6 reasons to plan a great Aussie road trip this year
For the snacks!
As the weather gets warmer and Christmas gets closer, it’s only natural to start thinking about a holiday. For many of us, this usually means a trip overseas. In fact according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the 2018-2019 period saw Aussies take 11.2m overseas trips – more than double the number from 10 years ago.
While COVID-19 restrictions are constantly changing, it’s almost certain we won’t be able to leave the country on leisure travel by the end of the year – possibly not even our states! Fortunately there is plenty to see and do around Australia, and summer is the perfect time to pack the car and hit the road.
According to Paul Higgins, Managing Director at car subscription platform HelloCars, there has been a resurgence in road trips due to the pandemic. “We usually experience a rise in people subscribing to larger cars for a holiday road trip, and that has certainly been more prevalent this year, with overseas travel off the cards. After being stuck inside for months, Aussies are excited to get out and explore the unfamiliar, and road trips definitely fit the bill for that,” he says.
There’s no doubt the Great Australian road trip is making a comeback, and here’s why.
1. To take the road less travelled
Domestic vacations are essentially the only travel option that’s currently available to us. Combine that fact with reductions to capacity, increased cleaning requirements and physical distancing restrictions, and you create a situation where popular locations, hotels, tours and experiences are all booking out faster than ever before. Road trips give us an opportunity to explore the places that fewer people know about. They present us with an opportunity to discover those in-between places and serendipitously come across things we didn’t know were there. They allow us to take our time and find the places, tours and accommodation that isn’t on everyone else’s hit list, which means we’re more likely to experience something authentic and unique.
2. To support local tourism
Over the last 12 months there has been a greater emphasis and need for Australians to support local businesses, initially in light of the bushfires and now COVID-19. One of the most effective ways to do this is by exploring your own backyard, and providing a boost for the local economy. Last year, Australians spent about $65 billion on overseas travel. With more of us travelling locally, this can be injected into the domestic tourism market, helping support regional communities.
3. To stay safe
People are still wary about sitting on planes, public transport, coaches and taxis, so the safest way to travel is by car. If you don’t own a car or need a bigger one to carry all your holiday gear, you can try car subscription. The service gives you access to a car through weekly payments from online providers like HelloCars. Car dealerships are now also offering subscriptions thanks to Loopit.co, so you can head to your local dealer to see what’s available. The cars are all thoroughly sanitised before and after each booking, while 24 hour roadside assistance and customer care seven days a week are usually available for added peace of mind.
4. To get out of the city
After spending so much time stuck in our cities this year, people are looking to visit smaller towns rather than holidaying in just another city. Not only do we want to slow down, but staying in more remote areas makes it easier to practise social distancing, with the pandemic risk still not gone. If you’re stuck on ideas for where to go, Tourism Australia has created a series of road trips on interactive maps to help people discover places in regional areas. Whichever state you’re in, there are country towns, beach destinations, National Parks and wine regions within driving distance.
5. For all the affordable options
With many Aussies now out of work or working reduced hours due to COVID-19, cash flow is more of a priority and people are wary of spending unnecessarily. Over recent years, we have had cheaper flights and more airlines, making overseas travel more accessible. Currently there are domestic flights operating, but many aren’t cheap so flying may return to more of a luxury item for families, especially if travelling by car to your destination of choice is an option.