No schedule to stick to, no waiting in queues for baggage control, no staring at the back of someone’s head… just the open road and the prospect of adventure. Taking a road trip is travel freedom like no other, and the idea of simply jumping into your vehicle and seeing the world on wheels has captivated many for decades.
Cars may be more comfortable and more efficient than ever, and GPS technology has saved millions from wandering around aimlessly when travelling to a new place, but the core ideals of a road trip haven’t really changed since the advent of driving. Regardless of whether you’re taking a road trip with your squad, a romantic getaway with your partner, or perhaps a nice trip with your parents, here are a few things to consider when embarking on a road trip.
Sure, you can plan your trip down to the tiniest details of knowing which petrol stations you’ll be stopping at, but where’s the fun in that? However, if you’re driving from London to Edinburgh for example, make sure you at least know which sights to discover along the way. An app like Roadtrippers can provide you with a great route that will make sure you see the best places of interest.
Google Maps is fantastic for short journeys, but for a long road trip, you might want to consider investing in a sat-nav, as it’s not a pleasant thought that your phone battery will die whilst you’re somewhere unknown in the Scottish highlands at night. As awesome as modern GPS tech is, it wouldn’t be the worst idea in the world to bring along a physical map as well, in case any software decides to suddenly stop working!
If the radio seems to be full of rubbish, your favourite CDs are scratched, and everyone is squabbling about which type of music should be played, then there is one simple solution: shuffle a playlist. Let’s say there are three people on your road trip, everyone should pick around 30 songs each to drag into a playlist on Spotify or iTunes, then just connect an AUX cable into someone’s smartphone, hit shuffle, and put the phone somewhere that it can’t be meddled with. The notion that everyone has an equal chance to hear their song next will keep things fair, and who knows? Maybe you’ll convert your fellow passengers to your taste in music!
Hotel On Wheels
Provided that your driving licence allows it, renting out a motorhome (or campervan) is one of the coolest ways to experience a road trip. A lot of space is the first thing that comes to mind, as it’s possible to walk around, make a cup of tea, and even use the toilet while the vehicle is on the move. Perhaps best of all, however, is that you can simply find a quiet and safe place to park, then hit the hay in the motorhome’s sleeping quarters. Campanda.com is a great place to look for rental motorhomes in the UK and beyond, plus it’s sometimes possible to hire extras such as bikes and camping furniture.
Unless you’re a musician constantly on tour, an epic road journey probably won’t happen very often for you. Therefore, you have the green light to document every part of the trip via Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or Snapchat, as this could very well be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. If you’re savvy with YouTube, filming the trip and putting up the highlights would be a fun way to remember things. In addition, taking along a disposable camera will result in some fun nostalgia once you get back and get around to developing the film.
Finally, if you are itching for a road trip, but not sure where to go or what to see, then a themed journey is a top idea. Particularly in countries like Australia and the US, several towns contain giant versions of things, and one website has even covered many of these big items across Australia, including the Big Axe, Big Banana, Big Beehive, Big Prawn, and so on. If your crew is a bit more extreme, then you could hit up places with skate parks, or maybe you just want to document what a McDonald’s cheeseburger tastes like in every city. Either way, having a themed road trip is one way you can narrow down your travel route.