While planning for a road trip can feel overwhelming, once you have the essentials laid out, planning can become much easier.

The most important parts of planning any trip include:

  • deciding which route to take

  • finding out how to prepare your car for the trip

  • learning how to stay safe while on the road

  • deciding what to pack for the trip.

And with so much to see and do around Australia, if you're heading on the road over the Christmas break or going on a bit of an adventure on your next long weekend, it always helps to plan ahead.

Prep Your Car

Before getting on the road, make sure your car servicing is up to date. Regular car maintenance and service checks help to ensure your vehicle is safe to drive, extend your car's longevity, and help to stop your car from breaking down.

However, if your car breaks down at some point during the road trip, then it's handy for you to know how to change a car tyre, change a car battery and check and add oil to your car.

In 2020-21, Budget Direct Roadside Assistance traced 43% of callouts back to flat batteries [1]. You can drain your battery if you leave your interior lights on or the car door slightly ajar. The battery can also fail if your car hasn’t been used for a period of time.

See more of our car safety tips and how-to guides.

Choose Your Destination

Family Road Trips

Recent data on family road trips found that Australians tend to travel with their families over friends, other relatives or on solo trips. We also found that the most common road trips Australians travelled were under 10 hours. [2]

For family trip ideas, consider these road trip routes:

Best Road Trips

As part of the road trip planner, we have to highlight some of the best road trips to journey across Australia. 

If you're looking to explore Australia's most scenic routes, go on stunning hikes, explore local swimming holes, then these road trips are some of the best ways to see the country.

For an adventure you'll never forget, here are some of Australia's best road trips:

Road Trip Safety

Be Aware of Driving Dangers

Staying safe while driving should always be of the utmost importance. And being aware of your own driving habits will help you avoid any risky driving behaviour.

Fatigued driving refers to the moment you're not able to concentrate on your normal ability while driving. Fatigued driving can come in many forms and may look like a lack of quality sleep, a lot of time spent driving, a lack of stimulation or if you're overworked or drained from social events.

Distracted driving can occur when drivers are preoccupied with a mobile phone, food or drinks, cigarettes or vape pens, applying makeup, styling their hair, changing the music in their car, reading a GPS app or even changing clothes.

Both of these driving behaviours can adversely affect your  ability to drive safely. In this state, you can create road hazards and cause an accident with other drivers, pedestrians and wildlife.

Pit Stop Planner

On a road trip that spans more than two hours, you must take regular breaks from driving. It's recommended that drivers stop and rest for at least 15 minutes every two hours to avoid tiredness.

You can use Budget Direct's Pit Stop Planner to create a rest stop plan along your route for your next Australian road trip.


Pit Stop Planner

If you’re going on a road trip in Queensland, there are also Driver Reviver sites dotted around the state where you can stop and rest so that you reach your destination safely.

However, keep in mind that in January 2023, many Queensland's state run Driver Reviver sites will close. This means that only 20 privately owned sites will remain open.

Tips for Safe Driving

  1. Put your mobile phone on silent and out of reach before driving.

  2. Get enough sleep before you get behind the wheel.

  3. Limit the number of passengers and pets in your car while driving.

  4. Make sure you, your passengers and pets are all in appropriate safety restraints.

  5. Take a break every two hours of driving for up to 15 minutes at a time.

  6. Do not exceed the speed limit and drive to the conditions.

  7. Always check your blind spots.

  8. Get more familiar with road signs (especially in rural areas).

  9. See more of our road safety guides.

Road Trip Packing List

We’d suggest writing down a packing list before your trip so that nothing important is left behind. And don't forget to pack ample entertainment so that those driving hours fly by for your passengers!

You can use our travel packing list to create a personalised list of what you want to pack.


Travel Packing List

Your packing list may include:

  • Your driver’s licence.

  • A list of important phone numbers.

  • Postal addresses and emails.

  • A GPS device.

  • Road maps.

  • A book/e-reader.

  • A journal/notebook.

  • Your mobile phone.

  • Charger/s for your electronics.

  • Headphones 

  • A water bottle

  • Medications.

  • Hand sanitiser

  • Insect repellent

  • Playing cards

  • Healthy snacks

Roadside Assistance Solved with Budget Direct

With so much to see and do in Australia, consider covering yourself for the unexpected with Budget Direct's Roadside Assistance.

Save 15% on your first year’s membership when you purchase standalone Roadside Assistance online for extra peace of mind during your next Australian road trip. Get a quote

Roadside Assistance