Australia has been one of the popular holiday destination for most of us due to it close proximity to Singapore, the weather and also the never ending things to do and scenery to admire.
We recently did a self-drive holiday to Perth as it allows us to travel at own pace, plan our own itinerary and allows flexibility in our itinerary should there be any arising needs from the children. Also, it is another way to enjoy the outdoor scenery as we drive along to our destinations
Driving in Perth was easy as all the roads signage are displayed in English , relatively low traffic especially in countryside and Australian cars are right-hand drive cars. However, below are some tips to take note when planning for your trip:
1) Choose the Right car for your family and pre-book your car rental early
Pre-book your car rentals early so that you can get a good deal and secure the type of cars you want especially during weekends, holiday and peak seasons. There is no upfront payment, deposit or cancellation fees. You will only pay at the counter pickup.
We have a total of 3 adults and 2 children together with 1 large size, 2 medium size luggage and a stroller. We browse through the large selection of cars online and reckon that the Family Collection AU (2015 Kia Carnival) will suit us best.
The Family collection features 8-seater which means that is there is ample room for all the family to travel in comfort.
In Singapore, you can make reservations through 5 convenient ways:
1. Book online at www.hertz.com.sg
2. Call Hertz Reservation Centre on 1800 370 3388 (Toll-free)
3. Email to Hertz Reservation Centre at firstname.lastname@example.org
4. Hertz Mobile App – www.hertz.com/app
5. Your preferred Travel Agent
All the above provide instant confirmation!
2) Book from a reliable rental company
We chose to rent from Hertz as it has a large network of car rental locations including major airports and cities and flexibility to pick up a car from one location and return it at another. This means that we can pick and return the car at the airport which saves us a lot of hassle and time.
Once we arrived at the Perth airport at 2pm after customs clearance, we headed straight to Hertz counter which can be easily spotted after you exit out from the restricted area. Service was prompt and fast as the rental agreement has already been prepared in advance as we have signed up as Hertz Gold member prior to our booking.
Driving in Australia is safe however hiccups such as accidents and breakdowns do happen ! Hertz offers 24-Hour Roadside Assistance to let you travel with peace of mind knowing that you can get immediate help whenever and wherever you encounter problems with your car. Simply call Hertz and they will get you going as quickly as possible.
In addition, Hertz’s vehicles are on average one year old and undergo the most stringent of quality control checks. With low mileage and reliable performance cars, you can be assured of a smooth and safe journey.
3) Enroll for Hertz Gold Plus Rewards Membership
Sign up Hertz Gold Plus Rewards Membership for FREE before your booking. Enjoy members’ only discounts by receiving special e-mail offers when you opt-in to receive e-mail.
With your rental agreement prepared in advance for you at the designated Gold Counter, you are off quicker and easier. Sign up at www.hertz.com/goldcorp/sg.
4) Car seats
Children and babies must be restrained in an approved safety harnesses or booster seat up to 7 years old. To save the hassle of bringing our current car seats from Singapore to Perth , we rented two car seats from Hertz.
The car seats has already been installed for us prior to our collection of our car therefore all we need to do is to strap our children in . From their happy faces, we knew the car seats are very comfortable.
5) Use a GPS or google map for navigation
As a typical Singaporean (with a 怕死 mentally), we uses both the Neverlost GPS and google map for navigation. Please note that at times there might not be any network for google maps especially common in countryside .
Therefore , this is where the Neverlost GPS will come in handy. Featuring fast, accurate route calculation, the most up-to-date national maps and Australia’s most comprehensive Speed Camera Database, you can drive with confidence with the remarkable NeverLost® in-car navigation unit as your guide.
NeverLost® is available at Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Adelaide, Perth, Cairns, Surfers Paradise and Noosa Heads locations.
6) Maximize day light hours
Since we are travelling in May ( Autumn going to Winter period) , sun rise typically starts at around 6.30 am and sun set at 5.30 pm. We maximize the day light hours by getting the kids to sleep early in the night so that they can wake up early for the next morning. Meanwhile, the children will get to nap in the car in between travelling.
Also for safety reasons , we avoid driving on highways at dusk or dawn as not every highways has streetlights ( especially in countryside) and not to mention of the free ranging animals.
7) Check your Excess under your travel insurance
Accidents do happen ! Therefore, you should always check your rental car excess under your travel insurance plan to find out the excess (amount) you have to pay in an event that the car is damage.
Under the travel insurance that we have bought, the excess is $800.
For a peace of mind, we opted for Hertz optional extras ( Maximum cover) which means in any event that the car is damage, theft or loss, we are not liable to pay for anything.
8) Apply for Australian Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) 3 to 4 weeks before your departure
All people visiting Australia, except Australian and New Zealand citizens, need a visa to visit Australia, regardless of the purpose of the visit.
To save the hassle , we apply via online at $7 per person three to four weeks before our departure. The visa is valid for a year.
We enjoyed our self-driving holiday in Perth and we would be glad to explore the beautiful Perth again. For more savings, Hertz offers Hertz Value Vouchers to their customers travelling to Australia and New Zealand in year 2017. You may download these vouchers from HERE ( Please link HERE to the hyperlink below)