"Make Arrangements Prior to Departing
on Your Trip"
While on your trip divert your mail to relatives/friends or have a trusted neighbour collect it. Consider bills that need paying while you’re away, can the mail collector sort them out or do you need to pay in advance or organise direct debit.
Find a trustworthy house-sitter or have relatives/friends checking on your home regularly. The lawns and gardens will need tending to keep up a lived in appearance, bins should be put out occasionally, no newspapers mounting up on the front lawn.
If you have papers delivered don’t forget to cancel them for the trip period.
Check your insurance policies are up to date on home, contents, car and health. Make sure yourselves and your belongings are covered while travelling and that your home is covered while you are away for an extended period of time.
If you take any medications fill sufficient prescriptions and have extra scripts on standby. You may also consider a health check prior to leaving as medical facilities are very limited in remote areas.
Consider completing a basic first aid course in case of emergency and always carry a first aid kit and manual.
Invest in a good map book and plot out your trip route, taking into account distance and time frame. Be realistic when allocating travel time, especially when trying to cover great distances. You might want to extend your stay in certain places, leave earlier in others or you may encounter unforeseen circumstances such as illness, injury or vehicle trouble. If you’re travelling off-road (non-bitumen) in remote areas the road conditions will ultimately affect travel time so allocate a generous time frame. Always have at least a couple of spare days in your itinerary. You’ll find some way to enjoy them if not otherwise needed. Try not to plan too much in too little time as holidays are about enjoyment and relaxation not stress and undue haste.
If you are taking your pet on the trip make sure your itinerary is pet friendly, remembering most National Parks in Australia do not allow pets. Research pet friendly accommodation and nearby kennels or pet-sitting services if you plan to visit places your pet cannot.
Every traveller needs a good diary to keep record of their trip. There are many lists and notes to make such as where you’ve been, daily mileage, fuel consumption, camp sites, expenses, contacts, the list goes on. Well we have found the perfect all-in-one software program that you can load onto your laptop to make record-keeping and daily journal entries on your trip very easy and well organised. No more messy handwriting in diary books and lists on scraps of paper everywhere. The Nomads Notes software program is designed especially for vehicle-based travellers like us and records and reports everything you want. It also stores all your precious photographs which can be arranged and sorted accordingly. We highly recommend looking into it before your next trip. Click Here!
Invest in a comfortable mattress, especially if you’re going to be on the road for a long period.
Ensure you have a suitable doona or sleeping bag in case of cold nights and of course don’t forget your pillows.
Pack a variety of non-perishable foods such as canned foods, pastas, rice, cereals, flour, long life milk, recipe bases, condiments and herbs/spices. A plastic tub with a secure lid is the perfect pantry box.
Fresh fruit and vegetables are great to have but be realistic and carry only what can be used before it goes bad. Also don’t overstock if you are heading interstate as there are border check points where all fruit and vegetables are confiscated and your vehicle has the right to be searched. The fines are hefty for non-compliance.
Cryovac meats (airtight sealed plastic) last for weeks and are suitable for travelling in remote areas and if you don’t have a freezer. Ask your local butcher to package your meat selections this way for a small fee. Try to choose bone-free items though to avoid piercing the plastic wrapping. If taking chicken try and use first as it doesn’t last as long as the red meats.
Your gas stove and bottle will be well used on your trip so pack them somewhere easily accessible. A heavy duty frying pan, saucepan and billycan will suffice for stovetop cooking. If you enjoy a good camp fire a cast iron camp oven is a good alternative slow cooking device. Also a jaffle iron comes in handy for quick and easy meals over a flame.
Kitchen – Cutlery, utensils, plates, bowls, cups, mugs, freezer bags, glad wrap, alfoil, plastic containers.
Lighting – Torches, spare batteries, gas lamp, spare mantles, flouro light connectable to 12volt.
Cleaning – Dust pan and broom, washing up tub, sponge and liquid, tea towels, paper towel, rubbish bags, toilet paper.
Laundry – Detergent, pegs, clothes bag, rope line, $1 coins for machine.
Outdoors – Table, chairs, insect repellant, mosquito coils, shovel, axe.
Power – Extension cord, power board, battery chargers, 12 volt converter, generator
Personal – Light & warm clothing, walking shoes, sunscreen, hat, bathers, towels, backpack, toiletries, medications, first aid kit, camera, laptop, fishing gear.
One of the worst things you can do while travelling is leave rubbish lying around. Invest in a roll of large garbage bags and a couple of those cheap red/white stripe zip-up bags from the $2 shop, they are perfect for storing tied up bags of rubbish. Strap them to your roof rack or even between the bull-bar and bonnet until you find a rubbish disposal area in remote regions where bins aren’t always supplied.
Some sort of cooling system will be required to keep your food and beverages cold in the harsh Australian summer. A portable car fridge is ideal to refrigerate your perishable food supplies, accompanied by an esky/cooler box for your drinks. If you are taking a fridge it is advisable to have a dual battery system fitted in your vehicle with an isolator switch. This will reserve enough power in the main battery to start your vehicle if your accessories are using too much power, normally occurring when the vehicle is stationary for an extended period. If you are taking only an esky store your food in airtight plastic containers to avoid water spoilage. You might find ice will be unobtainable at times during your travels so for longer lasting cooling buy block ice as opposed to crushed.
Mobile phone reception is limited while exploring the outback so do yourself a favour and purchase a phone card to use in public phone booths. These days most people also travel with a laptop and wireless internet coverage, there are plenty of mobile phone companies offering great deals for mobile broadband which works in most major towns and cities. Other forms of communication to consider are a CB radio for communication with other vehicles and an EPIRB safety beacon which can be activated in an emergency.
Cash out services aren’t always readily available in remote areas so carry a reserve of cash for camping fees, park permits, washing machines and vehicle breakdown (money talks when you need help). Small notes and gold coins are required at national parks where you often self-register and pay at an unmanned entry station and washing machines generally take $1 coins x3 or 4 per load.
Carrying plenty of water is essential, particularly in the outback where clean drinking water isn’t always available. 20 litre water containers are available at camping stores and come in very handy.
Nobody wants to run out of fuel in remote areas, so if your vehicle doesn’t have dual fuel tanks it is a good idea to know roughly how many km’s your car can drive on a full tank, top up when you can and carry a spare fuel container in case of emergency.
It is handy to have a GPS guiding the way however some outback tracks are not recognized on the global positioning system so make sure you invest in a good map book. This is essential to plot your route and determine distances. A good road atlas combined with the free camps book is a good start.