travel tips

Road Trip Vacation First Timer? You Need To Read This

I’m taking a quick break from the summer camping theme to go on two back-to-back camping trips! While I enjoy that, enjoy this post!

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An epic road trip is, without a doubt, something that every keen traveler should experience at least once. Road trips offer a freedom that few other forms of vacation can provide; you are able to go wherever you want, for as long as you want, at whatever time of day you want. There’s no need to worry about rushing to the airport on time or waiting for a bus to the local historical site; you set your own rules, and travel in the style that suits you and your family only.

Of course, while road trips do offer all the benefits detailed above, they are far from a worry-free choice for a vacation. As well as managing concerns such as preparing your car for the trip and finding a hotel that lines your chosen driving route, you will have to face arguably the biggest road trip problem of all: trying to pack too many items into your vehicle.

Why this is such an issue

Over-packing your car may not sound like the biggest worry a road trip can throw at you – and perhaps, in and of itself, it’s not that much of an issue. However, what over-packing your vehicle does is produce a number of additional problems. These include:

  • Having to spend more on gas than you otherwise would due to the car being overweight

  • Struggling to organize your luggage due to it being crammed into a confined space

  • Spending large amounts of money in the lead-up to the trip on “road trip essential” items… that you never actually use, as you either cannot find them, or they are not actually as “essential” as the manufacturer would have you believe

However…

… the above points are accurate, but they cannot be taken in isolation. Reading through the above, it would be tempting to ensure you don’t overpack, by taking as little as possible; instead, you’d just visit the likes of AromaTech to grab an essential oil air freshener, throw a change of clothes in a bag, pack a tire repair kit, and then you’d hit the open road, a veritable Marie Kondo of traveling.

Unfortunately, this isn’t possible. Road trips require substantial preparation and you will need to ensure you have the essentials you need – but without going overboard!

Five tips to keep in mind when packing for a road trip

  • Weigh every item you are considering packing in your vehicle. If an item weighs more than its usefulness merits, leave it behind.

  • Be realistic about what you will be able to buy on the road. For example, there’s no need to take a spare bottle of shampoo – if you run out, you’ll be able to buy one during your trip.

  • However, don’t rely on being able to buy esoteric items. If an item can’t be bought at your nearest corner store, don’t assume you’ll be able to find it easily on the road.

  • Don’t pack the car to the brim. You will almost certainly want to buy items along the way, so you’ll need space to store these items.

  • If you’re really struggling for space in the trunk, consider a roof rack or even a trailer – though bear in mind both of these options will also increase your fuel consumption.

In conclusion

With the above thoughts and tips in mind, you should be able to ensure that your first road trip experience avoids the usual over/underpacking problems that cause so much stress. This should, in turn, leave you free to enjoy the road trip in style.

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travel tips

5 “Travel Different” Ideas For Your Next Trip 

Now, if you’re reading this blog, then you’ll already know that traveling is awesome no matter what form it takes. However, there is sometimes an issue: we end up taking the same kinds of trips. If we’re culture vultures, we make whistle-stop tours of the world’s greatest cities. If we’re the rough and ready type, then we go for off the beaten path, budget destinations, and so on. There’s nothing wrong, necessarily, with this, but it is sometimes a good idea to mix up how we travel from time to time. Below, we take a look at a few ideas that’ll have you doing things a little differently next time you venture forth.

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City v Nature

Most people place themselves on one side of the “city v nature” debate, but there’s no reason to be so absolute. Cities can be a lot of fun, even if you’re normally off swanning around the mountains. Likewise, the great outdoors can work its charms on you even if you’re more of a fine dining and fancy hotel type of person; it’s where we belong, after all! So the next time you’re revisiting one of your popular destinations, think about mixing things and going to the other end of the spectrum. Who knows…you might like it!

A New Activity

It’s a big and beautiful world out there, and there are a million and one things you can do. If you haven’t made an activity the basis for your trip before, then what are you waiting for? There’s much enjoyment to be had by going on a skiing, surfing, or hiking vacation. If you want to try your hand at surfing, book yourself into an Outer Banks oceanfront hotel; the region is highly recommended for watersports. For skiing, it’s about picking a mid-size resort (avoid the gigantic resorts until you have the activity down). And for hiking…pick a beautiful spot, and get out there.

Follow a Theme

If you’re looking to add some structure to your travels, then why not look at following a theme? If you’re a literature fan, you can follow a tour through your fictional or non-fictional heroes footsteps. There’s much to enjoy about retracing Hemingway’s travels through Spain, for instance. If you’re a foodie, then it’s hard to imagine a scenario where traveling through Italy, tasting the fine food (and just a bit of wine), won’t make your heart sing.

Slow Travel

If you have a few weeks to play with your next travel adventure, why not practice the art of slow travel? With this, you’ll spend a few weeks just in one place, soaking up all that it has to offer. You learn much more about a place the longer you stay there! Most people try to cram in as much as possible into their trips, but you might just find that visiting one place very well is better than just passing through several places. Give it a try…it might just change the way you travel for good.

Stay tuned for more “travel different” ways involving camping!