Do you like to travel as much as I do by car or camper? The best way to travel for me is a road trip. Equated with ultimate freedom and unlimited possibilities to stop where you like it and not where the bus or train stops next. You can find more details here at tourist travel tips right now.
To make your next road trip perfect, I have collected my best tips here. Based on my experiences on numerous road trips in Europe, North America (USA, Canada) and Africa (South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Uganda, Rwanda).
I’ll tell you how to find the best car, what the choice of car depends on and what to look out for when renting a car. In addition I betray my dearest travel utensils, which always come along with Roadtrips.
Find a travel partner
The most important question (for me) is: Who comes with me? Even with some of my best friends, I couldn’t go on a road trip in a confined space. After all, you spend a lot of time together. There is little space in the car, some tracks are very challenging. You should support each other instead of complaining and just have fun!
In Uganda we had to drive on the worst washboard tracks in front of us. When things didn’t get better after three hours, but worse, we just turned the music up, grinned and laughed. Nothing helps. That doesn’t work with everyone!
Or in Botswana, when we stubbornly went straight for hours. It was hot – the thermometer indicated over 40 degrees. One tired very fast. So we changed hourly.
Not everyone is a type for road trips that quickly become a challenge outside Europe. Test your travel partner on a short road trip. If it fits, then let’s get on with the big adventure! The fun factor depends on the right road trip buddy.
Plan your roadtrip (book flights, check travel time)
Before the journey, deal with your destination. I buy travel guides, read travel magazines and browse the Internet. At the same time I note down places, national parks, sights and activities that interest me.
If you’re not interested and want to let everything affect you spontaneously you don’t have to do that. But I don’t find anything more annoying than to find out afterwards that we passed an interesting place because I didn’t prepare myself.
Determine a rough route
When I’m through with my research, I’ll consider a rough route. This does not have to be fixed. But it always helps to get a feeling for what you can do in terms of time.
My tip: Enter everything in a table or in Google Maps, especially distances and estimated travel time. Don’t plan road trips for Africa, Central or South America with Google Maps. Often roads that are not roads are displayed here. Driving times are too short, because Google Maps does not know that there are no tarred roads. Find out more in the forums or on blogs like mine. On road trips I always try to document the distances as detailed as possible.
You will definitely have to book a return flight – unless you start from Germany with your own car or camper van.
If there are several airports in the travel line you should think about whether an open jaw flight makes sense or which arrival and departure airport is the best.
I’m always looking for the best flights (which aren’t always the cheapest) on various flight search engines. But I don’t want to change flights 2-3 times, if I can avoid it).
If you start in a city it is not always worth picking up the rental car on arrival. If you stay 2-3 days you will save money in your budget and often time searching for parking spaces.
Check best travel time
If I have determined a destination and a rough route, I check whether there are holidays or vacations on site. The locals also travel at these times. Hotels and campsites could be fully booked, rental cars and caravans expensive or fully booked and sights overcrowded or closed.
I have had this experience several times. In Australia it really cost me a lot of money because we had to book what was available. Since then I’ve been checking when I travel and thinking about reserving certain accommodations.
Many campsites are often spontaneous and change your booking by 1-2 days if capacity is available. But: “What you have, what you have” – or?
Foreign Office and travel warnings
Before almost every trip I visit the website of the Federal Foreign Office. If there are travel warnings, I need certain vaccinations. A good place to go for initial information.
Choosing the right road trip car
Rental car or own car? Depending on your destination, you decide whether to rent a car or drive off in your own car.
Book a rental car for a road trip
It is always possible to book a car on site. If you start in a city, it is not always worth picking up the rental car on arrival. If you stay 2-3 days you will save money on your budget and often time searching for parking spaces.
My tip: Book your car in advance from Germany. The tour operators or portals on the Internet have often negotiated cheaper prices. One-way rent, other surcharges and the insurance cover are thus clearly regulated. You also avoid the risk of currency fluctuations.
If you have concluded an insurance, the landlord wants to talk to you on site again an insurance. Please let him know that you are already sufficiently insured through your landlord. It is not uncommon for holidaymakers to pay twice.