Take your best friend in the car

If you hate the idea of getting lost, your Navman is your best friend.  Unlike mobile phones, your GPS always works regardless of whether you have mobile phone coverage or not.  If you get stuck somewhere and need to find the nearest petrol station, garage, café, campsite or accommodation, you can find it in one touch.  Best of all the guidance is second to none, you’ll know every step of the way, where to turn and which lane to be in, even on the most complex roads and you’ll get alerts about upcoming traffic so you can find ways to avoid it.  It will also make sure you don’t get pinged for speeding, driving through red lights or school zones, warning well before you reach them.  Let’s face it, these days few of us have the cash to splash on traffic tickets.

6: What to pack

Take a Navman dashcam and/or navigation system. Make sure you pack hand sanitiser and disinfectant wipes.  There’s nothing worse than arriving at a rest stop to find there are no paper towels and no soap.  Old fashioned snacks for the car are also a great idea including packing a thermos of coffee and water bottles, if you want to avoid stopping at random places.  Or do something really special and pack a picnic to have along the way.  If you can fit them in, blankets and pillows are a nice idea to keep kids in the backseat super comfortable.

7: Preparation
If you haven’t been away for a while, make sure you check the air in the tyres, oil, water in the windscreen wipers and update the maps in your GPS.

8: Check the Roads

Road conditions can change, so if you’re planning even the shortest trip, it is a good idea to take a look at the roads department websites.

9: Tell someone you’re leaving

If the road trip is a long one, why not let someone know when you’re are and how long you’ll be?

10: Don’t forget the pets

The smallest members of the family sometimes are the last to be thought of. Are they coming with you? Perhaps they’re staying with friends or family.

Wherever you go, relax and enjoy yourself.  Getting away from it will make you feel a whole lot better about the world, even if it’s just for the weekend.  You can find more tips about camping, caravan and snow holidays on the Navman website www.navman.com.au/blog.