When travelling, we tend to forget about the logistics of things: we’re too busy daydreaming about the beautiful landscapes and the many memories we will be making during our escapade. However, travelling requires some advanced planning if we want everything to run smoothly. Although some spontaneity is more than welcome, it’s always better to have a back up plan in case this same spontaneity turns rather problematic.
What are some of the things you should keep in mind before a cross-country road trip?
The vehicle needs to be in perfect condition
The vehicle, whether this is your old Honda Civic or the newest motor campervan, needs to be in the best condition it can be in preparation for long travels. You can take it to your nearest mechanic for a quick check up, or at least have a look at the documents to confirm when its last check up take place. You’ll also need other documentation such as your insurance policy details or a valid MOT certificate that you could always book online if the old one has expired.
Make sure you check the route – and the distances – before setting off
Although looking at Google Maps it might appear as if France is awfully close to Portugal, the truth is getting from one point of the smallest Iberian country to the other point of the French Republic can take no less than 24 hours by car – and that’s with no stops, something we definitely don’t recommend for any kind of trip.
It’s important therefore to check where we want to go beforehand and choose pre-set areas to sleep or rest. It’s a good idea to choose cities with plenty of lodging option to ensure we won’t have to sleep in the small Honda Civic.
Make sure you know the driving rules for every country you visit
This might not be a big problem when it comes to road tripping in Europe, where most countries have similar driving laws – mind the UK or Malta with their left driving habits! – but might become a bit of a problem when going elsewhere. Even within Europe, every country has a different driving culture than you should be well aware of before entering their roads. The Icelandic, Maltese and Albanian roads, for instance, are considered the three countries with the worst drivers in European territory!
General misconduct such as drunk driving or speeding are penalised virtually everywhere in the world, so try to be mindful and use your common sense when on the road.
Create an ‘essentials list’ days before your trip
When it comes to travelling, last-minute preparations are your worst enemy. A few days before the trip, take the time to write an essentials list that you can keep updating as the days pass – trust me, you’ll be forgetting many important items at first.
Things such as personal ID documents, portable chargers or even painkillers should be in this list, apart from anything else you consider essential for yourself.
These are the main tips you should have in mind before your international road trip. But remember, the most important thing to do is to have fun and create those beautiful memories you can’t stop daydreaming about!