With the COVID-19 pandemic still going on, road trips are probably one of the safest ways to travel. And if you’re new to road tripping or are planning one after a long time, this is the only road trip guide you’ll ever need to ensure a smooth, fun adventure. By Anushka Goel
The COVID-19 threat is still not over, and this is taking a toll on travellers. If you’re someone who finds solace in visiting new places and exploring the world, the pandemic must have undoubtedly been a tough time for you. And if you’re someone who was looking forward to the occasional yearly trips, only to have your plans ruined by the current situation, I feel you.
Road trips are something that has taken over ever since the pandemic began. Initially, when trains and flights weren’t plying (back in 2020), many turned to the road to reach their homes, driving for over 24 hours at times and covering distances over thousands of kilometres. Even when travel reopened, many have been opting for road trips (I know I am!) over flights and trains, for the sheer safety and comfort hitting the road gives you.
If you’ve planned enough road trips in life, you will be familiar with the drill of packing, planning and booking. But if you’re planning one after a long time, or simply haven’t planned it yourself, our road trip guide will help you out.
Road trip guide
Choose your destination
View this post on Instagram
While impromptu road trips are exciting, given the current situation, it’s better to have a destination in mind before you start. It’s also a good idea to plan according to the number of days you have in hand – if it’s just the weekend, an 11-hour road trip will make no sense because you’ll end up spending a major part of it on the road! Opt for destinations depending upon the days you have, and you will be comfortable throughout your journey.
Decide your duration and budget
Taking off from the previous point, it’s essential to figure out just how many days you’ll be gone for, as it’ll help not only in planning the destination but also the activities you plan on doing there (if any). Your budget is important is it will help you figure out stops on the way to eat and refresh, the place you’ll be staying at and what vehicle to take (in case you aren’t using your own).
Plan your route
A good road trip guide needs to have this point, as planning your route is essential to a road trip. Usually, most destinations have two-three routes that take you to the place (eventually all roads meet at the same point), and you can opt for one depending on the intensity of the drive, stops and time it’ll take on that particular route. What’s also important is to choose a scenic drive, to make the most of your journey.
Have a discussion with your group
This may seem like a trivial point to include in a road trip guide, but it’s actually a necessary one. Having a discussion with your road trip buddies will help you know of their expectations of the same (even if you’re travelling with a spouse or your family), and will help you plan accordingly.
Decide your stops
If you’ve pre-decided your lunch and tea breaks (especially on long road trips), your journey will become easier since you won’t waste time looking for places to stop at. Also, this will help you stay relaxed and comfortable throughout the drive!
Book your accommodation
It’s important to pre-book your accommodation, especially amid the pandemic, since you don’t know if places will accept on-the-spot travellers and bookings. Check out the hotels and homestays in the place you’re planning on visiting, and make your bookings before you hit the road!
Carry snacks and water
Yes, you’ve already budgeted time and places for meals, but it’s always a good idea to carry some snacks and water for the road. It’ll help in case you have any dietary restrictions, and homemade snacks and reusable water bottles will also help you plan sustainably! What’s more, road trips can have hiccups, such as unwanted delays and stops, so having some food and water on hand will ensure no one goes hungry (or hangry, which is equally bad!).
Check your vehicle
View this post on Instagram
When you’re hitting the road for a long duration, it’s important to check the condition of your vehicle, especially if you’re going to go on rocky terrain. Get your vehicle checked, repairs done and ensure the car is in top condition before you embark on your journey!
Make a road trip playlist
Well, what’s a road trip guide if there are no music recommendations? It’s better to get a music streaming service subscription, such as a weekly plan of Spotify Premium or Amazon Prime membership to download your music offline, in case you hit patches without network, to ensure your music doesn’t suffer.
Plan your entertainment
Yes, entertainment is important – especially for the passengers, since the driver will need to concentrate on the road. Check out some road trip games that everyone (even the driver) can play, or put on a nice movie that the one driving can listen to and enjoy, to make the most of your trip!
Do not overpack!
It may seem enticing to overpack for your road trip, because it is a road journey, after all! But overpacking will mean less leg room space and more discomfort. Also, you won’t be able to shop from your destination since you’ll have no room in the car! So pack light and stick to the essentials, because you know you won’t need three sweaters and five jackets for a weekend trip!
Check out potential attractions at the destination
While the road trip itself is a thrilling experience, check out what you can do once you arrive – be it walking through the vineyards in Nashik, going paragliding in Manali or going on a safari in Ranthambore. Taking out time to see these attractions will only make your road trip a better, fun experience!