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Planning the Big Trip

The Big Trip. For many people this is a dream adventure come true.

Whether you've reached your well-earned long-service leave, you're planning the first stage of retirement, or you want to take your primary-aged children out of school, planning for the Big Trip creates a high level of excitement for everyone.

You've got to work hard on those things that make you uncomfortable at first, so get cracking! There will be a number of unanswered questions when you take to the road, but if the tangibles have been taken care of it is the unexpected moments that will become the highlights of your trip.

Here are a few tips:

1. Be confident about your tow vehicle, caravan or camper. That means if either is new to you, you must have towed and lived in the rig for at least two trips. You must be at a stage of relaxed enjoyment about your rig before the Big One. All defects or modifications must be addressed before the trip. And it's important to remove all non-used items because you won't want unnecessary baggage. In most cases this is rectified on your first few short trips.

2. Your itinerary is important. However, avoid doing a spreadsheet planning all the days, distances and places because this prevents you from enjoying your progressive discoveries. You'll also end up compressing extra activities into the last weeks if you plan the entire itinerary. So plan the destinations that are generally regarded as busy in peak season only.