Road trips are basically long distance journeys often travelled by cars, vans or bikes. Following are some of the reasons for a beautiful road trip.

  • If you want to see the most beautiful, loneliest and most breathtaking places on earth.
  • Driving a car has never been so easy: Lonely roads stretching for kilometers without curves or traffic jams away from narrow cities.
  •  Campfire romance over the gas cooker.
  •  A warm shower never felt so good after a week of cat washing in the ocean.
  •  Crazy pubs in the ass of the world.
  •  Road trippers are a friendly people. Most help before you even find the time to ask for help. The road connects.
  •  Kangaroos, emus, wallabies, deer, turtles… by the end of the trip you will have seen more animals than people.
  • Wherever you like, you can drive over, stop and make it your new home.
  •  You will experience absolute unlimited freedom.

Should you rent or buy a car?

Unfortunately, there is no blanket answer to this and it is certainly a matter of taste.

If you plan to travel for several months, then buying a car is definitely worth it like Manchester Airport taxi. Of course, this also means more work and planning: You have to allow time for buying and selling, taking care of insurance and standing up in the event of an accident. However, you can also make a really good profit from the sale and recoup the cost of your car.

On the other hand, renting vans is less complicated and faster. You can do this, for example, with German companies such as Campanda.de or with local rental stations, which then have to be booked in English. Example of this would be Wickedcampers.com.au.

If you have booked your rental car, you absolutely have to take a close look at your new home on site and take photos of signs of use. Especially outside of Germany, many rental cars are heavily used and some cars would no longer pass the TÜV.

In both cases, you definitely need to do some detailed research and advice beforehand. There are big differences between the many providers of and it is not uncommon for you to pay afterwards for supposedly particularly cheap offers.

What kind of car should you take?

A full-on campervan with all amenities? A car where you just fold up the back seat and sleep? Or a normal car with a tent? The sky is the limit… And whoever has the choice is spoiled for choice.

Of course, all variants have their advantages and disadvantages, and in the end it comes down to personal taste and your budget.

Advantages

Campervan

  • Very big and therefore you have to get used to driving it.
  •  Usually not cheap.
  •  Own eat-in kitchen, bathroom and sleeping space.

Caravan

  •  Stays behind at the campsite, so more flexible. (But also difficult to maneuver.
  •  Own eat-in kitchen, bathroom and sleeping space.
  •  Usually cheaper.
  •  Mostly more durable than a mobile home because there is no motor and complicated electronics that can break.

 Bulli

  • Cheapest alternative.
  •  Ultimate freedom as it is small and easy to maneuver.
  •  You can park your Bulli anywhere because it is so inconspicuous. With the larger variants, this is noticeable when you park in the middle of the city and sleep there.

Your planning for the road trip

Once you’ve decided on the trip and a car, it’s time to start planning. Sure, you want to be as flexible as possible and not plan too much, but a little pre-travel  preparation will be worth its weight in gold once you’re on the road.

Know your route

Every traveler needs an approximate route in their head. That’s not to say you’re hitting the sights as soon as possible, but you also don’t want to go in circles or find out after six months that you’ve spent your entire trip in one place. Then it’s no longer a road trip. You can adjust the route at any time, but with huge countries like Russia you need a plan if you’re going to have any chance at some great spots at all.

Inform people of your route

Especially in countries like Australia it is important that your loved ones at home and ideally other backpackers are informed about your route – in case of an emergency.

Don’t take on too much

I’m a big fan of slow travel. Do you really want to sit in the car your entire road trip and have your butt flattened? I prefer to stay longer in a place that I like and see less of the country but more intensively.

Prepare your vehicle for the road trip

Sounds boring, but things like tire pressure, engine, oil must be checked and you should have a jumper cable and a spare tire in the trunk.

Don’t forget to pack your cooking utensils

You can save a lot of money if you cook for yourself. And nowhere is it more romantic than enjoying home-cooked food in the bush under a clear starry sky. So take a gas cooker, cartridge, cookware and plenty of food with you.

Have you thought about electricity?

Buy a charging cable in advance to charge your cell phone and camera in the cigarette lighter. Because in many places you will not find any other power sources over long distances.

Use all stops

Australia, Brazil , the USA: These countries are unimaginably large, the expanses are gigantic and that’s why you shouldn’t miss a pit stop. Even if your car’s tank is full and you think you have enough water, it’s a good idea to top up and carry a spare can. Some gas stations can be the last for hundreds of kilometers.

Don’t drive in the dark

At dusk and at night, most animals are active and crawl out of their holes. reach a place or campsite before dark if possible.

Obey the local traffic rules

Actually a no-brainer, but the traffic rules are not the same everywhere, so you should find out about them in advance and stick to them.

Make friends with other road trippers

Sometimes the friendliness among road trippers is almost too much for me as a cold northern European. You’ll be invited to the homes of complete strangers, you’ll get tips for beautiful places without being asked, and you’ll meet people with the most exciting stories, like Gary, who, despite his arthrosis, walked across the desert from Perth to Melbourne.

Packing list for your road trip

In addition to your luggage , these useful things will make your life on the road easier and you’ll be prepared for any eventuality.

  • Power adapter for the car
  • Duct tape for quick help
  • Go Pro and Camera
  • First aid kit for your car
  • Mobile Wifi WLAN router
  • Bluetooth Headset
  • Earplugs and blindfolds for a good night’s sleep
  • Spare tire
  • Spare petrol cans in Australia
  • Sufficient supply of water

Can you park your van anywhere?

Wild camping is officially forbidden in most countries around the world. Only in Sweden and some other Scandinavian countries does the right of public access apply.

But as already mentioned, countries like Australia or the USA are huge. I slept in vans for months, also in Germany, and met many other backpackers who did the same – without any problems.

The best places to do this are:

  • Side streets
  • Outside cities
  • Not in the middle of a country road
  • In small towns by the sea
  • In a pinch and when you’re not feeling safe, it’s always a good idea to camp overnight and spend the few bucks. Safety first!
  • If a ranger asks you to move on with your van, do so without long arguments.