ROAD TRIP – Organization
1. Identify each spot you want to visit
After finding our next destination, and even before embarking on a trip, we always highlight all places we really want to see! (Our inspiration is from books, magazines, guides, documentary, Instagram …). It allows us to find a lot of cool spots to discover, which really meet our expectations and not necessarily the most famous spot !
This is the main basis of all our planning for a road trip. We use a lot of blogs to inspire us. There is always good advice to take. To find blog articles on a destination: simply type on Google: ” South of Spain blog”, ” romantic road in Germany blog”, ” Montreal during fall blog” … And then you can find a lot of blogs. Be prepared. You’ll find a lot of information and sometimes it’s not always interesting or suitable for your plans. However, we often find some gems.
Instagram is your guide! We love photography, so we save a lot of shots on Instagram. There’s also some inspiration from Pinterest. In order to find new places to explore, type the name of the country in the search bar, preferably in English to expand the results.
2. Choose your main transport
Firstly, we search for flights on skyscanner. Then we directly go on the website of the airline company. Secondly, we book the car. We always choose to travel by the car. It’s offers you the greatest flexibility and the most autonomy. We can go everywhere at any time and it is very useful to go off the beaten track. If you do not have a permit, you can always take the train or bus … or even hitch a ride or rent a bike! We always use rentalcars to select and book our new travel buddy! They have good services, a good communication, and it’s really fast to book. Usually, we do the pick up directly at the airport.
3. Calculate distances and create road trip itinerary
Once we have spotted what we absolutely want to see and do, we put everything on a map.
Google Maps is used to calculate distances quickly. From there, the main steps appear. Be careful : Do not always follow the Google Maps itinerary. It recommend the fastest routes but not the most beautiful roads. Try as soon as you can to take beautiful scenic roads if it’s possible! In addition, one of the drawbacks of Google Maps is the limit in adding the number of steps.
We recommended you to ride 2 or 3 hours a day. Obviously, this is an average. But beyond that, you will spend too much time in the car and you will not have time to visit and hiking…
We also put our itinerary on maps me because it’s very good to find viewpoints, hiking paths etc… And also you can share your maps with your friends!
4. Book accommodation
Even if we sleep often in our car for financial reasons (as soon as the vehicle is suitable of course), the choice of accommodations is important to spend a wonderful trip. We use Airbnb to find original places with a kitchen access or homestay, so we can surely make nice encounters. For hotels, we usually choose on Booking with a filter to find accommodation only greater than 7.5 / 10 to avoid bad surprises. Also, be sure that your place will be close to your destination. It’s really enjoyable to wake you up and immediately go for a visit / a hike. Indeed, it’s not cool to jump off the bed and take your car to drive 1 or 2 hours to join the final destination. We always drive during the evening so we are not loosing our times during the day. However, if we book a great hotel, after a long hike, we check in at 4 or 5 pm to enjoy the pleasure of a shower and a comfortable bed !
5. Create your own guide with all the information of the road trip
We are old school and work with a notebook and a pen. But there are many websites / applications to generate tables / lists / maps etc … to guide you with maximum information. Examples: Trevello, Furkot, Inspirock ect…
You can write on each map / table all the information of your day: where do you sleep / eat, ideas for hikes, what to see / do … This is the very “well-defined” way. Personally, we organize our trips without planning too much because we prefer to use our instincts for some situations. The schedule changes all the time according to the weather, conditions etc … So do not plan too much. It’s the goal of a road trip after all! A mix between planning and improvisation seems ideal for an unforgettable trip!
6. Things to bring / think
– Passport with a Visa if necessary (yes… it happened…)
– Travel insurance if necessary (certificate).
– reservation’s papers / e-reservation on your phone
– Vaccines needed
– Credit card (see your banker for withdrawal fees abroad) & Cash ! It’s Important! I lost my credit card in Bali, I was happy to have a few euros to exchange. But the best is to have US dollars! Sometimes they don’t accept euros but with US dollars, you are sure to get money in all offices.
– A flask to avoid buying countless plastic bottles
– A first aid kit: (dressing, anti-bacterial, medicine, etc…) I’ve been hurt so many times in Asia.
– Warm clothes (because … I’m always cold)
– A small toiletries : Shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste and moisturizer, sunscreen, tissues.
– Earplugs, eyes mask, notebook and pen, flashlight etc…
The backpack ! Essential for a road trip! Give up the suitcase! Also take a small hiking backpack to slide your camera, lunch, a flashlight, a warm jacket and especially water!
Do not forget before leaving: Multi-plug to charge your devices in the same place! Once we forgot it… As a result, we were connected to the four corners of the bars with our 2 devices, our 2 phone and the computer …. Not practical! Also, you’ll need an adapter for certain countries! An external battery is great to charge your phone quickly and in total autonomy.