What do you think about when we talk about Road Trip? Being without worries, traveling on free roads with music in the background … Perhaps this idea of travel and freedom is what makes us want to drive and leave, leaving everyday life behind us. Only when talking about it, the temptation to do so grows! To have no thoughts during the journey, the best thing to do is to worry about organizing everything first! Yes, that’s right, so the philosophy and the magic of randomness fades a little, but trust us, in order to really leave any problem at home and enjoy the trip to the fullest, it’s important to prepare first. So here are our 10 tips for a Road Trip for you!
TIP 1: BAGGAGE
Let’s start from the beginning: pack your bags. This is for some the worst time of preparation for a trip. No fear, with a precise plan it will be easy to get out of it great!
Keep in mind the “less is better” rule. It may seem like a good idea to pack an extra pair of pants, considering all the space in the car, but it’s not always the case. Remember that you will still have to carry your suitcase up and down from the car and in the hotels. Plus, the more things you carry with you, the more time you will need to look for that particular shirt to wear or your toothbrush! So what’s the best way to figure out which clothes to bring? Check the weather forecast in your travel destination and bring only what you really need and that will make you feel comfortable and at ease. Most hotels offer laundry facilities, so there is no need to bring endless underwear changes. The golden rule is one: resize what you want to bring,
TIP # 2: ANTICIPATE PROBLEMS
Prevention is better than cure. Be prepared for anything that may happen while you are on the road. First of all, make sure that your vehicle or rental car has all the necessary insurance and respects the traffic rules of the country where you are heading. Mark the roadside assistance number and have it handy when you drive.
Moreover, it is always better to bring water and some snacks in the case, for example, of sudden traffic. Items that can come in handy in the event of unforeseen events are also a torch and car battery cables.
Our next suggestion is to search for the names of the places where you are heading and learn how to pronounce them; if you lose yourself in remote areas and need to ask for directions, you will feel less scared if you know the names of places or cities used by the locals. Finally, remember to always have cash with you, in the event of an emergency in areas without ATMs.
TIP # 3: PREPARE FOR DRIVING
Before you start driving your car or picking up your rental car, remember to check your car’s fluid and tire pressure. As part of the car collection procedure, you will need to inspect the car and verify the existence of any damage, as well as the fuel level. Check your rental car before you start driving so you don’t have to go back to the renter’s office when you have already left.
If you plan to drive your own car, get yourself a small trash can. An empty water bottle may not disturb you, but when waste builds up it can become annoying to passengers. Make traveling by car enjoyable not only for you, but also for your friends and family.
TIP # 4: TRAVEL ACCESSORIES
Impossible to forget the most important accessory for the trip: the GPS. Before leaving, update the maps on your navigator so that they are aligned with the local road network and make sure you also bring the battery charger and an adapter. Alternatively, if you rent a car you can also request GPS and pick it up at the rental company’s office. You can book the satellite navigator online when you book the car rental. Other accessories that you can rent for your trip include child seats and ski racks.
TIP # 5: PLAN THE ITINERARY
If you still don’t have a clear idea of the type of route you want to take, take some time to answer some questions before choosing the stages of your journey. Consider the best time to visit that particular country. If, for example, you plan to drive in southern Spain during the summer season, we recommend that you plan a tour that does not involve spending many hours in the car, considering that summer temperatures often reach and exceed 40 degrees. Try to avoid going on holidays, notably on days with more traffic, which makes driving much less pleasant. Once you’ve answered these questions, think about how to fit everything you want to see into the limited amount of time you have for your road trip! Use online applications or your GPS to measure the distances between the various destinations you want to visit. Our advice is to never drive more than 8 hours in a single day. If you are passionate about nature, go along secondary roads, so that you can admire the countryside around you and, why not, save on highway tolls!
TIP # 6: ENTERTAIN CHILDREN
If you travel with children, you will thank us for these suggestions. Rule number one: entertain and distract them! Ask them to bring their favorite games, so they can switch between games and avoid getting bored. You could also make them play the “license plate game”: print the map of your trip and let the children color the names of the cities or countries to which the license plates of the cars they observe from the window correspond.
When you choose to take a break, try to do it in service stations with a playground and let your children have fun and spend their energy! Also take a skipping rope with you and ask the children to take turns: whoever makes the most jumps wins!
TIP # 7: ENTERTAIN ADULTS
Just like children, even adults need distractions during the journey. Update your mp3 player’s music or bring some CDs with you to listen to your favorite music along the way. If you keep your mind occupied, you will feel less tired and can concentrate better on driving. Take turns with your fellow adventurers in the story of jokes or funny stories. Question books, like Gregory Stock’s, are a great pastime. Or, do you know the game “Buzzword”? Each person chooses their own word “buzzword”: a word that others cannot say throughout the journey.
TIP # 8: DIVIDING TASKS
A long road trip requires a division of roles. It is useful to have a person who directs the trip, a good driver and someone who prepares snacks. Delegate tasks according to the personality and skills of your fellow travelers. Who does not drive can be the cook on board! Ask someone interested in foreign countries to be your personal navigator and a person who knows one or more foreign languages to be your local guide and to request information when necessary. In this way, everyone will have the opportunity to feel useful and good at their job and the journey will proceed serenely.
If you are using a tourist car rental, consider that renters sometimes charge a supplement for additional drivers.
TIP # 9: TAKING CARE OF YOURSELF
We don’t want to seem too lazy and give you the impression that these tips were written by your parents, but taking care of yourself while traveling by car is essential. If you are a driver, it is vital to be alert and responsive to driving. Therefore, be flexible when it comes to schedules and travel plans. Sleep an extra hour if you stayed up late the night before. Remember to eat something at regular intervals to avoid driving hungry. Another piece of advice we give you is to move and stretch when you stop for a break or to refuel. The road trip will be much more fun if you are in good shape. So take care of yourself!
TIP # 10: SAVE MONEY
Last of our recommendations: save as much as possible during the road trip. It may seem strange, but a lot is spent on snacks and snacks while traveling by car. A little preparation will help you manage the problem. Bring a cooler bag with you and fill it in local supermarkets. The food of local shops will not only be healthier, but also cheaper! Search online for restaurants that meet your budget or ask the locals to recommend you a place; the inhabitants will tell you which tourist places to avoid and the best restaurants in the area.
Without a doubt, the biggest expense will be fuel. What you can do to pay less is to do an online search and figure out which service stations offer the best prices. Plus, you can do everything possible to drive in a cost-effective way: keeping your driving speed at the same level will minimize fuel consumption. Alternatively, think ecologically and rent a hybrid car!