The car is loaded up, your bags are packed and you’re just about ready to hit the open road for a trip you’ll never forget. But before you head off into the sunset, it pays to remember that road trips can come with hidden road bumps. Chances are if something can go wrong, it will, but with a few handy travel tips you can dodge any disasters.

Here are six helpful hacks that will guarantee your next road strip is stress free. Put the pedal to the metal and read on road trippers!

Plan out pre-trip bargains

Cheers for meal deals!
Spontaneity can be fun when you’re on the road, but it can also be quite a rude shock when you arrive at a new destination and find that prices are sky high. Before you leave, jump online and take a look at any local bargains available. You might score a two-for-one breakfast or find some cheap and cheerful accommodation. It also saves hunting around when you arrive, which means you can spend more time enjoying yourself!

Pinpoint your petrol stops

For any driver there’s no worse feeling then running low on petrol and knowing that you may hit empty, before you hit a gas station. It can cause serious concern for everyone in the car and throw a real spanner in the works. Be a smart traveller and plan your petrol stops ahead. This is an especially good idea if your road trip is going rural. You can use an app, drop pins on a map or just write down addresses – either way you’ll be glad you did it.

Curate a rockin’ playlist

Listening to music is the most important for a road trip
Perhaps one of the most important elements of a successful road trip is making sure you have the right music. A perfectly curated Spotify playlist can make or break your drive, so getting the soundtrack spot on is crucial. Your best bet is to canvass all members of the convoy and try to include a good spread of music – something for everyone. It’s also worth including some classic sing-a-longs – no one’s ever had a bad time listening to Wonderwall by Oasis. 

Stock up on snacks

One of life’s great joys is watching the open road pass you by as you dig into some tasty treats. Snacks are another truly essential ingredient of the road trip recipe. First up, make sure you over cater – it’s always better to have more than less. You also need to stock up for different times of the trip – savoury to start and then something sweet for an afternoon pick me up. Finally, and most importantly, do not forget to bring lots of water. Our top tip is to buy a case from the supermarket and stick it in the boot – it’s not a holiday if you’re dehydrated!

Test out your technology 

GPS - Road trip essential
Before you escape do a thorough run through with all your necessary gadgets. Is your GPS working? Does the iPod connection link up? Have you brought your phone charger? Otherwise you face the unthinkable – being stuck in the middle of nowhere, with no satellite, no reception and worst of all…no music!

Prepare for a stress-free return

Jennifer Liu

Jennifer Liu is a writer and digital content specialist for First. You can contact Jennifer here.

If you’re planning on a longer road trip than usual, it’s wise to do some prep work that will ensure a stress-free getaway AND return. The last thing you want to do is come home from a long drive to a dirty house and messy garden. Do a comprehensive clean up before you go, or seek out a helping hand via Airtasker if you’re short on time. Now you can return from your road trip to a heavenly sanctuary!