Travelling need not always be about cramming your life into a suitcase and attempting to survive a flight next to a complete stranger – it should be fun and easy, giving you a change to spend quality time with friends or family. As we scan our 2016 calendars for long weekends to plan the ideal getaway, consider taking a leisurely road trip to a holiday destination near you and make travel a little interesting this year!
Road trips make the journey as exciting as the destination – while giving you that episodic push outside your comfort zone. Planning a perfect road trip may appear to be an exhausting ordeal, but we’ve got you covered.
Plan your route.
Once you skim through the notes of your fellow travelers and pick a destination that speaks to your wanderlust, take into consideration several personal priorities while deciding on the preferred route – Do you want to see several attractions on the way? Would your family prefer breaks to cut the fatigue? Do you have children who get car-sick easily? Are you looking to save petrol or avoid the rush hour traffic?
Mapping out the route and exits accordingly will give you a good estimate of the travel time, helping you plan the rest of the weekend better. Source your information from the internet and travel blogs. Speak to the concierge at the resort or holiday home you plan on staying in about the quality of the roads or temporary detours – and avoid surprises en-route. Save the coordinates of your destination on your preferred GPS system a night in advance to avoid wasting time the day you set off on your adventure.
Travelling with young children? Here’s a tip to up the comfort levels of the weekend journey for your snoozing little ones – create a portable bedroom for them! Recline the back-rest and line the seat with thick blankets. Throw in a few pillows along with their favorite soft toys you’ve transformed an otherwise uncomfortable car seat into a cozy bed for the long haul car ride.
Don’t drive in silence.
Music is to a road trip what petrol is to a car – and good music can kick your highway journey into high gear. Pre-set your favorite radio stations to get a mix of today’s latest tunes or curate a playlist with your favorite road trip albums that you and your travel buddies can enjoy. A CD collection works best if you happen to drive through regions that have sketchy radio signals. Movie soundtracks and show tunes will get everybody to sing along – and if you’re feeling particularly musical, download a few karaoke tracks to let your inner rockstar shine.
If you wish to bring your travels to the digital age, music apps such as 8tracks, SoundCloud, Wynk, Last.fm and Gaana are the perfect road trip companions. These apps allow you to stream songs based on genres, artists, moods, activity or decade – the options are endless. The songs you choose need not have “travel” or “road” in their lyrics – all they have to do is make sure you sing out loud and have fun!
Keep a back-up of your papers and emergency numbers.
Regardless of where you’re going and for how long, it’s always a good idea to ensure that your dashboard has a copy of your driver’s licence and vehicle’s insurance papers – you never know when they may come in handy! Also, always keep a little notepad in your car with a list of persons who can be contacted by strangers in case of an emergency – and be sure to update this information periodically.
Scrap your trip.
Scrapbooks are a great way to preserve the memories of a good holiday. Entrusting your children with theresponsibility of maintaining a scrapbook will keep them busy and help you avoid the dreaded “are we there yet?” Motivate them to take pictures, record videos, sketch the scenery and write about their favorite activities along the way. You could help them collect mementos such as brochures, tickets stubs, receipts, paper coasters, leaves or sea shells, from the holiday destination. Use them to compile a scrapbook at the end of your trip and reminisce about your little adventure, together!
There are sights and terrains that are waiting to be a part of your travel story. So, let’s hit the road this 2016?