Whether you are heading off to the coast for a few days, crossing a continent or retracing an historic or iconic route, whether you are close to home or on the other side of the world, taking a road trip is always a grand adventure.
If you want to ensure your trip is as trouble-free as possible and reduce the chances of ending up stranded in the middle of nowhere, it’s a good idea to take a few basic precautions before your trip begins.
Depending on the duration of your trip, collect together an emergency kit such as a spare cell phone, a list of important phone numbers, a good supply of water, waterproof clothing, some long-life food supplies and a basic first-aid kit. You should also carry a paper map with you that has all your key stops plotted out. Although you may have a GPS system in your car, signals are not always available and may be disrupted in certain areas.
A paper map can also act as an additional reassurance by making it possible to have a larger overview of the area you are in, rather than only seeing everything at street level.
Plan ahead, if you can
Although you don’t want to have hotels lined up for every night of your trip for weeks or months going forward, it’s a good idea to have reservations in a few key places, especially if you are traveling during a busy season when it might not always be possible to find the ideal room in the town of your choice by simply turning up in the middle of the afternoon.
Researching this in advance will also give you a good idea of where the best facilities are. It’s often the case that some of the most interesting destinations have very little in the way of tourist facilities on site, meaning it might be easier to stay at a nearby hotel the night before and then head to the destination early the following morning.
Lastly, make sure you plan ahead by having your camera fully charged. As much as road trips are about enjoying the experience it is still important to document parts of it to reflect on later down the road. You won’t be able to create amazing videos of your travels or have stunning photos if you don’t have your camera to take any!
You don’t always have to start your road trip with a vehicle. If you want to explore a new part of the country or a destination overseas, especially for an extended period of time, an alternative to renting a car is to purchase one in the country of your choice, drive it around then then sell it before you leave.
If, for example, you found a well-maintained, used Toyota Fortuner for sale you might decide it’s the ideal vehicle for your needs. Buying the same vehicle at home and shipping it across would be prohibitively expensive but picking one up locally can easily lead to you getting hold of a bargain.
Maintenance here is the key. Without the protection of a rental company, you’ll have to deal with any mechanical problems you might encounter all by yourself. However, so long as you choose carefully and take you time to make your decision, you should be fine. In any case, any issues you do come up against will merely add to the overall adventure.