1) Hit somewhere off the beaten track
Say good bye to noisy crowds, overpriced trinkets and mundane skyscrapers! It’s always rewarding to take a break from the hustle and bustle of city life and spend some time wandering through nature. Research has shown that getting lost in nature also leads to better health! Just make sure you know where you’re going.
2) Follow an old-school printed map
Challenge yourself to finding your way around with an old-school map. That’s what everyone used back in the day before the advent of technology, anyway. Although always be sure that you have back-up in the form of GPS on your mobile phones or some sort of device so that you don’t end up getting lost and ruining your entire trip.
3) Wake up early to catch the sunrise
No matter where you are in the world, the same sun will always rise in the east and set in the west. No two sunrises or sunsets are ever identical, which makes waking up for a sunrise even more worthwhile.
4) Tune in to local radio stations
Listening to local radio stations is a great way to immerse in their culture from the comfort of your car. Whether it is spanish tunes, french tunes, english tunes or even chinese tunes, find out what’s popular in the country now and it could even make for a conversation topic with the locals when you’re there!
5) Don’t research every stop
The best road trips always involve finding secret scenic spots along the way. These spots will be what makes your road trip memorable and unique. Sure, you’ll still hit all the touristy hotspots, but nothing beats having a picture perfect moment away from the crowds.
6) But do plan to hit a mix of environments
Get lost in mountains, forests, cities – all types of environments! Especially when you’re equipped with your handy vehicle, travelling becomes a breeze. Many people fail to capitalise on the fact that their car can take them virtually anywhere. It’s called a road trip, after all. Mix up your itinerary and venture into the unknown! That way, you can be sure that it will be a road trip to remember.
7) Get lost on foot or go for a run
But of course, don’t use your car to navigate everywhere. You can’t reach every nook and cranny by car, and sometimes, walking is the best alternative. Even waking up early to go for a run around your neighbourhood (and simultaneously burn off that extra supper you had), is a great way to familiarise yourself with foreign land. Catch a glimpse of what local life is like, or even chat up locals to find out where all the cheap local food is at that you can’t find on TripAdvisor.
8) As well as some quality alone time
Road trip buddies are great, but everyone is bound to start to get on each other’s nerves eventually. Split up occasionally during stops so you can do you and return to the group rejuvenated.
9) Know where all the live music is
Remember what we said about listening to local music? There are many ways to submerge yourself into the local culture, and finding out where all the live music is is one of them. Who knows, you might link up with several like-minded individuals like yourself and party the night away!
10) Up your snack game
And no, we don’t mean donuts and coffee – unless you’re a police officer! Head towards the nearest petrol station or supermarket to pick up affordable local snacks. If you know that food is going to be more expensive relative to back home, pack some snacks to tide you through the road trip. Nuts and chocolate make good energy boosters, especially when you will be driving for hours.
11) And make dinner a local sit-down affair
One mistake that most tourists make is stick to cuisines that they are familiar with. Now that you’re on vacation, be bold, be daring and try something new! Chances are you won’t find the same types of food back home, and what better way to try new cuisines at affordable price than when you’re on vacation! Having a car also makes virtually any popular local restaurant accessible, so you have no excuse not to do so.
12) Banish carsickness
No need for barf bags — just make sure you are looking out the window when you’re in the backseat! Doing so sends the right signals to your brain that you are moving, whereas staring at a still object like your phone messes with your equilibrium. Oftentimes, if you’re a passenger in the car, you’re going to feel fidgety and sleepy. That’s where the local radio tunes and snacks come in, to make sure that your road trip is an enjoyable one!
13) Have all your bathroom stops lined up
When you gotta go, you gotta go, and there’s no stress like not knowing how soon relief will be possible. The SitOrSquat app lets you search and view public restrooms nearby to make that stop happen STAT.
14) Don’t be afraid to choose your favourites
It is perfectly alright to revisit your favourite countries and relive those memories you created. It isn’t a waste of money, especially when you know you’re going to have fun in these places. Road trips don’t have to be once in a lifetime events, you will always have time to visit new places, and of course, revisit old ones.
Adapted from: Buzzfeed