Road trips are probably one of the best ways to travel. And if you’re planning one after a long time, this is the only guide you’ll need to ensure a fun adventure.
If you’re someone who finds solace in visiting new places, road trips may be your jam. Three years ago, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, these journeys were the only way you could step out, and their popularity shot up. Now, as the pandemic has receded, such trips continue to be the go-to among travellers, for the sheer comfort and flexibility they offer.
If you’ve ever planned a road trip, you will be familiar with the drill of packing, planning and booking. But if you still need some help, our road trip guide is what you need.
Your guide to plan the ultimate road trip
Choose your destination
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While impromptu road trips are exciting, 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 chunk of it on the road. So, choose your destination wisely.
Decide your duration and budget
It’s essential to determine the duration of your trip, as it will help not only in selecting your destination but also the activities you plan on doing there (if any). Budgeting is important to help you mark your rest stops, accommodation and choice of transportation (in case you aren’t using your own vehicle).
Plan your route
Deciding your route is essential when planning a road trip. Most destinations can be reached by two-three ways (as all of them eventually converge at some point), so you can pick one based on its length, stops available and the time it will take. If possible, pick a route that offers scenic views to make your trip more enjoyable.
Have a discussion with your group
This may seem like a trivial point to include in a road trip guide, but it’s actually quite necessary. Discussing with your fellow travellers will help you know of their expectations from the journey (even if you’re travelling with a spouse or family). If you’re doing all the planning, taking into account their wants and needs will help you create an itinerary that’s enjoyable for all.
Decide your stops
Pre-deciding your lunch and tea breaks (especially on long road trips) will make your travel easier. Also, this will help you stay relaxed and comfortable throughout the drive! However, ensure that you keep some buffer time and backup options in hand to factor in unexpected delays.
Book your accommodation
It’s important to pre-book your accommodation since you don’t know if hotels and homestays will accept walk-in bookings. Check out properties at the destination you’re visiting, and book your preferred stay before you hit the road.
Carry snacks and water
Even if you’ve allocated time and money for lunch and tea breaks, it’s a good idea to carry snacks and water for the road. It’ll help in case you have dietary restrictions. Additionally, homemade snacks and reusable water bottles will also help you plan sustainably. If you’re travelling with children, these will help with their hunger pangs and keep them engaged.
Check your vehicle
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When you’re hitting the road for a long duration, it’s important to check the condition of your vehicle. This is especially necessary if you’re going on rocky terrain. Get your vehicle checked and repaired (if needed) 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 an Amazon Prime membership to download your tunes for offline listening. This way, your music won’t skip a beat even when you hit areas with poor network coverage.
Plan your entertainment
Entertainment is important, especially for passengers, since the driver will be focussed on the road. Check out road trip games that everyone can play, or put on a nice movie that the one driving can listen to and enjoy.
Do not overpack!
While it may seem enticing to overpack for your road trip sans baggage restrictions, it’s important to exercise restraint. Excessive luggage can lead to cramped legroom and limit space for any new purchases along the way. So pack light and stick to essentials — there’s really no point in carrying three sweaters for two days. Carry empty totes or airbags to put your purchases in.
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 embarking on a wildlife safari in Ranthambore.
Getaway ideas to make the most of upcoming long weekends
October 2023 begins with a long weekend as the Gandhi Jayanti holiday on October 2 is a Monday. You can consider clubbing the Dussehra holiday on October 24 (Tuesday), with a leave on Monday, October 23, and plan a long weekend vacation.
Subsequently, November 13 (Monday) is a holiday for Govardhan Puja, November 14 (Tuesday) is Vishwakarma Jayanti and November 15 (Wednesday) is Bhai Dooj. However, if you don’t want to travel then, Guru Nanak Jayanti, which falls on November 27 (Monday), will be your next best option.
Christmas this year falls on a Monday, so you should make the most of this December long weekend for the last weekend getaway of the year. Better yet, use your soon-to-expire leaves and go on a long vacation instead!
Trips to take in these long weekends
- Delhi to Morni (283 km)
- Delhi to Jim Corbett (246 km)
- Delhi to Orchha (494 km)
- Delhi to Jaipur (280 km)
- Mumbai to Lonavala (83 km)
- Mumbai to Pune (152 km)
- Mumbai to Goa (590 km)
- Kolkata to Darjeeling (656 km)
- Kolkata to Kalimpong (667 km)
- Bengaluru to Coorg (250 km)
- Chennai to Pondicherry (151 km)
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