A road trip is one of the best ways to explore a country. You get to travel across beautiful landscapes at your own pace, stopping whenever you feel like it to admire a view, take photos, or visit a popular tourist attraction. You can choose to follow the beaten path or carve your own route through the backroads and wilderness areas of your destination.
Traveling cross-country by car is an extraordinarily liberating experience. The entire adventure is in your hands and you have complete control over the planning. If you prefer to travel in comfort you can stop in hotels or holiday rentals each night, or if you’d rather a wilderness experience you can camp under the stars.
Your road trip will be the best adventure you’ve ever had, but if you’ve never planned such an excursion before, you might be feeling overwhelmed by the task of getting it off the ground. You may only have a limited time to travel before you have to go back to work or family commitments, so you want to ensure you get the most out of your trip. The last thing you want is to waste your precious time following a monotonous route or worse – broken down in the middle of nowhere.
To guarantee you have the journey of a lifetime, here is a complete guide to planning an adventurous road trip.
Pick the right vehicle
If you’re traveling with a group of people, there might be a discussion about whose car to use for the trip. Your choice of vehicle is crucial when it comes to planning a road trip. You want a motor that is reliable above all else, but it should also be fuel efficient in order to save you money on gas along the way. You’ll be sitting down for a large proportion of the trip so it must absolutely be comfortable, as well as having sufficient capacity to store everyone’s luggage.
Other considerations may include Bluetooth capability for the music playlist and an effective air conditioning or heating system depending on the weather conditions. You may even consider renting a vehicle for the trip, in which case you’ll have much more choice. If you’re exploring offroad wilderness areas then you might want to hire a truck such as the 2022 Ram 1500. Learn more about this vehicle here.
Create a budget
One of the great things about a road trip is that it can be a lot cheaper than other forms of travel. You don’t have to pay for flights or trains, you can camp out or stay in budget accommodation, and it’s easy to eat inexpensively on the road. However, if you’re traveling for an extended period of time, you want to ensure you have enough money for the duration. Your biggest expense will be fuel, but you’ll also have to think about the cost of any entertainment and attractions you visit along the way. Create a budget in advance of your trip, detailing how much money you can afford to spend each day, as well as an emergency fund in case something goes wrong.
Plan the route
The most crucial aspect of any road trip is the route you will take. Do you have a fixed destination in mind, or are you planning a circular route that starts and finishes in the same place. The best way to get inspiration is to look at a map of the country. Make a note of any places or landmarks that catch your eye and do your research. There are plenty of road trip planning apps out there that can help you come up with action packed routes, or you can read blogs from other adventurers to give you an idea of the best places to go. Think about what you want to get from your trip. Are you looking for a wilderness experience in the mountains and deserts? Or are you more interested in culture and getting to know different towns and cities along the way?
Pack the essentials
Packing light will ensure you have more space in your car, as well as reducing your fuel consumption. However, there are some essentials you’ll need to bring with you. Obviously you need enough clothes and toiletries to last you to the end, but there are plenty of additional items that will make your trip a lot more comfortable. A battery pack will help you charge your devices when you’re driving in the middle of nowhere, and a solar charger could be useful if the weather is good. A mini fridge is a great way to ensure you have enough refreshments to power you through those long stretches of highway, and some car games can keep your minds occupied on the boring bits.
Create an itinerary
Although you may want to throw caution to the wind and see where the road takes you, there is always a risk that you’ll end up with an uneventful journey. A rough itinerary packed with excitement is the best way to ensure you make the most of your trip. You don’t have to plan each day down to the last second, but having a rough route plan and a few scheduled activities guarantees you will have fun and make some memories. You can always leave some free time in your itinerary for exploration and spontaneity.
Don’t overdo it
Sitting behind the wheel for hours on end can take its toll on your body and your mind. You can end up with a sore back and glazed-over eyes from staring at the road for too long. Try to limit the amount of time you spend driving. If there are other members of the group who can drive then make sure you share the duties with them. You may need to make sure everyone is insured to drive the vehicle, but it will be a much more enjoyable trip if there are multiple drivers. Limit each driving session to no more than a couple of hours. Plan regular food, toilet, and sightseeing stops to give everyone a chance to stretch their legs and get the blood flowing.