A surprising number of people don’t realize that it’s not essential to get on a plane to take a worthwhile trip. We get used to living in a place and forget that on the same landmass, there are so many different views. If you live in an urban setting, you might never see much of the countryside. Rolling hills, picturesque small towns, and hidden gems await you. What’s more, it’s all without having to put up with your ears popping and screaming toddlers.
With that in mind, it can be pleasant to just get in a car and take in the sights from the road. Whether you’re taking a trip on home soil or have got some free time on a holiday, a road trip can be the best way to take in the diverse delights of a country. It pays to be prepared, though, because a road trip can quickly become a nightmare if you’re not.
Staging Points Are Your Friend
A long drive can be a smooth process if you plan it right. An essential part of this planning is knowing that if you’re going to be on the road all day, there need to be stops. Planning in some staging points – to get something to eat, stretch your legs and use the facilities – is a must. Otherwise “serene road trip” becomes “moving metal prison”.
Make Sure You’re Gassed Up
With any road trip – even if you’ve got a Sat Nav and a map – comes the risk of unfamiliar territory. This isn’t a bad thing, but it does mean you need to be careful of running into car trouble. Run out of gas miles from nowhere, and your road trip just became a walking trip. Use a fuel calculator to ensure you put enough in before you go and top up when the tank’s running low.
Bring Your Entertainment
To make sure that you don’t get bored while en route, some entertainment may be necessary. If there’s a few of you, then talking will probably cover most of it, but it’s also worth putting together a playlist that everyone can agree on. For quieter entertainment, an audiobook or a few podcasts downloaded can make a big difference.
If You Need To Sleep, Sleep
The importance of a good night’s sleep before you spend a long day on the road cannot be overstated. Driving tired can be highly dangerous; it slows your reactions and affects your judgment. Studies have shown that driving tired is almost as bad as driving drunk. So if you’re flagging, and you’re the only driver in the car, pull over and sleep. If you’re on a tight schedule, still do it. It’s better to run behind than run off the road.
With the right prior planning – and a goodie bag full of snacks to keep up your blood sugar – a road trip can be amazing. Have a firm idea of where you want to go, what you want to see and do. The pleasures of a world you might not have known existed await. You’ll find that you’re bitten by the bug and be planning another one before you know it.
Image 1 -http://www.cgpgrey.com [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Image 2 – pexels.com