For the ultimate freedom factor, a good road trip is pretty much unbeatable. The freedom to stop where you want and when you want doesn't get any better. If you want to stop and swim in the sea or a lake, or maybe climb halfway up a mountain, then go ahead. It’s up to you on a road trip. Here are a few pointers to remember when planning your epic adventure.
1. Whose Company?
One crucial factor that could make or break your road trip is who will go with you. Make sure they’re relaxed enough about things to take the rough with the smooth. You don’t want someone highly strung with you. You’ll feel like you’re dragging a ball and chain. And, of course, if they drive, the division of labour is an added bonus. On the other hand, you might even choose to go it alone. For a sense of discovery of almost spiritual proportions, a road trip by yourself can't be beaten. It's all according to what type personality you have. It’s either alone, or with the right person or people.
2. Have Some Sort of Schedule
It can be tempting to just adopt the make it up as you go attitude, but it’s best if you have a pretty good idea of where you want to be and when. That doesn't mean you need to stick to it rigidly, but if you're driving through far eastern Lithuania and need to catch a flight in Paris the next day, you're obviously going to put yourself under rather a lot of pressure. Have an idea of the places you definitely will want to visit, and make sure they're open when you'll be passing by. Some national parks aren’t always accessible in the winter months.
3. How Much Will You Spend?
Have an idea of how much you want to spend, and try to stick to your budget. It might be an idea to have sleeping bags with you just in case you arrive too late to find accommodation one night. You'll save money too if you sleep one or two nights in the car or a tent. Camping out and waking up to the dawn chorus will add real quality to your trip.
4. Check Your Car
Make sure your vehicle is in good working order, and perhaps get it serviced before your road trip. Of course, if you're hiring a car this should already be taken care of. If driving from Britain to the continent, ensure you have headlamp converters, which are very easy to fit and not expensive. Remember, if driving over borders, make sure you have your passport. And ensure that you've got adequate roadside assistance or car hire excess insurance for peace of mind as you head for the autobahns.
5. Kick Back with Some Music
Don't forget to bring some decent music. If travelling in a small group, get each person to create a CD.
So, no matter where you decide to take your epic road trip, if you follow these simple reminders, you can be sure you’ll be well on the way to an unforgettable adventure. Oh, and as a bonus tip, don't rely solely on sat-nav. Just make sure you've a back-up map on standby. That said, who knows where you'll end up if you stray off the beaten track? It's all part of the adventure after all.