The road trip is a classic American adventure; it brings to mind Route 66, Bonnie and Clyde, days on end travelling without seeing another human being and the discovery of the furthest, most remote reaches of the country. Great American road movies showed not just a voyage of discovery of the world, but also discovery of the self and the creation of bonds between travelling partners. The open road is accessible to anyone with a car and some time to spare, this guide will give you some tips on how to turn your road trip into a real adventure. Buckle up!
Get inspired: You have many great sources of inspiration for your road trip in English. Try watching one of the many great road movies, such as Thelma and Louise or Easy Rider. But make sure it’s in English! You can keep the subtitles on if you need some extra help. There are also many classic books written about the road, so if reading is more your style, try to get hold of an English copy. They’re sure to give you plenty of ideas for your trip, while giving you some great practice!
Plan your route, but keep it flexible: Some kind of plan is necessary for a road trip, you need at least a final destination and some ideas of where you want to stop on the way, but stay flexible! Being spontaneous will allow you to take advantage of the freedom of the open road. Keep it varied and interesting. Also, be realistic with your driving times, you don’t want to be powering through late at night in order to get to your next destination. Give yourself plenty of time for stops and rest.
Get off the beaten track: One of the greatest advantages of travelling by car is that you can go anywhere the road takes you. This means that you can get off the beaten track and explore places which are not often visited. Choose destinations that might interest you, but don’t over-research! Part of the charm of a road trip is arriving at an unknown place and exploring it for yourself. This can be ruined if you’ve seen everything beforehand online.
Keep good company: You want to choose your road trip partner(s) carefully; just because you get along well with someone doesn’t mean you can spend 8 hours at a time in a car with them! You’ll need plenty of entertainment to keep you sane during the long journeys. Make sure you have plenty of music, and learn some car games beforehand. This is an excellent opportunity to practice your English too! For example, a game of ‘Would you rather…?’ will keep you entertained, give you some good English practice and might help you find something new out about your friends. Also, it’s important to make new friends on the road: don’t be afraid of chatting to people at stops or petrol stations. The locals often have the best tips, and they might show you places you wouldn’t find online. What’s more, if you don’t mind sharing your car with strangers, picking up hitchhikers can be a great way to share experiences with other travellers.
Expect the unexpected: Things can go wrong on a road trip – you need to be prepared (at least mentally). You could have a flat tire, you could run out of petrol in the middle of nowhere, you could be hit by a thunderstorm, there are many possibilities for chaos! The primary thing is not to panic, deal with the problem calmly and get back on the road. It’s all part of the adventure!
These tips will surely help you make the most of a road trip – get out there and explore!
Distant places not often visited.
A road you can drive on for a long time without reaching a town.
Get ready; put on your seatbelt.
To keep going despite being tired.
To get away from frequently travelled routes.
A conversation game which gives players dilemmas to choose between.
People who live in the local area.
People who travel by getting free rides in someone else’s vehicle.