Road tripping can be lots of fun and can give you many opportunities to discover a place your visiting. Whenever I find the time I like to take them, whether they are short or long, each trip brings with it something unique. In order to get the full effect from road trips one should follow simple rules, even though the notion of rules within travel doesn't sound that much fun. During my years of travel I have become knowledgeable about certain aspects of it, so I thought, why not share the things I learned from going on road trips. I hope these will be useful to you as well.
10 Things I Learned from going on Road Trips
While solo travel has its charm, you'll truly remember your road trip if you travel with people dear to you. First of all it's safer and not all of the responsibility lies in one person. Of course you have to find people who you're comfortable to travel with, otherwise the opposite thing can happen. Once you have your core travel group you can then plan trips with them.
1. Traveling in a group enriches the experience
2. Start small, end up bigRoad trips have a progressive nature to them. It usually starts by traveling someplace close by, enjoying the stay and making a mental note about where you should travel to next. This is usually how you end up taking bigger road trips. Once the bug catches you, there is no turning back.
3. Road Trip DiscoveriesFlying can be a fast and easy way of travel, but I find that you really miss a lot if you want to travel that way. I'm not saying that you should always drive by car, but if there are interesting places on your way, you should consider a road trip. I really gives you a great opportunity to truly discover the country you're traveling in. It also gives you time to stop when you come across someplace you like, and gives you plenty of opportunity to change plans and fit the travel to your likes and needs.
4. Planing ahead saves lots of timeI will refer to my previous post about road trip planning for the details, but in short planing ahead can save you lots of trouble, cost and time. Especially if you are traveling with a group of people. Everybody has their likes and suiting them without thinking ahead can be really troublesome. Make stop points for food and drinks as well as restrooms and gas stations. Think about the places you want to see and places where you can rest as well. That way you will have a guideline and not drive around without a point in mind.
5. Freedom is the best feeling in the WorldWhen you are out and about, you really get a sense of freedom. Far away are life troubles and obligations, and especially if you're in remote places the feeling only intensifies. Imagine traveling along a coastline and stopping on the side of the road to take a look at the beach as huge waves roll in from the ocean. Breathe it in, let it sink in, it's all part of the experience.
6. Be practical inside the carI find that stopping often for drinks and food can be a bit bothersome, especially if you are on big road trips. Make sure to stock up on water and snacks, so you'll always know that no matter if some plans fail you'll be able to hydrate (this is especially important when traveling in summer). For longer trips get a ice box. That way your food will stay fresh and the water cold.
7. Get printed mapsNot only are they a great reminder of the road trip later on, but printed maps are very useful when: a) other people need to inspect the itinerary quickly and b) if the GPS fails or doesn't have the map you need. I also need to say that I rely on GPS 99% of the time, so I'm not suggesting you should go without. I'm only saying you should always have another option
8. Have a plan, but also stray away from itThis totally negates point 4 of this post, but it needs to be said as well: sticking to your road trip plan 100% can be as negative as not having one at all. Allow for plans to fail, for conditions to change and for initially interesting places not capturing your attention. This gives you an even better feeling of adventure and spontaneity that you will remember as much as you will the places you came to visit.
9. Document your tripWhether it's photos of video, try to capture the essence of your road trip. You can go with your point-and-shoot camera, a dslr (that can capture both photos and videos nowadays) or use a phone camera which you are comfortable with. During our recent USA road trip we used a Samsung S6 camera for some of the video footage, and I have to say that those videos that were taken at daylight with the phone camera turned out really great. Check out my recent Samsung S7 Edge review for a really good travel phone camera.
10. Get good souvenirs and reminders of your road tripI collect fridge magnets from each trip I take. I like to stop in small places and get them when I'm on a longer journey, or simply get them in souvenir shops in big cities. But of course you can get other souvenirs as well. Some people like them, others don't, but I think it's important to have something to remember your trip by. Magnets for example don't take up much space on the fridge, and you can get lots of them on there.
Do you have any tips and advice when it comes to road trips?