There is something about the open road that calls to people. Whether you’re fresh out of high school and about to go to college, or you’re heading into retirement and have a bucket list that still needs checking off, hitting the road on an extended trip with only a general direction to go in, but no fixed destination, is sometimes just something you have to do. Route 66 is a tried and tested cross-country passage near spiritual in its traversing – just look at Kerouac and his Merry Pranksters. Nonetheless, before speeding away into the night or day, it helps to lay out a plan for all eventualities. After all, you’ll be a long way from home at most points.
A Bespoke Means of Transport
If you know your roadie stuff, and you’re not planning on backpacking (not especially safe these days), you’ll know that recreational vehicles (RVs) have been popular for a long time. However, buying a Winnebago requires more dollars than a lot of potential road trippers have. Used commercial vehicles are an affordable alternative that requires creativity and hard work to repurpose, but one that pays dividends in satisfaction at the end. Old buses, rather than vans, are the way to go, due to the space they offer. You don’t want to be cramped up in addition to being sat for long periods of time. Indeed, if done right, you’ll never look back and lament your inability to buy the latest in RV technology or a common camper, as you will have created your own home away from home, with each detail in its interior design and layout come from your own artistic genius. That’s certain to make it a road trip to remember; before you’ve even left the driveway, in fact.
A Map is a Map is a Map
Apart from your mode of transport, the most important possession to have on a road trip is, of course, the map. Step away from your Smartphone. Apart from the fact you’re unlikely to get a good enough signal in most parts of the country to use Google Maps, or the potential for your battery to die even though fully charged when you are literally in the middle of nowhere, the ability to read a map is a dying art that is no better honed than in its reemployment on the road. Without the map reader, how does the driver know where to go? You don’t want to be on the road with a SatNav for company. Such technology takes the whole soul-searching ethos out of the experience, destroys in fact the essential purpose for coming away and hitting the road.
Therefore, buy a map; a really good, large map that can become your penciled and pen-marked keepsake upon your eventual return. Frame it and hang it on the wall – maybe even in that repurposed bus you’ll keep as a guesthouse in the driveway later on (though do check local laws on that).