words Al Woods
Photo Credit : Anja (Unsplash)
2020 has been dominated by the multi-faceted impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. While government lockdown orders may be easing, and potential vaccine candidates are signifying an end to this phase of our lives, COVID-19 looks to have changed the nature of how we operate for years to come.
As some of us look towards 2021 with a renewed sense of optimism, it’s important to remain realistic. Although international travel restrictions are likely to be lifted, subsequent waves of the virus are still highly likely to take place, and there are no guarantees that things will return to the way they once were. Many of us will remain reluctant to travel overseas, and it is predicted that 2021 will be the year of the staycation as increasing numbers of people opt to discover the hidden gems closer to home through domestic travel.
Why not use this as an opportunity to get together with some good friends and create wonderful memories on the road trip of a lifetime? Once you’ve got your hands on an international driving permit you ready to go. Here are some top tips to ensure you have a great road trip:
Choose the Right Car
You’ll need a vehicle to get you on the road, but not just any vehicle will do. If you are taking your own car, make sure it’s roadworthy and in good condition. The other option would be to rent a car. Although this may be more pricey, the car rental company is likely to provide you with some guarantees and protections that could come in handy. When choosing a car, you’ll need to consider your planned route. If you are looking to go off-road, you’ll likely need to have a 4×4. If you are planning for city driving, a small car that is easy to park might be more appropriate. Fuel efficiency is another important factor when considering the best car for a road trip.
Plan a Route, But Remain Flexible
It’s a good idea to have a rough itinerary, handpicking a few must-see sights and create a route based around those. However, remember that having a fun road trip is all about striking a balance between having a plan and going with the flow. One of the best things about being on the road is chatting to fellow travelers along the way and learning about what hidden gems your surroundings hold.
Things won’t always go according to plan but being prepared for the worst can make life a lot easier. As far as your vehicle is concerned, be sure to have your car given the once over by a professional mechanic. Also, make sure your vehicle’s auto insurance is up-to-date.
Share the Driving and Make Use of Daylight Hours
Divide the driving between as many people as possible. This will ensure that the driver is alert at all times. Even if you are really confident behind the wheel, driving long distances can become tiring, which could potentially become dangerous if the driver were to fall asleep at the wheel. Furthermore, it is advisable to make use of daylight when driving long distances in unfamiliar territory.
Don’t Forget the Soundtrack
The best part of most road trips is the music. Be sure to invest some time putting together a killer playlist that’ll keep spirits high on the long road.
The nature of travel has changed quite dramatically, but this doesn’t have to be a bad thing. An international vacation would be wonderful after the year we’ve had, but a road trip of a lifetime may be exactly what is needed to reconnect with good friends and realize what we have on our very own doorstep. Be pragmatic, take the knocks in your stride and create new memories on the road.