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Road Trip 101: Everything You Need to Know Before You Embark This Summer

Nothing feels more like summer than hitting the tarmac on a road trip. Rolling Stone Australia has gathered everything you need to know before you head off, from compiling the perfect soundtrack to why the GWM Haval H6 is the reliable ride you need for your journey.

Haval H6


Hundreds of songs have been written about road trips and there’s a very good reason for that. Road trips are perfect; you get to decide exactly where you go, how fast you get there and what you see along the way, all as you fuel on your favourite snacks and listen to bangers. 

If you’re planning to set off on your first road trip this summer, or you just need a refresher, we’ve compiled everything you need to know before you set off. 

Set the soundtrack

The soundtrack to your road trip is make or break. It lets everyone in the car know the vibe, it keeps the energy high and it helps pass the time while you get from destination to destination. 

Selecting the music for your playlist can be a bit tricky if there are a number of people in the car. There are a couple of ways you can tackle this; setting a theme for the trip is one option. Songs about road trips is one option, or you can go with a decade. Songs you loved in high school, songs you sing in the shower – anything that provides a bit of guidance is good. Then you just need to share a playlist link and let everyone load it up.

If setting a theme sounds too difficult, you can also just split the list up and let everyone add a number of songs. Then even if they’re unhappy with other selections, everyone is guaranteed to hear a tune they like, plus guessing who added what is a fun road trip game.

Our number one tip is to download it! You don’t want to be stuck in a deadzone with no tunes. We’ve all been there and it sucks – plan in advance!

Pick the right ride

The car you drive on your journey is critical to achieving peak road trip vibes. You need space; you’ve got to fit everyone, their luggage, and their snacks without things getting too squishy. You need reliability; nobody wants to spend the whole trip waiting for roadside assistance. And, of course, you need safety. 

Luckily, GWM has you covered. The Haval H6 is the perfect road trip companion. Great for both urban driving and long distance cruising, hybrid transmission gives you an incredibly smooth ride and acceleration when you need it while still keeping it low on fuel. And in this economy, isn’t that something we all need?

Then there’s a panoramic roof for either soaking up the sun or watching the stars, a schmick touchscreen to help you navigate and hands free parking. We’ve all got that friend that’s awful at parking so you know that will come in handy!

Haval H6

Credit: Supplied

Plot your journey

Hear us out, you don’t need to be ridiculous about this. Road trips aren’t about hitting deadlines and crossing your legs while you get to the next town so you can take a pee break. But there needs to be some sort of a plan in place before you set off to ensure everyone is on the same page and you don’t have to spend hours debating the merits of one beach over another. 

Using your timeline as a guide, grab a map (or open Google Maps…) and find somewhere you can get to while still allowing time for a couple of stops along the way. Use mealtimes to guide you – find somewhere to stop for lunch – or mark out a couple of landmarks along the way. Even if you don’t end up following the plan, you’ll be glad you have it. 

Don’t fall into the trap of overplanning, we’re not looking for a detailed spreadsheet here, because then you’ll miss out the enjoyment of discovering things along the way. But agreeing on a destination and a couple of stops along the way will remove any anxiety and keep everyone on track.

Embrace spontaneity 

Does this go against everything we just said? Sort of. But one of the best parts of a road trip is being able to make your own rules. Spot something cool along the way? Stop. Get a last minute reccy from a friend after you’ve set off? Detour. Find yourself enjoying the lunch spot way more than you expected? Stay. The reason you don’t want to overplan a road trip is so you don’t miss out on the fun along the way, so stay open, stay flexible, and be ready to let the road take you where it wants to go.

This is also why you want to give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination. If you’ve only planned the time it takes to drive to your destination, you’re closing yourself off to adventures on the way. Australia is a big country, it takes time to get from place to place and there are some absolute gems along the way. Appreciate them!

Stay safe

Road trips are a lot of fun, especially if you take a couple of precautions to make sure you’re safe along the way. To start, make sure you plan your trip to align with the weather. Don’t head into the outback during floods, if you’re going somewhere cold look into the possibility of ice on the roads. Visiting new places means new conditions and especially across Australia there are a lot of different climate possibilities! Look up the best source of road information in your destination, and check it regularly, especially if the weather is looking a bit dodgy or changes suddenly. If in doubt, don’t drive into it, and if you’re in a tricky situation give someone a call. 

Picking a safe car will help you and your road trip buddies feel safe. The Haval H6 has an ANCAP 5-star safety rating, so there’s nothing to worry about while you’re cruising. Just sit back, buckle up and enjoy the ride!

Stay hydrated, split the driving or take plenty of breaks and make sure you’re following road rules and you’ll be all set for a safe and fun adventure. 

No matter where you’re heading, a road trip is an excellent way to see the country. Follow these tips and you’ll be setting yourself up for the perfect journey.

The Haval H6 is a mid-size SUV that makes a bold statement. Find out more and check out the whole GWM range here