The great Aussie road trip essential checklist

Whether you’re tackling The Big Lap, cruising the Great Ocean Road or going on a mission to see every ‘Big’ landmark in the country, Australia is built for road tripping.

Here’s our essential road trip checklist to make sure you’ve packed everything you need to stay safe and have a killer time while touring Australia’s highways and backroads.

The Big Prawn, Ballina Source: ABC Open

Before you leave

Before taking off on your great Aussie road adventure, it’s a good idea to check your car is in good condition and firing on all cylinders, or have a professional do it. Some things to check include headlights, brake lights, tyres and engine oil.

It’s also worth filling up before you leave, just in case petrol stations aren’t as frequent on your route as you thought they would be.

Another thing to check off your list before hitting the road is picking out a top notch car insurance policy, so that if you’re in an accident, you won’t have to wear the full cost of repairs yourself.

For on the road

You might think all you need for a true blue Aussie road trip is you, your mates and a long stretch of bitumen. But to make the trip a bit more enjoyable - not to mention more safe - there are a couple of things you might want to have in the boot, just in case.

  • Emergency kit. The first rule of any road trip is to be as prepared for the worst as possible, so that if it happens, you can handle yourself. That’s where the emergency kit comes in. You can buy pre-packed versions or build your own, and if you’re going down the DIY route, some essentials to include are a torch, road reflectors, first aid kit and tyre jack.
  • Killer playlist. That rousing rendition of 99 bottles of beer on the wall is only fun for so long, so load up your Spotify with crowd favourites before hitting the road. It’s hard to go wrong with classics like Queen and ABBA, but remember to tailor your playlist to your trip (ballads can bring down the mood on a summer beach trip) and your company (Drake might not have a place on your family road trip.)
  • Car-friendly snacks. No road trip is complete without snacks, but here’s a tip - avoid chocolate (stains) or anything that leaves a lot of crumbs. It’s also a good idea to have a spare plastic bag to use as a rubbish collector, to save having to dig under the seats for wrappers later on.
  • Roadside assistance. Nothing will ruin a road trip faster than winding up stuck on the side of the highway, halfway between the back of beyond and woop woop, trying to find a tow truck and a taxi. So a rock solid car insurance policy with roadside assistance is a must-have for any great Aussie road trip. And remember, if your car insurance policy doesn’t include roadside assistance, you can often add it on, or, think about switching policies.
  • A map - digital and old school. Any Aussie who’s driven further than the next suburb over knows Google maps can be a lifesaver - but if your road trip is taking you a little off the beaten path where phone service may be patchy, it’s worth having a good old fashioned road map in the glove box or saving an offline version of your route to your phone as well, just in case.
  • Backseat games. If you’re travelling long distances with kids - or friends who act like kids - some easy to pack, easy to play backseat car games are essential for keeping the peace. Dig into your childhood memories for classics like I Spy, 20 Questions and the License Plate Game or make up your own game.

Get ready to hit the road with a comprehensive car insurance policy. Check out some of today’s offers in our car insurance hub.