A long Road Trip is more fun than you can imagine ~ if you do it properly.
However, it’s easy to get it wrong, mostly by carrying along with you a whole lot of stuff you don’t need. So, with the benefit of my worldly-wise experience, here are some things you should not take on your next road trip. Just don’t take this list too seriously, it’s your road trip, not mine.
- A schedule / timetable / plan. Well, and to be honest, even I usually have something of a plan. Such as; ‘I need to be at John Wayne airport in Orange County by 08:00 on the 18th to get my flight back to the UK.’ And, ‘let’s drive the Pacific Coast Highway from here heading north,’ or whatever… Other than that, things like booking hotels, motels, planning on reaching Tulsa by the evening of the 11th… Forget it. Just relax and go with the flow.
- Bad weather. You do not want bad weather on a road trip. Rain, snow, dark clouds, gales, tornadoes, hurricanes… Really bad weather makes driving difficult, makes you put the top up on your sports car, makes your girl wrap up in shapeless clothes… For a good road trip take good weather with you.
- A crappy saloon car. A great car is one thing that helps to make a great road trip. Trust me, I’ve made a road trip in a little Toyota hatchback, and a car like that kills half of the fun. If you’re renting, get a cool convertible. If you’re taking your own car… I expect you to have a cool sports car, or why are you even reading my blog?
- Worries and concerns. These have no place on a road trip. From the second you set off, until the second the trip is over, just don’t worry, be happy. Real life will catch up with you soon enough, don’t take it along with you.
- Boredom. Gods… If you are bored on a road trip there’s something badly wrong. Either you’re with the wrong person, driving the wrong car, on the wrong roads, or going to the wrong places. Even with one bad mistake you shouldn’t be bored. I once went on a long road trip with the wrong person, and I still had a great time. I had the right car, on great roads, driving down the Loire Valley in France, staying each night in cool castles / château. OK, the company was bad, but the rest of the trip was great. (The sex was non-existent.)
- An idiot. This is tricky, especially if the idiot in question is you, or your partner, husband / wife / child. If you know you must have an idiot along, even if it’s you, then perhaps don’t go. You are going to be cheek by jowl with this idiot for however long the trip lasts, and either they will ruin it for you, or you’ll stab them in the eye with an ice pick.
- Too much luggage. If you’re a guy, then you can travel light. If your girl wants to fill the rest of the boot / trunk with her cases, just let her, you know you like her to look good anyway. (Flip that around if you’re female / gay.) But, always leave enough room for; maps and guides, any stuff you buy along the way, refreshments and water, and if it’s your own car take your essential tools and spares, even if it means she has to cut down on the outfits she’s taking. (Hey I cut down the amount of luggage my ex-partner had on road trips so it would fit in the miniscule boot of a Seven.)
Really, the main thing not to carry along on a road trip is an uptight attitude. Relax. Take it Easy. Chill out. Go with the flow. Have a siesta. Smell the scenery. Leave time behind. Leave your watch behind. As long as you make it home on time, (more or less), that’s all you need to worry about.