Last week, my friend AJ wrote a one-off guest post about why he loves to travel. That post went down so well that I decided to hand the reins of the blog over to him every Thursday, and now he has his own weekly feature.
If you’re the kind of person that read ‘Paper Towns’ and wanted to hit the road straight away, AJ has advice on what you must do before you get in your car and drive:
Imagine a scenario in which you and three of your closest chums are packed into a tight space for hours at a time, spreading banter and jokes and seeing the world. The good old-fashioned road trip is almost a right-of-passage for some people, and is has given me some of my best memories.
Before you get in your car and sod off to Middle Earth, there’s quite a few things you need to sort out (unless you want to end up like those poor bastards in that Wolf Creek film…)
You don’t want to travel with the wrong people. This is true not just for road trips, but in general. I spent a lot of time travelling to Auckland with a fellow so self-absorbed and entitled he took out his phone to record himself complaining that the tigers were in the vets and the otters were knackered at Auckland Zoo. It ruined the experience for me a little.
Get together some like-minded people whose company you enjoy, whose banter you can handle, and whose experiences you’d like to share.
Now you need a rocking playlist, as there is going to be a lot of downtime between conversations. The best road trip playlists have a plethora of songs that almost everyone knows the words to. If your car isn’t blasting some old-school Busted tune? You’re doing it wrong.
In addition, you’re going to be seeing some beauty and wonders on your trip. Add Ed Sheeran. Makes it 100% more gorgeous.
3. Portable Chargers
You will need them. You’re somewhere new and you want to be the very best that no one ever was, and you can’t be a Pokemon Master without at least three pocket chargers.
More importantly, though, you need maps. Your phone’s GPS doesn’t work when you battery is more dead than Lil’ Bow Wow’s career.
4. Plan Ahead
If you want to do small things in a town, like go on a brewery tour or visit a bar made out of pure ice, you should book in advance. Figure out what you want to do, but leave enough space to be spontaneous if you need to be. Find out if you can freedom camp or not where you’re going, or if you need to get a hostel. Get a ballpark figure on how much gas money you need.
5. Have Fun
Don’t be fucking shy, start whatever random conversation you can think of. On my road trips in the past we have discussed magnets, kangaroo testicles and threesome mechanics. Anything is free game.
Chat, sing, enjoy yourself. Pick up a hitchhiker if you like! They’re always a great addition to any road trip, and they probably won’t murder you.
If I had my own car (or could drive…) I’d be hitting the road right now. Anyone want to come pick me up? Anyone?!