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Preparing for an outback road trip
The Australian outback is an incredible feature of this country. That’s why having the opportunity to explore it should never be passed up – and what better way to see all our nation’s beauty than through a classic road trip! But before you load up your car, there are some things to consider.
The outback is full of isolated roads and sometimes dicey weather conditions, which is why a little prepwork can go a long way in keeping you safe on the road.
Start your planning by carefully considering the needs of the people you’ll be road tripping with, including yourself.
There are stretches of road in the outback that you can drive through for a long time without seeing any signs of life, so having some extra H20 and non-perishable snacks to tide you over is a smart idea. Other essentials you’ll want to remember are a first-aid kit, blankets and potentially even a satellite phone, if you’re really going off the grid.
Prepare your car
Apart from your buddy in the passenger seat picking out the best tunes, your car is your number one travel companion. That means it’s important to give it some TLC before you start making tracks.
Get your car serviced before you head off. Invest in those repairs you’ve been putting off — those potential issues could put extra strain on your car over a long journey. For example, a small windscreen crack might not seem like a big deal now, but if you’re going to be on the road for hours, it may quickly get out of hand.
Of course, even with diligent preparation, things can still go wrong — you might pop a tyre or lock your keys in the car. Do your future self a favour and take out AAMI Roadside Assist. We provide unlimited 24/7 roadside callouts, so you know we’ll have your back, whether you need help with flat tyres or batteries, emergency fuel, or lost keys.
If our roadside assist mechanics can’t fix your car, we’ll tow it to the nearest repairer — even if you’re far out in the bush and the nearest mechanic is 100km away!
AAMI Roadside Assist comes free for a whole year when you take out a new Comprehensive Car policy. If you want to add it to an existing policy, simply call 13 22 44.
Prepare your tyres
If your tyres have seen better days (or it’s just been a while between services) it’s probably time to replace them. Tyres with worn out tread make it harder for your car to have a strong grip on roads and gravel tracks.
Just before you leave — either the day of or before the trip — you should also check your tyre pressure and make sure there’s no sharp objects causing slow leaks in the area. Having a spare wheel in your boot is obviously a no brainer, but adding a puncture repair kit in there as well could get you out of a lot of trouble.
Prepare to get handy
There are certain things out on the road that you can take care of yourself relatively easily, if you know how. Unfortunately, you’re not always going to have the reception out on the road to be able to open up your phone and find an instructional video for help. That’s why brushing up on your knowledge before you go can be really beneficial.
Prepare your Cover
Lastly, before you jump behind the wheel, make sure your insurance is up to date. If you’re going to be sharing the load on the road, you might want to consider adding extra drivers to your policy. That way, if you have an accident and you’re not the one behind the wheel, you won’t have to deal with potentially paying an 'unlisted driver excess' (which may apply, depending on the circumstances). It’s also never a bad idea to check that compulsory policies, like CTP in SA and Green Slip in NSW, are sorted before you head out.
Making sure you’re covered can bring you a lot of peace of mind when you’re exploring Australia’s outback — you'll enjoy the scenery more if you spend less time worrying about worst case scenarios!
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AAMI Car Insurance, Motorcycle Insurance, NSW and ACT CTP Insurance, and Caravan Insurance are issued by AAI Limited ABN 48 005 297 807 AFSL 230859 (AAI) trading as AAMI. Consider the Product Disclosure Statement before making a decision about this insurance. This advice has been prepared without taking into account your particular objectives, financial situations or needs, so you should consider whether it is appropriate for you before acting on it.