Tips to travel smart on your next road trip

So, you’re off on a road trip? Whether you plan on exploring hidden gems in your home state or ticking off some bucket list destinations a little further afield, here are a few tips to get travel smart. 

This year we’ll see more Aussies skipping the plane trip and hitting the road. Whether you plan on exploring hidden gems in your home state or ticking off some bucket list destinations a little further afield, it’s a good idea to get travel smart so you can truly unwind after a turbulent 2020.

Create a budget

Road trips can add up, fast. Petrol, accommodation, toll roads, meals, tourist entry fees…the list goes on. Whether you’re planning a camping adventure, following the gourmet trail, or anything in between, setting some spending limits can help you enjoy your last stop as much as your first. Moneysmart’s Budget planner can help.

Harness a few thrifty tricks

A lot of driving means a lot of petrol. Be prepared with fuel apps that can help you find the cheapest local prices, use fuel vouchers where you can, and if you’re hiring a car, choose a fuel-efficient model to save on costs. Drive less and explore more. Stretch your legs in the national parks, spend time sightseeing in the small towns along the way, relax at the beach, or lay low and get through a few pages of your chosen holiday read. Also, if you can avoid peak seasons and public holidays, it will do wonders for your hip pocket.

Plan where you can

Get your car (and caravan) serviced before you head off to avoid breaking down 45 minutes from that last small town you can’t quite recall the name of. An engine, oil, tyre and filter check can mean the difference between happy travel memories and a holiday horror story. Use your home WiFi to pre-download any apps you plan to use, or podcasts and music that will boost the mood on your trip. This will help avoid extra data charges and getting stuck without mobile reception when you really need info, or something to keep you (or the kids) entertained. It’s also a good idea to plan and book — or at least have an idea of — the affordable accommodation or camping options in each city or town you’re visiting. While admittedly tricky in the current environment, it might mean the difference between forking out for five stars if you can only really afford three stars.

Make sure your motoring membership and insurances are in order

Will your roadside assistance membership tow you if you get stuck an hour from the closest town? Paying a little extra ahead of your road trip might save you hundreds down the track. Lastly, life doesn’t always go to plan. But having the right insurances in place can help safeguard your trip. As a CareSuper member, you can access the advantage of our group rates and third-party discounts on car and travel insurance. They deliver savings you wouldn’t get if you were buying direct.

Put your remaining holiday dollars to work

Allocated money in your budget for travel that you don’t plan on spending this year? It’s a good idea to speak with a financial planner about the best options for your spare change. Advice about your super is included in your membership.* Book a call back with a financial planner before your next adventure.

Information correct as at 11 September 2023.

*Financial advice obtained over the phone, or through MemberOnline, is provided by Mercer Financial Advice (Australia) Pty Ltd (MFAAPL) ABN 76 153 168 293, Australian Financial Services Licence #411766.
CARE Super Pty Ltd does not in any way recommend or endorse that these products or services are suitable for you, so you may wish to seek independent advice before deciding to access any of these products or services. Please obtain a product disclosure statement from the service provider.