Driving by car is one of the best ways - if not the best - to discover your travel destination. You get to see a lot, have the freedom to go wherever you want and it’s safe. Especially now that an airplane or bus full of people comes with some health risks. In short, a road trip is always a good idea, but it seems like there’s no better time than now to make one! So pack your bags and read these 10 tips carefully, then you’ll surely be well prepared for your journey.
Before you get in the car, it is important to have a plan. Everything doesn’t have to be planned out in detail, but a global idea for your route shouldn’t be missing. For example, do you want to return to the same point? Or do you go from A to B? How much time do you want to spend on your road trip and how long do you want to spend in the car per day? You should consider all those things, as they are essential for planning your route. So, having your route planned out is good, but make sure you keep some space. The freedom and spontaneity of a road trip is what makes it so much fun. Sleep an extra night in that nice coastal town, or change your route to drive past that beautiful waterfall. You have that freedom, so make sure to use it!
Don't forget: the journey is just as much fun as the final destination! So, make some nice stops along the way during your routes. This does require some research, but that doesn’t have to take hours. Grab a map and travel guide (or internet) at breakfast and see what’s on the route. Nice picnic spot? Beautiful beach near a river? Cozy old town nearby? Park the car and make use of these break spots. Driving straight on is a shame!
Don't get us wrong, sometimes taking the highway is inevitable, but also try to find alternative routes. Often you’ll end up on the most beautiful roads, through nature or along small villages where there’s only locals. These routes usually take a little longer, but are definitely worth it. This way you can really taste the atmosphere of your travel destination.
There are numerous ways to find your way on your road trip, so it’s useful to find out which one suits you best in advance. You can use a paper map, a TomTom or (probably the most obvious) your smartphone. When choosing the latter, don't forget to bring a phone holder to navigate safely. Another tip: the Maps.me app allows you to download maps and use them offline to navigate. This saves a lot of mobile data compared to the well-known Google Maps.
As tempting as it is,, try not to only take candy and sodas as road trip snacks. It’s important that you eat varied, especially if you cover long stretches. And no, we aren’t saying you should eat entire meals on the road, because that can give you less energy, but try to alternate your snacks. Opening a bag of crisps is totally fine, but also bring enough fruit, water and perhaps coffee or tea. Then you’ll undoubtedly get through the car ride without any problems (apart from a pee break maybe).
When you think of a road trip, you think of long roads through wide landscapes and good music in the background, right? Put together a fun playlist that will remind you of your journey later on. No inspiration? We've got you. Listen to our own SUITSUIT Travel Playlist on Spotify here!
Here’s a more practical tip: whether it’s a rental car or the car that you’ve been driving for the past five years, it’s super important that you know how it works. Make sure you know how to check the oil level and how to replace a tire, for example. In sparsely populated areas, roadside assistance simply cannot be with you very quickly.
This might be the most important thing on this whole list: make sure you have the right papers with you at all times. For example, do you need an international driving license or do you need an environmental sticker? Also find out what kind of insurance you need and start arranging in time. For example, applying for an environmental sticker can take several weeks.
It may sound obvious, but you'll be surprised how many people forget to take a power bank. This handy device is your best friend during your road trip. It can be used to charge your mobile phone that also serves as a navigation, for the TomTom or maybe even to charge your laptop to book a nice hotel nearby. In short: unmissable!
Finally, we have another practical tip for you. Because you drive a lot, you’ll use lots of fuel, so it’s useful if you can refill your tank as cheaply as possible. You can do this by keeping an eye on the prices, so you can recognize if the prices are low. If you’re on a road trip in Canada or America, you can use a handy app for this: GasBuddy. This app can select the cheapest petrol stations on your route for you.
Don’t have a road trip planned yet, but your wanderlust is coming back? Read our SUITSUIT road trip route through diverse Europe here!