Everyone should take a road trip at least once in their lifetime. It provides you with a unique way of discovering new places and meeting new people. There are no rules, but it’s worthwhile following a few simple steps to ensure you get the most out of your trip.
Have a Loose Plan
It’s a good idea to plot your route and have a loose plan in place before you set off. Don’t be too rigid, though. That’s one of the best things about road trips. You never know where you’ll end up and what you’ll see.
Take a few unscheduled stops. Have a break from driving for a few hours and try something different. Guided tours, like the great ocean road tours, are a great way to get to know an area. They provide you with expert knowledge of a locality.
When organizing your trip, pack carefully and choose a luggage that is not too cumbersome. Remember, everything will need to fit into the trunk, including any food, etc. If you’re staying in hotels each night, you won’t want to be lugging around a heavy suitcase. Remember to keep a bag for dirty clothes so that you can deal with them separately.
Never leave valuables in your trunk overnight.
Bring a Road Atlas
It’s fine to take along apps to help you follow your route. Take a road atlas as well. If ever you lose your phone or access to GPS, you will still be able to find your way. Make sure you have the latest edition.
Bring lots of music with you for the journey. When you’re driving for hours on end, it’s good to have something to listen to. Bring a few CDs, as well as your MP3 player, just in case. In years to come, when you hear those songs, they will remind you of the trip.
Podcasts also make good listening. Load up your MP3 ahead of time with some interesting shows.
As well as your debit cards and travellers cheques, make sure you have some cash. This is in case of emergency. Also make sure you have some coins available for toll booths.
Phone cards are also a good idea if they are available in the areas you’re visiting. They provide a good backup to cell phones.
Ask the Locals
Don’t always rely on guidebooks. Ask the locals for their advice on what to visit and where to eat. It’s likely they will know some interesting places that are off the beaten track.
Share the Driving
Share the driving and map-reading duties to vary the journey. If you’re not so hot on reading a map, brush up on your skills before you leave.
Bring a Spare Car Key
Don’t forget to bring a spare car key. Chances are you’ll need it.
Learn How to Change a Tire
If you don’t know how to do this already, learn how to change a tire. This is a skill that everyone should have.
Remember to not be too rigid when planning your journey. Have fun. Be spontaneous. And see where the road takes you.
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