Fancy getting away from Reading for a weekend? Have a cheap vacation? Travel a country at your own pace? See things you wouldn’t usually get to see? Road trip. I have just finished a week’s road trip (or should I say adventure!) in a campervan and couldn’t recommend it more, so here’s a few tips to help you get started.
1. Pick your route.
You need to decide whether you’re aiming for a certain destination, want to travel at your own free will or pick a well known road trip route. For me in Australia this was the Great Ocean Road. However other examples could include the famous Route 66 in the USA, a trip to Scotland or round Ireland, down to Devon and Cornwall or through the channel tunnel to France!
2. Decide on your vehicle.
Once you’ve worked out where you’re heading, you will have an idea of what kind you need- be it a 4×4, campervan or a car. If you have your own car it’s a bonus! For us a campervan was perfect as we could pull up anywhere and sleep- however a car does have advantages if you are going on a short journey. If you are renting make sure you check for any age limitations, as this may influence which vehicle you can actually rent.
3. Group up.
It is possible to road trip on your own but company is always good, especially for long journeys, and of course to share some memories!
Cover yourself and your group for peace of mind. You never know when your GPS or map reading will take you down a poorly defined road (dirt and gravel are just some surfaces we experienced), and driving a new vehicle may take some time to get used to. It’s seriously not worth the extortionate excess fees!
5. Make a playlist.
A mix of songs can bring the mood up on long journeys, pass time and obviously trigger a good sing along. We found a range of genres such as house, RnB , 90s music and some classics were the best variety- you’re constantly surprised about what’s coming on next!
6. Plan plan plan.
It’s good to allow some flexibility (you’ll be surprised at what you come across!) However even if you just have a vague idea of places to stop a plan can seriously save a lot of time and ensure you make the most out of your trip. It is also important to look into how far you can actually travel in your time frame, and how far your budget will stretch for petrol and food! It’s also good to be aware of where you’re willing to stay- be it a hostel, camp ground or parked up somewhere (once again this may depend on the chosen country and what’s allowed- so it’s definitely worth the research).
And of course, enjoy yourself! Drive safely, stop off at random signs which grab your attention and do not stress- everything works out in the end, and you’ll end up travelling in a unique- and for the most part convenient way with the freedom to do as you please!