Top 3 Self-Drive Road Trips You Should Take with Your Family


Planning a family trip requires lots of planning. Because of that, some of you might have opted for package tours. But those who have gone down that road know that package tours tend to have rushed and packed itineraries. Why not take a self-drive free and easy road trip with your family instead?

Doing a self-drive road trip is not as daunting as it sounds. In fact, it can be a lot of fun. Besides enjoying scenic views along the way, a self-drive holiday means you get to decide your own pace and time without having to worry about missing the tour coach. What’s more with GPS navigation technology in your smartphone these days, you won’t get lost as you cruise with ease from point to point.

Here are our top three picks for the perfect road trip holidays to take with your family.

Perth, Australia


Photo © Bernhard Richter | Shutterstock

Driving side: Right-hand drive; same as Singapore
Car Rental + fuel per day: S$70 to S$100
Recommended number of days: 5 to 7 days
Parking: Mostly free at the suburbs
Driving licence: Singapore driving licence is allowed

As you arrived at the Perth airport, car rental is available right at the airport. Simply turn on your GPS and internet connectivity and you are set to explore the city. As you cruise along the highway towards the south, stop by the rest area to get your snacks refilled and your kids may have some playtime at the playground. Watch out for visitor information centres too as you may get some nifty tips from the staff.

Don’t shy away from the parks as that’s where the local gather and picnic during the weekends. Remember to add these stops to the itinerary as the parks in Perth are well-designed with adequate facilities.

Cattle in the Caves Road area of Margaret River, Western Australia. Photo David Steele | Shutterstock

With an abundance of family-owned petting zoos, fruit-picking farms and opportunities to watch whales and dolphins, the up-close-and-personal experiences with animals are something your kids will not forget.

A visit to Perth is not complete without visiting the wineries. Other than free wine sampling, you may even get to visit a vineyard to see how grapes are grown and harvested for wine.

Chardonnay vines at Margaret River, Western Australia. Photo © Filedimage | Shutterstock

Best time to visit: Autumn (March to May) and Spring (September to November) offer cooler temperatures of 20 to 25°C which are perfect for outdoor activities.

Where to go or what to do: Dolphin and Whale watching, Petting zoo, Fruit picking farm, Sand dunes, Pinnacles, open parks, wineries, wave rocks, Prison museum, Perth Mint, local market and groceries.

Suggested route: Perth (1200km) → Mandurah → Margaret River → Albany → Busselton → Freemantle → Perth → Cervantes → Perth

Hokkaido, Japan


Photo © Chayatorn | Shutterstock

Driving side: Right-hand drive; same as Singapore
Car Rental + fuel per day: S$100 to S$150
Recommended number of days: 5 to 7 days
Parking: Mostly free at the suburbs
Driving licence: International licence required. An international driving permit can be easily obtained at Automobile Association of Singapore for S$30.

Do you know Hokkaido in Japan is more than 100 times larger than Singapore? This makes the Japanese island a perfect driving tour for your next family vacation. Hokkaido is well-connected with expressways, coupled with courteous local drivers that will make your road trip experience pleasant. Car rental companies offer free rides to the car pick-up area from the airport. It’s recommended you get the Hokkaido Expressway Pass to cover all your toll charges, which cost about S$15 per day for a seven-day pass.

The telecommunication network is one of the most advanced in the world. This means even when you are in the most rural areas in Hokkaido, the least you have to worry about is getting your GPS or data connectivity disrupted. You don’t have to worry about reading Japanese road signs – they have road names in Romaji (Japanese words written in the English alphabet) on them.

Photo © miya227 | Shutterstock

Best time to visit: Early summer is perfect as you might still see some of the remaining cherry blossoms. The weather is sunny and cool at around 20°C.

Where to go or what to do: Lavender farms, sunflower farms, tulip gardens, dessert shops, lakes, volcano, hot springs, ski resort, Asahimaya zoo, Noboribetsu bear park

Suggested route:

East (1300km): Sapporo → Biei → Furano → Asahikawa → Monbetsu → Otaru → Sapporo

West (1100km): Sapporo → Noroibetsu → Lake Toya -> Hakodate → Jozankei → Sapporo


Blue Lagoon

The Blue Lagoon is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Iceland. Photo © Sergey Didenko | Shutterstock

Driving side: Left-hand drive; different from Singapore
Car Rental + fuel per day: S$80 to S$150
Recommended number of days: 7 to 10 days
Parking: Mostly free at the suburbs
Driving licence: Singapore licence allowed

Don’t be intimidated by this island! It boasts some of the most awe-inspiring natural sights in the world. Summer is the perfect season to visit Iceland. You don’t have to worry about getting extra insurance or changing chain wheels to brace the thick snow like you would in winter.

Icelandic horses are a common sight along the roads as you drive through Iceland. Photo © Bill Vorasate | Shutterstock

As people in Iceland drive on the right hand side, you might find it hard to get used to it at first, but driving in Iceland is a breeze as there is little or no traffic as you cruise along the ring road. This ring road goes all around the island with fjords, waterfalls, towns, peninsulas, the highlands and many other attractions awaiting you.

Every bend will surprise you with mesmerising landscapes. You cannot get enough of Iceland once and you will definitely be back again.

Best time to visit: Summer in Iceland is perfect with temperatures ranging from 20°C to 25°C. You also get longer days as the sun almost never sets during summer in Iceland.

What to see or do: Waterfalls, craters, fjords, hot springs, glaciers, lakes, small villages, mountains, Geysir, Blue Lagoon, Gullfoss, Jökulsárlön, Skógafoss, Vatnajökull National Park

Suggested route 1500km: Ring Road NR 1

Travel tip: Get your travel SIM from before you even depart so you are connected as you arrive.

This post is written by Shaun Yap. 


In partnership with, we are giving away three 1.8GB travel SIM cards (10 days) for use in Australia to three lucky readers! For a chance to win, simply:

  • Like the Asia 361 Facebook page and the Hello1010 Facebook page.
  • Share this post on Facebook and tag at least three friends in your post. Don’t forget to make your post public so we can see it.
  • Name one of our recommended places to go in Perth, Australia with a comment below or on our Facebook post.

Contest ends 22 May 2017. All winners must be a resident of Singapore and will be notified via Facebook.


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