Breakaway from the tumultuous city life plagued with constant drumming of honks, lines and lines of traffic, and unending pollution; and embark on a road trip. Road trips, in my opinion, are an ideal escape, especially in the current scenario. And to be honest, Bollywood has certainly romanticised road trips, be it with the iconic Dil Chahta hai or Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara. Moreover, with travel restrictions in place, road trips are a much-needed breath of fresh air. Easy, fun and alluring all at once, road trips certainly have an unbeatable charm. Be it a day, two nights or a month, road trips cater to all travellers. While it is an enriching experience for some, it is simply an escape from the ordinary, for others.
However, even the most experienced travel enthusiast would agree that road trips aren’t just starting the engine and letting the road guide you; planning is an integral part of any road trip, even if it is minimal. Well, regardless of the kind of traveller you are, wanderer or a thorough planner, road trips undoubtedly require some amount of planning. If you are planning a trip anytime soon, or in the near future, here is the holy grail to planning – or not planning – a successful getaway.
Plan the route and destination
First things first, decide where you are heading to. If you are exploring uncharted territory, make sure you educate yourself thoroughly. Read up about the place, things to do, places to visit, security and the like. Decisions on if you are going straight to a single destination, or covering more have to also be made at this stage. That is where planning your route comes in. Depending on the number of places you plan on visiting, your route would differ accordingly. Laying down the plan will familiarize you with the destination, places around and the road itself! While it is tempting to take the road less taken, it is much more significant to ensure safety, hence make wise decisions!
Check your vehicle
Once you have zeroed in your location, the obvious next step is to get your vehicle checked, be it a 4 wheeler or 2 wheeler. It is important to get your car/bike checked nearer to the travelling date, ideally 2-3 days before. Ensure all your parts are working, and that nothing is faulty. You don’t want to be stranded mid-road, in the middle of nowhere. Also, ensure you have spare tires, especially if it is a long road trip.
Road trips mean taking a 4-seater, 7-seater or two-wheeler where there is seldom space for any extra baggage. With minimal room for people, you wouldn’t want to add a truckload of luggage to that mix. Moreover, because you will be moving about, exploring and wandering, it is always recommended to pack light. Although this will be largely dependent on the duration you are going for, packing light is absolutely essential. Only things that you need. Outside changes, an extra pair of shoes and a dress just-in-case is a no-no.
Carry enough snacks and entertainment
Travelling for over 10 hours? In company with your friends or kids? Food and music is the key to keeping them entertained and occupied! Being in a vehicle for over 10 hours can be a smidge… uncomfortable to put it lightly. Play some road trip games. Jam away to your favourite tunes have a carpool karaoke and pro-tip, always download your music, as the network can be spotty in some areas. And, stock up all the greasy snacks, and a few fruits here and there, c’mon, you are on a road trip after all!
Stop at beautiful destinations
Embrace the open roads, let the fresh breeze consume you, and have your typical Bollywood moment. No, but seriously, stop often if time permits, explore the roads, capture beautiful sunsets and sunrises, make pit stops, stop by the lake, have picnics and more. Road trips are not only about the one destination itself, it is about having an enriching experience, making most of the endless possibilities and all in all having a blast, be it with your friends or family.
Always have wriggle room
Road trips and spontaneity go hand in hand, so have some fun! Do not stringently plan your trip and always have some room for you to do something on the spot. Embrace the roads, experience nature, make unlikely friends along the way. That’s what it is all about! Meeting new people, exploring places, rejuvenating amidst nature and most of all having fun!
Whether it is Lonavala or Alibaug, Chandigarh or Coorg, road trips are the perfect escape to spend time with yourself, your loved ones and nature. The bustling trees, the passing landscapes, and new places have an inexplicable charm. Well, this is definitely a sign for you to start planning one soon!