Vacations

Best Road Trip Tips for Your Vacation


Welcome back to our Staycation Series. In this series, we look at options to get you holidaying sooner, as well as ways to do so safely. We also give you ideas to help you enjoy a vacation that leaves you feeling without worries and refreshed. This post is about road trips. Keep reading for the Best Road Trip Tips for Your Vacation.

If you still can’t leave home, please check out our
73 In-home Staycation Ideas During Lockdown.

The world has unravelled, and we find we don’t have the same freedoms we had six months ago. However, after over three months of restrictions and anxiety, many people crave to travel and find some relaxation and pleasure.

Borders have started reopening, resorts are welcoming tourists again and flights have begun resuming. People are flying to destinations around their country or neighbouring countries.

But, from what we are hearing from travellers, there are formalities at the airport which makes their trip tiresome. Depending on which airport you fly in and out of, there is more paperwork to fill out, and there are social distancing rules and temperature screenings. And along with stagnated boarding times, there is extra time you need to spend at the airport. Plus, there is a higher risk of exposure to coronavirus.

Therefore, now is a great time to go on a road trip. So we have written this post to inspire you to choose a road trip for your next vacation and help make it the best road trip possible. Keep reading, and we will help you get packed and ready for your best road trip ever.

How to Choose the Best Road Trip Destination

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It all starts with planning. If you don’t plan a road trip, you could end up driving aimlessly and feel frustrated and let down. There are choices you need to make, such as how long are you happy to spend driving? Consider how many days or weeks you can go away. Also, what type of vacation you want. These things are the determining factor of where you can go.

Next, bring up Google Maps and do a radius search around the area you live in. How long do you want to spend driving? What is in this radius that you want to do and see? Do you want to go to the mountains and get away from it all? Or do you prefer a beachside holiday? Perhaps you want to visit country towns and meet local communities? Take into consideration, not just the landscape, but the type of activities available in the area. There is no point going to the mountains if you prefer fine dining and nightlife.

The easiest way to find out if the area you are thinking of going to has activities you like is to Google the name of the town followed by “things to do”.

Bear in mind, you may need to consider driving further if the type of vacation you would like, is not within the driving time you prefer.

The Perfect Ride for Your Journey

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Now you need to decide how you will get there. The first choice is your own car. It is straight forward, as you get in your car from your front door and drive. Make sure though to check that your vehicle is roadworthy and safe and especially check that your tyres and brakes are up to the trip. Make sure your car has a spare tyre, your car’s manual and a roadside emergency kit.

On the other hand, maybe you do not own a car, or you prefer not to use your own. Further, because of the limitations in your area, you may choose to fly to a nearby town and start the road trip from there. Rental car options mean you can hire a fun, sporty car or a roomier car and not have to worry about pre-trip maintenance checks.

Alternatively, you can hire a camper van and have your transport and accommodation organised in one go. Further, camper van holidays are in a league of their own when it comes to road trip fun.

Additionally, one thing many people don’t consider, you can go on a road trip by public transport. Make sure if you choose this option, you have researched the timetable options and availability of tickets. Also, make sure to look at where the pick-up and drop off stops are. However, make sure public transport is a safe choice to make at this time if your country has not flattened the curve. And finally, carefully consider what you pack, as you will have to carry it!

Finally, for the adventurous traveller, you can cycle or go by a motorbike. Though when planning, you need to make sure you give extra consideration to how far your destination is, stops along the way and your packing list. Plus, as always with biking, you need to give extra attention to safety.

Booking Accommodation to Make Your Vacation Fantastic

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Each person has different preferences. We love camping in remote places. However, some people hate it. So the type of accommodation you pick for your road trip is an important decision that you should make before your trip.

Do you prefer a room with sweeping mountain or sea views? Would you prefer a resort where you don’t need to go far for activities and dinner? Or is a budget room more to your preference, so you have more money for other things?

Some people like to get in the car and drive and then stop and find accommodation as they go. We do love the freedom that this involves. Though this option works best if your travel is during the low season, you have unlimited time and are not too fussy where you stay.

However, whether it’s low season or high season, because of the pandemic and lockdown, you may find some accommodation has not reopened. So we recommend, at this time, you book in advance. This way, whether you prefer to go camping, stay in a hotel or splash out in a resort, you are sure to get to stay in the type of accommodation you prefer.

Have a look at Booking.com availability, they have specials at the moment, and you can make sure you stay somewhere that will enhance your road trip and time away. They are our preferred booking site as they have many accommodation options and types. And further, they have a generous cancellation policy. It means you can reserve a room today and cancel later if in case you don’t go on your trip.

*Travel Bugs World is reader-supported. This blog post contains affiliate links (meaning we may get a small commission if you buy through our links). You won’t pay any more if you use these links and it helps support the site. We Thank You.

Packing for the Best Road Trip

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What you pack or don’t pack for your road trip makes a considerable difference to your trip. Packing right for your road trip can make your journey more comfortable and entertaining. It will result in more fun, and you will want to go road tripping again and again. During our 20 years of travelling, we have been road tripping many times and have driven over 10,000 km in Australia alone. Our ultimate road trip essentials packing list is pretty huge. However, here are some of the key things we recommend you pack to make sure you have the best road trip:

  • License & registration
  • Spare cash to use in general stores that may not have other options
  • A copy of your car’s insurance policy and roadside assistance membership, including contact numbers
  • Phone charger and USB car charger
  • Maps or GPS. Note, in some areas you may not have WiFi signal to use Google Maps
  • WiFi hot spot or data
  • Books or magazines to read
  • Download your favourite playlist and movies before you go. Or Subscribe to Amazon Prime’s free 30-day free trial and enjoy FREE access to unlimited music, movies & TV shows and Kindle books on your phone
  • Camera and charger
  • Travel games
  • A Cooler so you can have cold drinks whenever you want
  • A Travel Mug to keep your coffee warm while you drive
  • Bottles of water for washing & emergencies, and a reusable water bottle for drinking water
  • Tissues, body wipes and toilet roll
  • Flip Flops
  • Sunglasses and hat
  • Sunshades to keep the sun off your body while driving
  • Sun Screen
  • Mosquito and fly repellent
  • Umbrella or raincoat
  • Blankets and travel pillows
  • Snacks. Road trips are all about the snacks, so pack all your favourites
  • Bags for your rubbish, dirty laundry, grocery shopping, etc
  • A Day pack 
  • Swiss Army Knife or multi-tool. They always come in handy
  • First aid kit for emergencies
  • A bright waterproof flashlight
  • A Towel.
    We recommend Tesalate sand-free beach towels as they come in stunning designs. They are known to be a popular beach essential. But with travel restrictions in place, the towel is also versatile to use for other purposes like taking it with you on road trips. That’s because Tesalate is lightweight, compact, super absorbent and fast drying. Besides single sizes, they have the “towel for two” size, which is perfect for picnics. Check out the wide range of designs at www.tesalate.com.  
woman with tesalate towel
Tesalate towel

It’s About The Journey, Not The Destination

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Remember, especially on a road trip, “It’s not about the destination; it’s about the journey”. So research what is on the way to your destination that you might like to stop and visit.

The best sources for that information are from other travellers on Tripadvisor. You will also find the best places to eat, as recommended by other travellers, along your chosen route.

Also, look out for any detours that you can take off the main route that can lead you to interesting areas and tourist sites.

Additionally, for aspiring photographers, you may like to check out Instagram for the best photo opportunities in the area. 

Above all else, once the road trip starts, just follow the road with an open mind, an open heart and an explorer’s attitude, and stop wherever you want! 

More Reading for the Best Road Trip Tips for Your Vacation

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We have written a post exploring ideas of the type of vacation you might like to take in or near your home town. It is also applicable to any town you visit. You will find ideas of where you might go and things to see.

Some of these ideas include visiting natural wonders, wellness retreats or glamping. For more ideas and inspirations, check out our post
54 Things To Do On A Staycation in Your Home Town.

So pack your bags and a good attitude and have a happy and safe holiday.

We hope you have enjoyed this post about Best Road Trip Tips for Your Vacation. And that you have gained tips, ideas and inspiration for a worry-free and safe vacation you can take at any time.

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