The Ultimate Road Trip Checklist for Summer

It’s almost time for road trips. You’ve probably started thinking about where to go. But before that, make sure that you know what to pack so you can keep your show on the road. If you think that all you need are clothes and some snacks, you could end up with many inconveniences along the way. We Want Your Car WA would love you to have an awesome adventure. That’s why we’ve compiled this checklist that’s great for a Perth road trip or anywhere else in Australia to make driving easy, enjoyable, and stress-free.

The Safety Check

First things first, have you checked your vehicle yet? Don’t start driving before you have performed tests on the following:

  • Car tyre pressure
  • Mechanical warning lights
  • All exterior lights
  • Petrol level
  • Oil and coolant levels
  • Screens and wipers

The lights should be working whilst all mechanical warning lights are off. You should also have a full tank of fuel since you never know when the next petrol station will be. It’s also important to take your car manual with you, as well as your car insurance and roadside assistance cover.

Don’t forget a GPS and a map. Depending on where you want to go, you could lose data connection as you drive away from cities. You can also pre-download Google Maps if you wish. However, you could find yourself off the beaten path. That’s why the good ol’ maps are still worth taking with you in case you run into any trouble.

One last thing that you should remember relates to toll roads. Driving anywhere in Australia means that there are automated toll roads with cameras or sensors. Therefore, you should have a toll tag attached to the dashboard or window. That way, your toll fees will simply be added to your account.

Couple on a road trip looking at map.

The Backup Emergency Kit

Self-driving in the country is generally decent. However, you can always experience a breakdown. Save yourself from headaches by having an emergency kit. Road trips require you to be more self-reliant and prepared in solving minor issues. Typically, you will need:

  • Jumper Cables
  • Flashlight
  • Reflective Safety Vest
  • Tow Rope
  • Gloves
  • Basic Toolbox
  • Shovel
  • Tyre Repair

Sometimes, something could still go wrong even after you have tested and checked your car thoroughly. The good news is that it’s not too difficult to flag down another vehicle to get help. A common issue, especially if you have a second-hand car, is the battery. If you have a dead battery that needs recharging, make sure you have a functioning engine before starting the battery with the jumper cables.


Here is an absolute must, especially if you’re travelling with kids. Let’s face it. Even though the Australian roads offer scenic views and interesting landscapes, the long stretches of driving can make the experience stressful and tiring. The last thing you want is for the young ones to get bored and throw tantrums. That’s why having entertainment sources is vital. Distract the little ones (and even the adults) with games and activities.

Before you head out, prepare imaginative road trip games, which will surely work on people with short attention spans. Have a good playlist of road trip songs that everyone in the car will appreciate. Podcasts and audiobooks can help, too.

Of course, you can’t forget smartphones and tablets. Make sure that you have appropriate chargers for the devices so you never run out of battery. A multiport USB car charger is often useful for long road trips. Have a power bank, too.

Kids and luggage in the car.

Must Haves

Snacks, water, hats, and sunscreen products should be in your backpack. You will most likely spend your time outside of the car, which means you must protect your skin at all times. Take sunglasses with you for your eyes. Road trips in Western Australia are fun, but the sun is unforgiving, so wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen even when it’s cloudy. Other things to pack are:

  • Baby wipes
  • Toilet paper
  • Hand sanitisers
  • Lip balms
  • Warm clothes
  • Neck pillows
  • Blankets
  • An extra pair of comfortable shoes

You may also want to have eye drops because your eyes could get dry. A car bin with some biodegradable bags will help keep your rubbish in the same spot. We also recommend that you take a swiss army knife, which is an essential part of your survival kit. Yes, you can carry a knife because you have a reasonable excuse for doing utility tasks with the tool.

Don’t forget to bring a camera. Sure, you can use your smartphone, but a fancy camera will do a better job capturing the country’s indescribable beauty.

First Aid

The weather is mainly amazing in most parts of Australia at any time of the year. But still, you could feel sick or even have a minor accident whilst on the road. With this in mind, make sure you have first aid essentials in the car ready for use. Buy basic non-prescription drugs, such as painkillers for headaches. If you require special medication, don’t forget to bring them with you.

It’s also crucial that you have a first aid kit with you in case you get cuts or scrapes. A good kit typically includes a pair of scissors, adhesive tapes, tweezers, and a tourniquet. You may also want to make sure that the first aid kit comes with wound dressings and bandages.

Also, if you use prescription glasses, have them with you at all times. You may also want to get a pair before you leave so that you can drive comfortably and see clearly.

We’re sure you’ll find this checklist a valuable part of your road trip planner. Have fun on your next adventure, and always stay safe!

Woman with first aid kit.

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