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Top 10 Things to Stick By During a Road Trip

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by Kevin Thai (subscribe)
In late twenties, have a loving wife. A father of one. Works in IT and carries around a DSLR most of the time. You can catch him on his blog and his portfolio
Published June 20th 2013
Road trip? Stick to these simple rules & you'll have fun
Getting into the idea of a road trip can be both exciting and daunting at the same time. There are plenty of things that you can do and shouldn't do to make the experience all the more exciting.

Of course largely it does indeed come down to the company you are with for the entire trip, I haven't had much experience myself personally in a road trip with just pure mates (read: 3 or 4 of us guys) in the one car.

I have had the excellent experience though of going on a road trip so to speak with the final destination in right into the heart of Melbourne with my wife also in the car. Less occupants in our road trip, but nevertheless there are certainly things we did and didn't do that made the journey all the more pleasant. And here I am going to share these things with you so that you make the most out of your next big road trip adventure!

Top 10 Things To Do on a Road Trip

1) Always pack carefully & be smart about it

The more mates you have in your car, you'd want everyone to be as comfortable as possible and have room. So this means to not over pack your car with unnecessary stuff.

packing, road trip
An example of what NOT to do, Image Courtesy of Cameron Parkins

Plan ahead of what things you will need and things that you can possibly get later on in the road trip.

2) Bring along someone with great direction skills

Way Wrong
Image Courtesy of Stock.xchng

This one might seem trivial, as you'd expect with technology these days you can just use a GPS or your mobile phone for navigation. But for extra peace of mind and comfort always have someone, preferably in the front seat, with you that is great with giving directions so that you can concentrate better on the road.

3) Only bring along people you enjoy constant contact with

Remember, on a road trip you are going to be in constant contact with the people in the car. You'd be quite cramped space in a car with 3 to 4 people so it's important to take along people you don't mind being physically close to for long periods of time.

Bringing along a mate, that would constantly announcing "I'm bored..." every 10 minutes, might not be a great idea. But this does bring me to my next point.

4) Try to be understanding of an annoyed travel companion

Traveling together for long periods can sometimes take it's toll on some people especially when a lot of activities are involved. It's best to remain calm yourself and just give them some space.

There is nothing worse than multiple people becoming annoyed on the one road trip.

5) Plan ahead where you'll stay during the trip

There's nothing worse than feeling tired and fatigue and only finding the closest hotel that has the worst facilities known to man that would make your stay the most uncomfortable.

Because the amount of driving, you want to feel rested for next day, so it's good idea to find the hotels and plan ahead where you're staying during the trip. Also the more people you have with you the easier it is to get some decent rooms when each of you chips in money.

6) Create an enjoyable playlist for the car

You'd be stuck in a car for long periods, it's good to get a broad selection of music that would suit everybody's tastes for a playlist in the car.

taylor swift
Image Copyright Jana Zills

As they say music puts a smile on anyone's face. This could potentially also help combat that one annoyed passenger in the car, even if he is the only one that enjoys listening to Taylor Swift and no one else does.

7) Avoid road rage

Of course being on the road, you are bound to come across some incompetent drivers and some plain stupid drivers. The important thing is to just keep calm and not let it spoil your trip.

No time spent angry and annoyed over other drivers is time well spent I'd say.

8) Take lots of videos and photos

You want to remember the experience of the road trip right? Even the good and bad experiences, so make sure you bring along plenty of batteries for cameras, a load of memory cards (if you can't bring along with you a laptop to download the photos).

rangefinder, camera
Rangefinder will do as a camera, Image Courtesy of Stock.xchng

Most smartphones are very capable cameras for both photo and video, so that might also save you on a load of other unnecessary equipment. As a bonus you'd also have a capable communication device to the outside world.

9) Plan ahead to stop at reputable food establishments

Although not always possible, try planning your meals ahead of time. Unfortunately some well known local places just aren't documented on the internet or anywhere else as the locals like to keep it to themselves.

Of course if all else fails, just ask the locals to let you in on their little hidden gems.

10) Plan for daytime activities

Make the most out of each day, by finding some great activities to do during the day at each stop of the trip. You don't want to be stuck in car for longer than you need to right?

And most importantly, just have fun. You don't have to plan serious rigorous activities. Being laid back with a nice beer or two at a local pub is nice. Indoor rock climbing perhaps not so much since you've been in a car for long periods. Of course though just plan ahead so whoever get's back behind the wheel is sober as sober can be though.
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Why? Everyone wants an enjoyable road trip experience
When: Your next road trip
Where: Anywhere you feel like
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