2016 The Road Trip – Why not ?

Honda Neo-wing

After all the posts on overseas travel for 2016 it’s time to revisit the road trip, just in time for Christmas for 2016. Many people live on larger continents so there are multiple countries you can visit with minimal problems and in the comfort of your own car, SUV, truck or otorcycle. I’m referring to my visitors from Europe and North and South America. Of course you don’t need to go to another country for a road trip and if you country is large enough there will be plenty of places to travel to, right here in Australia.

Personally I like a long road trip and have driven around Australia and between All capital cities numerous time – well just missing the northern WA coast as I got kind of bored by the time I got there which was past the 2 week on the road for that particular trip. Unfortunately haven’t ridden (aka motorcycle) around the country just yet. So this post is mainly about driving.

Road trips can be for any amount of time but after 2 or 3 days continuously driving would probably be the limit for most people and you’d have covered well over anywhere between 1000-2000 kilometres. Remember that you will probably need to drive back! Based on a two week road trip you would definitely cover many more local and tourist sites and be more comfortable and relaxed than flying to your destination.

Children and road trips can be good or bad dependent on your child and how you brought them up. Do you have a family pet? they can come too that includes rabbits, cats but mostly dogs are usually happy to come along. It doesn’t matter whether it is a plane or road trip, let’s face it is can be trouble even going to the shops. In 2016 there are plenty more things for you passengers to do rather than trying to get your attention or just staring aimlessly out the window as there are tablets, laptops and mobile phones to keep them and any passenger you have entertained. With the right number of stops plenty of Instagram selfies and Snapchats to post. Unfortunately some of this doesn’t apply to the driver who needs to stay alert and not distracted.

So what’s in it for you arguably the driver? Time to think and curse the state of the roads and other less than considerate drivers. Seeing your own country and the one you’re going to, the way locals see it is a realisation and experience that is simply brilliant. You can often gain new prospectives when your mind is simply concentrating on driving there’s plenty of brain power left to ponder on other things which is what happens to me. There’s also a tiredness and a sense of achievement. Regardless it is much better than trying to control your temper from wanting to bash the daylights out of the person in the plane seat in front of you because they are plainly obnoxious.

Road trips are cheap! However cost should’t be the primary factor for this type of holiday. Savings can be gained through ,omised  accommodation costs and staying and friends and family houses they can also look after the kids! Likewise food and entertainment costs also reduced. The benefit is of course shared experiences and togetherness which can be difficult during the year and invaluable. There’s also no airport parking fees, luggage issues and trains, buses or taxies even Uber when you get to your designation. Petrol or diesel it’s not that expensive just yet so it may just be one of your first or last ever road trips. If you have a economical car say a diesel or a reasonably new turbo petrol $100 can get you at up to 1000kms.

Finally the best car, SUV, truck or even motorcycle for a road trip is usually the one you have, unless you know it won’t make it there and back… Besides it can be a great reasons to get a new one… These days even basic small cars can make a long distance trip, sure it won’t be as comfortable as a more luxurious model but it is literally about the journey!

2016 Should I include breakfast?

temple_hillWe all need food and drinks so you need to take that cost into account when travelling. The travel food bill quickly adds up when travelling, especially with a family. You are going to spend at least $50-$100 day on food unless you are on an extreme diet. Remember that eating well will mean you stay healthy and not pile on the kilos! However should you include a buffet breakfast as part of your hotel/accommodation?

To minimise your costs try to include a buffet breakfast as part of your hotel or accommodation booking where available! It may seem like an extra cost upfront but you will personally thank me later. Once again the cheapest accommodation may not be ‘the cheapest’ overall. Including a buffet breakfast means you do not need to waste time or muck around finding food or eating something unhealthy and most of all you will be able to go until the afternoon or even dinner before needing another meal. You can also spend the time catching up with the news and emails on the Wi-Fi and plans for the day!

I think paying an additional $10-15 a day per person to include a buffet breakfast is a reasonable price to pay. If the food on offer is really good then by all means pay more – but within reason! If you consider the economics of buying breakfast separately, coffee/tea/orange juice then the actual food be it toast/cereal of cooked food eggs, sausages, bacon, ham chicken, noodles, porridge croissants, fresh fruit etc.. it is reasonable price to pay!

The next question you probably need to ask is wether you should include any other meals, like dinner? The answer for me is no because I’m usually still travelling about until late so I’m not going back to the hotel and out again because that would be a waste of time. So leave dinner of lunch off the pre-paid list. That said the dinner menu is usually pretty good to eat and reasonably priced.

Please refer to my prior posts on packing and luggage or what to pack, as if you brought water bottles you’ll be saving even more money on your holidays. You can always go to the local grocery store for snacks and other meals too.

Finally eating foreign local food is scary to a lot of people! Use some common sense folks and give it a go and it’s usually reasonably priced and tastes good.