6 reasons why your next trip should be a road trip
I love road trips! In my opinion, it’s the best way to travel 🙂 You are independent, you can do it alone or with friends. Here are more reasons why you should definitely get in your car and start driving:
You are flexible
This is probably an obvious point, but it is not to be underestimated. When you are driving, you alone can decide where you want to stay for how long. Travellers just told you that you absolutely have to visit this city you never heard about? Change your plan and add it to your road trip! All rainy and cloudy for the next days? Take your car drive into the sun! I’m normally a person that sticks to plans and lists, but even I was convinced to change my original route a few times during the trip, due to recommendations.It gives you a whole new level of freedom!
You don’t rely on buses and trains
What’s the worst thing after a great night out with your new travel friends? Getting up at 6am to catch your bus or train! And then being exposed to all the chatty, noisy people who appear to never have heard of a hangover before. When you have your car, you can sleep how long you want, get up, have an amazing breakfast with your also hangover buddies and continue stress-free in silence. So relaxing… But the car does not only bring you from one city to another. Also, you can visit nearby destinations like small villages or national parks which probably be complicated by public transport. This way, you can also avoid the tourist masses, by driving there either real early or later, when the tourist buses are gone.
You can take breaks where and when you want
You know the feeling: You are riding the bus through amazing landscapes, but all you get is the view out of your window. With your car, you can stop, take a walk, take pictures of these gorgeous mountains, lakes, coastlines or whatsoever and nobody is waiting for you to continue. Hungry? Thirsty? Just stop in the next local village to help yourself. Found your personal paradise? Why not staying a few days here?
In worst case, you can sleep in your car
When I’m on a road trip, I always book my hostels the day before or the day I arrive. I love this flexibility as I’m never sure if my next destination will also be the one I planned to go. But what if everything is overbooked? Or there are no hostels or hotels in this area? Or you get completely lost in the wilderness of Bosnia without a map, gps or phone connection? (yes this was happening! Although, after 8 hours instead of 3, I found the city!) Relax… You can survive a night or two in your car! Just make sure that you always have a few bottles of water, a blanket and some snacks in your trunk.
You can sing like crazy to your music
This point is really important! In a bus or train, you can listen to your music, but I think people would look at you like you are crazy if you started singing. In your car, turn the music up and sing and shout like you’re a superstar! Taking some friends or hitchhikers with you? Start a band! I’m kidding, but you get the point. Plus, most travellers have Ipods which is a great opportunity to get to know music from different countries. Sometimes, I also like to listen to local radio. I mostly can’t understand what they are talking about, but it’s interesting to hear the local music.
You meet hitchhikers, other travellers and locals
People sometimes treat you like a god when they hear that you are there with your car, no kidding xD And why not share the free seats with your new friends? Although I like being alone, a little company never hurts! In most cases, they also offer to share the petrol costs or invite you for drinks or dinner. No wonder, I met people whose bus would have need 10 hours when we needed only 5 with the car. Hitchhikers are also a fun company, thankful and full of stories that make you dream. How do you meet locals with your car? Here your plate is your ticket. People were constantly wondering and asking from which country I’m from and before you can even answer, you are already caught in a conversation.
Some safety tips:
-Check your car and all your papers in time before leaving. You can still get new papers when you see that yours are expiring. Minor repairs on the car can also be done in time.
-Always ask the staff in your hostel/ hotel/ Couchsurfing family where you can leave your car. They normally know safe spots to park. Plus they know the free spots, so you don’t have to pay a fortune to leave the car for days.
-Appearance: This sounds silly I know, but in my opinion, it works. When I leave for a trip (especially to poorer countries), I don’t wash my car for 2 months before I leave. Most cars in these areas are full of dirt and dust, so a shiny clean car would catch the eye of any thief. Also, don’t leave your stuff visible inside. Hide your GPS if possible, throw your backpack etc in the trunk when you need to leave it in the car.
-Have your passport ready at the borders. Because nothing sucks more than constantly getting out of the car to search for it in your backpack.
-Always double check when locking your car. Also, check if all the windows are closed. Don’t blame it on other travellers who forgot to close their window, the responsibility is on you!
-Maps! I had maps of every country except for Bosnia. Conclusion: Gps stopped in the middle of nowhere, no phone connection, no village in sight. I learned from that situation^^
And now: Go and have an amazing trip!