Disclosure: this is a paid post for RACV sponsored by Nuffnang.

It was the road trip to end all terrible road trips. It was Easter Sunday 2013. Hubby and I left for a three hour drive up the north coast for a week away. We were already in holiday mode and ready to sleep in, eat lots of food and stay up late watching crappy movies.

And then it happened. Halfway into our drive to relaxation, things came to a very sudden stop, literally. The engine started to rattle and crunch, ripping the relaxing holiday further from our grip with every metre we drove.

While I tried to convince hubby that we just keep driving (I’m never one to let a silly thing like an engine get in my way) he made the sensible move to pull over and call Roadside Assistance. Thankful for the snacks I had packed (thanks Easter Bunny) and to Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs for our entertainment we sat back and waited, unaware of the long (and expensive) afternoon we had ahead of us.

As it turns out our engine was completely gone. Kaput. Finished. Over. No matter how hard I manifested a working car, this one was not it. We were towed to the nearest mechanic but then what? It was 7pm on a public holiday, we were 1.5 hours from home and we didn’t have a car. Our bikes were on the roof racks and the boot and back seat were full of luggage.

Our friendly tow truck driver took pity on us and helped us load our stuff on the back of his truck (all the while hubby was chastising me for bringing so much stuff, “do you really need your sewing machine???”) and drove us to the local McDonalds so we could decide what to do.

Thankfully my husband has two awesome brothers who drove to that country McDonalds to loan us one of their cars for our week away. I think we’re still repaying that debt!

We spent the next few days relaxing in between working out what we were going to do with our car. It eventually made it’s way home to Sydney, the engine was replaced and we look back on that time thankful that it was pre-kids!

And what would a bad experience be without a few learnings?

  • Emergency Roadside Assistance is a MUST for any roadtrip (and just owning a car in general – I have called them five times this year already but that’s another story…). If we didn’t have roadside assistance in our case we really would have been stranded with no one to call
  • Packing light is good even on a roadtrip. You never know when you need to put all your belongings on the back of a tow truck and cross your fingers hoping that nothing falls off
  • Start a road trip with your phone fully charged and have a charger in the car for longer trips. If you need to call for help (or play games/facebook while you are waiting) you will need battery. How else will you tell everyone on Facebook about your predicament?
  • Snacks are a vital part of a long road trip – a roll of toilet paper doesn’t go astray. Our kind roadside assistance man gave us some paper towel (it beats using a leaf) while we waited for the tow truck but toilet paper wouldn’t have hurt!
  • Be nice to your family – they will be more likely to leave their families at Easter to drive 1.5 hours to loan you their car.
  • Every cloud has a silver lining. While that holiday started off terribly, two days later we found out I was pregnant and the broken down car was all but forgotten

If you are in the market for roadside assistance, find out why RACV Emergency Roadside Assistance is ‘Heaps More Helpful’.

Do you have Emergency Roadside Assistance? Have you had to use it on a road trip?

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