Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Tips for a flawless road trip

1. A road trip without final destination requires an absolute minimum of organization. You do not want to drive on busy four-lane highways for days, so use a good road map on which you can search for a direction and smaller, more scenic roads. An end goal can safely be snowed under by what happens to be on your way.

2. A GPS or Waze navigation is out of the question. GPS's have the annoying feature of always finding the fastest and therefore often the most boring route. The most beautiful routes usually require a detour. Or as Michelin puts it: vaut le detour. So: always use road maps. The Michelin cards always indicate scenic drives in green print.

3. Use the right vehicle. Those who say road trip immediately think of a red Mustang or shiny Harley. Looks great, of course, but be realistic about your means of transport. Riding more than 5,000 km on a chopper is not easy even for experienced motorcyclists, in the first place because they are not the most comfortable engines for long journeys, but it also requires a very different concentration on the road. The weather can be a serious spoiler and you are very limited in your baggage options, unless you do not mind spending a few hours in a laundry. The ideal car for a road trip is comfortable, and certainly had a check or maintenance before the trip.

4. Be realistic. Do not plan trips of more than 450 kilometers per day. That is the absolute maximum. Finally, you want to see and experience something on the road and after three days you do not want to crawl out of your car with a completely blocked back. Avoid big cities during rush hours. If you want to make long road trips, build in rest days: days when you do everything except driving.

5. What should not be missed on every road trip: the correct road maps, (international) driving license, mouth stock (nuts, fruit, energy bars ...), sufficient water, flashlight, suntan cream, sunglasses, rain clothing, toilet paper, possibly camping equipment, plastic bag keep track of your trash and your mobile with the emergency numbers and a number of the regional car emergency service.

6. You can choose to add a goal to your road trip. Take an iconic route along olive- and vineyards, characteristic small villages or a historical route. A trip with your son or daughter who turned 18. Or send your partner on an all-inclusive vacation to Greece or Turkey and make the road trip just on your own. Traveling as a couple, people hardly will make contact with you. You'll be surprised how many contacts with locals you'll have when you travel just on your own. 

7. Provide music. On Spotify you find great road song playlists that provide your road trip with the right soundtracks. A stack of CDs or even cassette tapes in an oldtimer can of course also be used.

Enjoy your trip !