Road trips can be pretty great, they can also be pretty mediocre or even bad if you do them wrong. Want to get it right? Check out these simple secrets to road trip perfection.
There's nothing quite like a leisurely road trip to really make you appreciate the journey more. When you take things slow (well slower than jetting off on a plane) you pay more attention and immerse yourself in your surroundings more. Not only that but road trips are often more affordable, which means you can see more of the world around you when you hit the road. So, road trips can be pretty great, they can also be pretty mediocre or even bad if you do them wrong. Want to get it right? Check out these simple secrets to road trip perfection…
Have a Plan
When it comes to road trips, spontaneity can be good - there’s nothing like finding that hidden roadside attraction that you didn’t know existed and taking the time to explore it - but having a loose plan is also a must. Take out a map or open up your phone’s GPS and plot a route that you think will suit you. That way, you can plan for rest stops, find accommodation and give yourself some sense of direction so that you don’t waste a minute.
Use a Fuel Calculator
If you’re hiring a vehicle to do your road trip, before you make your choice, use a fuel estimator to see which gives you the best value for money. Why spend more on fuel when you could use that extra cash to visit more attractions, drink at more bars and generally just have more fun along the way?
Create the Perfect Playlist
Ever wondered why there are so many road trip playlists and compilations albums floating about? It’s because music and the open road go hand in hand. When you have the wind in your hair and your favorite upbeat jams playing, you don’t need anything else to have a good time. So, before you head off on your next adventure, compile a fun playlist or three and ensure that the music is always cranked up.
Avoid the Drive-Thrus
Okay, so if it’s really late, you’ve been driving for hours and it’s the only place available, there’s nothing wrong with heading to McDonald's or getting a takeout pizza to eat in the car, but if you have more time at your disposal and there is any other option available to you, eat at small local restaurants and diners that you will undoubtedly find along the way because they will give you a more interesting and authentic cultural experience than eating at places that are the same the world over. Oh, and while we’re n the subject of food, taking the tie to pack a cool box with lots of healthy snacks and refreshing drinks will make the journey so much better too.
Buy a Map
Yes, we all have GPS on our smartphones these days, and many of us have GPS systems built into our vehicles too, so you might be thinking that buying a real map is unnecessary but it really isn’t. Although electronic GPS systems will work perfectly well most of the time, they do have their blind spots and issues with charging can arise when you’re in the road and you’re trying to run so many devices too, so if you don’t want to get stranded in some backwater in the middle of the night, pack a map, you might not need it, but you'll never regret having it at your disposal.
Say No to Motel Living
The motel, roadhouse or whatever you call in the place you’re travelling, might be the obvious choice of accommodation when you’re on the road, but most roadside accommodations are less than luxurious and quite often pretty sorry places to spend your nights. A much better, and even more affordable option is to pack your tent and stay at camp sites along your routes for just a few dollars a night. After all, looking at the stars above you is far nicer than looking at a damp and dirty ceiling! If that’s not your thing, give Couch-surfing a try or look for cheap places to stay on sites like Airbnb.
Take the Roads Less Travelled
A lot of people are worried about going off the main roads when they’re exploring an unfamiliar area., but taking those backroads is your road to many interesting, unusual and often very strange roadside attractions, less crowded bars and more authentic places to eat. Of course. Those backroads tend to be a lot less boring than the freeways which are all a bit same-y in a lot of places.
Enjoy your road trip adventure!