Get into the car, listen to the music and start the engine – nothing comes as close to the feeling of freedom as a road trip! It doesn’t matter whether you are on the other side of the world or want to get to know Germany from a different angle. We’ll give you these roadtrip tips to make your journey on four wheels relaxing and unforgettable.
Roadtrip-Tip: inform in advance about the destination and the accommodations
Although a road trip lives on spontaneity, a little preparation does not hurt. This is especially true when it comes to traffic rules and tolls. After all, nobody wants to stand in Austria and find out that a toll sticker is needed. Inform yourself in advance about the country you want to explore. Where in Europe is left-hand traffic? What is the maximum speed I can drive in Florida? And how does refuelling actually work in France?
Reading tip: Information about the worldwide traffic rules
Whether or not you should pre-book accommodation for your road trip always depends a little on the season and the destination. While in rural areas of the U.S. you will usually still find a motel room, in southern European countries it can become more difficult during the high season.
Especially in smaller countries it makes sense to book a fixed accommodation in advance and to explore the country or the island from there by rental car. In any case you should book the first accommodation in advance. So you have after arrival a place to go, where you can store your luggage and rest if necessary.
A big advantage for car rental travellers:
In contrast to visitors without a car, there is no need to book a central expensive hotel in order to be flexible. Instead, it also does an accommodation a little further outside, which will most likely be much cheaper.
Roadtrip tip: plan your route roughly – but stay spontaneous
Of course it is nice to experience a country unbiased and spontaneously, but nobody wants to pass an absolute highlight. So it makes sense to think about the personal must-see and at least to define a rough route. So: Roll over the travel guide, install Google Maps, browse helpful blogs like our travel world for roadtrip tips or check Instagram is allowed – and also makes for even more anticipation!
Don’t try to accommodate too many sights and places in your car trip
Planning is good, but one of the most important road trip tips is: Don’t try to accommodate too many sights and places in your car trip. A strictly planned route and driving under time pressure will only lead to stress and limit you far too much. Road trips are so special because you can drive on remote roads and discover unexpectedly beautiful places.
In concrete terms this means: Get off the motorway and onto the panorama roads! For example, if you blindly followed the navigation system in California, you might miss the beautiful Pacific Highway. So: Trust the road signs or the good old paper map and choose the picturesque coastal road instead of the more practical (but also more boring) highways. So you are on the road a little longer, but you see a lot more of the landscape.
Reading tip: The most beautiful panorama roads in Europe
It is best to set a daily limit for your driving time so that you do not have to sit in the car all day. Treat yourself to long breaks from driving and take a bit of a waste of time instead of being tired behind the wheel.
Road trip tip: choose the right car for your trip
During a road trip, the car is first and foremost a reliable means of transport, but it is also the home on four wheels or, in an emergency, the improvised sleeping place. It is therefore incredibly important that you choose a vehicle in which you feel comfortable for several days and weeks.
This means that there should be enough space for all passengers (and luggage!), but the chosen vehicle must also fit the destination. In Mallorca, for example, a small car makes more sense than a bulky car. The highlands in Iceland, on the other hand, can only be conquered with an all-wheel drive vehicle.
Should the road trip be really spontaneous and start right in front of the door with your own car? Or would you rather book a rental car in advance, which you can pick up at the airport and return there? This decision depends of course on your destination, but also on the available time and your personal preferences. Of course it can be practical to drive your own car to Mallorca and save the flight – this usually takes longer because you have to change to the ferry and of course you have to take breaks every now and then.
Road trip tip: choose the world’s best passenger
A road trip adventure alone can be as much fun as a couple or a family of several. If you don’t want to travel alone, you should think about who might be a possible travel companion.
The magic word when choosing a passenger is: compatibility. Someone who mainly wants to visit cities during a round trip by car may not be happy with an absolute nature and hiking fan at his side. If in doubt, spend a weekend together before planning the big road trip. Because: If you simply don’t harmonize with each other, hours of driving are only half as much fun.
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