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The Freedom That Comes From a Road Trip

October 23, 2018 Lifestyle No Comments Email Email

There’s no better way to experience the true nature and culture of a destination than to take a road trip adventure to explore the reality of the place off the typical tourist trail. 

 The great thing about a road trip is that it gives you total freedom and flexibility in terms of where and when you go – if you spot something along the way that captures your attention, then you are free to explore and adjust your itinerary accordingly.

Similarly, you never know who you’re going to meet on a road trip and having the flexibility to go with the flow is one of the key principles of experiential travel.  You might pick up a hitchhiker, for instance, that tells you about something incredible coming up that you wouldn’t have otherwise known about, yet in having control of your vehicle you have control of where you go meaning your trip is your own.

The contrast of an organised trip is vast, in that on an organised group trip you are restricted to a specific itinerary and if you’re relying on public transport you’re often limited to cities and towns that might not offer the richness of the experience you’re really looking for.

Indeed, when it comes to travel, if you’re on an organised tour you are having to go with someone else’s flow and schedule, whereas if you’re an independent traveller whilst you have a lot more freedom and autonomy, without a car, you are often restricted to the major routes – with little chance to explore hidden corners and tiny villages.  

In fact, part of the beauty of travel is getting lost and leaving the well trodden path in search of hidden gems that few tourists get to see – again, difficult to achieve without a car, whereas when you’re on a road trip the whole world is your oyster.

If you’re in an RV, or even a big enough car that you can put a blow up mattress in the back and some blackout curtains attached to the windows, you don’t even need a hotel or hostel – you could camp out in places few people have even ventured into.  The freedom that comes from a road trip is huge.

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Also, if you’re looking to work remotely whilst you travel, from your laptop, then a car or van can act as your mobile office.  There are inverters that can convert your cigarette lighter port into a plug to charge laptops and mobile devices, plus you can easily carry a foldaway table and chair with you – meaning you have the freedom to set up your office anywhere, on the road, and with the ability to tether your inclusive data package to your laptop – you can usually get internet in most places too.

As for the vehicle itself, if you are thinking of an RV it makes sense to convert a van or minibus into a camper on the basis it tends to be cheaper, more personal to you and therefore aligned with your unique needs, plus it can be a lot safer if you were to make it appear more covert than a traditional camper.

This can be helpful when trying to stay places overnight, where camping is prohibited, for if you look like you’re simply parked in a normal van people are less likely to disturb you.  There are clear security benefits too in terms of being more stealth than advertising the fact your whole life is within the four flimsy walls of a camper van, which today tends to mean several expensive assets such as camera, laptops and tablets.

Now, if you’re wanting to stay closer to home it means you can head down to Berwick Mazda and pick up a brand new car to cruise around Australia in, yet if you’re travelling abroad, chances are you’ll be wanting to find a good deal on car rental.  

If that’s the case then you might want to head to www.travelsupermarket.com as this is a comparison engine which pulls up a whole range of car rental providers much the same as how SkyScanner compares airlines, routes and prices.

Now that we’ve established the freedom that comes from a road trip, compared to conventional travel, let’s take a look at some of the best places to begin your adventure abroad:

  1. PORTUGAL:  PORTO TO LISBON

In Portugal, the coastal route from Porto to Lisbon is breathtakingly beautiful; as is the route from Lisbon to Albufeira which you can combine if you have a lot of time… this route is perfect for surfers due to its rugged coastline as well as wine aficionados and foodies who will revel in the cheap yet delicious food on offer in this region of the world.

This is a very campervan friendly route, as unlike Spain and France, Portugal take a very relaxed view when it comes to wild camping and parking up overnight in car parks… indeed, whilst the route is very chilled out and quiet, you’ll see a ton of camper vans parked up each night, showing just how popular this rustic route is.

  1.  CANARY ISLANDS

The Canary Islands are found just off the coast of Morocco, yet they belong to Spain and have a distinctively Spanish feel to them – the people are easygoing and friendly, there are no car parking attendants or speed cameras, reflecting the laidback lifestyle of these islands.  

If you’re into watersports then head to Fuerteventura where the wind makes it ideal for kitesurfing and surfing.

  1.  SCOTLAND

If you’re wanting a more homely feel to your travels then head up to the mountainous regions of Scotland where you’ll be met with a warm hearty welcome; moreover, wild camping is completely legal in Scotland (unlike in Wales and England) meaning you can park up wherever you want with “ne bother” as they say in Scotland.

This is a great place for those that are into hiking, cycling, climbing and don’t have too strong an aversion to the cold wet weather for which Scotland is known for.

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