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5 worst road trip follies or why planning makes sense

Unprepared road trips can evoke dreams of ice cubes.

Unprepared road trips can evoke dreams of ice cubes.

Yes, I know what it’s like. You finally have a countdown to your journey which involves days rather than months and you just can’t wait to get away. The lead-up to any trip is stressful and packed with urgent errands and last-minute purchases. The one thing a traveller (including me) dreams about is to “just hit the road” and forget about all of the lists of things to do.

While some types of travels may be completely compatible with worry-free roaming or lounging around a pool or beach a road trip does, unfortunately, requires a little bit of planning.

I’m not talking about setting-up a day-to-day itinerary. Roughly knowing whether to travel north, south, east or west and in what type of vehicle makes for a whole lot less stress.

I’ll share with you my five worst follies of starting a road trip without a clue:

1. Forgotten items

Happens to the best travellers, but if you’re seeking secluded camping areas and you realise the darn can opener is missing just because you didn’t want to start just another list of things to do/pack/think about, well, it makes for an interesting dinner.

2. Packed away somewhere

Then, a few weeks later when you’ve finally replaced the can opener you dig deep in your van to look for something and – lo and behold – you find the first can opener you thought you hadn’t packed, but in fact, packed it so well you couldn’t remember and didn’t find it in the first place.

3. Too hot and too cold

As you may know from previous posts, overseas travellers perceive Australia’s weather much more positive than it actually is. There’s a right time and place to be comfortable all year around – it just takes a little prep time to work out where and when that is. Alternatively, a whole stack of blankets or ice cubes and an electric fan might help.

4. Not the right gear

Chances are the extra blankets or a fan isn’t part of the standard equipment. Much worse is camping and travelling gear that doesn’t do what you want it to – like a torch you can’t use because you need to hold it the whole time (not good for when you need tow hands to tie your shoe-laces) or the tent that is perfectly insulated and would be great for the cold only its 32 degrees at night.

5. Not enough time

Scheduling a trip that allows sufficient time is incredibly difficult, but oh so important. Even after many many trips around Australia this is still a curly one to get right. A bit of research about what might interest you, how long it takes to get there (and back) may actually go a long way in making your trip unforgettable for all the right reasons.

Keen to get it right the first time? Have a read of my travel guide and make sure you know the essentials. You’ve done a road trip and want to add a crucial folly? Go for it!

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2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Thorsten #

    I love your caption: “Unprepared road trips can evoke dreams of ice cubes.” LOL But I know exactly what you’re talking about. A bit of preparation is making the actual trip so much more enjoyable.

    30/12/2012

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