Road trips are a great way to explore a new place and see all the sights at your own pace and leisure. Here's some tips on how to prepare for your next adventure on the road.
Make every stop count
Try to stay in each location on your road trip for at least 2-3 nights. Whilst a single night stopover can be useful to break up a long journey, the breathing room at each place will take the pressure off, allowing time the relax and take it all in properly. With 3 nights, you’ll have at least 2 full days, giving enough time to explore the area itself and potentially the vicinity, without feeling that you’re just constantly travelling from A to B. You need time to relax on your well-earned holiday after all!
Buy a cool bag
The cost of food can quickly add up when you’re on the road, so one of the best investments is a cool bag to you can pack up a picnic for the day. Stock up on sandwich fillers, crisps, fruit and plenty of drinks so you don’t need to waste time or money on stopping at restaurants or cafes for lunch. It gives you the flexibility to stop at some stunning locations for your picnic - a lakeside mountain view whilst you eat has to be better than sitting in a McDonald’s car park! - plus it makes when you do treat yourself to a restaurant lunch extra special. Just try to mix it up as often as you can, otherwise you’ll find yourself never wanting to look at a cheese sandwich again!
Take the scenic route
Google will no doubt direct you on the quickest and most direct route to your next destination, but do you really want to spend your time on a nondescript motorway? One of the best things about road trips is taking in the scenery as you drive and finding some hidden spots off the beaten track along the way. Plan your route in advance and seek out some quirky stop-offs to break the journey up, whether walking trails to waterfalls, coastal coves to sunbathe in, or small historic towns to wile away an hour or so.
When you have limited time in each place and have a schedule to stick to, there’s a temptation to book all your activities in advance to make sure you maximise your time. Whilst it is great to book some key parts of your trip that you know you want to do and may get booked up (e.g. a wine tour in Napa or Alcatraz trip in San Francisco), don’t over-plan as you run the risk of your trip feeling like a military operation. Visit the local visitor centre when you arrive to get their advice as well as any recommendations from where you’re staying and be open to spontaneity!
Create an awesome playlist
You'll likely be spending a lot of time in the car so create a great soundtrack for your trip to play along the way. You can create Spotify or iTunes playlists on your phone or go old-school with some CDs. Either way, make sure you choose a wide selection and some motivating songs tailored to your trip. You can find playlist inspiration on the site here.