A road trip is one of those things that we read about in vast, sprawling novels but it never quite appears to be that epic journey that we have in our heads. If you have ever thought about planning a road trip you may very well want to emulate the adventurers that came before you. But the great thing about a road trip is that it’s not necessarily about just exploring the open road, but it’s also about exploring yourself as well. With this in mind, if you have been thinking long and hard about a road trip, but you don’t know where to begin, what are the things you really need to know?
Going The Distance
If you really want to go the distance you’ve got to have a sensible head on your shoulders. It’s important to choose the right car to get you from point A to point Z, as well as those thousands of miles in between, and there are websites like Choose My Car that can point you in the right direction. The great thing about picking a vaguely newer car is that it won’t break down on you. One of the major nightmares of anybody traversing the countryside is breaking down in the middle of nowhere and wondering if you’re going to be eaten alive by hillbilly types (well, not really)! Instead, think about getting something durable and secure but is relatively new.
Picking Your Route
Partly, this can be to do with your your own particular choices but if you’ve got friends wanting to accompany you on your journey it’s important to pick something that pleases everyone. Ultimately, you’ve all got the opportunity to go and see what you want and if your timetable is pretty free you might not mind going off the beaten track. But when you are picking your routes, don’t just think about places that you would like to see but also consider some sensible stops. There are numerous resources that can help you, including the Roadtrippers app which can help you to lay out your entire route with all the stops you want so you’ve got a route that pleases everyone. The app also helps you to calculate things like fuel costs as well as distance and time.
Having Some Common Sense…
Yes, it’s a wonderful thing to go out on the open road and to have some freedom but you’ve also got to have some common sense. While a road trip is about that sense of freedom and openness, having a bit of a plan in place is beneficial, but also being sensible will help as well. As nice as it is to go and explore places, sometimes we can feel that if we’re not welcome somewhere then it’s just a better idea to get back in the car and head to the next place. Granted, it’s not like this everyone and 95% of the time you will find that everyone is lovely but it’s always worth being a little bit cautious when you first venture somewhere. If there are people that are encouraging you to go on a mad drinking spree, exercise some caution. As nice as it is to go with make friends for the night you can find yourself on the receiving end of some fraudulent types. It’s always best to have your wits about you.
…And A Solid Budget
You must remember that if you are going on a long trip that it’s always worth having a little bit of extra cash stored away. There may be problems with the car on occasion but you can always run into some form of trouble that requires you to have some cash on you. These days we all pay with our smartphones or credit cards but if there’s a problem and you can’t pay or you can’t get to the bank it’s always worth having a few notes tucked away. It’s crucial that you have a solid budget in place when you are going somewhere, especially if you plan on staying overnight in most places. And you have to remember that petrol costs can fluctuate. Whatever you have budgeted for your road trip, it’s always worth adding an extra 33%! There are some useful calculators online that can help you to figure out your travel budget costs and by doing additional planning upfront you are going to be able to enjoy yourself a lot more.
Remember To Learn About You
You might want to venture to places you never have seen before but the great thing about a road trip is that it’s you and the elements. Remember that when you go to these new places that you can dive into these locations like a tourist or you can just wing it. Planning your journey is good to an extent but it’s worth leaving it open a little bit so you can go off the beaten track. But it also gives you the opportunity for you to follow your nose. Because we live in an age of extreme organisation and documenting wherever we go we can all benefit from venturing somewhere completely different than even we are surprised. It’s important to understand why we’re going on this road trip. It’s nice to be a tourist but at the same time, we should learn about who we are by getting ourselves into situations that we wouldn’t normally think about doing. If you aren’t challenging yourself by going beyond your comfort zone then you’re not doing it right! To make a road trip that really benefits you for all time is about going into new situations and learning to fly by the seat of your pants. We all want to visit tourist attractions but we have to remember that we can still, to an extent, reclaim some of that romanticism associated with the road.
Going on holiday is about relaxing but when you’re going on a road trip you’ve got to learn about who you are and getting away from it all. And this is something that we should all try at least once in our lives.