Europe, the United States, Australia… no matter the destination, long road journeys have a special charm. That’s why many people plan at some point to embark on the adventure of touring different states or countries simply by considering the saying ‘road and blanket’. But the truth is that the most experienced recommend following some preparations and instructions before embarking on this feat by road.
What do you need to consider when planning a long road trip?
Itinerary: Make a list of places you’d like to visit. It may sound a little obvious, but a road trip requires planning depending on how much time you have at your disposal: knowing how much time you’ll spend going from A to B and what stops you could make is very important, especially if you have airplane tickets booked for your return home. When examining a map it is easy to make the mistake of planning too many places to visit, as it may seem that the distance between them is short, but the reality is that the road may be narrower than we thought, the time may be truncated and make driving difficult or the traffic may be too intense.
Accommodation: As for accommodation, it is best to schedule at least two nights at each destination and thus have enough time to visit the area and travel without haste, something that will enjoy more of the road to have more time margin.
Car: If it’s your own car that you’re traveling with, make sure everything is working properly before you start. If you plan to rent a car, make sure you have the correct insurance and check the car for possible damage before you start your journey.
Regulations: Investigate the driving regulations of the country you will be visiting. This will help you to know which driving documents to carry and what the speed limit is and other rules that may vary from country to country. Make sure your car is allowed to drive on all roads. For example, if you are going to rent a motorhome, you need to know that it is considered a heavy vehicle and on some secondary roads, they are not allowed because of the risk involved.
Food: Always carry cutlery, plates, and glasses. A badly planned road trip could lead to eating, most days, fast food or spending a lot of money in restaurants. Better avoid it by stopping at local supermarkets and buying fresh food for a picnic. In addition to being healthier, it will fit better in your pocket.
Cleaning: Include hygiene items in your suitcase that are comfortable to use, such as wet wipes. It can often be the only way to clean up quickly.
Maps: Take one made of paper. It may seem a bit old-fashioned having GPS and internet browsers within reach, but when the GPS has no signal or the smartphone has no coverage you will be happy to have a roadmap nearby. In addition, it is advisable to invest some money in more mobile data and portable battery instead of a GPS, as car rental companies charge a very high rate for them.
Music: Although there will always be the radio since you will be driving all day, it is better to have the music you like best in different playlists, both on CD and MP3 devices. The trip will be more fun!
Travel insurance: Disruptions such as cancellation or interruption of the trip involves having to cancel the reservations we had confirmed for our road trip, whether car rental or accommodation. A trip cancellation insurance would reimburse us for these expenses that we will not be able to enjoy during the trip. In addition, in the event of an accident, medical or surgical assistance would also be covered thanks to our travel insurance.
Do we miss an important step to prepare for that long road trip we dream of doing? What route do you plan to take for your next road trip?