As exciting as they sound, road trips can also go terribly wrong. Make sure you have all the basis covered with the following tips and your trip will run smoothly
Make a plan
While a lot of people would argue that you do not need a plan for a road trip, I believe that in order to make it perfect, you need to have some structure. After all, there will be 4 or 5 busy heads in your car and you need to make them work together. This is why I am pro making an agenda. Assuming that your road trip is not a result of a drunken night out and is not happening the next morning, you will be seeing your fellow holiday-makers on more than one occasion before the trip. Use those occasions to discuss some minor points, as the subject of the road trip will surely come up. However, make a date to hold an actual meeting some two weeks ahead, and have another one about two days prior just to make the final arrangements.
Plan the route
You know the starting point, as well as your destination. You can look up pretty much all of the available stops online. Most of the routes have been thoroughly explained. Combine the stops available with your interests depending on how much time you have for the trip. If you choose to drive from Melbourne to Cairns, theoretically you could do it in two days. However, if you simply want to show up in Cairns, book a flight, as this road-trip has at least a month of beauty to offer. You can compromise by taking two weeks, but for example, a week would not give you a proper insight, apart from the road conditions.
If your stops include overnight stays, be sure to book accommodation ahead of time. This way you will get better rates and ensure availability. The same goes for any activities which include a limited number of people or limited tours. If you are not from the country where your road trip is about to take place, booking a flight as soon as you can, could save you a lot on airfare prices. Booking a car rental at the same time could ensure that you get a specific model you had in mind. Choose accommodation which can help you collect points for your credit card reward program or obtain travel discount cards, best suited for the area you are visiting. Choosing the right type of discount deals could buy you extra holiday days provided you have time for it.
With everything said above, it may be hard to think of ways of staying loose. However, there are still plenty. Choose those activities which are optional and could easily be replaced with others. What’s more, don’t overbook your day. Depending on the type of travellers you are and types of activities a certain area has to offer, plan to do two things in a day and use the rest for plain sightseeing and relaxing in a bar somewhere. While one of the purposes of having a plan is to make sure that those who enjoy shopping, laying around on a beach or occupying a bar, know that you will not spend days indulging them, there is no reason why you cannot relax a bit. Allow enough time for unpredictable things to happen, such as roadblocks or bad weather.
Drive according to the rules of a country you are in. You are on a holiday and not in a rush. Get informed of the traffic law. Sign-up with a roadside assistance service to have you covered in case of emergency. Do the same for yourself that you just did for your car, get the travel insurance. It will save you a lot of money and hassle.
Pack as light as you can considering the time you will be away from home. There is no need to pack your entire wardrobe as most accommodations offer laundry services so you will be able to wash your clothes and there is no need for taking a month’s worth of underwear.
Food and drinks
Some of the loose stops left in your schedule should include stopping for food. However, as you probably cannot stop every two hour which is how often certain people get hungry, pack a lot of snacks. Snacks and water are an important part of your luggage. Also, include those drinks some of your companions need to survive, such as sodas, coffee or tea.
Apps and beyond apps
Pretty much any specific needs you may have, such as finding a Chinese restaurant in the bush, is covered by an app. Use apps to get to fun content and find out, for example, which free activities are offered in different cities. Update your GPS device to make sure it navigates you correctly. In order to really, really make sure you know where you are going, purchase an actual road map of the region you are visiting, just in case the technology fails you. Also, certain secluded areas do not have mobile coverage so you are better off getting a satellite phone.
Before setting off, it is imperative that you take your vehicle to a reliable car service center, particularly if you are driving a campervan. They are better off assessed by those professionals who have experience working with them. A campervan is an even more exciting way of road-tripping, however, you need to make sure you double check that everything works properly and you have all the necessary amenities ready. Make sure you top-up all of the liquids and do not let yourself drive on empty as you never know what can happen next.
None of these hacks will work if you do not have the right crew and the music to follow. Get your best friends on board and make a killer playlist to be the soundtrack for your voyage.