UBC Day 26
In Australia, there is plenty of long distance driving.
I like driving long distances. Perhaps it is because I spent my earlier years travelling back and forth across Australia to see my families. Though in those days I was only the “back-up” driver, taking over when my then-husband was tiring.
In 2012, I tackled my very first really long distance drive. I took over four months to circumnavigate much of Australia, driving some 35,000 kms on my own in a Mitsubishi Lancer. I did take a tent, but spent most nights couch surfing, or staying in caravan park cabins.
A couple of years later I travelled from Brisbane to Tasmania and back to Brisbane via Adelaide. I can’t recall how many kms that was, perhaps 12,000!! In 2017, in an old 1983 Toyota Coaster, I drove from Brisbane to Uluru – some 7500 kms. As always, I did it solo.
Generally, I prepare very well. The car is packed quite neatly and I am a bit fussy where things go. I have a box for my camera equipment, and another for cables, papers, documents and more. (I do a lot of writing and photography on my journeys!) I always travel with a small printer too, as I occasionally get asked to do workshops.
Travel Tips for Long Distance Driving.
I have some tips:
- Only drive a mechanically sound car, and check oil, water, tyres etc, regularly.
- Don’t take too much stuff. Generally, you can buy whatever you want, except in the outback.
- Take an Esky or cooler – for water, milk and other foods that need cooling. I carry some freezer bricks and put them in the freezer when I have access to a refrigerator.
- Take healthy snacks – especially in small bags, so you don’t overeat.
- Keep a supply of fresh fruit/vegetables for snacking. (In Australia you need to be organised with this as there are long distances between shops!)
- Take plenty of water.
- I often use Diet shakes for lunch. Shake the powder with water in a shaker – quick, easy, cheap and you can stop anywhere and do it.)
- Don’t drive too far each day – stop when you get tired.
- In Australia, we don’t like driving late in the afternoon or early morning as this is when the kangaroos and emus can create a danger on the road.
- Keep a friend or family member informed of your whereabouts and/or destination.
- Keep paperwork in your car glovebox, with your name, address, next of kin, etc so that if anything happens, it makes it easier for emergency personnel to help you.
- I also download Podcasts, and music, to a USB stick and play regularly. In fact, I have my own “program”. If I am feeling tired I play CD’s or music I can sing to. It wakens me!
- Do anything to keep safe.