As transportation via land, air, and sea has become a lot easier in the modern world, more and more people are being infected with the spirit of travel. You simply can’t run out of sights to see and places to go. And one of the most popular ways to do it is to call up your friends, load up the gas tank, and hit the road.
A good road trip — even without a particular destination in mind — is always a fun idea. Every mile is a new experience and you simply need to go. For the traveler at heart, here are some of the best tips to make the most out of your next trip!
Forget Google Maps (or any GPS app)
If you’re travelling with a bunch of friends in broad daylight, then you shouldn’t worry about making a “wrong turn” and suddenly finding yourself in a deserted village or a haunted forest somewhere — those things only happen in movies. Instead, consider bringing an actual map and have a friend experience actual navigation. Besides, this will be a great opportunity for you to experience new things and have fun asking the locals for directions. Not only will you possibly learn new routes (and shortcuts), you will also learn how travelers used to do it before everything got a little too convenient.
Open up… to the Gas Station Clerk
On long road trips, you shouldn’t really wait for the need to ask directions before you socialize with new people. Remember that everywhere is the best place to make new friends. Don’t be shy and try to ask about anything you’re curious about. If there’s anyone who knows the best viewing spots, restaurants, or other points of interest in a particular area, it’s probably someone who’s actually from there. The convenience store cashier or the cyclist down the road won’t bite (hopefully).
Don’t Plan in Detail
Seriously – just don’t. Planning every single detail of your trip will only consume valuable time. And believe it or not, planning every destination also makes traffic a lot more stressful. Let’s say you are an hour behind your planned schedule and you’re stuck in traffic due to a local festival. But if you’re too stressed about your failed schedule, then you can’t fully appreciate the experiences right in front of you. This is why you should keep your plans loose and enjoy the surprises you might run into.
Although others might disagree, taking selfies is actually a wonderful modern tradition in the world of photography. If you enjoy a specific portion of your trip, like a stop at a famous landmark or a magnificent coastal view, then it warrants a self-aimed photograph that will allow you to remember the experience for the rest of your life. Of course, taking selfies and sharing them online will also prevent people who care about you from worrying.
Bring a Spare Key
Believe it or not, lost car keys in the middle of a 15,000-mile road trip do happen. And this alone can ruin what is supposed to be a joyful travel experience. This is why you should always have a spare key ready somewhere in your back pocket or dangling as a necklace. Just make sure you keep it hidden unless you actually need it. If the situation above isn’t bad enough for you; imagine a lost car spare key in the middle of a road trip.
Put Down the Phone
Unless you’re answering an important call or taking a great photo opportunity, you should try to save your phone’s battery as much as you can. Let’s face it; not all phone batteries last very long. So it is better to make sure that it’ll still have some juice left when you need it. Besides, the people whom you should be talking to are probably right there, sitting in the car next to you.
Ready to Go? Check your Engine First!
A person who truly finds joy in travelling will never really run out of energy when it comes to road trips; no matter the distance. But the real question is, can your vehicle keep up? Long road trips can be taxing not only to the driver, but to the car itself. So even with the helpful tips above, make sure you’ve been performing regular checks before firing up your vehicle.
Remember that safety’s always first – a friendly reminder from the Toyota Fortuner, Philippines.
James is an engineering student, automotive enthusiast and a member of the Toyota Fortuner Club in the Philippines. His passion for SUVs and travelling constantly fuels him to share his experiences on the road. He also blogs about his travels, especially tips to stay safe on the road. You can follow him on Twitter @JM_Jav21.