Planning your road trip the smart way

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A road trip generally starts as a lifelong dream and even though planning seems useless when you've already thought and dreamt of all the incredible places you'd like to visit, a minimum of research is required, so that you really don't miss out on anything. 

Decide on your destination

This is the first step. Generally speaking, the first place that comes to mind as you're reading this article, tends to be a good indication of what you are after! There is an endless amount of options for destinations you can reach in a campervan or motorhome. It can sometimes be a little overwhelming when you realise you could potentially go anywhere! 

Fear not! If you are looking for inspiration and don't know where to start, we've created a list to help you:

1- The people around you

It may seem obvious, but why not talk about your plans and get some feedback directly from the people around you, whether they are active travellers or are simply passionate about a specific place, their opinion might be useful. This first step will help you decide whether you are on the right track or not, and might give you some brand new ideas.

Don't be afraid to also share your doubts and fears with close ones, these are normal and generally mean you shouldn't give up on your dream. Usually, the least accessible and less travelled roads, are often the most rewarding in terms of experience and travel.

2- Blogs

These are more and more present nowadays, and can sometimes be an absolute goldmine. With travel blogs, you can get first-hand accounts of what life can be like abroad, with an updated version of the author's experience. They'll share their opinion, what to not miss out on, and what to avoid. You'll be able to get a better feel for the people, customs, food, their special finds and also their mistakes! Travel bloggers are only human after all, but their mistakes are important, and their wise and learnt lessons will help you along your trip. 

There are no rules as to who is the best travel blogger out there. Everyone has a story to tell and they are (thankfully) all different! So get comfy, grab a cup of coffee and get searching!

3- Travel guides

For a slightly more vintage feel, let's not forget about travel guidebooks! You may already have a few laying around the house, why not dig them out and rediscover their practicality. Those are still extremely important and for a good reason: you can, not only get some brilliant inspiration but once you make a decision on your destination, you'll also be able to bring them with you and no matter where you are, a map and a list of places to check out, will always come in handy! The joys of travelling are that you never really know where you'll end up exactly and it's good to stay informed even if a place was not a part of your plan. Some travel guides can be more complete than others, but all are trustworthy and inspiring.

For planning a campervan road trip anywhere in the world, we've selected this gem:

Epic Drives of the World by LONELY PLANET

epic drives of the world lonely planet

This book is one of the rare travel books out there mixing beauty and practicality! It is not only a travel guide but will inspire you to visit places you'd never even considered before! Lonely Planet’s Epic series have created a new must-read, to give you all the inspiration you need for your next road trip.

Illustrated with some of the most breathtaking photographs, and heartfelt first-hand accounts, this hardback will most certainly hold an important place on your bookshelf and help you prepare for any of your campervan trips in style. If you're lacking inspiration, or want to know more about "less travelled by" roads, this is the one!

Epic drives of the world features 50 of the best road trips imaginable on the planet, from old classics to more adventurous ones, making it ideal for anyone ready to hit the road! All the practical information you'll need is included, making it the best companion to planning the road trip of a lifetime.

You can find it here.

How much time will you have?

Even if you are planning to travel the world, you'll need to take into consideration the time you'll spend in each place. This may be the hardest part of planning a road trip. It's not easy imagining which place you'll want to spend the most time in, and this is why you should always allow for leeway with your schedule. This is where your research will pay off, as you'll actually be able to fit in alot more if you have planned your journey ahead, rather than just going with the flow.

If you are planning to travel for a short period of time, make sure to be realistic. It is only natural to plan too much, as you'll want to see as much as possible, but you may not want to be driving for the entire duration of a road trip. Take the time to stay put for a few days at least, so that you can really take in your surroundings, the culture, the people and most importantly to try out all the delicious food!

Regarding longer trips, it's a good idea to focus on where you'd like to spend most of your time and to see the other places as "in-between" pit stops, which are, don't get me wrong, just as important. This will not only help you save time but also help with decide on what route to take.

Your budget will usually determine how long your trip will be. Many people say that travelling on a budget can be a lot more character building and generally more memorable. However, do remember that some types of visas allow for you to work along the way, to fund your holiday a little further. 

Before you go

Here's a checklist of the most crucial things to remember before departure:

If in the countries you are planning to visit, people speak a different language to yours, make sure to learn how to say a few general sentences. This will help you communicate with locals and show them respect. They will favour you over a simple tourist who is not willing to try and speak their language. You are guaranteed to discover and experience more this way as natives of the area you are visiting can and will show you all their favourite spots. They are just as curious as you are and this sort of interaction will teach you more than you can imagine. If you would like to learn the basics or perhaps perfect your knowledge of certain languages, Duolingo is the perfect tool. It can be used as an app, or a website, and has more than twenty languages to choose from.

Make sure to research general and basic customs, like taking off your shoes before entering a house in most Asian countries, or pointing with your thumb and not your finger, in countries like Thailand and Indonesia, or again by slurping your noodles in Japan. They are all important in order to understand the culture, will show respect and will also, for the most part, be quite amusing! Don't forget to check with your GP if you require any injections before visiting a certain country. Understand how the currency works. If for example, you arrive in a place where "haggling" is the norm, make sure you do "play the game". By agreeing to the first price a seller quotes, would mean they could have potentially gone higher and they might feel slightly insulted. 

All in all, remember to have fun, travelling is full of surprises and you won't come back the same!

Felicia H

Felicia H

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