Road trips can be incredible – even life-changing – experiences. If you love cars, then you will no doubt have spent many a waking hour daydreaming about taking your ride to amazing driving roads, exploring far-off lands, and enjoying cruising down highways for hours on end, alone with your thoughts.
Of course, road trips are almost always better with friends. You will have people you love who you can share the experience with, crack jokes with, and boost each other’s morale when the long drives are beginning to take their toll.
However, you may be put off the idea of a road trip because of the administrative work involved, and the potential risks of breaking down, getting lost or losing money.
This is a great shame because there is nothing to be afraid of when you drive for long distances. Many people have a psychological barrier because they think it is somehow daunting to drive their cars so far away from home.
Naturally, this fear multiplies if you want to drive overseas, where driving laws and standards may be different. While this is understandable, it is still illogical and a fear that can be easily overcome.
Simply by hitting the road, you will start to realize how fantastic a road trip can be, and how little effort it takes.
To make the process even simpler, we have compiled a quick guide that will help you organize the perfect road trip for you and your friends.
This is what you need to know:
Work Out Whether It Is Practical to Drive Your Car to the ‘Start Point’
Often, with road trips, you won’t want the actual road trip itself to start until you get to a certain destination.
Perhaps you live a few states away from where you want to explore, and all that stands in your way is endless stretches of boring highways. Depending on the car you are bringing, this could either be a breeze or a chore.
If you are driving a classic car, for instance, you might not want to put the extra miles on the engine and strain it for no reason other than highway cruising. Check out off road mechanic for more information.
For many car enthusiasts, this can put them off the road trip entirely, but it doesn’t have to be this way.
Instead, you could consider using a car transport service, which (as the name implies) will transport your car to the start point of your road trip.
As a result, you don’t have to worry about breaking down on the way, being unduly tired from traveling or burning up fuel for no reason.
While it might sound like the priciest option, once you consider fuel costs, accommodation, and food, it starts to make more sense.
Calculate the Costs Beforehand
Talking of money, you must calculate how much the entire road trip is going to roughly cost you. While you can never get a truly accurate estimate – due to fluctuating fuel costs, unexpected payments for food or other items, as well as leaving room for impulsive changes to your plans – you can still get a decent understanding of your budget.
Next to the complexity of organization, it is the budget which puts most people off the idea of a road trip. This is understandable, as the cost of fuel alone is going to massively exceed any equivalent plane or train ticket to the same destination.
However, if you are a car guy, then you should take this as a literal price to pay for enjoying your ride.
While it will cost you more than most holidays, you can always cut down on costs by sleeping in your car some nights, camping, or staying in cheaper accommodation.
On normal holidays, this would seem like a terrible experience, but on a road trip, it is all part of the adventure.
Calculating your costs enables you to save up the necessary money and enjoy the trip to the fullest, without having to worry about saving cash or compromising your enjoyment.
Make Sure You Invite the Right Friends
One of the most significant factors to consider when organizing a road trip is the friends you will be bringing along for the journey.
Like any group holiday, the quality of the company will largely define your overall experience. As a result, you need to think long and hard about who you want to spend long, intense hours with.
Choose friends who are low-maintenance, easy to get along with, and who excel under pressure. You don’t want a prima donna who is going to complain about budget accommodation or long highway journeys.
Choose Your Mode of Transport Wisely
Road trips are all about enjoying the experience of exploration from behind the wheel. While any car can make for a good road trip, it is best to choose a vehicle that is either suited to the job or so memorable or fun that the impracticalities don’t matter.
If you only have one car, then you don’t need to worry, but if you have a few, choose the car that is best suited to the terrain you are going to be navigating.
You should also make sure that your car is fully roadworthy before you set off. Have a local mechanic look over it for possible signs of unreliability and adjust your tire pressures and oil level accordingly.
Try to Create a Rough Plan of Where You Are Going to Stay
While it is impossible to know exactly where you are going to be at any one time on a long road trip, it is useful to use accommodation stops as checkpoints to guide your progress.
It also prevents you from being caught out by the possibility of expensive hotels, or even finding yourself tired in a place that has no accommodation, such as on deserted highway stretches.
By pinpointing your route and identifying possible places to stay, you will make the actual road trip experience far less stressful.