You know what’s fun to do sometimes? Head out a little further afield then your normal thrifting stomping grounds and take a road trip.

We like to head off on family fun days as we call them and get out of town. As long as we all get to do a bit of something for everyone to be happy, we’re all good.

For me I’m happy to op shop and treasure hunt of course. Ben likes some open space or a field where we can stop and he can fly his remote control planes and helicopters for a little bit. As for the kids they’re happy with a bit of everything but as long as they get to have a run around and burn off some energy they’re happy.

With all of that being said, I believe there is a key to out of town thrifting and treasure hunting adventures with the family in tow and ensuring it’s a successful and fun time for all. So I’m going to share some tips and advice.

  • As much as hitting the road and seeing what happens is fun, I like to plot and plan (even loosely) our out of town trips to maximize treasure hunting opportunities and have the day run smoothly around the kids. At least even with a loose plan if we come by other adventures and opportunities along the way we can take a detour and if it doesn’t work out we have our plan to return to.
The kids keeping themselves amused on an out of town road trip.
  •  I research online and investigate what op shops and vintage boutiques are in the areas we will be passing through. I go as far as phoning stores to see if they are open on a Saturday or Sunday (if that’s when we’re travelling) and what their opening hours are.
  • I do even more online research and I check out Gumtree and other community pages to investigate what garage sales are on that might be of interest as well as markets, fairs and community days.
  •  I check out Google maps and our intended destination(s), if I’ve found op shops, boutiques or garage sales to investigate along the way, I check out each location in reference to one another. From that I come up with a loose plan of where to stop and when, this saves doubling back in a town or area we’re not familiar with…..the goal is always to minimise frustration on a fun day.
  • Snacks and drinks, they’re handy for everyone and are crucial with kids…..guaranteed thirty minutes into the trip someone will be hungry.
  •  My in search of list, which is a list of goodies I’m on the look out for that includes need, wants, customer requests, stock and fantasy items.
  •  Notebook and pen, to take notes of places, things and other destinations to investigate at a later date.
  • Packing supplies like bubble wrap, newspaper and boxes to pack up delicate finds that I want to ensure will travel home safely. Blankets and towels are handy for furniture items that need protecting.
  • Bags, totes and a market trolley, because you never know where you might end up on treasure hunting adventures and you’ll need bags or a trolley to lug around your sweet finds.
  • Camera or camera phone, because we’re creating memories where ever we go.
It’s also handy to have something to read on road trips, especially if the kids fall asleep, I can play catch ups with my reading.


  • I get chatting with locals about other places like op shops, markets, fairs and so forth to check out in the area. Unless you’re from the region you’ve traveled to, you often find that there is out of the way places and events that are more than worth checking out that can turn up some amazing little finds, that aren’t widely publicised. 
  • I always keep and eye out for noticeboards, flyers and brochures on shop counters that publicise community events, fairs, car boot sales and the like that are coming up. You’ll be amazed how many other fairs and markets are out there happening that you never had an idea of. I collect them and note dates in my diary for reminders and for yearly planning and future road trips.
Seeing things we wouldn’t normally see on a recent road trip, an emu farm with thousands of emus, kids loved it.

The above is more than a fair idea of how we try and make the most of out of town treasure hunting trips. If we have the kids in tow, a lot of consideration is taken into keeping them happy and enjoying themselves. We stop to have walks, plays, and look at interesting things we see along the way as well as ensuring we take car activities for them to enjoy. But more than anything we make the most of the time together, and being out and about and seeing things we wouldn’t normally see.

Do you have any tips for out of town treasure hunting adventures?

3 thoughts on “Tips For Sourcing Vintage On Road Trips…..

  • February 25, 2014 at 7:56 am

    These are all the things I do when travelling out of town to do a spot of op-shopping.
    One other thing to add to the list is making sure I have plenty of smaller notes and coins in my wallet to pay for any purchases. I hate having to hand over a large note for something that only costs a couple of dollars, or finding no money in my wallet and having to find an ATM.

  • February 25, 2014 at 9:58 am

    You are extremely organised, Trudie! Luckily my charity shopping trips are usually done with friends rather than kids, which is easier. xxx

  • March 5, 2014 at 7:17 am

    Great tips. Could you please do a thrift shop app? I would seriously pay money if someone would plot all the op shops between home and my destination


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *