No matter if you are a fresh graduate in search of adventure, a soon to be groom who’s tormented by second thoughts or a retired person who just has too much extra time, a road trip is always a great occasion to change the scenery, get some meaningful travel experience and re-balance your life. With all that literature, movies and blues songs glorifying the road trips, no wonder that this travel trend keeps coming to the surface, twisting our minds and forcing us to hit the road. And the naked truth is that, no matter how long or sinuous your journey, you will always come back as a new person. So if you’re looking for a fulfilling, life-altering experience, here are a few tricks that can ease your planning and add a plus of adventure to your road trip:
Research, research, research
The first thing to do after you’ve decided that you want to go for a road trip is to take a map and just see where your instinct guides you. A road trip is, in most cases, all about trusting your guts and lucky coincidences, but a little planning will put some order into your thoughts. Try to establish some guidelines regarding your itinerary, what are the main attractions along the road, which of them represent a priority, whether you will need accommodation or you will camp, who will bring what etc. If you are not very confident in your trip organizing skills, you can always buy a guide of the area that you intent to visit.
Take a scenic drive
The bigger the highway, the shorter your journey. In case you don’t want to jump from city to city, then I suggest taking the smaller roads. This way, it will be much easier to make as many stops as you want and visit the quaint little towns that you find on the road. As part of your research, you can try to identify which roads can give you the best views and plan your trip accordingly.
Fell free to take a detour
A famous roadie once said that a road trip is just like a box of chocolate: you never know what you’re going to get (I might have sounded a little different, though). This is why it is essential to always keep your mind open and feel free to improvise. If you happen to find a deserted beach or a a quiet little place where you feel particularly good, allow yourself to skip a few objectives and stay there for as long as you want.
Come up with a theme
If you really want to add value to your trip, then it would be great to come up with a theme for it. Depending on your (and your companion’s) hobbies, this can be everything from following the “On the Road” trail to exploring the New England countryside or Louisiana creole kitchen. Having some main objectives in mind will also help you plan your time and give your road trip a ‘cultural’ twist.
Get out of the car!
It might be called a road trip and it will most likely imply a car, but this doesn’t mean that you have to observe everything through the car’s windows. Don’t just sit there behind the wheel! Park your car aside th road and climb the surrounding hill in search for a better view, stop near a motel’s restaurant and try to make friends with the truckers (this might result in some good road tips) or join the festivities during some small town’s Sunday fair.