Self Drive Tours: Tips For Your Road Trip

Wednesday, October 13th, 2010

Read about 'Self Drive Tours: Tips For Your Road Trip' on USAVE, the place for all things car rental.

Travelling around New Zealand by road is a great way to see the best parts of the country, especially if you plan your road trip or tour beforehand to find the best destinations and available accommodation. Before you hit the road, we’ve put together some tips and travel essentials to help you make the most of your self-drive tour.

Travel essentials

If you’re planning on staying at campsites or holiday parks, pack all the usual camping gear (tent, sleeping bag, pillows, cutlery and crockery, etc), and make sure you have some travel essentials such as:

  • Portable light
  • Chilly bin (esky)
  • Mallet and spare tent pegs
  • Bags for rubbish and storage
  • Baby wipes for easy clean-ups
  • Mosquito repellent
  • Swimming togs and extra towels
  • First aid kit
  • Hats and sunscreen
  • Toilet paper
  • Corkscrew, bottle opener and can opener
  • Detergent (for clothes and dishes) and bowl

Many campsites have barbeques and kitchens for cooking, but a travel stove, fuel and cooking pans would be handy just in case. A portable table and chairs will also make your stay more comfortable if you have room in your vehicle. If you’re staying in hotels or going on a day-trip, make sure you have some basic supplies for your hire vehicle, such as a torch and spare batteries, jump cables and a towrope, and water just in case.

Choosing the right rental vehicle

If you’re renting a car, van or camper for your trip, ask yourself the following questions before deciding which hire vehicle suits you best:

  • Is it comfortable?
  • Is there sufficient space for all passengers, baggage and equipment?
  • Will it get us to where we want to go? (Consider a 4WD hire vehicle for off-road driving)
  • Can I drive it and are there any driving/licence restrictions?

Check your vehicle

Check your tyres are inflated correctly and have enough tread, check your spare and the tyre-changing equipment, check the oil, water and washer fluid, and ensure your windscreen wipers and lights work properly. At USAVE we put all our rental cars through a pre-hire service programme, so if you’re renting a vehicle from us, you can have peace of mind that your New Zealand hire car is roadworthy.

Fuel up

Ensure you have enough fuel for your journey and check out where some of the nearest gas stations are along your route to ensure you can fill up if you need to. Related articles: Give Way Rule Changes – Mar 2012 Tips on Safe Driving in New Zealand New Zealand Holiday Driving Tips

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