I’ve only been on one road trip, but it was a pretty amazing experience and I like to think that because I enjoyed it I’m basically a pro at road trips now. So I’m here to share the few little nuggets of wisdom I learnt from the trip in hopes that I help a few people in their future travels. Not even just road trip travels, some of the advice can probably apply to a lot of holidays/travelling in general.
I’m pretty much writing this because I want to go on another road trip but won’t be able to for a long time, and I’m hoping this will curb my wanderlust for at least a little while. Fingers crossed. Knowing my luck it’ll simply make things worse and I’ll browse Pinterest pictures for hours in a mixture of lusting and sadness.
Plan, plan, plan! This is probably the biggest thing I could talk about. As long as you have as much as possible planned there is literally no reason why your holiday would go wrong. Unless something terrible happened, obvs. Planning is part of the fun as well! Months before the road trip we spent hours planning, and had great fun gloating to people about what we’d planned that day.
The number one thing to plan is clearly the route you’ll be taking. Get a map (yes, an actual map) and plan the exact roads you’ll be taking from one destination to the next. That way there’s no need to panic, and if you take a little detour you can easily get back on track.
Use the internet, guide books – everything you can – to find all the places you’d like to visit and you can add them to your route along the way. Then you won’t be struggling to find the way to somewhere obscure and getting lost (like we did trying to find the classic James Bond Skyfall shot). Tripadvisor and Lonely Planet books can be your lifesaver for this because they’ll list all the top attractions in the areas you’re visiting. Our little book found us SO MANY beautiful places to visit we wouldn’t have known about otherwise.
Whilst planning take note of costs. All about that money! Costs being camping/B&B prices, food/drinks per day, fuel costs, and any other little spends you might need. There are plenty of websites that you can work out furl prices on, and they’re pretty accurate (taking into consideration car model, number of passengers etc).
If you’re stuck between camping or B&Bing it, I’d say just go for camping if you’re up for it. We did like 3 days camping then one night in a B&B thinking we might like a nice bed every few days, but halfway through the trip we cancelled our B&B bookings and just winged it with extra camping nights. It let us have extra nights on the trip as well because we were saving so much money. £10 a night instead of £50 is quite the difference!
Wherever you’re going be sure to check what kind of bugs and insects will be hanging around when you go. We went to the Highlands in Scotland and didn’t realise that Highland midges were a thing. They’re definitely a thing. I was okay because I’m so pale it seems they’re convinced I’ve no blood, but my boyfriend had like over 100 bites on him at one point. Be prepared! Itchy red bites aren’t too fun on your hols.
Don’t worry about packing loads of clothes. It’s easy to forget that most camping sites have washers and driers, and if you ask nicely at B&Bs they’ll probably put a wash on for you as well. No worries on that front, just make sure you have change to pay for it! Similar thing with your camera, no need for and endless battery supply, you can just charge it at the camp sites or B&Bs. There’s really very little need to worry about modern conveniences, most places will have you covered.
Finally, food. The most important thing. Eat out as much as you like, that all depends on your budget! But we spent most night huddled around our little camp stove making meals. Buy things fresh as much as you can, but make sure you have a cool box with you loaded with ice packs. Again, you can freeze these where ever you’re sleeping that night, no one seems to mind! As long as your ice packs are reasonably cool you can keep things fresh and edible for a few days. But then again, there’s nothing wrong with loading up on carbs and jars/tinned food since it’s so easy to keep fresh. Potatoes most days, yes please! Keeping carbs at the ready are handy if you find yourself stuck with a shop nearby as well. Which happens all too often in the Highlands.
Most of all; enjoy it. If things go wrong at times, who cares! I mean, we got locked outside the car at one point. That wasn’t too fun but it’s part of the road tripping experience, I guess. What’s life without a little chaos? It all makes memories to look back on. I’d give anything to be able to do the whole thing again. Scotland itself is such a beautiful place, I don’t think I’ll ever get enough of it. But wherever you go it will be incredible because road tripping makes it such a unique experience. AH, take me back!
I hope these little tips are of some use! They’re the kinda thing I’m taking on board for my next road trip (current plans are to go down the coast of Italy, super exciting!!).
Do you have any tips I could use? Or any exciting travel plans to make me jealous?