Get-away tips

10 January 2022

You may not know this, but I am Victoria’s Chief Scout, and if a scout knows one thing, it’s ‘be prepared’.

It’s a lesson I learned early on, and it has saved my skin plenty of times, especially when I’ve been camping and on driving get-aways.

So, now it’s school holiday time, if your family is anything like my crew, that means the first road trip in a long while. Happy days, so long as you’re prepared. (See what I did there?)

Driving holidays are an economical and fun way to create great family memories but, whether you’re doing hardcore off-roading or glamping with chilled chardonnay on tap, there’s one thing you can count on – things won’t turn out as planned.

So, listen up. Here are my tips to get you there safely.

Check you have a roadworthy spare tyre and wheel on board before heading off and know how to change it.

Never change a tyre on the side of the road if there’s traffic close to your vehicle – call a breakdown service and cool your heels while they do it instead.

Inspect all tyres for wear and ensure they’re inflated to the recommended pressure – that goes for trailers and caravans, too.

If you’re towing a caravan, trailer, or boat, connect it properly, checking all lights work, and you have correctly positioned the driving mirrors.

Also, make sure you know how to safely manoeuvre your vehicle and the load behind. If your skills need brushing up, practise before you leave home – believe me, you don’t want to look like a goose in front of an audience at the caravan park.

Fill up your tank and carry spare fuel in a safe container if you’re visiting remote areas.

Keep a first aid kit in your vehicle and a portable phone charger. Take some cash, a torch and spare batteries, blankets, and water – and don’t forget a set of jumper leads.

Importantly, tell someone where you’re going and when you’ll be back.

There will be lots of people on the roads during the holidays, so be patient, be courteous, and take regular rest breaks. That way we can all have a fun and safe holiday.

See ya on the road folks!

Words: VACC ambassador Shane Jacobson.

Want to hear more from Shane? Catch him – along with co-hosts Greg Rust and VACC CEO, Geoff Gwilym – on THE GRILLE podcast each month. There'll be auto news and views, industry insights and trends, special guests, and plenty of laughs along the way. Visit: 

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