The allure of road-tripping around Australia has mainly appealed to retirees (or ‘grey nomads’), but an increasing number of younger Australians and international travellers are now embarking on this epic journey too. It’s easy to romanticise this holiday as a trip of a lifetime, but let’s come back to reality for a moment and take a look at five things to consider before you hit the open roads.
1. Choice of Vehicle
For most, budget will largely determine the choice of vehicle for a road-trip. Regardless of how much or how little you spend, you’ll need to give some serious consideration to what kind of traveller you are and how you’d like to use your vehicle. For some, a road-trip simply means throwing a tent in the car and taking off. For others, it’s about having a ‘home away from home’ and investing in a motorhome or caravan. If you choose a caravan, you’ll need to think about what size to get and whether your car or 4WD is powerful enough to tow it. If you go for a motorhome, bear in mind some vehicles are classified as a ‘truck’ and require a specific class of drivers licence.
You’ll need insurance regardless of which vehicle you choose for your road-trip. Insurance specific to caravans and motorhomes can be quite expensive. Do your research first and read insurer’s Product Disclosure Statements carefully. You’ll need to decide whether you take basic or comprehensive insurance and if you’d like public liability cover for any damage to someone else’s property caused directly or indirectly by your vehicle. Also consider if you want to be covered for towing costs, a hire vehicle or alternative accommodation in the event your vehicle is stolen, written-off or needs serious repairs.
3. Club Membership
To help you navigate the complexities of vehicle choice and insurance options, why not take out a membership with one of the many caravan and motorhome clubs? They can be a great source of information and advice from people who have literally ‘been there, done that’. Strongly consider joining a motoring club (usually offered by insurance companies), as they provide vehicle breakdown services. You’ll probably need to shop around depending on the size of vehicle you drive or tow, as each club will have limitations on this service depending on the tonnage of your vehicle and where you travel.
Australia is a very big country and there are many remote, isolated places you may have to pass through in order to get to where you want to go. Therefore, looking after your personal safety is paramount. While they are expensive, look into buying a satellite phone as they provide coverage in remote areas and could be life-saving in an emergency situation.
5. Plan Your Trip
Of course the best way to avoid emergency situations is to do some planning before you leave. This will help you to manage the costs of your trip, map the most efficient routes, and understand the seasonal weather conditions to avoid, like the ‘wet season’ in the tropics. Make sure you have backup plans and supplies and know who to turn to for help if things do go wrong, such a motor vehicle accident.
To get the best out of your Australian road-trip, research, planning and preparation are essential. You want to make sure your trip is a life-changing experience, but for all the right reasons. However, if you’re unfortunate enough to find yourself in a motor vehicle accident, make sure you get the right legal advice. At Motor Accident Legal Service, we are here to ensure you get the right compensation for personal injuries and vehicle damage. Our friendly and experienced solicitors are all specialists in this area. For advice and help, call 1800 060 981 or get in touch via the website.