At first glance, going on a road trip is easy. Your backpacks and companions are ready. You have chosen the appropriate car for hire, so it’s time for an adventure! But hold on a second; are you sure you have everything prepared?
In reality, road trips are only fun when there is a plan involved. Whether you want to see Perth’s local offers for a few days or go several weeks around Western Australia, a road trip itinerary is essential.
This blog post is a simple yet practical guide for anyone planning a road trip. Additionally, if you have been on failed road trips, you will find this article helpful.
Why a Road Trip Itinerary is Important
Before anything else, you may want to know what exactly an itinerary is. You’ve probably created a to-do list many times in your life. An itinerary is similar to it. Instead of a list of activities or tasks, an itinerary tells you where you should visit, what to do in that area, and some schedules. You follow it while you are on a trip to make the experience more memorable and less stressful.
For some, it is time-consuming to create an itinerary. After all, isn’t it more exciting to embark on a journey where you do not know where you are going and for how long? Travelling is not simple. You do not just choose a destination, hire a car, and get recommendations online or from the car hire employee.
So, why are there road trip enthusiasts who can go on their adventure without any significant hitches? That’s because they have one secret: they created an itinerary, which gives them several benefits, including:
- If it is your first time to rent a car for a road trip, you could get into certain car hire traps. Avoid common mishaps by having an itinerary ready. Also, please read our Perth car rentals guide here to understand the whole process better.
- An itinerary will allow you to maximise your time in the destinations you have chosen. Easily manage your time while on the road when you know which attractions or sights you want to see.
- Itineraries also allow leeways for unexpected circumstances, such as traffic and even bad weather.
- You can also control your expenditures using an estimate of the costs you could incur during the road trip.
- Perhaps the biggest reason why savvy travellers create an itinerary is for them to get from one point to another easily and quickly. The Internet does make things much more convenient. However, you can forget the sights you wish to see if you do not have a plan beforehand.
By knowing where you want to go, you can also be prepared in case you run into unfamiliar regulations. If you’re new to Australia, it makes sense to learn about driving rules in the country. This blog post will give you the essentials so that you can drive around hassle-free.
10 Steps to Plan a Successful Road Trip
The general structure of a road trip plan involves the following:
- Choosing the destination or your approximate route
- Organising the trip, from accommodation and other bookings, if necessary
- Contacting the car rental company and preparing the vehicle, insurance, and other documentation
- Creating a packing list, food, entertainment, and budget
- Reviewing driving rules and regulations, especially if you’re not from Australia
With those points in mind, here are the steps to creating the ultimate road trip itinerary:
1.) Brainstorm Before Doing Any Research
Chances are, you have companions in your trip. The last thing you want is you’re the only one who appreciated the whole adventure. That’s why talking to your group is crucial. Ask them what their goal is for the trip, which should result in a list of to-dos and places to visit.
Of course, if you’re travelling solo, you only have to think about where you wish to go and what you want to see.
2.) Time to Do Your Research
With the list you generated, you can start doing your research. Get inspired by looking at different resources, such as Instagram, Reddit, and Pinterest. You can also check out our list of the best Perth destinations.
Don’t forget to look at the pictures of the places you want to visit and their locations on the map. It will help you correctly select the rental car to choose for the road trip.
3.) Finalise Your List
Your itinerary should have the attractions that appeal to you, along with your potential route. Perth is a great city with numerous hotspots. Therefore, you may want to consider making a lot of stops.
With the list finalised, choose from the available accommodation options in those areas. Make sure that everyone is on board with the list.
4.) Determine the Duration of the Road Trip
It is necessary to have a “start and finish” destination, which you start by identifying how long the trip will be. Obviously, you cannot stay on the road for an unlimited time. That’s why you need to decide on the feasible number of places to visit.
Most of the time, it is best to drive for three to 3.5 hours maximum, which is enough time to enjoy the destination. This duration will depend on the number of days you plan for your trip.
Here is a rough guide on how long your total driving time should be based on the number of days on the road:
- 10 hours total driving for a three to four-day road trip
- 20 hours total driving for a six to seven-day road trip
- 30 hours total driving for a 10 to 14-day road trip
You can calculate the total driving time with the help of an app or even Google Maps. Add an extra 25% to the estimated time, especially if you will go to highly trafficked areas or take several breaks.
5.) Print Out the List of Destinations and Activities
Organise everything in your list by days. Have a schedule, so you do not lose track of your plan. Include the stops, as well. Determine how far each stop is from each other. One of the worst things that can happen to your road trip is if you run out of petrol.
So, don’t forget to mark the areas where you can easily fill up your petrol. Print all these essentials or have it saved on your phone.
6.) Hire the Car You Want
Contact Aries Car Rental to hire the car for your upcoming road trip. Just choose a suitable vehicle for your group and destination. For example, you are travelling with your family with kids. Select from our family cars for hire and fill out the form on the website. That’s it!
We now offer contactless pickups, so you do not need to fall in line and talk to a customer representative. Simply book the car and pick it up. For more information on our contactless pickup solution, please visit this page.
7.) Take Note of Road Trip Essentials
You’re not done planning! There are still a lot of things to consider. As mentioned above, you should plan your accommodation and food. It’s always more fun when you have tasty food and a nice place to stay, especially at night.
Along with accommodation, consider parking as well. One of the biggest mistakes that people make is forgetting about where to park their vehicle and the associated fees and convenience.
You may also want to pick a reasonable route length based on the available time for the trip. You surely won’t spend the whole time driving, so determine a manageable distance. It should allow enough time to enjoy the sights and sounds along the way.
8.) Use Apps to Help Plan Your Road Trip
Google Maps is one of the best solutions that you can use, along with Google Trips if you wish to find things to do while on the road. If you find it difficult to park, there are apps that you can utilise, as well. Waze is a popular solution for navigation, and so is GetYourGuide for city tours.
Tip: For the ultimate Western Australian adventure, you can follow our list of “7 Amazing Destinations in WA.”
9.) Be Flexible
Even with serious planning, some unexpected circumstances can happen. It’s not always possible to stick to your road trip itinerary 100%. Be open to explore places that are not in your list.
10.) Have Fun!
Having a plan will help make your road trip as stress-free as possible. Let go of your worries and simply enjoy all the sights and activities. There are a lot of possibilities to make the journey as pleasant as possible.
For instance, you don’t have to limit your car option to vans and sedans. Here at Aries Car Rental, you can even hire a luxury vehicle for the supreme travel experience.
Now that you have your itinerary, you can relax and look forward to the road trip. Heed these tips above and get ready for an unforgettable experience. Safe travels!