Last November, award-winning Singaporean indie rock band Stopgap touched down in Melbourne to perform as part of the official lineup for Melbourne Music Week 2016.
While they were in town, the band took in all that they could of Melbourne and, like many tourists and international students, also ventured beyond the city, travelling up and down the Great Ocean Road as part of their Victorian roadtrip.
Speaking with Stopgap lead singer, Adin Kindermann, the performer gave his advice for students and visitors on how best to prepare for any roadtrip.
Planning your route
Being organised in your roadtrip means planning where to go for the occasional stop, whether its for views or just a toilet break.
But making room for spontaneity is also important. A route and plan helps but don’t feel like you have to stick to that itinerary, otherwise who knows what unexpected surprises await you if you decide to stop by somewhere else or take a different turn?
If all else fails, just refer to Adin’s rockstar wisdom and “use the compass in your mind”.
This one’s a no brainer and is a general rule you ought to apply in life but the weather can, and will, play a huge factor in determining what kind of experience you’ll have when you embark on that roadtrip.
Don’t just check the weather for the day you depart, check it for pretty much every day of the trip so you can better anticipate what clothes or equipment you might need to combat those outdoor conditions.
Have more than one driver
Roadtrips are designed to be lengthy. Along the Great Ocean Road, it can get pretty windy too and having one person battle those conditions can be unfair.
Having more than one person in your roadtrip who can drive would be best advised just so you can rotate driving shifts and allow the other person to rest.
While some people might be perfectly okay sleeping in their cars, others mightn’t be. If you do want more luxury than your car seat, you can book in a room or two for you and your mates ahead of time at the Great Ocean Road Holidays website. There are plenty of accommodation options here and it would be advised that all visitors of the Great Ocean Road book in advance, especially during peak periods!
Knowing what to bring
This usually depends on different groups and individuals but knowing what to bring along for yourself or for your group to survive is essential. For example, most students will have already have access to data and SIM cards during their overseas study but it’s best to check that others in your roadtrip group are similarly equipped.
Ask yourself: Would you need a camera or is your phone camera enough? What about portable chargers? A spare change of clothes? Maybe you want to bring cash with you rather than rely on your card? All these things are what you should be thinking about if you’re going on a road trip.
Similarly, taking into consideration what emergency supplies you’ll need is also ideal. Think about whether or not you would need a spare tyre or a first aid kit for your travels.
And when it comes to bringing food along, Stopgap’s best picks for snacks are ham, cheese, crackers and nuts. Water of course is essential too; it’s important to stay hydrated!
For Stopgap, entertaining each other during a roadtrip isn’t so hard. If you’re a music junkie like Adin, bringing a guitar is a no-brainer. Beyond that, Adin’s go-to playlist usually consists of trashy ’90s pop songs.
Of course, everyone is a little different when it comes to what they like out of their entertainment. Maybe you wanna bring a laptop to help pass the time or create your own Spotify playlist.
Are you ready to embark on a Great Ocean roadtrip like Stopgap? What other useful tips and pieces of advice would you give for students wishing to go on their own roadtrip? Let us know in the comments.
This story was produced by Media and Communication students at Trinity College Foundation Studies as part of Meld’s community newsroom collaboration. Education institutions, student clubs/societies and community groups interested in being involved can get in touch with us via firstname.lastname@example.org.