The great Australian road trip has got to be up there among family traditions.
The chance to see remote patches of our beautiful and diverse nation is a rite of passage for many.
After a tough year, South Coast businesses are keener than ever to welcome visitors to our own beautiful patch.
The Empty Esky initiative, forged in the heat of last summer's bushfires, encouraged people from the cities to travel to bushfire-affected areas and spend a bit locally.
COVID-19 put a stop to that for a while - but now it means many have no travel options other than to explore our own backyard.
Empty Esky has teamed up with Audible and a number of regional businesses for a unique promotion ahead of this summer holidays.
Audible and Empty Esky have devised seven local custom road trip itineraries, starting from major cities across Australia.
There's something to suit the tastes of every road tripper at participating small businesses.
Michelle Bishop, owner of Bangalay Luxury Villas at Shoalhaven Heads, said she was delighted with the initiative.
"What they've done is terrific, it's about supporting small businesses that have their supply chain firmly entrenched in the local community," she said.
"When I did a road trip a few years ago myself an audiobook was one thing I looked forward to - you can be strapped for reception or different broadcasters in regional areas.
"Business owners up and down the coast I'vee spoken to hope this will sustain us through to 2021."
Robyn Lac, owner of Create Fair Trade in Batemans Bay, agreed.
She said small choices could add up to a big difference for communities still hurting from the bushfires.
"It has been a challenging time but Empty Esky and these programs show that Australian spirit of reaching out to support each other," she said.
"My dream for this summer is that everybody continues to support locals, and not forget about the rest of the world. Developing countries are really hurting now too.
"The more we reach out to those more vulnerable than ourselves, the more it helps us cope with our own challenges.
"An easy way to do that is to think about where you're buying and make conscious decisions about what you purchase."
Day trips are also an option for conscious travellers strapped for time. Ms Bishop encouraged people to plan ahead and give themselves plenty of time.
Another option is to holiday at home and make the most of your own backyard.
Each itinerary features up to 10 local businesses and a combination of 10 enthralling audiobooks and Audible exclusive podcasts to track down along the way.
To unlock the free content, road trippers across Australia can keep a look out for the Audible posters at participating small businesses spread from Huskisson in New South Wales to the Huon Valley in Tasmania, and from Bright in Victoria to the Adelaide River in Darwin.
Upon visiting a participating business, scan the QR code on the Audible poster, follow the prompts to redeem, and download the Audible app to listen.
Audiobooks and podcasts available as part of the adventure include classics like Alice in Wonderland; new true crime stories such as Heist; laugh out loud comedy from Australia's Funniest Stand-Up, and thought-provoking listens from First Nations voices, including Nakkiah Lui and Miranda Tapsell in their Audible Original, Debutante: Race, Resistance, and Girl Power.
The Great Aussie Audiobook Adventure begins on 24 November 2020 and runs until 4 January 2021. For further information visit EmptyEsky.com.au/Audible learn more.
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