Plan ahead

Road trips are a staple of summer for many Kiwis; they’re going to go a lot smoother if you get a bit organised.

Pack snacks: healthy snacks including seasonal fruit and vegetables will help keep energy and concentration levels up. Nuts, carrots, cucumber sticks and cheese are good options as they’re crumb-free and non-greasy. Snack as you go and when you need a break, pull over for a picnic somewhere scenic, or stop at a pick-your-own fruit spot. In summer, fresh strawberries and blueberries are plentiful, and if you’re travelling through Central Otago, stop for cherries and apricots.

Easy listening: music often accompanies a road trip, but try listening to an audio book on your next journey. Download a story onto your smartphone, or hire a selection from a local library; it can be both educational and entertaining, and means getting through a good book isn’t compromised just because your eyes are on the road.

Track your journey: Google Maps or a GPS are handy for directions, but there’s nothing like tracking your journey on a real, printed-out atlas. Trace your route on the map as you go along, and hang it on wall at home as a keepsake of happy summer memories.

En route comfort: if there’s room, load up the boot with sofa cushions, pillows and blankets. You can create a wonderfully comfortable picnic setting, or transform the back seat into a fort when you stop for lunch or to watch the sun set.

Key essentials: create a kit of supplies, including wet wipes and paper towels for spills. Also pack a first aid kit with plasters, insect repellent, hand sanitiser, sunblock and motion-sickness medication.

Reported for our AA Directions Winter 2017 issue

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