Road trips have always fascinated travelers from all over the world, as they are often synonymous of freedom, discovery and adventure.
They allow you to discover the world in its most hidden corners, and at your own speed.
It's also a great chance to meet all kinds of people, because the road is often a metaphor for life.
Whether it's done by car, van, motorbike or in any way you prefer, it's always a unique experience, sometimes even tiring, but always worth doing.
How to Best Prepare for Your Road Trip
Regardless of whether you rent a vehicle or set off on an adventure with your own, it's always important to arrive prepared, so as not to take unnecessary risks or run into expensive fines.
Here are the most important things I've learned in these years of taking road trips and the 5 super useful tips to best prepare for an incredible adventure:
1. Buy Insurance for Your Vehicle
If you were to rent a vehicle (possibly the most likely scenario), it is essential to purchase insurance that covers your vehicle in case of damage. This is because, when you travel for long distances, it's very possible to run into some unexpected troubles.
I know sometimes comprehensive insurance raises the cost of the rental a lot, but taking avoidable risks makes no sense and the money saved for basic insurance will be increased fivefold to compensate for serious damage.
2. Take Out a Travel Insurance
My next suggestion is to also get health insurance for yourself. This is true both if you plan to hire and if you decide to leave with your own private vehicle.
If you are unsure about which travel insurance to get, we wrote an article in which we compare the best travel health insurance out there, so make sure to check it out before getting on the road!
This is an important step that I advise you to not skip as it can really save you so much trouble if the unexpected were to happen!
3. Check for Tolls Along the Way
Never take tolls for granted because fines can be steep and ignorance of the law is no excuse as people say.
For example, in Switzerland – one of the strictest countries on driving regulations – to enter and drive on the highways, you will need to buy the famous vignette. So, to avoid any problems, it's better to order it in advance and have it delivered to your home. Plus they are extremely strict on speed limits and controls are everywhere. Penalties are very expensive and it is best to avoid taking fines and committing infractions.
4. Study the Route in Advance
If you don't plan to use toll roads, check carefully what alternatives are out there because it often happens that you might have to go through absurdly bumpy roads and have to extend by many kilometres, thus not saving any money.
Many cities are also using the Limited traffic zone (LTZ) or have banned access to the most polluting vehicles, so it's always a good idea to check what the regulations are like for the city you plan to pass through.
5. Never Underestimate Distances
This is one of the most important things to consider, more than anything else.
Often there is a huge distance between one petrol station and the other, and there is a high risk of running out of petrol.
So make sure to not underestimate these distances, and refuel whenever possible after reaching half the tank.
Bonus Tips for Digital Nomads
If you are a digital nomad and need to get some quick work done while on your road trip, there are several hacks you can follow to make your work more productive without compromising your travel. Here are the most useful:
- Plan breaks along the way and stop about 30 minutes before starting work
- Buy a removable tray for the steering wheel
- Always leave with the PC fully charged
- Highway restaurants and rest areas often have free wifi so take advantage of it
- Work standing up for better blood circulation
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Traveling on The Road: Some Final Thoughts
It's always nice to go on an adventure without knowing too much about the place you're going to. You get to discover it a little at a time, perhaps by asking the locals or following your instincts.
But this shouldn't be the case if you travel on unfamiliar roads, especially in foreign countries where the laws may be different from those we are used to, so look for a balance between the things you absolutely must know and those to discover along the journey.
And don't forget to enjoy your road trip!
Ready to Embark on an Unforgettable Road Trip?
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We'll see you there, Freaking Nomads!
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