Road Trip: A Few Tips to enjoy the Ride

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With an outpour of travel deals available to enjoy today, there is no better time to gear up for “Road Trips 101” than now.

The thing is, sometimes the excitement gets too high that we forget about the impact of preparing or not preparing.

Exactly a year ago, my family got invited to join an event in Santa Ana, Cagayan province. It was a long holiday at that time, so we decided to bring our other family members as it was going to be a long North Luzon Loop road trip rather than a plane ride. Although we are used to road tripping, it was the very first time that we have traveled as far as 600 plus kilometers from Manila to Cagayan by road.

From this personal experience, I came up with a few tips below:

Decide which road to take: long versus short route.

This really depends on one’s tolerance level for road tripping. Some people purposely prefer the long road, while others would like the short cut. Whatever it is, try to make use of maps and helpful apps like Waze so that at least, we can gauge distance and places to avoid the traffic.

Nueva Ecija

First Stop: Plaza Leticia and NE Cake and Restaurant – Cabanatuan City Nueva Ecija

Sta. Fe, Nueva Vizcaya

Isabela

We wanted our trip to be a memorable one, while passing by more new beautiful places in less possible time, so we tried to choose the latter. But sometimes we couldn’t avoid giving in to stop-overs along the way.

Do the Math

Try to estimate the time and gasoline involved (if you’ll be taking a private car). Do some distance research, on how far or how many kilometers it takes to reach your destination, how much liters of gasoline your car is consuming every kilometer. Plan every stop you will take, where to eat and have your gasoline filled again to avoid delays.

Overnight : The Hotel Andrea – Cauyan, Isabela

Looping towards the North with friends from the Media

 

Be Mindful of Other Passengers

If it falls on a long holiday, you need to consider that lots of people are traveling, too. It is better to prepare extra food and water and have your vehicle checked and conditioned first because if any problem occurs to your vehicle, it will be hard for you to find someone who will fix and buy parts since most of the auto shops would be closed during holidays. Although there are roadside assistance services available such as “Lakbay Alalay” for instance, please note that not places would have this.

Ilagan City, Privince of Isabela

Province of Cagayan

If you’re traveling with kids, it is better also to have something that will not make them bored, Although we discourage having them with their tablets or cellphones because we also wanted them to see places and enjoy the travel. Have extra cellphone loads and have data subscription if using a prepaid sim. My advice is always bring with you two cellphone with different subscriber cellphone companies. Some cellphone companies don’t have 3g signals for internet in some areas. Download helpful applications that might be a big help. Applications that can give you information to familiarize you with every place you are going to pass by like markets, convenience stores, known local restaurants, hospitals, gasoline stations and police stations will be helpful.

Sta Ana Cagayan, After 36 hours

Cagayan Holiday & Leisure Resort

Picture-picture

Capture every moment you can have and document those beautiful places, faces and experiences. Chances are, sometimes you would stumble upon what’s hard to find, and sometimes we will not be able to pass the same road again. Taking road trips like in the North loop will cause you to pass lots of cities and towns and every place have their points of interest and places one must see. Don’t miss it. Memories we’ve made will go on and the best memories will not be forgotten, such as the people we meet, the beautiful places in this road trip which I personally get touched by.

Ilocos Norte

Pagudpud

Bangui Wind Farm, Ilocos Norte

Mojica Residencia Hotel, Vigan

Vigan, Ilocos Sur

Expect to Get Lost

Lastly, don’t be afraid to get lost even as we may try to do our best to follow the map, and maps may not all be 100% accurate. This is a small world after all. In fact, to the words of Erol Ozan, “some beautiful paths can’t be discovered without getting lost.”

More Photos of North Luzon Loop Road trip here.

North Luzon Loop – Places we visited and experienced next

 

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About the author /


Kit is a self-taught photographer who possesses an insatiable desire to capture and freeze through his lens remarkable moments that revolve around travel, food, sports and special events. A registered nurse by profession, Kit traces back his passion for visual media when his camera has become his constant companion to his various medical missions and travels. His photographic works can be viewed at the TheSideTripper.com and Imahe.net, website he established that feature collections of photographs and blogs about the many travel and food tripping adventures of his family and friends. He also undertakes freelance assignments for online and print publications, most recently at Motorcycle Magazine where he is a contributor. He may be reached at admin@thesidetripper.com.

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    “Make sure you don’t take any side trips,” warns Schumler, from a phrase in the 1993 American film Swing Kids. If you are someone who does not have time to lose, then it is better for you to stick to your main agenda, because there is something about side tripping that submerges the soul in experiences that sometimes make you hope that time would stand still, as the experiences they bring can be more impactful than the main trip itself. It is that free flowing agenda, an unexpected sleepover or a detour that has unintentionally brought pleasant surprises. You can live without it, like you can eat a cake without its icing, but your journey may not be as meaningful. If travel is the ‘best medicine for the heart’,* then for me, side trips are secret ingredients to the most memorable travels and other events that can happen in between or off the main route of one’s itineraries. Welcome to Side Tripper, a collection of photographs and blogs about the many side trip adventures of our family and friends. *Source: The Global Commission on Aging and Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, in partnership with the U.S. Travel Association (Los Angeles Times, December 17, 2013 by Chris Erskine)

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