Even though Lao Tzu defines a good traveler as with “no fixed plans and not intent on arriving”, treating a road trip like an improvisation might not be such a bright idea after all. Any experienced traveler will agree that no matter how much one plans a road trip, not everything can be foreseen and hence improvisation is beyond doubt, a part of the travel game.
The most important fact to understand is why? Why are you taking this road trip? Is it a romantic getaway or is it meant for family fun? Are you going to satisfy your wanderlust with historic explorations or is it going to be wine tasting for the peace of your taste buds? Whether you’ve set out to discover crafts, antiques, festivals or an outdoor adventure, a long term weather forecast will help you determine the viability of your plans. Especially if it is meant to be a light-hearted scenic encounter with nature!
For example, a road trip in any part of the United Kingdom can be memorable if you cleverly avoid the heavy rainfall like one experienced in Cardiff or pace yourself suitably on the east coasts of Scotland. Very rich in wildlife habitats, landscapes, the twisting and winding Scottish coastline has a good road network to encompass majors like Edinburgh, Fraserburgh and Aberdeen. In this case, knowing Aberdeen weather during the year would shed sufficient light on what to expect steering through the Scottish east coast.
On-the-move snacks and other essentials like comfortable clothing, extra sheets in case temperature drops, pillows, road maps, tents for camping, favorite music, video-games for children or old-school games like making sentences out of number plate alphabets, bingo and so on are generally the things never forgotten. The things that are, include first-aid kits especially for adventure-seekers, allergy meds, drinks including water, flashlight, extra cash in case of emergencies and a phone with inter-state or global connectivity.
A definite plan of action could always help like having a set number of spots to cover. A good route would be that which has dine-ins or motels on it, for timely meals and rest. Health problems of those packed in can be a big setback. Gas stations or garages on the way would ensure safety. It’s also a good idea to take breaks, get out of the vehicle and stretch a bit, maybe play games like Frisbee or catch-ball.
A great scheme is to make each person on the vehicle responsible for atleast one thing. Someone could be the DJ while someone else could be the navigator. Say you’re in Northern Ireland; someone could be the weatherman and check up on Belfast weather. Making the road trip a team effort would not only improve its chances of success but also make it a relaxing and easy task. As Buddha says “it’s better to travel well than arrive”.