One thing #TravelTuesday has great potential for is an epic road trip, and having embarked on plenty in my time, I thought it would be a good idea to share 10 tips for road trips. This isn’t about the photography—it’s about the trip itself. With lockdowns taking place throughout the world, these tips will come in handy when restrictions are lifted, so save them and don’t use them until it’s zero-risk!
A classic road trip is a bucket list item for many of us, and there’s a good reason for it. The freedom to explore and take in everything at our own pace is a very exciting prospect. With airlines up and down at the moment (pardon the pun), the idea of hitting the open road is very inviting. It takes good planning and a decent plan to make it work, so let’s check out the top 10 tips!
Keep a Clean Car
Before and during the trip, a mess will do nothing but annoy us. Keeping a clean car, with all our gear easily accessible, makes a huge difference. There’s nothing worse than empty drinks bottles and gum wrappers getting in the way and rattling around. It can be a tight space in there, particularly if we’re sharing with others. As the trip progresses, it’s well worth taking the time to jettison anything we don’t need in there!
Check the Vehicle
Oil, water, tyres, spares, it’s all really important and becomes more important over greater distances. Don’t rely on anybody else to check it all, even in a rental!
Have a Plan
With goals in mind, we feel good when we achieve them and they help us to have a track to stick to. The planned stop each night is likely to be a range of different hotels. Having hotel reservations and activities planned and paid for will also keep us on track, and keep us well-aligned to our end goal.
Use Back Roads
Main roads, highways, interstates, motorways, autobahns, and the like will help us to cover a greater distance in a shorter time, but rarely will they offer us a chance to pull out and see something epic. Back roads are where we’ll find all manner of awesome sights and stunning scenery.
But Plan to Escape to Main Roads Where Necessary
There may be a time that progress is important, and some back roads may be nothing more than strip malls or trees. Where this is the case, have a plan to get to a main road and move on!
I’m talking about rush hour, roadwork, and other such delays. I quickly learned there’s never a good time to drive in Los Angeles, for example, and in order to get anywhere, you must travel at the right time and anticipate this traffic trouble.
Divide the Work
Sharing driving time is good for the mind and the soul, giving everyone an equal chance to stare out of the window and at the landscapes passing by and dividing the tasks like sharing the snacks, reading the maps, and formulating back-up plans.
Load Up the Entertainment
A good playlist is key, and to be honest, I’m surprised I left it until so far down the list! Sometimes a local radio station will be okay, but a talk show in an alien language can throw that right off. Occasionally, the tedium of an apparently endless drive can be remedied quite simply with an in-car karaoke session!
And recovery! Anything could happen, and in a rental, a small dink can be astronomically expensive. Complete insurance and a roadside recovery plan are very, very important, and can get us back on the road quickly if anything does go wrong.
Knowing the documents we need to carry, wherever we are in the world, will verify us a lot quicker. Not all countries require us to carry all our documents, so knowing what we do need and having it readily available will help if we’re challenged for any reason.
Here’s to some epic post-COVID road trips!