Summer Road Trip Checklist For Your Ultimate Holiday Getaway

Road trip checklist. Don't leave home without these essentials!

Avoid that "Doh!" moment. Tick off these essentials before ticking off on your summer holiday

Are you counting down? Is it almost time to remove those steel caps or step out of that pencil skirt? Are you ready to slip into holiday mode?

Woo hoo, lucky you – summer, here you come.

But… have you forgotten anything?

With all the end-of-year and Christmas rush, it's easy to forget the little essentials that can help your summer holiday run smoothly.

So, before you swap the Armani for a wet suit and the heels for flip-flops, check out our road trip checklist below.

Planning

  • Accommodation – book ahead as summer is the peak season
  • Attractions – consider booking if you are short of time or can only attend on a specific day
  • Plan your drive and stops – be realistic, especially if travelling with kids. Plan plenty of rest stops to stretch your legs and get fresh air. Suss out where the playgrounds are to give the kidlets a run-around. And did you know it's illegal in most Australian states to urinate on the side of the road or in public? So don't forget to plan those important toilet stops.
  • Pets – have you booked a pet sitter, kennel or cattery?

Car

  • Service – is your vehicle due for a service now or while you're away? Is it making a funny sound or not quite performing as it should? Don't risk a roadside disaster. Book in for a service or mechanical check before you head off.
  • Tyres – safety first. Your tyres are responsible for keeping you and your loved ones on the road. Are they worn or damaged? And while we're talking wheels, have you checked the brakes recently? Always check your tyre pressure the day before heading off on your trip, and don't forget the spare.
  • Battery – is it feeling a little sluggish? A bit slow to start? Or has it run flat a few times before? Pop into a Battery World store for a free battery health check.
  • Fluids. Top up the:
    • oil
    • windscreen washer fluid
    • coolant
    • any other fluids.
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  • Music – plus, work out a rule for sharing control of the beats to avoid wanting to strangle each other.
  • Audiobooks – can help you stay alert as you concentrate on the story, more so than listening to background music. Try it on your next trip. Many library services have free audiobooks that you can play via an app.
  • Offline maps and regional details – don't assume you'll have phone reception or data for all your trip. Consider writing down or printing essential contact details and using paper maps.
  • Movies and games for the kids (or yourself).
  • Emergency and road condition Apps – most states have specific apps that report on road conditions and emergencies (fire/flood).

In-car esssentials

  • Drinking water plus refills.
  • Snacks – healthier options will help you stay more alert and avoid sugar highs and lows. Fresh fruit, nuts, cheese, crackers, and dried fruit are perfect.
  • Chocolate – OK, let's be real here. What's a road trip without some chocolate?
  • Coffee/tea and thermal mugs.
  • Thermos.
  • Cooler bag, esky or fridge to keep your perishables safe. There's nothing as sad as dealing with gastro on holidays.
  • Rubbish bags.
  • Lunch pack – chopping board, cutlery, sharp knife, plates, bowls, cups, paper towel, snap lock bags, wraps etc.
  • Consider a small cooker for heating lunches or boiling water
  • Torch/head torch with spare batteries.
  • Hand wipes/sanitiser.
  • First aid kit – consider doing a first aid course. It could be your loved one you save.
  • Toilet paper.
  • Tissues.
  • Sick bags (oh, been there, done that – not fun!), and not just from an overdose of Mariah Carey Christmas carols.
  • Basic tool kit and pocketknife.
  • Jumper leads or a jump-starter pack and make sure you know how to use them to jump-start your car.
  • Are you going outback or remote? Consider an EPIRB, satellite phone or remote communicator like a Zoleo.

To do

  • Let the neighbours or nearby friends know you'll be away and leave several contact options.
  • Rubbish bins and mail – a sure signal your home is empty is if you've left the bins out or your mail is piling up. Arrange for someone to collect these for you.
  • Ensure you have ambulance cover in the state you'll travel in. Also, find out if your cover includes non-emergency transfers.
  • If you've been driving a lot of short trips lately, pop the car battery on a charger overnight. Discover more battery care and maintenance tips in this article.
  • Leave an itinerary with a friend or family member.
  • Be aware of public holidays and check what will and won't be open. Some services close on public holidays, especially in smaller regional areas.
  • Add the Battery World 24/7* mobile service number into your phone: 13 17 60

Don't forget

  • Sunglasses/reading glasses
  • License/ID
  • Paperwork – rego, insurance
  • Paper map and brochures
  • Booking details
  • Pen/notepad
  • Medication and scripts
  • Some cash and coins
  • Wallet/purse (take out excess cards)
  • Favourite pillow
  • Camera
  • Hats and fly net
  • Insect/mozzie spray
  • Sunscreen
  • Umbrella
  • Raincoat
  • Backpack
  • Spare batteries
  • Beach towels/bathers/thongs
  • Games – cards, cricket bat, tennis ball
  • Kids' favourite toys - teddy bears, pencils, paper
  • Phone
  • Tablet
  • Headphones/earbuds
  • Comfy walking shoes
  • Chargers and cables for electronics – wall and in-car plugs
  • Battery pack for electronics
  • Books/mags
  • Fido + leash, bowl, bedding, brush, toys, food.
Travel essentials

A few travel essentials to ease you into holiday mode.

As Santa's checking his list, make sure you check this road trip checklist to ease into holiday bliss

Whoa, that's a big list, right? Using this road trip checklist at this busy time of year can smooth the transition into holiday mode.

And remember, if you need extra batteries, chargers or a free battery check before hitting the road, pop into Battery World.

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