Thursday 02/11/17

Travelling in your own car is convenient, because you know (if you’ve been following the advice in my previous blogs), that your vehicle has the necessary supplies to deal with any inconveniences or minor emergencies you might encounter. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for other people’s cars. Accepting a lift from a friend, family member, colleague, or a complete stranger can leave you at the fickle whim of Lady Luck.

Over the years I’ve ridden in vehicles that ranged from ‘show room empty’, through to cars that looked like the inside of a garbage truck, and everything in-between. If your trip goes smoothly, none of this will matter. Unfortunately, trips don’t always go according to plan.

However, you can tip the odds in your favour by making sure you take four simple items with you every time you travel. Not when you remember, not most of the time, every time.

What are these mystical items, and how can I acquire them’, I hear you ask.

These items are common, and you already own most, if not all of them.

  • Mobile Phone: Ok, not everyone has a mobile phone, but you could class them as an essential travel item. You don’t need the latest, greatest phone to travel. A cheap pre-paid phone will suffice. The only thing you need this phone to do is call emergency services, and the auto club (assuming the owner of the car is a member). Failing that, you can call friends or family for help. And make sure it is fully charged. I am astounded by the number of people I know that leave their house in the morning with a phone that has no more than an hour or two of battery left.
  • A bottle of water: Essential for travel, especially if you break down. Help could be many hours away. A bottle of water can help you prevent heat stroke if you are travelling during summer.
  • A packet of tissues: ‘I have a hankie. Why would I need a packet of tissues?’ you ask. You’ll thank me when you’re squatting beside the road, using the car doors as privacy screens.
  • A $20 note. Fold this up and stash it in your wallet or purse, behind some rarely used loyalty cards..... then forget you have it. If you run out of fuel in a remote location, and are lucky enough to encounter a fellow traveller with a jerry can full of petrol, or run into a farmer on a nearby property, offering to pay them for fuel is going to go a long way. They won’t completely refill your tank, but they will give you enough to get you to the nearest petrol station. Trust me, giving them $20 for a couple of litres of petrol is far better than spending several hours hiking to the nearest service station.

And there you have it; nothing mysterious or exotic to ponder. Four everyday items that will save you from a lot of grief when travelling. If you know someone who could benefit from the information in tonight’s blog, please share it with them on your social media account.