Features

Everything You Need to Pack On Your Next Road Trip

The open road awaits.

Brought to you by Avis

We’ve teamed up with AVIS to bring you a series of amazing tried-and-tested roadtrips around Australia and the world.

We’ve partnered with Avis to bring you a series of tales from the road. This time we’ve curated your essential ‘to pack’ list for your next road trip. You’re welcome. 

Travel writer Paul Theroux recently referred to the mode of road travel as “a truer way, the old way – the proud highway, the rolling road”, and fewer things in life make you feel as much freedom and exhilaration as getting behind the wheel and taking off on the open road. There are, however, a few factors that you can throw behind your four-wheeled journey to ensure that even when heading into the unknown, you’ll have no doubt that a feel-good adventure awaits. Here we outline some of the necessities you should pack in your vehicle to make sure the good times roll on your next road trip.

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#1 An epic playlist

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Nothing gets you more pumped for a road trip than collating all the tunes you’ll be blaring through the breeze of your open car window once you get out on the highway. It can feel like you left on the trip already. Consider including some travelling classics like ‘Born to Run‘ by Bruce Springsteen, ‘This Time Tomorrow‘ by The Kinks, ‘Sweet Emotion‘ by Aerosmith, or ‘All I Want‘ by Joni Mitchell. Or perhaps ‘Keep the Car Running‘ by Arcade Fire is more your bag, or the exuberant ‘Chicago‘ by Sufjan Stevens will have you feeling the good-time road trip feels, or why not just include ‘The Distance‘ by Cake and be done with it.

It’s also a great idea to throw some podcasts into the mix, as it’s incredible how fast you will fly through those lengthy kilometres when contemplating the guilt or innocence of Adnan in This American Life’s groundbreaking Serial show (season two is due later this year). And if you want to arrive at your destination even smarter than when you took off, you could delve into tales like the death of Edgar Allan Poe, Australia’s Rabbit-Proof Fence, or the Arabian escapades of groundbreaking traveler Freya Stark in the Stuff You Missed in History Class series. And did you know that Alec Baldwin has a podcast? It’s called Here’s The Thing, is obvs brilliant, and he interviews guests like Lena Dunham, Paul Simon, Judd Apatow and Thom Yorke.

So whether tunes, podcasts or a combination of both are your thing, make sure your audio-length-to-trip-distance is somewhat on point.


#2 A camera

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One of the many excellent things about road travel is how you are surrounded by the outdoors – whether it be looming mountains, the dusty outback, a coastal cliff-side, or colourful urban streets. And many routes you can take follow the path of some of the most epic vistas around – take the Great Ocean Road in Victoria or the Crown Range Pass in Central Otago, New Zealand as examples.

Having your camera on the backseat will ensure you get to capture the journey as well as the destination, because photos of the wind in your hair, the towns flying by and your friends’ look of on-road freedom will remind you later why you love to take off in a car in the first place. Whether heading inland or to the coast, the road is often littered with signs like ‘Scenic Route’, ‘Lookout’ or ‘Emu Crossing’, so why not use these as an excuse to take a rest stop and bump up your Instagram account at the same time? Heeeere Emu Emu Emu!


#3 A best friend

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(Photo: Taryn Stenvei)

Packing your buddy means you’ll have great banter, someone to sing along with, share the driving, take photos of, split the cost – even help to pitch the tent if it’s that kind of trip. They are basically the ultimate multi-use packing item! You may also find they have fresh ideas about what to explore that you hadn’t thought of, adding an extra element of unexpected to the journey. And if you happen to get lost, you’ll get lost together, and probably laugh it off and help each other navigate the way to get back on track in no time.

Sharing your adventures with your bestie also means you’ll be able to relive the experiences time and time again through laughter and the retelling of stories of the open road. You’ll get renewed excitement when they tag you in their road trip album too, which will make all your other friends jealous they didn’t tag along in the backseat.


#4 Gadgets

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An added bonus to taking a holiday on the road is that you can plug all sorts of gadgets into your car’s battery to keep your technology addiction alive. Firstly, don’t forget to pack your phone car charger as you’ll likely be using your phone as a music player, GPS and maybe also to keep your itinerary at hand on one of many great travel apps. And if you need to call ahead to your accommodation, make a brag call to your friends back home, or tell the fam you’re movements, make sure to also pack your hands-free headphones to ensure you stay safe. If bringing the aforementioned camera on the road, there a plenty of car charger attachments you can get your hands on, too. And for those who are planning some rather epic sure-to-go-viral trip documentation, why not throw in a GoPro dashboard mount for some rambling footage for your time-lapse video.


#5 Snacks

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While of course we recommend you take some healthy foods like fruit and nuts in the car with you, we also think diets and journeys are born enemies. So why not use this trip as an excuse to try out some fun snacks that, sure, perhaps should not have been invented, but you don’t know this until you give them a try! Start with some Sour Twisties to see if they make your taste buds as confused as we expect, and surely then Vegemite Cadbury’s chocolate is a pretty easy progression from there. Banana-flavoured M&Ms are also now a thing that exist, or maybe you’d prefer to stick to some road trip classics like snake lollies or Cheezles – but just because your road trip will make you feel young and free, we don’t recommend you wear them on your fingers while driving.

Avis car hire is the perfect way to make more of your holiday. Roadtrips give you the opportunity to see different sides of your destination. With such freedom, the possibilities are truly limitless.