There’s never been a better time to choose road tripping as a travel option. The flexibility and safety of using your own vehicle are two of the main reasons it’s proving such a popular way to travel. Here are our best road trip tips to help you plan your journey.
Road Trip Tip #1: Get Your Gear Organised
Airline luggage limits and timetables often make it tricky for those who need a more flexible means of travel. Your only luggage limit on a road trip is what you can squeeze into the car, and last-minute delays are unlikely to be a problem.
Various specialised equipment solutions are available for travelling with lots of mobility gear, but a roof pod is a quick and easy mainstream solution for increasing storage. A lockable roof pod can store everything from a dismantled beach wheelchair to essential smaller items that you can’t leave home without. A roof pod can even be useful for day trips – just double check your vehicle’s roof load limit.
Road Trip Tip #2: Change Things Up
Breaking up a trip with frequent stops is one of the big bonuses of road tripping. A stretch and a change of position is always appreciated by everyone on board.
It’s best to plan your stops in advance, especially if you need specific bathroom facilities. Check the Changing Places Australia website for facilities with an adult-sized change table and hoist. The National Toilet Map can also assist with information about accessible bathrooms along the way.
If all else fails, McDonalds usually have an accessible bathroom, and they are typically well maintained.
Road Trip Tip #3: Stay Safe
Wheelchairs cause wear and tear on vehicles, so take some precautions to protect your vehicle when on the road. A thick plastic sheet or matting can help maintain the carpet in the boot or rear of the car. Travel with a dish brush to clean off wheelchair tyres if they are muddy, sandy, or dirty.
Ensure you have car insurance or travel insurance that covers your mobility equipment, in case you should have a car accident.
Road Trip Tip #4: Keep Cool
A medium-sized portable car fridge is a great idea if you’re travelling with medication that needs to stay cool, or if you prefer to travel with your own food. Some portable fridges come with a dual function that allows you to keep food cool or hot with the flick of a switch.
Road Trip Tip #5: Know Before You Go
If you are road tripping with a van, or a roof attachment that increases the height of your vehicle, make sure to check the height restrictions of car parking for your accommodation or attractions you will visit along the way.
Like any adventure, the more effort you put into research and planning, the smoother your trip is likely to go. Happy road tripping!
This list first appeared in Travel Without Limits magazine. You can subscribe here.