Heading out on a spectacular road trip is one of the most exciting forms of modern holidaying. It’s a brilliant way to see the world, with home comforts crammed in your vehicle, but also a sense of adventure as you replicate the likes of Jack Kerouac’s get up and go sense of fun from the Beat Generation era.
In the past, hitch-hiking was a common occurrence to get the job done. These days, due to modern luxuries, you can hit the road in vehicles packing fantastic comfort and technologies. Don’t think you can simply head on out whenever the impulse takes you, however, as the ultimate road trip takes considerable planning. These tips will help you turn your journey into a big success.
- Planning and Packing
Wherever you’ve decided to go, you need to pick a time to leave and stick to this so as to set an ongoing theme – a schedule of events. Mindlessly heading out into the wilderness is an excellent way to quickly forget any sense of purpose. Your holiday will suffer as a result.
Preparation can include detailing the places you want to see, where you’ll stay, and what you’ll be eating. Additionally, you’ll need to make sure getting from A to B is as easy as possible, which a cutting edge GPS system will manage with no problem.
You should also make sure your vehicle is in roadworthy condition, with high importance placed on your vehicle’s tyres for the journey ahead. These days, motorists can use mobile tyre fitters to easily get set up with fresh tyres and head on out into the wild ready to enjoy your trip. You can get fitted with quiet and comfortable compounds which make your journey safe and smooth and with a reduced chance of an unexpected puncture.
- Set Your Budget & Plan a Route
There are many temptations on a road trip which could lead you to spend more money than you should. As a result, it’s best to set yourself a realistic budget which, with willpower, you should adhere in order to keep costs down.
Just as problematic would be heading out not knowing what you’re getting yourself into. As always, there are plenty of sites you can use which will help you plan a dramatic or relaxing journey. Roadtrippers is one such example – this is available in app or desktop form and will help you plan a trip quite easily.
- Don’t Be Afraid to Wander Off Track!
Despite the points made above, don’t be afraid to deviate from your established route. If there’s a local landmark 10 miles off in another direction you really want to see, go and pay it a visit.
Apps are your friend in this case, so along with roadtrippers you can turn to a multitude of others which will ensure you’re able to keep on course with your budget and overall plans, but with the option for finding last minute accommodation if the circumstances demand it. The Guardian’s 10 of the best travel apps guide is a handy way to find the app you need!
- Mix Up Your Days
Sitting in your vehicle knocking off the miles every day isn’t the best type of road trip – it can become wearisome. To ensure you don’t get fatigue, mix your days up with time on the road, days off rambling across countryside or urban locations, or days off resting up recuperating after long treks.
Whilst you’re at it, you can avoid constantly staring at your smartphone screen and its apps by reading some classic travel literature. Pick up a copy of Kerouac’s On the Road or Apsley-Cherry Garrard’s the Worst Journey in the World to add some serious creative gravitas to your trip. This 20 best travel books of all time will help you make the right choice!
- Tune up your Vehicle
Along with new tyres, you could consider doing your vehicle up before heading anywhere. Give it a thorough clean, check you have antifreeze, or have an oil change. You don’t want to be breaking down out on the open road, so every possible check you can perform is vital. Also, if you want a more spacious journey, then considering upgrading to a van. You’re going to be spending a lot of time in the vehicle, so you don’t want to get claustrophobic. Then you could even sleep in the van some nights, which would save money on accommodation too. Click on the link for a comparison of the best van insurance companies as you’ll need insurance for your van.
This guide on how to take care of your car is a good starting point, but you might want to think about simple luxuries for your trip, such as a good quality CD player, or a rig for your iPhone to play your favourite songs. You might even want to splash out on an iPad or handheld games console such as a Nintendo 3DS to add some escapist fun to your evenings.
The ultimate road trip is, naturally, defined by what you want it to be. It’s a subjective decision, so style it the way you want it to be. However, always bear in mind the above key points so you can have a fun and trouble-free trek across your chosen destination.