How to plan a perfect road trip? My top 5 tips

Happy Friday, people!

Can you believe that it is the 2nd of September. How sad is that? I mean it’s sad because summer is over… and Autumn is pretty depressing in the UK. But at least I can be happy  due to a fact that today is Friday which means I don’t need to go to work and I can, finally,   ‘invest my time’ and write a quick blog post.

So, the aim of today’s post is to share with you, guys, my top 5 tips on how to plan a perfect road trip. If you have read my previous post about my road trip to Spain, then you know that I was planning to share a few tips with you, so, without further explanation, let’s begin!

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1. Do your RESEARCH

When planning a road trip, it is crucial to research as much as possible prior setting off. Why? Because you don’t want to be surprised or unaware of certain things, right? I strongly suggest doing research before a road trip mainly because driving rules (if you’re crossing a border of course) may vary, so nobody really wants to pay a fine just because you were unaware of something? For example, while planning our trip to Spain through France, we did our ‘homework’ and found out that in France you must have an alcohol tester (breathalyser)  at all times in your car. A small thing, right, but can cost you a fine if you are stopped by the police. So, Ignorantia juris non excusat or simply ignorance does not exempt you from responsibility!

2. Do your PLANNING and TRACKING

If your road trip involves doing thousands of kilometres, a dozen of hotels and various countries, do your planning! Maybe it is even worth making a small spreadsheet so you have everything at hand? I found that having a spreadsheet does help a lot. It can be really simple, you can even do it on paper, does not matter as long as you have everything on one sheet of paper.

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A snippet of my spreadsheet

3. Prepare and check your car

A road trip would not be possible without a car meaning that you car has to be in a perfect condition! About a week before you set off, get your car checked by a mechanic who will ensure that car’s fluid levels, tyres, brakes and other important parts are in a good condition. Once you got your car checked from a mechanical side, you also need to have it cleaned inside. Remove receipts, fast food wraps, take-away coffee cups – literally everything from your car before going on a road trip. Travelling long distances in a messy car isn’t nice at all and especially if you need to find something important in a pile of rubbish… So, make sure that your car is thoroughly cleaned!

4. Divide tasks and responsibilities

When going on a long road trip, it is more likely that you will be travelling with someone else – your partner, your friend/friends, family, etc… No matter how good you think you’re at everything – planning, driving, navigating, taking pictures, etc., it is important that you all agree who is responsible for what. For example, when my boyfriend and I were on our road trip in France and Spain, I was responsible for having cash at hand and paying for tolls as well as for setting our GPS while my boyfriend was responsible for planning our ‘rest and eat breaks’ while driving and monitoring our car’s fuel consumption making sure that we stop in villages where we can top up our tank with cheaper petrol. Dividing responsibilities is a key as it prevents from overburdening one person with tasks and responsibilities.

5. Pack the right stuff

A light car means that you will save on petrol, therefore, make sure that you pack only the stuff you need! Of course, take into consideration the length of your trip, the weather conditions and other important factors but don’t put too much into your car’s boot. Think about things that can be shared between you and your travel companions. Why would you need 5 bottles of sun cream if you all can share one? If you travel with a bunch of girlfriends why you all pack a hairdryer if you can take only one and share it? Think smart when packing stuff!

So these are my 5 tips that you should take into consideration when planning your road trip! Road trips are lots of fun but sometimes small things can make your experience unpleasant.

Do you have any tips that you would like to share? Please leave them in the comments’ section below!

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England – France – Spain. Our road trip. Photo diary

Hello beautiful people!

Long time no see. I mean really long time… But finally I am back! I cannot guarantee, though, that I will become more regular in terms of my posting schedule, however, there is no reason why I shouldn’t… I do really miss blogging as well as reading other blogs and engaging with people but in the last couple of months my life was just crazy. So many things happened and I promise to talk about all of them later this month. Today I decided to finally write a post about our road trip to Spain which now doesn’t feel that recent due to so many things happening afterwards. But, I guess, a blog post about it will allow me to revive all the memories from our wonderful time in Spain.

I decided to split this post into two sections. The first section will be about the five mostly asked questions about our trip while the second part will contain a little photo diary. So, without further ado, we should jump straight into the actual post, shall we?

Why Spain and why by car?

First and foremost, a lot of people ask me why Spain and why by car when it is much easier to travel by plane. Well, Spain was on my bucket list for a really long time. I feel that I have always been in love with Spain – I love culture, food, people, weather and Spanish language which I actually wanted to learn for a really long time. So, I felt that this time was a perfect time to finally go and visit this Mediterranean country. Talking about the decision to travel by car, I guess, the best explanation would be our wish to see as much as possible.  I do think now that it would have been more convenient to fly to, let’s say, Paris and then rent a car rather than drive all the way from home, but you learn as you go, don’t you?

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England (Liverpool) – France – Spain – England (Liverpool). We did around 3600 miles in 14 days.

How did we plan our itinerary? 

I had an idea in my head that I would like to travel along the coastline of Spain… So I just needed to get a consent from my boyfriend … Cities such as Barcelona, Benidorm, Valencia – they all are by the sea, so the decision to travel along the coastline really worked out. It was also much easier to plan as you just pick hotels that are on your way…

Talking about hotels, we have stayed in 9 hotels in total, and they were ranging from hostels to 4 stars beautiful hotels. In cities such as Barcelona, it is not worth taking an expensive hotel unless you have a lot of money and you want to live like a queen and a king, hahaha. As we have spent most of time exploring the actual city, staying in a hostel was the perfect option for us.

 *I am thinking to make a few posts about my tips and tricks while planning a road trip, therefore, I’m not going to elaborate too much this time.*

How much did it cost?

The third mostly asked question is how much does a journey like this cost? Well, neither much nor little – around £ 1000 per person (including accommodation, petrol, ferry, food and other expenditures). It might look a lot but bear in mind that we have been travelling for 14 days and we did around 3600 miles in total, so, in my opinion, the cost for one person is justifiable. I guess, the expenditures could have been potentially reduced but, as I mentioned, I will be making a separate post about tips and tricks on how to save, what to see and etc.

What did I like the most and what left me disappointed? 

That’s the easiest question. Both my boyfriend and I loved Barcelona! I mean this city is just ‘life’s goal’… It’s the city which can please anyone. The city which never sleeps. The city which has one of the most fascinating buildings of a single architect Antoni Gaudi. It’s the city which sits between the mountains and the sea. It’s the city which can offer something for people who love history and for people who love modernity. It’s THE CITY where I would love to live. I fell in love with Barcelona and currently I am quite sure that this is my next destination!

Together with my boyfriend, we said a no-no to France and Paris in particular. We had a chance to stay and explore Paris for a few days, and, yes, Paris is beautiful and architecture is stunning but in comparison to Barcelona, Paris wasn’t as appealing. It’s probably kind of my fault as I always judge each place by asking one question ‘Would I like to live there or no?” So, Paris wasn’t that place where I would like to go and settle in. It’s just not my cup of tea.

Was it worth ?

The last question that has to be answered is “Was it worth travelling by car?”. The answer is simple – YES, YES, YES! I mean, travelling by car and doing long distances is definitely not for everyone but we knew that this journey will require a maximum concentration, commitment and strength. But every moment was so worth it!

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A Photo Diary

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The Eiffel Tower (Paris, France)

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Views from the Eiffel Tower (Paris, France)

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Beautiful architecture in Paris, France

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The River Seine in Paris, France

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The Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris, France

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Inside of the Notre-Dame Cathedral (Paris, France)

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Beautiful stained-glass windows of the Notre-Dame Cathedral (Paris, France)

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Driving from France to Spain

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Selfie-stick in use. La Sagrada Familia – a symbol of Barcelona, Spain

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My favourite pizza with a runny egg in the middle (Barcelona, Spain)

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Vegetarian paella (Barcelona, Spain)

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A little gem – Sagunto, Spain

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Benidorm – a city full of skyscrapers 

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Was a bit scary to sit on the edge of a hill but you can probably do even more for a nice picture like this, right? (Benidorm, Spain)

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The rock of Gibraltar (Gibraltar, British Overseas Territory)

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Wondered who was more scared to sit on the edge – me or this cute little monkey? (Gibraltar, British Overseas Territory)

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Rustic interior is my new favourite (Villaharta, Spain) 

 

 

So, these are all the photos I wanted to share with you, my lovely readers. I hope you liked this post as much as I loved putting all these pictures together. Remember that travelling is the only thing you buy that makes you richer, so I wish you all to travel the world and experience its beauty!

See you all very soon,

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