Not all of our guests fly in to the Gold Coast Airport and travel a short 30 minutes to get to our beautiful beachfront location at Casuarina Beach. Many drive down from Brisbane, or up from other locations either on the Northern NSW coast or further inland.
If you are planning a road trip (short or long), we have found this great article “How to prepare for a Road Trip” by Michael Gebecki in a recent issue of Traveller. We have rewritten it below for your information (in italics) and included our own thoughts following each point.
The road journey is an adventure classic. In the sunburnt country, the land of sweeping plains, setting your wheels spinning in some prime piece of real estate is one of the greatest experiences you can have. Preparation is key. Here are some points to consider before you hit the road.
Make a booking for a thorough check-up in the month before you leave to allow time for any necessary repairs to be scheduled. Vehicle repairers get busy as peak holiday time approaches and it’s not something you can overlook. Don’t overlook the state of your tyres and if your vehicle’s schedule service is likely to be due whilst you are away, consider bringing it forward.
Motoring Organisation Membership
Check your membership is up to date and have your roadside assistance number handy. (Some new cars may still have current Roadside Assist Packages)
When you’re locked and loaded, stop at the first service station along your route and check tyre pressure. Remind yourself what your correct tyre pressure for your vehicle should be by checking with the label inside the driver’s door, and don’t forget the spare.
If you tyres have a slow leak, ensure the pressure is regularly checked during your trip.
You’re probably going to be out of reach of your favourite radio station so download whatever music you need onto a device. If there are kids in the back seat, consider their needs. Movies offer a couple of hours of distraction while for the ones in the front seat, comedy podcasts can help keep you refreshed and alert. Consider reviewing your internet plans. Games such as Trivia Crack can be a great way to get everyone in the car involved in a fun activity.
If you don’t already have a GPS device, you need one. Either buy it or download an app to your smartphone or tablet. Sygic (sygic.com) maps load to your device and give you turn-by-turn voice prompts as well as a visual feed. Sygic maps are not expensive and once downloaded, no further data downloads are required. Other options include Tom Tom, but we have found googlemaps worthwhile where you have internet access.
You might prefer to stay flexible and book accommodation when and where you feel like stopping, but if you’re travelling in holiday periods you might find yourself with a very limited choice, or even driving well into the night to find a bed. If it’s school holidays or a major event happening along your route, book yourself in before you hit the road. This is particularly important if you are booking holiday homes such as La Maison Pacifique. It can be difficult to book last minute and your choice may be limited.
Drive Australia (driveaustralia.com.au) is an RACV website that can help you plan your route. Key in your starting address and destination and you get detailed instructions on how to get there. While there are no voice commands, which means this is no substitute for a GPS when you’re behind the wheel, it’s perfect for when you’re sitting at your computer planning the journey. There are other sites which also show you points of interest on the way. Can be great for planning stops/breaks and for stretching your legs.
Plan your stops
On a long drive, motoring experts recommend a stop every two hours.
Anytime you start feeling drowsy, pull over as soon as possible, take a rest and follow it up with a walk around in fresh air. As the road signs in India say, “It is better to be late, Mr Driver, than the late Mr Driver.” On many busy routes, Driver Reviver Stops are available particularly during peak times. Take advantage and chat to other travellers about where they have been and what they have done.
Whether it’s a lunch break or a rest stop there are a few things you’ll probably need every time you stop so keep them within easy reach. The list includes:
- Sun block
- Insect repellent
- Basic first-aid kit
- Water bottle
- Wet wipes
- If you plan to stop near a beach, throw in bathers and a towel.
…and of course don’t forget medications or special needs of all your passengers.
Plan your Meal Stops
Eating fast food is a quick and easy solution when you’re on a long trip but much of this type of food carries a high glycemic load. This causes a spike in blood sugar levels, and in some individuals that results in feelings of drowsiness. If you’ve experienced these symptoms in the past, either plan to eat in cafes or restaurants with a wider choice or take along some prepared snacks. Low glycemic index foods include sourdough and wholegrain bread, most vegetables, pasta and nuts. Instead of stopping by the road side, pop into a local town’s cafe and meet the locals!
It’s easy to forget about your fluid intake when you’re behind the wheel, and tempting if toilet stops are scarce, but staying hydrated will help keep you on the ball. Refill at each stop to ensure you keep your fluid intake up and choose water rather than sweet drinks.
Tell the Neighbours
Dates when you’re away, when you’ll be back and contact numbers just in case, and preferably two sets of neighbours. Also tell your family and friends and consider a private blog or facebook account to keep them updated on your travels. Another idea is to schedule regular catch ups, particularly if you are going to remote locations so that you can check in and ensure you remain safe.
..and don’t forget the usual things like:
- Cancelling paper delivery
- Redirecting your mail (or getting someone to collect it for you)
- Asking someone to clear your junk mail
- Timer lights and sounds for security
- Taking care of your pets – get someone in to feed and look after them or book them into a pet motel
So, there are Michael Gebicki’s top tips for preparing for a road trip with our comments added. If you have any other ideas, please feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will add it to a blog post into the future! Either that or add the info in via our guest book. If you do stay with us, don’t forget that our guest book allows you to add photos in as well – we’d love to share them!
Oh – and don’t forget that the Northern Rivers/Tweed Coast area of NSW is the perfect location for your holiday – be it you are a local or visiting from afar.
….Have we convinced you yet that your Casuarina NSW holiday could be your best ever at any time of the year? All you have to do now is book! Northern Rivers area NSW (including Kingscliff, Casuarina, Pottsville and Cabarita Beach) is the perfect spot – and its location is ideal – 1/2 way between the Gold Coast and Byron Bay. Patrolled beaches line the coast. We even have Carla, Lisa, Pete and Spida’s top tips on things to do in Kingscliff! You can even book a picnic or high tea with Teaspoon High Tea Events! Check out our blog and news, location and attractions and what’s on and markets for more great tips and things to do on your Northern Rivers holidays!
Happy holidays – dream about what is possible; believe you can do it; make the most of your leave; plan, book and enjoy your holiday; then dream about where you will go next! It is your turn!
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Until next time – enjoy your day wherever you are from La Maison Pacifique “The Peaceful House” and your boutique designer luxury holiday home vacation rental in Casuarina, New South Wales, Australia – half way between the Gold Coast QLD and Byron Bay NSW, Australia.
Property Consultant & Interior Designer
La Maison Pacifique
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