I love road-trips because they allow you to see the country at a slow pace and create your own journey. I have put together some of our tips when it comes to road trips and they’re especially good if you’re on a budget!


JD and I grew up by the beach, in a small coastal town south of Sydney. We love Sydney for its culture, food, art and work opportunities, but whenever we can pack the car with our surfboards, skateboards, a picnic and our iPhones filled with fresh music/podcasts, we do. We love getting away and we love discovering new (secluded) beaches, national parks and different parts of NSW. You just can’t take the small town mentality away from people.

I am already looking into our Christmas road-trip. We’re visiting my parents, but I think after New Years we might head north to visit friends and family. There is something so free about just packing a car up and having no agenda, don’t you think?


Here are my top 7 Tips

1. Food

We love to balance our eating when we’re on a road-trip. We like to pack snacks, but we also love trying new cafes in the new areas we’re going. If you’re on a budget, decide what meal you love eating out. EG: If you love breakfast food, go out for breakfast and pack lunch and dinner options in an Esky. Or, vice versa. I love having these two options because I hate eating out all the time. I get sick of restaurant and cafe food and crave simple things. We usually try and mix it up so we don’t miss out on things. One day it may be breakfast out, the next it may be dinner. It depends on how we feel on that day!

We always try and book accommodation which has a little kitchen in it, so we can cook dinner or make lunches before heading out for the day!

PS: Eating out at breakfast or lunch is cheaper than dinner too!

2. Accommodation

I tend to be terrible at booking accommodation – more often than not our accommodation has been terrible. I am always suckered in by images! Damn those wide angle lenses! In recent months I have gotten better at picking the bad ones! I love site like: lastminute.com, Stayz and Airbnb. I use all of them regularly and make sure I am getting a good bargain. I LOVE lastminute for their mystery deals – plus it adds a bit of fun to your trip, not knowing where you’re staying until you book it in! I love Airbnb – some of the houses you can stay at on there are insane! This is also an awesome option for traveling overseas too!

If that still isn’t in your budget, try looking for cute beach shacks, camping sites or even places you can camp for free!

PS: One of my favourite overnight adventures was staying in this crappy little place with JD which was $60 a night before an overseas trip. It is such a funny story for us and so memorable. Traveling doesn’t always mean fancy in my opinion!


3. Pack Essentials

I am a notorious over packer, but I have learned that over-packing adds clutter and makes it harder to find what you’re looking for. And depending how much weight you’re adding to the car, you could also be using extra fuel, which means extra $$!

Our list generally consists of:


  • Mobile (bonus navigation!)
  • Mobile phone charger
  • USB cord to charge phone in the car
  • Camera x 2-3
  • Laptops to work or watch movies at night


  • Comfortable walking shoes! A must!! I love these Emu boots as they’re comfy and I can walk a lot in them.The perfect option for when I don’t want to wear sneakers.
  • Sunglasses & Hat
  • A change of clothes for each day of the trip. My suggestion is to try and pack a versatile wardrobe like I have in today’s post. I basically wore the same things, just changed out my tops and accessories.
  • Swimmers & Towels

My biggest tip with road-trip clothing is: be sure your clothes are comfortable, breathable, and loose. You’ll be sitting for extended periods – there’s nothing worse than sitting in uncomfy clothes!


  • Esky / Cooler
  • Ice packs
  • Snacks
  • Fruit
  • Water bottle
  • Cutting board and knife (Better yet, an entire picnic set)

4. Set aside some chill out time

I know this may sounds weird, but, don’t try and make the most of every second. Wait… Just hear me out!

Be realistic about what you can actually see in just a couple days. Take in your surroundings and really soak in your trip. There’s nothing worse than feeling like you have to rush around trying to make it some where or feel like you didn’t spend enough time somewhere, because you were trying to rush off and be somewhere else.

My pet hate is returning from a holiday feeling like I need another holiday. Don’t get me wrong – I absolutely LOVE exploring, but you need those days in between to really just do nothing.

5. Free Activities

To keep your daily expenses down, spend the day at the beach, waterfall, go on a walk through the national park, look around the local shops / galleries, see what fresh produce farms are around or other local attractions. If in doubt, research before you go or visit the Information centre when you first get to a new place!

This is a reason we pack surfboards! It means we can get exercise, have fun together and it’s free!!

6. Use Your Maps Offline

When you’re on a road-trip, you’re often in areas that don’t get mobile reception, so this next tip is a lifesaver! This tip is also a great way to save data as well – Maps so much damn data!

I discovered this when we were traveling overseas and I had no internet. Without it I would probably be lost somewhere in the middle of Thailand.  The hack:  Save Google Maps for offline use for when you’re outside a coverage area.

To me this wasn’t obvious, so I thought I would share how to do it today! (THIS IS FOR IPHONE).

1. Search for a location.

2. When it appears, click the info bar at the bottom and roll it up.

3. Scroll to the bottom, where you’ll see the option ‘Save map to use offline.’

4. You should see a confirmation at the top that says, ‘Map saved”.

7. Mix Up What You Listen To

Christmas last year we listened to Serial for five hours when we were driving down south to visit my family for Christmas – it was so addictive! My suggestion to you is to make a music playlist and also a podcast playlist! Road-trips need variety!

On long trips it’s so nice to listen to something that gets you thinking. Something like Serial (though you have probably listened to it by now), was great because everyone has a different point of view on it, so it was fun to chat in-between episodes! Have you listened to it? Do you think Adnan is #guilty?

Also, another great thing to listen to is audio books! Reading in the car plain old sucks, and by listening to it, you’re keeping the driver entertained too!



My go-to outfit over this weekend away was denim and white – it works every time and I always feel fresh in this combo. This outfit is super comfortable, yet pulled together. These boots got a lot of wear this weekend too – comfy for a lot of walking and easy to wear at coastal locations because they slip on and off easily.

Outfit 1: A-Brand Shorts, Emu Boots, Rebecca Minkoff Bag, 66 The Label Hat, RayBan Sunglasses, Witchery Belt, Bardot Top

Outfit 2: Decjuba X See Want Shop T-shirt, A-Brand Shorts, Emu Boots, RayBan Sunglasses


Want to win the trip of a lifetime?

I have teamed up with Emu Australia to offer you one helluva trip! Overseas readers, this applies to you to!

It’s super easy to enter.

From October 15 – November 15, upload an original image of your favourite natural getaway or place to enjoy the great outdoors to Instagram, FB or Twitter with the hashtag #EverNaturalEscape and be sure to follow and tag @EMUAustralia in your caption. EMU Australia will select the most inspiring photo – and the winner will receive flights and accommodation for an “Ever Natural” week in Australia for two, plus spending money and 2 pairs of EMU boots!

Visit emuaustralia.com.au/evernaturalescape for more details and to fill out the social entry form!

Disclaimer: This was in partnership with Emu. All opinions are my own and I only ever post on products I 100% believe in and use in my daily life. We take our partnerships seriously, which is why we’ll never collaborate with a brand unless we profoundly believe in their products or ethics.


I hope you have enjoyed all of my little travel tips that JD and I find handy!


Instagram: @substance_blog, Facebook: /SUBSTANCEBLOG, YouTube: SubstanceBlog,


Author: Ally Carey

Hi, I am Ally, a writer and creative at Substance. I have worked in the fashion industry for 6+ years as a model and now on Substance. Substance is a lifestyle blog about fashion, beauty, health and self-improvement; hoping to inspire you to live a life filled with Substance. For more: @AllyMayCarey

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *