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10 Dec 2015

Are you packing up and hitting the road over the Christmas break? These six tips for happy road trips will ensure you arrive at your destination relaxed and ready to join the festivities.

1. Make a plan, but be flexible

Try to plan a few must-see sites in the towns you'll stay in each night, but don't drive for more than eight hours a day and make sure you have plenty of rest breaks. Let the road take you where it will – you'll be amazed by what you come across. Never be afraid to follow that interesting turn off – that's what life's about.

2. Use a paper map

GPS and Google Maps are handy resources, but a paper map and marker can allow you to see where you've been, where you're heading and will never run out of battery. Why not jot down notes and observations and hang it on your wall at home?

3. Earn points with your credit card

If you have frequent flyer points on your credit card, you can earn extra points at fuel stops –bringing you closer to being able to exchange them for cheaper flights or discounted groceries, at a later date.

4. Meet the people

Being friendly with locals is an enriching part of any road trip. Whether you stop off in a town to stretch your legs or ask for directions, you'll find that some of the most memorable moments happen when you open yourself up to new people.

5. Bring a spare car key

It may sound silly, but it's better to be safe that sorry. If you're travelling with someone, providing them with a spare car key is a handy way to ensure you don't lose it or accidentally lock it inside.

6. Keep memories alive with photos

Take photos of road signs, interesting trees, paddocks and incredible sunsets. Taking random photographs of special moments throughout your road trip will help keep memories of your holiday alive, long after you return home.

This article was supplied by Australia's leading retirement website YourLifeChoices