- top tips
Tips for planning your road trip
Updated 28 Sep 2022
Planning your trip isn’t just a good idea for long journeys on one of the many Great Australian Drives, it’s also a great idea for day to day driving. With high fuel costs, car maintenance expenses and the need to reduce emissions, we should all be seeking more efficient driving routes, and looking at alternative options to reduce our tyre print on the environment.
Before you head out for the day, plan where you need to go, what you may need to pick up, drop off or purchase.
Next time you plan a long drive to catch up with friends, think about what else you can accomplish on that same journey.
Why spend all that time on the road dealing with frustrating drivers without achieving a number of tasks at the same time.
Avoid peak hour
If completing various tasks in one trip, organise your time so that you’re not driving in peak hour!
If it’s a long weekend or the holiday season, plan to start your trip early in the morning or later at night when the roads will be clearer.
There are so many things we do re-actively, rather than thinking rationally and planning ahead.
Instead of making a special trip to fill the car with fuel, you could just leave for work 10 minutes early and fill your tank on the way.
If you have a few spare minutes before or after work, you might be able to walk to the shops and do your shopping before your work day starts or prior to getting in the car to head home.
Combine your errands
If you have a lot of small errands to do, plan the trip so you get them all done in one outing.
There are some great trip planners available online where you can enter your journey and the app will come up with the shortest or quickest route.
Most smart phones will give you access to identify high traffic and congested areas in real time and you can also plan your trip so you are not sitting in traffic wasting time, fuel and increasing emissions.
If you think ahead, you can get to where you’re going sooner with reduced stress, less impact on the wallet and environment.
Most metropolitan regions have improved in efficiency and there are now more convenient public transport options.
It could be worth your time to look into train, bus, ferry or tram options in your local area. It may surprise you how much you may save by taking public transport over driving everywhere.
When you add up the expenses of fuel and car maintenance, you’ll be surprised how much you are actually paying to run your car every week compared to public transport costs.
It’s also a proven fact that people who use public transport, walk or ride a bike are much healthier individuals because they are more active than people who drive.
Other forms of transport
You could save on gym costs by replacing the car with physical transport options, such as bike riding or walking.
However, if being active isn’t high on your priority list, consider carpooling. If you happen to live near some of your workmates, perhaps you could arrange to carpool, making sure to alternate vehicles so you all benefit from the savings.
Buy your supplies locally
By buying locally, you’re not just supporting local businesses, you will also save on travel time and costs, as well as meeting locals in your area and possibly finding some great businesses that you didn’t even realise were nearby!
Drive more efficiently by planning your trip and get what you need done in one journey. Consider:
- public transport
- or park and ride.
Being travel-organised can potentially save you time, money, get you fitter and healthier and also help to reduce our carbon dioxide emissions for a more sustainable future.
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Rachel spent her early adult life around cars, motorsport and hands-on with her own cars. This interest moved into various careers within the Automotive industry. Joined with her passion for writing, Rachel loves putting the two together to share her experience, so we can all become AutoGuru’s.