After many road trips I have learned some valuable lessons. There are few things that can turn a fun holiday road trip into a disaster as quickly as the realisation that you have hundreds of miles of road in front of you, and only your tone deaf co pilot to sing you old 80s tunes while you melt into your seat because you forgot to check the aircon.
So, before you start imagining murderous scenes, learn from me and make sure your trip is awesome!
Get Everything Checked. Everything!
This seems obvious, and I suppose it is obvious, which is probably why I’ve ignored it time and time again. The last thing you want is to be stranded on the side of the road bickering with your co pilot while waiting for Road Assist.
Take your car for a check. Make sure your windscreen wipers are in good nick, get the tyres pumped, don’t forget the flat, make sure you have the necessary tools, like the wheel jack and spanner.
Make sure the radiator is full, that the oil is fine and full up the tank. In fact, never pass up the opportunity to put in fuel, that’s also excellent advice for the loo. Never pass up the opportunity to use a clean loo.
Oh, and don’t forget to get the aircon checked. See, I’m giving you tips and almost forgot that one.
Take a Spare Car Key
And keep it on you at ALL times. I know you can all imagine why this piece of advice is important, and you’ll thank me when you are hours from civilisation, locked out your car. It’s a pleasure.
But, if you still forget at least you can play some online blackjack Canada while you wait to be rescued.
Have a Plan but Be Flexible
Unless you have an endless amount of time, you are going to need some sort of loose idea of where you’re going. The trick is to be flexible.
Why? Because the whole purpose of a road trip is to discover awesome new places and you can’t do that if you are acting like a Sergeant Major.
Flexibility is even more important when plans don’t go according to, well, plan. Embrace change and enjoy the new scenery. Sir, yes, sir.
Tunes, Tunes, and More Tunes
I cannot stress this enough. Take so much music that you are positive you won’t run out and then take more. First this will ensure that if your travel buddies insist on singing along, at least it will be to songs that you like, and second, you do not want to get stuck listening to the same album over and over again.
The alternative? That 80’s tune sung by your co pilot and dark murderous scenes playing out in your imagination.
Check in Everyday
Check into the place you are staying and check in with friends or family, so that they know where that place is. Its polite so no one worries, it increases your safety and you get the bonus of not having to field the ‘I’m really worried’ calls from your Mum. I’m just saying, we’ve all seen the Hills Have Eyes.
Go Camera Crazy
Get as many photos as you can of everything. The giant turnip, the weird signboard, pictures of you driving, pictures of your co-pilot passed out with their mouth open, pictures of the traffic cop that pulled you over.
Okay, maybe not the traffic cop, but you see my point. Do not miss a moment, it’s the wacky photos that make you laugh when you’re back home.