Friday, July 18

Road trip Tips and Essentials with The Little Backpacker

Summer is upon us and one of my favourite pastimes of the summer is to take a road trip. I have been lucky enough go on a fair few in my time: two weeks around the West States of America, four days along the Great Ocean Road and 10 days around the Highlands of Scotland. All incredible in their own way but only so successful because of my preparation and packing. So today I wanted to share with you my top tips for taking a road trip but first I have a road trip competition to share with you.

Enterprise are running an awesome competition called #openroadessentials and it couldn't be easier to enter. All you have to do is share your open road essentials with Enterprise and you could win a road trip for two worth £1000

Want to get involved? Here’s what you need to do:

1. Take a photo of at least one item (although you can include as many as you like!) and upload to either Instagram or Twitter, using the hashtag #openroadessentials. (Try and take your shot in a clean, top-down format so everyone can see your item(s) clearly.)

2. Write a short description about what your item is and exactly what makes it special within your Tweet or Instagram caption.

3. Make sure you’re following us on the platform you choose to enter! We’re @UKenterprise on Twitter and @enterpriseUK on Instagram.

To inspire you a bit more here is my entry for the #openroadessentials competition and if that isn’t enough check out one of my favourite travel bloggers entries The Travel Hack 

Top tips for taking a road trip

Carry a map book - No matter how good you think your sat nav is, or how well your mate in the back knows the way I can guarantee you will still get lost or end up on a no entry road. A map book is trust worthy and providing you have someone who can read a map it will get you out of any sticky situation. I have also found a map book leads to awesome detours because you suddenly spot something you knew nothing about before hand.

Good Music - No matter how many times people say it, music makes a road trip. If you have bad music it can completely change the mood in the car. We once rented a snazzy Chevy in the States with a ipod connection built in this made for a far better road trip than the time we only had a radio and barely any signal on the radio. When all is said and done it’s the time you were all singing along to that song that you will remember.

Be prepared - My essentials are by no means the rules but they are a good starting point. I would recommend above anything that you carry water because if the car has a problem it will probably need water and if it doesn’t then you could be in for a long wait, in which case you’ll need the water. Be prepared for everything, I always carry a blanket, food, water and a phone with my breakdown cover number stored. You might want to think about spare petrol to which leads me on to my next point…

Keep an eye on the petrol light - We found driving around the north of Scotland there were far less petrol stations that I imagined. This resulted in us heading over ‘the pass of the cattle’ with our fuel light on. If we didn't find fuel in Applecross we wouldn't make it back to the main road and if anyone knows this road you will understand my worry - if not go google it you will be in for a shock. Anyway you get the idea, petrol is especially important when driving across the outback in Australia or the desert states of America.

Plan for distances and driving times for the day ahead - I have been know to plan out an entire road trip’s itinerary so that we weren't driving too much on any given day, but saying that I have also taken road trips where we just drive as much as we feel like and find somewhere to stop. I wouldn’t recommend the second one as you could end up driving for far too long without realising and driving tired is one of the most dangerous things to do.

I hope you find these tips and essentials helpful if you are planning a road trip this year - it is a great way to get some travelling done in your home country too. Good luck to everyone who enters the competition, just remember you have to be in it to win it!

Visit The Little Backpacker for more travel inspiration and tips.

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