by Tiberiu Ana Flickr Creative Commons
Be it by car, motorbike or motorhome, a true road trip is an experience, not just getting from A to B. Here are some guidelines for an amazing road trip:
- Take someone with you. Someone you love, someone you like, someone you just met but find interesting- reminiscing afterwards will be half the fun of the trip.
- Take new routes. The highway is the fastest way, but not the most interesting. A road trip is about the journey, not the destination, so can't be rushed. In New Zealand it's called a tiki tour- go down a side road just to see what you might find.
- A road trip is great when it has a purpose, or when it doesn't. You may have taken a few extra days to get to your intended city instead of flying, or you may have packed up the car or RV when a free week presented itself and took to the road with no rhyme nor reason. Whichever it is, embrace it!
- Stop somewhere you've never been before. Be it for icecream, lunch, dinner or breakfast. The smaller the town, the better- and make friends with the locals if the opportunity arises.
- Be spontaneous. This could mean getting out of the car to dip your feet in the water, walking up a hill to see the view, attending anything that might be on in a town without preplanning it. Don't be afraid to take any opportunity that is put in front of you- even if it will mess with your plans.
by Pete Flickr Creative Commons
And for the more advanced road trip experience, try for one or more of these:
- Break down and fix it in the pouring rain. Flag someone down to help and become lifelong friends.
- Park your RV somewhere unknown in the pitch dark, and wake up in the morning to the most incredible view you have ever seen. This can also be done in a car for extra badass points.
- Find a relative of yours in a forgotten graveyard, and uncover a huge family secret.
by Kevin Dooley Flickr Creative Commons
- Have a beer in the most rural pub you can find, and have an in-depth conversation with a farmer with no teeth. Learn valuable life lessons.
by Jan Smith Flickr Creative Commons
- Stay in a haunted hotel or bed and breakfast with a creepy owner. Leave the next morning feeling as though you survived an ordeal.
- Buy cheap and fresh meat, cheese and veges from an amazing Farmer's Market in the small town you are staying at. Prepare the most amazing meal of your life on your gas cooker or RV stove.
- Meet a fellow traveler, learn their life story, and be left with only memories and one slightly blurry photo of them as you go your separate ways.
- Build a campfire (where permitted, of course) and spend the night in a toasted marshmallow and wine- fuelled heart to heart. Be surprised to see the sun coming up.
- Get horribly lost. Wrestle with maps, bust out a compass, scan the horizon. Eventually find that you are 5 mins away from where you left 5 hours ago, give up and and revisit the local pub. Tell the toothless farmer what happened, and hear his words of wisdom on getting lost, which are profound despite the fact he has never been more than 10km from his own farm.
by The Eyes of New York Flickr Creative Commons
Admittedly, those last few are entirely dependent on fate- but the fundamental quality of a road trip is that it can't be planned! Whatever happens will happen, and the key is to go with the flow.
Have a look here for car rentals and here for motorhome rentals and road trip ideas all over the world!