Plan smart: 16 tips for a perfect car trip

There is no doubt, car trips are great! Whether you sleep in five-star hotels or not, whether you're behind the wheel of a luxury BMW, you'll feel like you're in a movie.

You will remember for a lifetime a successful car trip. To be able to wake up and leave, surrounded by the pleasure of adventure… Where will you sleep? Where will you eat? When will you get to the next stop?

It's up to you to choose where you will go, when, and what your travel budget will be. These 17 tips are suitable for many types of car trips in different countries - consider that they are your guide to what to consider when you go on a car trip.


1. Google Maps

A very good start. Enter your beginning point and destination, and you'll have an idea of ​​how long it will take you to get there. Change the route and see other routes you can take and their duration. You can also see if you are just a few hours away from a place you didn't think of at first but would love to visit. Ensure you know essential information about the basic route, from point A to B, but don't plan everything. You have to leave room for unexpected deviations from the route, spontaneous decisions, and moments of curiosity "what is there?", When you want to explore.


2. What type of car?

What type of car you will need depends on the destination you choose, the type of trip and how much people you take with you. Think about whether it is more useful to choose a 4X4 (perhaps the ground clearance should be considered) or a convertible. Advance rent a car in Islamabad, choose unlimited kilometers, unless you are very sure of the duration of the trip, and get insurance!

If the trip is going to be a long one, about two months or more, maybe it would be better to buy a second-hand car and sell it when you have finished the trip. Check it before signing the documents - the last thing you need is to ruin the car in the middle of the desert!


3. Music

Music and car trips, you'll have plenty of time to listen to songs, so make sure you've downloaded some playlists to your smartphone (and don't forget the USB cable). That being said, it's good to listen to local radio stations and listen to new songs.


4. Roadtrippers

Enter this amazing Roadtrippers site. It is a gold mine: here, you will find information about original tourist attractions, roadside curiosities, and accommodation. You have information about millions of very interesting destinations and tourist attractions around the globe.


5. Less traveled roads

Maybe highways help you get from one place to another quickly, but you won't see much on the other hand. If possible, taking into account the time and type of terrain, go on less-traveled roads. Here you will see many more things: meet the locals and venture through places you have never seen. A similar idea: take a detour! Do you see the entrance sign of a city with a strange name or an unusual tourist attraction? Go ahead! Now you have a chance to see them. Spontaneity is the basic rule in car trips.


6. Food and accommodation: try something different

Try the local food - even if you don't recognize the dishes on the menu. After all, it may be your only chance to try such a preparation, because you will probably never go there again. The same goes for accommodation: it can be tempting to stay in a luxury hotel, but why not stay in a single half-board or at the kitsch motel next to the road?


7. Refrigerated bag

Who knows when you'll be able to eat again? Take a cold bag with you - or an electric car cooler - and store your drinks and snacks in it - it will hold up well when you're hungry, or if you get lost…


8. Camping, even in your car

Depending on your budget - and your car - you can choose to stay in a tent instead of a hotel. It's inexpensive, easy and a great way to meet other people. If you have a large car or a van, you are allowed to sleep in your car in some campsites, also in caravan campsites.


9. Travel companions

Car trips can create new friends or ruin old friends. Of course, your companions can cheer you up, but imagine that you're with them in the car for 6 hours, nonstop, when the GPS breaks down, and they can't navigate the map… If that doesn't bother you, think to their preferences: are they as passionate about local history as you are, or are they just waiting to get to the first bar?


Make sure you go with the right travel companion, with similar tastes, who can do something you can't really do (orient yourself on the map, speak the local language) and who can support you when you're in a good mood - or a very bad one.


10. Buy a GPS

Don't rent a GPS. The days go by, and you will see that the amount you pay keeps increasing, spending much more than if you bought one, which you can use whenever you need it.


11. Stop using maps on the internet

Yes, Google Maps are great, but there's something special about a classic paper map - yes, you know, it's those things that gather a lot of dust, and you sometimes see behind taxis or in your parents' car. You'll be amazed at how useful they can be - to know where you are or to note them down when you make unexpected stops. Also, think about their sentimental value, the memories you will bring home.


12. Make reservations in advance

Some places are highly sought after by tourists - for example, at Alcatraz, Chateau de Versailles tickets are on sale for many months. Decide on the main attractions you want to see, and make a travel plan based on them. The same goes for hotels in places frequented by tourists, such as The View Hotel in Monument Valley. Make sure you don't lose your seats, book in advance!


14. SIM card

If your phone recognizes more than one phone network, buy a local SIM card to reduce your expenses and be easily contacted. You still have Skype and WhatsApp Messenger, but they need an internet connection.


15. Gas stations

Gas stations can be a blessing. The large ones also have toilets, semi-decent food, coffee, and all kinds of goodies for a tired traveler. Some let you park at night in their parking lot.


16. Make sure you are safe!

Drive on smaller roads, get out of your comfort zone and explore - but be careful. Listen to advice, always tell someone where you are and where you're going - and don't do anything risky.

It will be more practical to have a few liters of water in the car all the time - this will help you when needed. If you have a seat, a canister full of petrol may fit you well, but find out about the rules of the country you are traveling to - some only allow a certain amount of extra petrol to be transported in the car.


17. Download useful applications

Make sure your smartphone is full of useful applications. For starters, check out our incredibly useful list of the best travel apps - you might be surprised!