What’s a road trip without some hiccups? Road trips are fun and full of adventure, but they should be planned carefully if you want to err on the side of caution. Also, you’ll enjoy it more if you’ve prepared for it physically, financially, and logistically.
You can go by car or go road cycling in Spain or another country, but remember that road tripping on a motorcycle is very different from bringing a car with compartments and all that. Choose wisely before you find yourself cutting down your trip early because your back and butt are too sore from sitting on your bike.
Make a Plan
Road trips are supposed to be spontaneous, but the best ones are well-planned. If you want to make the most out of your trip, make sure you’ve prepared for it financially and logistically. Write down how much you need for the car rent, gas, food, motel stops, medicines, souvenirs, park passes, toll gates, and many more. Make sure that you have the money to cover for these expenses.
Logistically, make a loose plan on how many hours you should drive—keep it under eight hours—in a day. As a general rule, drive during sunrise and rest after sunset.
Embrace Gas Stations
Some gas stations are better than others. Some have gourmet food and restaurants. Others you can find in the middle of nowhere with only one person manning the gas tank, the cashier, and the diner. Embrace both kinds. The important thing is that these gas stations can fuel up your car, give you access to restrooms, and have enough candy to tide you over until the next gas station. Take plenty of photos when you find yourself in a gas station in the middle of nowhere. You might never have the chance to go there again.
You need cash for toll gates and other things. Most accept credit cards, but you don’t want to use your credit cards too much on the road. You’re going to be too far from the bank if a problem arises. When you do need cash because a diner doesn’t accept cards, how are you going to withdraw money from your bank? Bring cash. It will save you a ton of wasted time.
Text Your Whereabouts to Someone
What kind of an adventure it will be if you’re not tiptoeing on the danger zone? A bad one. The common misconception about road trips is that people have to do crazy things to have fun. That is not true at all. When you get to your destination or a stopover or a motel for the night or a gas station, text someone you love that you’re there and that you’re safe and sound.
Take Lots of Pictures
Finally, take loads of photos that are not necessarily Instagram-worthy—but take those kinds, too). Aside from your memories, these photos are going to be the only thing you have from your road trip. Take as many photos and videos as you can. Take random photos of posters, border signs, food, the car, and yourself. In the future, these are going to be good reminders of the kind of adventure you had.
The key to enjoying a great road trip is to be open to any possibilities. Meet strangers, and try new food. Ask directions and recommendations from locals. A road trip is not only something you do for fun. It’s something you do for your soul.