State borders are slated to open by Christmas, making it the perfect time to start planning a getaway. And summer is the perfect time to pack the car and hit the road.

According to Paul Higgins, Managing Director at car subscription platform HelloCars, there has been a resurgence in road trips due to the pandemic.

“We usually experience a rise in people subscribing to larger cars for a holiday road trip, and that has certainly been more prevalent this year, with international travel off the cards. After being stuck inside for months, Aussies are excited to get out and explore the unfamiliar, and road trips definitely fit the bill for that,” he says.

Why are road trips in resurgence?

Exploring your own backyard has major benefits for the local economy. Last year, 10 million Australians spent about $65 billion on overseas travel. With more of us travelling locally, this can be injected directly into the domestic tourism market. Additionally, people are still wary about sitting on planes, public transport, coaches and taxis, so the safest way to travel is by car.

If you’re thinking about a Great Australian road trip this year, here are some ideas on where to go …

Country towns

After spending so much time stuck in our cities this year, people are looking to visit smaller towns rather than holidaying in just another city. Not only do we want to slow down, but staying in more remote areas makes it easier to practise social distancing, with the pandemic risk still not gone. Tourism Australia has also created a series of road trips on interactive maps to help people discover places in regional areas.

“After being stuck inside for months, Aussies are excited to get out and explore the unfamiliar!”

Let’s go to the beach

Australia is home to some of the best beaches in the world, and we’re lucky enough to celebrate Christmas smack bang in the middle of summer. From Byron Bay to Broome, there are spectacular coastal towns across the country to explore. As an added bonus, the coastal drive is usually just as scenic as the destination, with plenty of places to stop and go for a swim or enjoy some lunch on the beach while the kids play in the sand.

Happy campers

Tourism Research Australia has found over 500,000 Australians are willing to take a camping or caravan trip this year. Additionally, campers are seven times more likely to take a holiday than the broader population. If you’re planning a camping trip, it’s important to call ahead to secure your place, as the booking rules and maximum capacity at your chosen destination may have changed as a result of coronavirus.

Australia is home to some of the best beaches in the world.

Wine regions

People connect over food and wine, so it’s no surprise Australia’s wine regions are so popular for day trips and long weekends. Many are also situated close to each other – e.g. Mudgee is only two hours from Orange – so you can plan to visit a few different places on one trip. Given there are incredible vineyards in every state and territory, people can get to wine country without crossing state borders – which is especially important as restrictions can change rapidly.

Staycation

Over the last 12 months there has been a greater emphasis and need for Australians to support local businesses, initially in light of the bushfires and now COVID-19. One of the easiest ways to do this is by exploring your own backyard. Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show about three in 10 accommodation and food sector jobs have been lost since mid-March.

With local hotels and restaurants now open for business, there’s never been a better time for a staycation. So, no matter where you live, take a short drive to a local hotel or B&B and take a break for the weekend.

There’s never been a better time for a staycation!

If you don’t own a car or need a bigger one to carry all your holiday gear, you can try car subscription.

The service gives you access to a car through weekly payments, with cars available from as $119 per week from online providers like HelloCars. Car dealerships are now also offering subscriptions thanks to Loopit.co, so you can head to your local dealer to see what’s available.