Road Trip Rules

America may be famous as a road trip haven, but there are incredible opportunities all over the world for self-paced road-based adventures. From the vast wilderness of the Australian outback to Vietnam’s lush mountain roads, there’s a unique flavor to be found in every country.

No matter where your road trip commences, the following six tips will help you create a smooth and adventure-filled experience.

1. Include some indulgences

Whether you buy coffee beans in Melbourne before heading off to explore the Great Ocean Road or pick up some trail mix in San Francisco before heading up into the Redwoods, it’s important to give yourself the ingredients needed to treat yourself on your trip. Having a few tasty, relatively healthy snacks on hand is also a great way to keep yourself nourished and focused during long, quiet stretches of driving.

2. Choose your vehicle wisely

Vans and RVs are the go-to options for many road-trippers. However, the ideal vehicle for your trip will depend on a number of factors. If it’s only a short trip and you’re not a fan of sleeping in vans, you may prefer to take a car or motorbike and book accommodation along the way. If the roads are small and winding (like those aforementioned mountain tracks in Vietnam), a motorbike may be far easier to maneuver than a van.

3. Plan your packing

Whether you’re bringing a backpack or a fully kitted-out RV, it’s essential to pack with a strategy in mind. Think about each item you’re bringing, how often you use it, and when. You don’t want to have daily items buried beneath things you only use on rare occasions.

Once you have an idea of what you’re bringing and have organized everything into categories, arm yourself with packing cubes, storage containers, and other organizational tools. Then, pack your gear in a way that ensures you won’t end up rifling through everything and creating chaos on day two of the trip.

4. Plan for emergencies

Though “road trip gone wrong” horror films are generally filled with exaggerations, there’s no denying that things can and do go wrong on the road. It’s essential to be prepared for the most likely emergencies by bringing:

  • A spare tire, jack, and tool kit;
  • A well-stocked first-aid kit;
  • A portable battery charger;
  • Non-perishable food;
  • Plenty of water (for you and the vehicle);
  • Oil, coolant, and anything else recommended by your mechanic.

Depending on the length and location of your trip, you may also need things like spare blankets, flares, snow tires, and backup fuel tanks.

5. Visit a mechanic before you leave

If you’ll be using a rental vehicle, you can skip this tip. However, if you’ll be using your vehicle or one belonging to a friend or family member, it’s crucial to have a mechanic look it over. Let them know your plans, and they’ll make sure the vehicle is up for the challenge. This is the best way to ensure you don’t end up stranded in the middle of nowhere.

6. Insurance and roadside assistance

No matter where you are in the world, there’s usually some form of insurance and/or roadside assistance that can cover you if something goes wrong on your trip. This may mean taking out a travel insurance policy, signing up for AAA, or taking out auto insurance. There’s nothing like the peace of mind that comes with knowing someone will be there to swoop in and save you if anything goes wrong.

Put these tips into action, and you’ll be all set for a memorable, fun-filled trip.

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