The epitome of youth is a life (or vacation) on the road. It is the Americana way, and it is all about freedom. It is about the wind in your hair, and the ability to go wherever your heart desires. It is about making friends and forging lifelong bonds with those you travel with. It is about the sun, it is about the fun, and it is about the limitless potential for adventure. A road trip is the perfect way to celebrate graduating. It is the perfect opportunity to take a gap year. It is perfect for anyone who has a summer off and wants to see the world and taste freedom.
Road trips are the perfect balance between a wild adventure and the stability of home, because you still have a home to go back to. A road trip can be as lavish or as budget as you need it to be, and the more you prepare, the better your experience will be. That is why you need to follow this guide to help you design and prepare for the most unforgettable road trip this summer:
The first thing that you need to do is to figure out your budget. A great way to do this is to create a map of the general route you will be taking. That way you can calculate distance, and how much fuel it will take. Use these two figures to get an estimate on travel costs for your road trip. Now, since this method won’t take for detours, for making stops, or for going back to pick up something you forgot, it is wise to double this number when planning your budget.
You should also add on accommodation, food, money to do activities, and some money for souvenirs. It the better you budget and the more room you have in your budget, the better.
Tip: Even though you have prepared, it is always wise to go under budget. That way you can have money left over when you are done the trip, and even have an emergency fund.
- Do Your Research
The more you know about your trip, the better. Planning as much as possible doesn’t mean filling your itinerary to the brim, but instead it means that you can pick and choose what and where you want to go per day. This allows you to have a spontaneous adventure day-by-day, while also not missing out on the top experiences this destination has to offer.
You will also be able to find the dos and don’ts of where you are going. Some can be good to keep your journey stress-free, others allow you to keep your health in order. For instance, in some cities it is unadvised that you drink the tap water.
- Have Insurance Ready
Having travel insurance is crucial when you travel out of your home country. You don’t want something bad to happen to you, and then have to go to the hospital. That can incur bills in the thousands, which can cripple you for years to come. Instead, get travel insurance, and be prepared. This also applies to your vehicle.
Vehicle accidents are common, and they can cause serious injuries. For instance, rear end car accident injuries can either leave you with a mild whiplash that stiffens your neck, and can even cause headaches later on, or it could be as serious as severe brain trauma. Being abroad without insurance can make all the difference when it comes to getting the compensation you deserve for an accident that wasn’t your fault.
- Tips for Staying Civil
When you travel, your first instinct is probably to take all of your best friends and head off. Before you do, however, you should ensure that everyone is on the same page for what kind of road trip you are going on. If what your friend wants is to really just enjoy time at the beach, she might find it a better alternative to meet you at a sunny destination, and not go on the whole trip. That is why it’s important to have done your research well in advance, so that everyone can know what kind of trip they are getting into.
Other ways to stay civil include putting down ground rules. That way everyone can agree that, for instance, you each drive at least three hours a day. The more rules you put in place beforehand, the more everyone can behave appropriately.
Above all else, however, is that you need to remember to be polite. It can be very difficult to spend a lot of time in a small space with others, especially if you are uncomfortable.
- Making Memories
When you are going on your road trip, you want it to be unforgettable. Unfortunately, with the way our brains work, even the greatest memories eventually become dull. That is why you need to work on capturing your summer. This means through photos, through video, through personal recollections, and more. If everyone is on board with taking photos and videos of your time, you’ll have a comprehensive experience.
A great way to do this is to have many forms of memory-taking devices. For instance, you can supplement your phone or DSLR cameras with film cameras, to encourage you to live in the moment, rather than getting that perfect shot. Similarly, taking video can be a great way to create an overall film of your trip that you can revisit as often as you want to. To make the best film, remember to take establishing footage or “B Roll” shots so that you can fill out your film.
Your road trip will be the experience of a lifetime, but you need to be prepared for it. Road trips can be expensive, and you don’t want to run out of money halfway through your trip. That is why you should budget, and save more than you expect to spend. When you are on your road trip, you should also aim to try to spend below what you have budgeted. That way, you can enjoy your trip, make memories, and have an emergency fund to get you through.