Which is your favourite "coming of age" movie- Dil Chahta hai, Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara or Little Miss Sunshine or maybe Due Date? A common theme among all these movies is road trips! I have often wondered myself- what is it about road trips that's so exciting- the probability of things not going your way is extremely high! Yet, some of my best memories have been along a long weekend road trip to Pawna Camping or Hampi!
Maybe it's because movies inspire us to embark on road trips, that we do but also, movies make it seem so easy! In reality though, not planning a road trip is probably not something to look forward to! Every journey must be enjoyed just as much as the destination- road trips make this possible!
Along the way I have discovered, there's a way to make the trip even more memorable. This online travel blog is to share a few tips & tricks which will enable you to make all your road trips enjoyable- always!
1. "All strategies go for a toss when the first bullet is fired!"
Agreed, not every plan can be thought through completely and one needs to be flexible with essential and unavoidable changes to plans- as a working woman in marketing, I know the challenges first hand. However, having no plan at all is like going into the gladiator pit knowing there's no way out! The best vacations I have had are the ones with the right blend of planning and spontaneity! For a road trip to be successful, you need to have the basic plan in place, mainly:
Destination: Otherwise where are you going? Hello?!!
Route: Download Google Maps for the location/area as the mobile signal can be disruptive at times. Make sure you mark stops along the way for breaks.
Travel partners: I have mentioned this earlier and I will say it again, best friends need not be the best travel companions. Choose wisely!
Stay: If it's peak season, it is highly unlikely you will get accommodation easily. Make sure you reserve a room or a hostel in advance. I know that camping in a car sounds fun, and it is initially- but road trips are physically tiring! At the end of the day, you would want to freshen up with a warm bath and sleep on a real bed!
2. Holiday Packing Logic: "If you don't need it, pack it anyway. You may need it!"
Embarking on a road trip means you may come across situations or places that you have never embarked earlier. If these situations require you to be swift on foot, your baggage would weigh you down! I recommend taking care of your baggage in the same way as you would while using airlines. You can read about my packing tips here!
What I do during a road trip is pack enough water, food and medicines to last me the entire stretch of the trip. When travelling, especially in India and South East Asia, sometimes it gets difficult to get access to clean, drinking water. Hence carrying mineral water helps.
I ensure I have enough dry snacks- a good combination of healthy(read nuts, fruits and dry fruits) and instantly gratifying snacks (read chips, biscuits, cookies)- to last me a few days beyond the road trip. Since it is mainly packaged food it can be stored after your trip is complete and this will ensure that you are not left hungry!
If you are travelling across rural landscapes, please ensure you carry basic medication that can be difficult to be accessed during your trip. Also, please make sure that you do not leave any waste, dispose off responsibly!
3. " Because the greatest part of the road trip isn't arriving at your destination. It's all the wild stuff that happens along the way!"
We all carry a smartphone. If you have a camera, a road trip is a great time to explore your skills with it. The relative safety of your own personal car as compared to travelling on aircraft or buses sweetens the deal even further! I personally switch off from social media when I am travelling, it doesn't matter for how long- I make sure I live my vacation to the fullest. You could record videos, capture sunrise or sunset, get that couple photoshoot finally done now that the two of you are alone! Possibilities of capturing the fun and frolic of a road trip are immense!
4. "One of the great things about travel is that you find out how many good, kind people there are!"
If you do not like talking to people, that's okay! Just remember, that the best way to find out the hidden mysteries of any place is by striking a conversation with a local! Many years back when I was in the 7th grade, our family had been to Kedarnath. After the visit to the temple, we were having Chai when the couple at the adjoining table told us about the river Saraswati near Mana village. Had it not been for this conversation, we would have missed out on visiting this small cave from where the legend of Saraswati originates!
5. "Safety isn't expensive. It's priceless"
I cannot stress this enough, but it's important to be vigilant at all times! Make sure you are charging your phone regularly. Keep your family updated about your location. If your intuition tells you that something is wrong, please follow it. If the question boils down to flight or fight, I would choose flight! Although I have never faced a situation where my life was endangered, I make sure I do not venture out to places that seem unsafe.
I am not a champion at road trips, but I have successfully embarked on and completed a dozen of them, mainly in India. All these travel tips that I have shared here are from personal experience. Every person grows with their travel, as do I. I hope this blog provides you with sustainable travel tips for a fun road trip always!