This is not a guide or set or rules to follow while traveling around Australia, Everyone can figure that out for themselves. These are just a collection of tips we discovered while traversing this very wide country.
Get this book(old or new), Google maps is useless for finding rest areas to stay for the night. There are a lot of rest areas where you can legally stay the night but rest areas with toilets are rare. Get 2 highlighters, Find the pages you are travelling around and spend 5mins highlighting all Rest Areas with toilets that you can stay overnight for free. These rest areas are pure gold and is much easier to decide when you already have them highlighted instead of constantly searching each one by number. There is normally campervan sites in most medium sized cities for access to showers and power, However you don’t need to use these sites every night. The other highlight is for places of interest, as fun as it is to just decide on the spot. You can really get more done by deciding what interests you and creating a plan on the day. Then you can decide if which landmarks\towns in which order to see them. It just helps out on the day deciding travel distances and time needed.
Facebook and social media isn’t something you can turn off so don’t expect to. It’s kind of a fading fantasy to take a trip where reception is patchy and you are living truly off-grid, even for a short while. There is a reason we use social media, It’s likely you will have the same urges while on holiday. It passes the time, Looking at scenery is very nice while driving but isn’t something you can constantly do for 8 hours. There is 4g at most every town, internet is rarely a big problem. At least one person in the group with telstra is still advisable.
Data save like crazy before the trip, While this might only be a virgin mobile feature and might eventually be closed. We have found that any excess data before the end of the month can be gifted to another person. Then when the new month starts, that same data can be gifted back allowing you to save up data for your trip. An extra few gigs goes a long way.
A single double adapter. Even with car chargers and battery storage. The fight to charge mobiles does become a hassle. The worst is when everyone has samsung chargers, you can’t fit 2 chargers in a double powerpoint, It’s annoying and I wish they made left and right chargers randomly but they don’t. A single double adapter will let you get 3 samsung chargers into double powerpoint.
Hotels can be a good half-way rest for the trip, depending on how long your trip is. Your body will slowly get tired of living in a campervan. Don’t think you can just push through everything all the time. You can treat yourself to a hotel for a night or two, this will help you recover so you are more refreshed for the last half of your trip.
A lot of old towns were really built for a single purpose, Nowadays small historical towns feel like normal towns. But they really did grow out of a sole purpose, either rocket testing or mining. It is pretty interesting to think about.
Get your smashed mobile and put spotify on it, everybody has a broken screen mobile that still functions fine. Get spotify premium, download a GIANT playlist then turn it on offline mode (and also turn wifi off). Use a aux cable or bluetooth and this is your music for the trip, It’s out of the way, doesn’t require much charging (since it’s just playing music). It’s great for freeing up space on your own mobile for more pictures and videos. Make sure you have a decent amount of space for photos and videos before the trip e.g 5gigs. Store some average netflix shows on your mobile, not too good of a show just something you kinda of want to watch. You can watch an episode a day to break up the day. Or store some daily youtube to keep you informed. You still have to keep your brain a bit busy on such long drives. We are really living in a technological era now, so we should embrace instead of shy away from it.
Read the fine print, Some companies will offer full insurance but it might not be full insurance. E.g Damages to the car is covered but towing isn’t covered, and if you have to tow the car half way across Australia, it could cost. You could look at a separate insurance company instead of taking the insurance offered by the company if it doesn’t fill all the boxes.
You are really driving in nature. There isn’t a animal boundary that follows the highways, You are literally driving right in middle their home territory. The locals who drive a lot have vehicles specially fitted for this, bull bars, 4 wheel drive, super bright lights aimed to the either side isn’t for show. If all this equipment saves them from heavy damage every 5 years, then it’s well worth it. Your car isn’t going to have this equipment and you are probably going to be fine, just don’t think it’s like driving on highways close to a major city.
Even if you have a family with 3 kids, travel with friends. There’s no rules that families should only travel by themselves. Make decisions for yourself instead of following social norms. I think if everyone is comfortable, then traveling with friends can be a great experience for all. Living in today’s age, We don’t get to socialize for large periods of time with the same people. Somehow our lives just get so busy, So traversing with friends only adds to the whole experience. In the end, this is how families get bigger.