The open road, it’s still appealing to so many. Road trips haven’t lost their charm, and don’t look set to anytime soon. They’re far more than simply driving across states to get from A to B; it’s about connecting with the outdoors, feeling free, traversing over some of the most beautiful lands the world has to offer, meeting like-minded people along the way, and enjoying a more relaxed way of life for the duration.
Road trips are a rite of passage for many, as they’re seen as being quintessentially American and nostalgic for a past when times were simpler. This isn’t to say that only American’s road trip, or that you can’t enjoy one in another part of the world – quite the opposite. You can undertake a road trip by making purposeful plans, knowing your stuff when it comes to RV maintenance and what to look for when hiring one, how to sustain yourself for a prolonged period of time, truly understanding the rules of the road, being adaptable, and most of all, being ready, willing, and eager to chase your dream.
Where are you headed?
First things first, you should know your route, as in, really know it. Before you depart upon your adventure, you should know which states you’re going to be passing through (assuming you’re moving through the US), and if you’re not, then it’s still crucial to understand where you’re allowed to park up for the night, that you possess the correct documentation and license you need, you’ve accurately calculated gas costs, anticipate some difficulty along the way, have joined a roadside service, and have taken plenty enough sources of entertainment along with you.
In a notebook, write down your devised and revised plan for the route, and understand that you might need to take your time in doing this, as you should be properly prepared, and everyone involved should know which maps you plan to follow. You should know (or at least have some idea of) where you’re headed to each time you start up the engine.
The vehicle you choose is going to influence your journey tenfold, as put it this way: if the RV you opt for is too small for your needs, then you’ll feel as though you’re stepping on toes, cooped up, and eager to get home to what’s comfortable and familiar. So, with this in mind, it’s best to opt for a slightly more roomy vehicle than you might think you need, so that you can fit all of the belongings you’ve decided to bring along for the ride, as well as ample space to stretch your legs, and enjoy an hour or so to yourself either in the bedroom or kitchen space.
Be thorough in your search for RV rentals, and inspect them to find out whether they have basic amenities like air conditioning, a freshwater toilet, gas cooktop, microwave, refrigerator, generator, and a shower.
Your essential packing list
When it comes to packing, you’re not likely to be ecstatic at the prospect. As it can be stressful from start to finish, it’s always best to start it early or at least begin sourcing the items you know you’re going to need in advance. The very nature of road tripping means that you’re not going to be staying very long in one place, so it may well prove challenging to find what you’re after in the time frame, so, make sure that you’ve packed well and efficiently, and that you’ve catered for your every need. You’ll find a handy road trip checklist below:
- Sunglasses (these will provide better vision when driving during sunset and sunrise, and prevent you from squinting in bright light).
- A thick blanket – you will need a blanket to wrap around yourself when the weather takes a turn for the worse, when it’s raining outside and you’re seeking comfort, and even to use as a picnic blanket.
- Travel pillow, and mug too – reasonably self-explanatory!
- UV window shade– as aforementioned, driving during sunrise and sunset can be dangerous as your vision is restricted, so play it safe and ensure you purchase a UV window shade before embarking upon your road trip.
- Reusable water bottle – you’ll need to be able to fill this up at opportune moments along the way. Hydration is very important, and especially crucial in starting alert while behind the wheel.
- Spare change/coins.
- A notebook and a pen.
- First aid kit, complete with bug spray, after-sun lotion, sun cream/screen, and an ointment to relieve itching after having been bitten or stung.
- Both a small and a large backpack.
The above are the items that you might not have at first thought about, and usually, are the sort of ones that are accidentally forgotten about when packing. Below is a short compilation of the items that you absolutely cannot afford to misplace:
- License and registration number
- A copy of your car insurance policy
- Your vehicle’s manual
- A spare tyre
- Roadside emergency kit
You should be able to fully relax in the knowledge that you’ve got all safety bases covered, as this trip should revolve around you and your companion/companions having fun, seeking adventure, and forming priceless memories to cherish throughout your life.
Understand that it’s a good idea to learn to cook
It needn’t be gourmet food, but it’s going to be a huge help for you to learn how to prepare and cook some simple meals. When you’re on the road, it can sometimes be challenging to find restaurants and bars that you’ll want to eat at each day, so if you can make something delicious and nutritious in the back of your RV, then, well, you’re going to save yourself time, worry, and importantly, money. Before you leave for your road trip adventure, perfect and finesse your chilli recipe, as well as a spag bol one!
Baked potatoes are quick and easy to prepare and cook, so consider taking along with you a bag of large of cooking potatoes, cans of tuna fish for the filling, as well as red onions, fresh bell peppers, and other fruit and vegetables as long as you can ensure that you’ll eat them before they perish. To be safe, take plenty of canned food with you, as well as calorie-dense foods such as peanut butter, flapjacks, eggs, cheese, and dark chocolate.