Howdy! I’m William, a barista from Melbourne, and I’m gonna tell you about a road trip I took to Albury, a lovely town by the Murray River, to visit my parents.
About a month ago, on a Saturday morning, I packed my top-notch espresso machine in my brand-new Volkswagen and off I went. After about three hours of driving northeast, I pulled into a cafe in Beechworth. (You see, I like to see how I measure up against my competitors. Their coffee was rubbish, by the way.) I got back in my VW and tried to start it and…nothing. The car was turning over, but it wouldn’t start. Uh oh. I was supposed to spend the weekend with my folks and now I’m stuck in a town with bad coffee! What a nightmare. I was about to call my mum to have a whinge when I suddenly saw that 24/7 Roadservices Australia key tag out of the corner of my eye. Hallelujah! Thank you, Lord!
I called up 24/7 straight away and asked for help. The folks at 24/7 are up in Newcastle, you see, and they’re a nice bunch. The lovely woman speaking to me said that because I got a five-star membership, she can get me towed to my parents’ place free of charge. Sick! About five minutes later, I got a call from 24/7 saying that a tow truck would l be there in 50 minutes. “Noice,” I thought. While I waited, I looked for a repairer in Albury. Then, right on time, the tow truck showed up and they loaded my car. Then, I hopped in the truck with the driver and we had a lively tennis debate while crossing the Murray. (He thought Nadal was better than Federer, which is incorrect.)
Once the car was unloaded safely at my parents’ house in Albury, I thanked the driver and got out. When I told Dad my car broke down, he shrugged and said, “Get over it,” in his typically blunt way. That’s my dad for ya. Anyway, I spent the weekend making coffee for my parents with my espresso machine, while Dad sat on the couch and criticized my life choices. On Monday morning, I called up my friends 24/7 again and requested a tow to an Albury workshop. This was, again, free of charge. While I waited for the truck, I called up my boss in Melbourne and told her I can’t make awesome coffees today because my car’s broken. The tow truck arrived right on time again and took me to the workshop.
After two hours of diagnosing my Volkswagen, the mechanic said my ECU needs to be replaced with a brand new one, which is gonna take four days to arrive from overseas. Immediately, I hired a car from Budget for four days at $90 per day and used it to get to and from work on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. On Friday, the repairer called me on my lunch break and said the ECU’s been replaced, so I had Mum pick the car up and take it back to hers. Then, on Friday night, I went back to Albury to pick the car up, dropped off the rental car and made it home to Melbourne by lunchtime on Saturday. My Volkswagen was back in my garage and my warranty company paid for the repair! Not to mention, I sent my car hire invoice to firstname.lastname@example.org and got my $360 back very quickly! I only lost one day of work from all this and I didn’t have to pay a single cent, so 24/7 turned what could have been a disaster into a minor inconvenience.
I dunno about you, but I’m a scared person who wants to feel safe. So, for those of you planning a road trip, I’ll share a few safety tips I picked up from my trip to Albury. First of all, get a 24/7 membership right now! I’m telling you, man. They’re the best. They don’t just pay for tows and rental cars. If your car breaks down hundreds of miles away from your house as mine did, and if you got a five-star membership as I do, you can spend $700 at a hotel and 24/7 will give it all back if the repair takes more than two days. If you have an accident, not only could they pay for all your accommodation fees, they might be able to cover your ambulance fees as well.
Don’t drive a car that ain’t roadworthy. Get it serviced and check your tyre pressure. And please remember to follow basic safety rules on the road when driving. Keep your seatbelt on at all times. Stay away from flooded roads or areas with a lot of bushes on hot days. Make sure your car isn’t too close to the car in front, and don’t overtake them if there’s a car coming, or the line between both lanes ain’t dashed. Turn off your high beam around other cars, or they might crash into your car and kill you. Oh, and watch out for those bloody kangaroos, or they’ll jump out in front of your car at 4 AM and become actual bloody kangaroos.
Do your homework. Using GPS technology, find out in advance where all the fuel stations and dangerous roads are. If you do run out of fuel, call 24/7. At each fuel station, you stop at, make sure you clean your hands, avoid viruses in bathrooms and stock up on food and drinks. You mustn’t forget to pack a first-aid kit since you can get sick or injured out there. You can also be the victim of a crime, so listen to your gut and stay alert.
The travel journal above is fictional and written for promotional purposes.