An alternative to plane or train travel is road travel. Even though trains are fast, and you can source extremely
on the internet, the humble road trip can be far more enjoyable
and versatile than even the most extravagant luxury holiday. You’re in charge of every element of the trip - where you go, where you stay, and how
fast you get there.
Of course as well as the privileges come the responsibilities. You won’t be able to walk to the buffet car as if you were on a
train, and you won’t have the convenience of covering thousands of miles in a matter of hours. But you’ll gain a lot from being at ground level.
When you’re flying, you’re missing out on huge chunks of the travelling experience while being fed bad food and bad air.
The road trip, as it appears in popular culture, denotes a group of young Americans in an ageing car setting out to discover
the world - and themselves - with hilarious consequences. This Hollywood stereotype is probably true in about one percent of cases, so we’ve
drawn up a list of important things to remember when it comes to taking a road trip.
Get a group of friends together who won’t be mind-numbingly boring or toung-itchingly irritating for the duration of the trip.
You’ll be in a tiny machine for hours at a time, and the chances are you’ll have to sleep in it at some point as well. Make sure you’re on
extremely good terms with your companions to avoid falling out. Plan some sort of rota as well - it isn’t fair to make one person do absolutely
all of the driving.
Get a car that will work and is reliable. Remember to ask before you borrow a car, too. The first ever road trip was undertaken
without thought for these two points - Bertha Benz, wife of car inventor Karl Benz, stole the third ever motor car and undertook a 200km round
trip to Pforzheim and back. She did this with her two sons in the back and without her husband’s knowledge or consent. The upshot of her
derring-do was recognition of her husband’s invention, so we can thank Bertha for being at least partially responsible for the advent of the
Plan your route around fuel stations, rest stops and sightseeing. There’s a limit to what you and your car can do in one go,
especially if you’re driving a banger in hot weather. Take plenty of water in your car, as well as blankets and a shovel if there’s any chance
you might encounter snow. All of these bits of advice may seem like pointless molly-coddling but when it comes down to it, being stuck in a
snowdrift overnight can be dangerous.