HOW TO PLAN A ROAD TRIP:
Are you one of those whose blood rushes on the mere thought of an adventurous road trip? Does your heart race when the time approaches to pack your bags to embark on an enthusiastic drive? Do all your tensions disappear when you sit behind the wheel and start a fabulous road trip? If Yes, then I’m sure you are fully aware how to plan a road trip and would take all precautions to ensure that it is safe and a memorable one. However, you must still go through a checklist which will cater for the small details you are likely to miss in the zeal and excitement of undergoing the road trip. Let’s begin:
Choosing the Destination – First ingredient to Plan a Road Trip:
As you would realize that this is the most important and main driving factor for the whole mission. You should choose a destination which:
- Tingles your senses and makes you want to start the drive right away.
- Is acceptable to the company you are likely to proceed with (family, friends etc.).
- Presents sufficient challenges and opportunities to make the journey exciting. This would include having your kind of halts en-route which are scenic, picturesque, adventurous, historical, famous, shopping havens or luxurious. Anything that excites your heart.
- Has sufficient facilities available to cater for medical, mechanical or other emergencies (including the halts en-route).
- Fits your estimated budget (the travel, accommodation, food and shopping).
- Suits the duration of time you have for the holiday. The drive to & fro should not be hectic and exhausting. You should cater for sufficient time to rest and enjoy.
Some broad categories of destinations that you can choose are :
- Adventure in Jungle, Mountains or Countryside – Camping, Climbing, Trekking, Hiking etc.
- Adventures on the river wild – camping, river rafting etc.
- A holiday on the Beach.
- Cultural & Historical Locations.
- Unwinding in Luxury (Resorts, Hotels etc.).
- Enjoying the Snow in Mountains.
- A visit to the rural areas of the country.
Certain Pre-requisites to Plan a Road Trip:
After you have shortlisted, discussed and decided on the destination, you must ensure that you have:
- A nice road worthy car to carry you, your family or friends, and all your luggage safely for the trip. There are some important actions listed in how to prepare your car for a long road trip. These will help you to travel safe and return back safe.
- A good company whose thinking matches your frequency. Family and good friends are always welcome.
- An enthusiastic budget to cater for your needs of food, water, fuel, accommodation and emergencies.
- A gear to cater for the type of waypoints and the destination you have chosen. For example:
– Adventure, Off beaten track, trekking, hiking etc. = Tent, trekking gear, packed food & water, cooking utensils, first aid kit etc.
– Beach = Swimming gear, light clothing, sun shades, sunscreen, drinks & snacks etc.
– Shopping = Bags & Money or Bags of Money, Huge trunk space and loads of time etc.
– Culture & History = Clothing according to season & place, Camera, charger etc.
– Enjoying the Snow = Sufficient warm clothing, boots and mittens, goggles, anti-skid gear for the car etc.
Let your imagination run wild to ensure that you are adequately kitted up for the road trip to the wonderful destination waiting for you. DO NOT FORGET TO CARRY YOUR CAMERA, CHARGER, AND THE SELFIE STICK…
Just in case if you have planned to embark on an Off road adventure, then it is strongly advisable that you go over the Important essentials for Off Roading for a trouble free trip.
How to Plan a Road Trip – The Homework:
- Firstly work out the route which you would like to take while proceeding to and returning from the destination. Google Maps are a fabulous tool to plan a road trip. They will help you to decide the route, go over it, check on the waypoints, even see the user uploaded photographs to get an idea of the road and places you will go through. Study the comments of fellow travelers to make notes and refine the route.
- Secondly, decide and fix the en-route halts. The driving distance should be comfortable to avoid fatigue and enjoy the drive. Generally, 500 km per day should be okay.
- Once the route is fixed, upload it into your smartphone so that you can view it in the offline mode also. Nowadays all smartphones will offer you google maps to ease your drive. If your car has an inbuilt navigation system, you may like to compare and verify the route in your car’s system with google map route.
- Finally search, finalize and book the required number of rooms in the hotels/motels en-route and at the destination which fits your budget. Save the contact numbers in your phone. Keep a duplicate copy in your family member or friend’s phone just in case your phone stops working.
- Update the music library of your car to enjoy your favorite beats while driving.
Packing: Apart from the clothes and gear specific to the route and destination, you should also pack:
- Medicines as required. They may be for regular use or for an emergency. Anti-nausea tablets should be a part of the kit in case you are heading into the mountains.
- Food, Snacks, Drinks and Water as required for the road trip.
- All kinds of chargers – camera, cell phone or any other devices.
- Additional memory cards for those contingencies wherein you run out of memory space in the camera.
- Hand sanitizer, Soap, water and hand towel for use en-route.
- Polybags for wet clothing and towels.
- Emergency light or flashlight.
- Handy Cash (just in case if you can’t find an ATM).
Starting the Road Trip: After you have ensured that you have tick marked the above actions, all you need to do is:
- Choose a convenient time of departure in consultation with your family or friends. The departure time should be such that you arrive comfortably at your first waypoint while enjoying the drive.
- Have something to eat before you start especially if you are starting the drive early morning.
- If you are proceeding in more than one car, then it is important to share your phone numbers for inter-car communication.
- Take a group photograph before you commence the trip.
- Drive safely at all times. Do not over speed. Buckle UP.
- DO NOT Overload your car.
- If you are traveling in two or more cars, keep each other in sight.
- Whenever you feel tired or bored, hand over the wheel to the co-driver, or take a short nap to refresh yourself.
- Inform someone back home daily regarding your daily progress and location.
Once you have begun the road trip, have a blast. Leave all your worries and tensions to the air and enjoy the drive. Have Fun, take a lot of pictures, spend quality time, visit places and build memories. After all, you have this very one life only. I hope this article on How to Plan a Road Trip has been of help to you. While this is as exhaustive as required, you may use your imagination and add more value to the trip. Improvise according to your taste. Share your experiences to make this article better. ALL THE BEST.
BON VOYAGE !!