My first road trip experience was the year when I just moved to Germany. We drove from Germany southern Spain and it took us two days of-stop driving to reach the destination. A single journey is almost 1500 km. After that trip, we also traveled around Europe such as Spain, Italy or Germany, of course, by car. Not only us, many also agree that having a road trip is the most popular way to enjoy vacations. There are many benefits to travel by car.
- Flexibility: The schedule depends on yourself as you do not need to worry about the time of boarding, check-in or delay. You can also re-arrange your plans without changing any reservations. It is the most significant advantage of choosing a road trip.
- Convenience : There is always a problem if we want to reach a destination by public transportations. For example, how do we go from one location to another? Should we take the bus, taxi or subway? Surely, we can get there. However, we always have to check the departure schedules beforehand and it is not so convenient than going by cars.
- Easy packing: No matter how you pack, you can always pack what you need and what you like when you travel by car. There is no limitation of weight or volume of your luggage. A journey by car is particularly convenient for families with children.
In this article, I would like to share with you how to prepare and what to pack for a road trip. Moreover, I have some tips on how to plan a perfect road trip.
What to prepare :
- Vehicle safety check : Always have a vehicle safety check before the road trip if you are driving your own car. However, if you are a tourist and plan a road trip by renting a car, make sure you get all the information about road safety or in case of accidents and emergency. Prepare a child safety seat for the little one and make sure the it is tied correctly with the seat belt.
- Plan the driving mileage : Our very first road trip was planned in a hurry. We were quite nervous although we saved a few days’ hotel fees. It is better to plan your daily driving mileage by setting a certain amount of distance or driving hours every day for the trip. Take it easy and enjoy the journey.
- A map : The navigation system is very advanced nowadays. However, do not forget to update it to the newest version in order to get the latest road information. Moreover, it is also important to prepare a paper map that we used to check the way in the past in case the electronic system gets a problem.
- Neighbors : There are a few families living in our apartment building. When one of the families are on vacation, we inform each other. In this way, we can help each other to collect parcels or to water the plants. Most importantly, it is also a kind of security awareness when a family is out of the apartment for a few weeks.
- Music playlists : It is important to listen to the latest traffic information on the radio, but a few favorite music playlists are also necessary for entertainment. For example, before we drove to Amsterdam for a one-week vacation, we had prepared a few playlists of movie soundtracks. That was a joyful journey.
- Highway license or toll：The highways in Germany is free of tolls. In Austria, however, you will have to buy a highway toll sticker (Vignette) in order to drive on the highways. In most European countries, there are toll booths. Therefore, it is necessary to prepare some coins for that.
What To Pack :
- Dress well : It is important for both the driver and the guests to dress comfortably during the trip since you have to sit for long hours. Some even prepare a pair of slippers for a more convenient and relaxing driving time. Besides, do not forget a shawl or a jacket in case of any unpredictable dropping temperature. Note that some Germans whom I know do not wear slippers while driving so as to avoid any accidents.
- Food and Drink : No matter where we go, we always have one pack of snacks with us, not to mention when the road trip takes long hours to reach our destination. You cannot find a store anytime and anywhere so easily in Europe. Make sure you get your favorite snacks in sweet and salty flavors. We also prepare a few bottles of water on the way and only buy them in the chain-supermarkets which offer a lower price than a normal store.
- Diapers : Yes, Diapers. Traffic jam in peak travel season is common. A diaper is the best tool when you need to go number one. Cover your lower part with a jacket or a shawl, take off the trousers and sit on the diaper. It is the easiest way for both man or woman to solve the problem. Also, it is not smelly.
- Cleaning supplies : Never forget a few packs of chewing gum, wet tissue and tissue papers. You will need them during the journey under any situations.
A well-planned road trip will bring you a lot of fun and unforgettable memories. I hope you will find this article useful and interesting. How about you, do you have some unforgettable travel stories that you would like to share with me? Below, I have a list for you about our 2017 road trip from Munich Germany to Peniscola Spain, a total of almost 4000 km. The list might give you some inspirations for your next travel destination.
Fanning Tseng is the editor of Yes! Please Enjoy which was founded in 2012. Having lived in different cities and experienced different cultures, Fanning focuses on the connection between Europe and Asia. She is now working as a professional photographer and a full-time blogger. Moreover, Fanning is a regular feature columnist in several Chinese online magazines such as Vogue Taiwan, WOMANY and 10/10 HOPE. Get better informed by subscribing the Newsletter; moreover, let’s stay connected on Instagram and Facebook.