There’s nothing quite like the adventure of a road trip. No boarding times or set places to be. Just pack up the car, fill up the tank, call a friend and you’re off. It’s almost like a right of passage, a step we all must take at some point in life, to hit the open road ready to see what we may. The best part of it all is that the adventure can be so close to home. A weekend out exploring neighboring towns, a trip cross country, or one half way around the world, it doesn’t really matter where you’re driving to or from, the open road has a special magic in and of itself. But as you head out on the road consider these tips and you’ll be bound to make great memories along the way.
1. Leave Time For The Unexpected
There is nothing more detrimental to the adventure of a road trip than over planning. Let the roads lead you where they may and take the unexpected turns as they come. They are likely to lead you to the most memorable of experiences.
2. Wake Up Early
My travel mantra has always been, “I’ll sleep when I’m dead”, simply because to many of my best memories come from the early mornings I’ve spent in amazing places. There is something unique about the way places look in the early morning, the sunlight rising, the empty streets, the cold dewy air. It transforms a place completely. Thought it can be difficult to wake up early after full days of driving and exploring, it is well worth it. Grab a coffee to perk you up and just watch the place come alive.
3. Ask About Local Hangouts
This tip is golden. It has led me to some of the most incredible spots, from urban forest cocktail bars in downtown Denver, local pizza joints playing world cup matches in Amalfi, hipster taco bars on the Big Sur coastline or hidden hot springs in rural Iceland. Ask anyone local where they like to go in the city and you’re bound to find something great.
4. Bring A Printed Map
You will get lost, and likely it will be just when cell service is out of reach or you’re GPS battery drains. Paper maps are not overrated.
5. Make Time For The Scenic Route
I’ll admit that sometimes the scenic route feels like a tedious way of getting from one town to the next. When I look back on the beautiful views I’ve seen out my car window though, like first stumbling upon our secluded wilderness campsite at the bottom of Vatnajökull glacier after driving more than 50 miles extra for the scenery, it’s clear that the scenic route is worth every single minute. Enjoy the journey, not just the place. It will offer up views you will never forget.
And remember, it is not the roads you travel that are unique but the way in which you travel them. So feel free to throw the tip book out the window and make your own mistakes the way I have so many times. They are bound to be great memories. Bon voyage, bon chance and may your gas tank never hit empty.