Road trips are a wonderful way to have an adventure with some of your favourite people. Done wrong though, you’ll feel like kicking through the passenger door and walking home.
If you’re looking for a cost-effective voyage into the unknown, road trips can be a great way to visit many new places. Be careful that you plan for a successful journey though, because it has the potential to go horribly wrong for everyone concerned.
Choose Your Companions Wisely
We’d recommend going with someone that you love…or like a lot. Road trips work best with only a few people on-board, as cars can get pretty uncomfortable and claustrophobic. Know that you and the rest of your travellers are highly compatible, otherwise they’re likely to get on your nerves.
Get your companion(s) to organise the trip with you, perhaps over a pizza and a beer. If your road trip has direction, you can pack in as much culture and as many sites as you want.
Get the Car Checked Out
There’s nothing like a broken-down car to put a dampener on everyone’s road trip. Give your car a once-over before you set off, as it’s what you’ll be relying on to get home. Check everything is working properly, learn how to change a tyre (if you don’t already know), sign up for roadside assistance, top up the windscreen wiper fluid, and add more oil.
Make a list of the essentials before you leave: water (lots of), snacks, sleeping bags, pillows, blankets, wet wipes, tissues, towels, travel cutlery/crockery, rubbish bags, outdoor activities, in-car games, first aid kit, torches, pocket knife, bug spray, medication, travel sickness equipment, compass, maps, umbrellas, phone charger, comfortable clothing, sun cream, Vaseline, hygiene products, camera, spare batteries…the list goes on.
Make it a rule before you leave that all drivers behind the wheel drive responsibly. There’s no rush! And the last thing you want is to wind up with a driving conviction or a ticket while on the road.
Make sure that you take time to stop regularly, so everyone can stretch their legs and the driver doesn’t get too tired. A combination of caffeine, food, and exercise can help keep you feeling wide awake, even while everyone else is snoring in the back.
Ask all your companions to make mix CDs for the journey. This means that there’ll be no squabbling over music and everyone will get an opportunity to play their favourite tunes. You could even assign everyone a fun theme, like flowers or motorbikes, which they have to base their song choices around.
Boredom can quickly take the fun out of travelling. Bring a massive bag full of activities to keep you entertained. If you can focus on books or movies in the car, then bring these with you. Those who get travel sick easily can listen to audio books or play games like ‘I Spy’ with other passengers.
Post contributed by Hannah, a freelance writer and blogger from the UK. She has written this post in collaboration with Knowsley Safari, who provide memorable days out and magical moments for the whole family.