I love being on the road, I love long drives, and I love getting to know a destination by the roads that lead you there.
While Beep and I like jetting off to new places, we’re both still big fans of taking the longer route – going on road trips. Sure, we have to spend days and nights on the road but as they say, the journey is what matters, not the destination.
There’s just something magical about road trips. For getaways to beaches or mountain retreats, some rent jeepneys or minivans, but there’s nothing quite like a drive in your own family car for the comfort it offers on long journeys through Philippine roads.
It sounds exciting to just spontaneously slide into your car, cram yourselves in the back seat, rev the engine, and zoom away to who-knows-where without any preparation. But that could spell disaster. Long drives can be very tiring and challenging not just for the drivers but the passengers too. Fortunately, it’s easy to book a stay in cheap hotels in the Philippines so you can relax when you’ve arrived at your destination.
Before you can take the load off though, you have to reach the end of a long drive that can either be a terrible or wonderful experience. Here are 6 essentials to keep in mind to avoid mishaps and instead have the perfect road trip:
1. Have your vehicle checked and serviced.
Your car will be your best friend on this trip, after all, so make sure it’s in top shape for long-distance traveling before setting off. No one wants a broken down car in the middle of nowhere, right? Have the oils, engine, head lights, tail lights, fan belt, brakes, and steering components checked, and have them repaired to avoid car trouble. Don’t forget to change old, worn-out tires and bring spares just in case of a flat tire. It will also be helpful if you learned how to change tires. For drivers: don’t forget your driver’s license!
2. Don’t get lost. Ready your map!
You probably already have a planned route for your trip, but there’s no harm in bringing maps of the areas you will be driving through. You might need to know certain paths to avoid traffic or to get to the nearest establishment with a comfort room.
Getting sidetracked and lost on a road trip can seriously setback one’s travel schedule. It can result in wasting fuel and letting valuable time pass by. Have a good, accurate map prepared, have a dependable navigator by your side, or install a GPS (global positioning system) device on your vehicle. You can even use Google Maps if you have mobile data.
3. Don’t drive on an empty stomach.
Before departing, eat some food to give you strength for the long road ahead. If you’re driving, you need to eat often but in lesser quantities, to replenish energy. Pack a couple of healthy, light snacks and small non-messy meals so you won’t have to stop by a store to buy food. It saves money and time! As for drinking, it’s best to consume just the right amount of water to quench your thirst. Drinking too much liquid usually means going to the toilet more often.
4. Prepare an Emergency Kit.
Prepare a kit for all possible types of emergencies. Having a basic first aid kit with topical antiseptic, cortisone cream for insect bites, and bandages for unexpected cuts and scrapes is a good idea; flashlights, spare batteries, and a portable charger are also useful. Based on who you are with, adjust the kit accordingly.
5. Take your favorite tunes on the road with you.
Music can greatly affect the atmosphere inside your vehicle. If you are driving, music can keep you awake and lessen your fatigue. If others prefer to sleep for a while, turn the radio’s volume down or use your earphones. If everyone’s down for a music party, play The Chainsmokers or belt out along with Ariana Grande with the windows rolled down. You can do whatever you want! It just depends on your or your family’s musical preference, really.
6. Toiletries and essential items.
Prescribed medicine, baby wipes, tissue paper, and hand sanitizers are a must for any traveler. Remember to bring your cellphone, too. If you’re bored, you can play games, take selfies, and update your Snapchat followers with your road trip moments. It’s most useful feature is, of course, it allows you to get help in case of a difficulty like a vehicle breakdown, a medical emergency, and other accidents that may occur.
Be careful during your trip! Be mindful of important signs on the side of the road. These signs can help you stay on track and avoid dangerous areas. Also be alert, especially if you’re the driver. But even if you aren’t the one driving, keep your eyes peeled because anything could happen.
To make the trip more comfortable, bring pillows, blankets and jackets to add comfort inside a cramped car. Lastly, relax and enjoy the road trip!