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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
North Luzon Loop – Places we visited and experienced next