If there are two things that make you think of freedom, it’s road trips and rock and roll. Crossing the country on a rock and roll road trip is a great way to explore your two biggest passions, getting out on the open road and enjoying the best music you can find, wherever it may turn up. How can you make sure your latest trip goes off without a hitch though? Check out our tips below.
Part of the charm of a road trip is sleeping under the stars or cramming into the back of the van for another night, but after a while, even rockers need a comfortable bed to recharge in for the night.
It’s a good idea to have a clear plan as to where you’re going to be sleeping for every night of your trip. Ideally, the van should be a last resort. Sure it all sounds very sensible and it’s probably the most boring (and painful) part of the trip to plan, but it will save you so many groans and sore backs throughout the road trip. Hostels and hotel rooms can sell out very quickly, especially when there’s a big concert in town, so it’s essential to plan ahead to avoid disappointment.
Frequent travelers will know there is a litany of apps out there to help them find last-minute accommodation while road tripping. Apps like Hotwire advertise last-minute hotel deals and can help you get out of a sticky situation by directing you to hostels or even rentable living room that you can sleep comfortably for the night in.
Take care of the van
No matter what you’re doing or where you’re going, the real start of your road trip is going to be the van. Everyone knows it’s about the journey, not the destination, and what helps you through that journey? The time you and your buddies spend in the back of the van will be some of the best memories that stay with you when you finally get home, so make sure you keep it in good enough condition to last the whole trip.
Before you set out on your journey make sure the van is in the condition it needs to be to get a group of people across the country. We advise getting in a specialist to take a look at your vehicle, especially if you haven’t driven it for a while or this is your first road trip. If you insist you can do it yourself, make sure you have a thorough checklist including checking the oil, testing tire pressure and all safety measures are in place, among other essentials.
In case the worst should happen, it’s vital you make sure the van is covered. Disaster can strike at any moment on a road trip and the last thing you want to cut the adventure short is a huge bill. You need a savior in the form of van insurance. Providers like Admiral usually offer packages that insure your van specifically for social trips, on top of regular options for commercial cover. With this in place you can enjoy your trip with a clear mind about the safety of your vehicle and your bank balance.
Give yourself time for surprises
A road trip that’s been planned down to the second is one nobody is going to enjoy. Sure, a brief itinerary is nice, and as we’ve discussed it’s great to plan some things ahead, but too thorough a plan will kill the excitement of your trip stone dead.
It’s important to give you and your traveling crew time and space to explore a little. After all, that’s what a road trip is really about. We don’t mean throw the map out the window or say yes to every question. Just make sure you have a couple of free days set aside to explore and stick around in a place you’re all really enjoying the vibe of. Having to leave the bar where you stumbled across the best concert of your life is a real bummer, especially if it’s just to get back in the van or go see a boring landmark none of you were that interested in in the first place.
There’s no rush, even if it means you have to skip out on a couple of things on your list. That’s what do-overs are for, aren’t they?
Just like nobody wants to be the bassist, nobody is going to want to drive for the entire road trip. Designating roles is a vital part of keeping things running smoothly, and making sure nobody feels taken advantage of.
Safety is the key issue here. Driving for too long is dangerous not just for the driver who’s being forced to concentrate for that long, but everyone in the back of the van in case they fall asleep at the wheel. It’s important to have a cycle of drivers planned out for the trip, to make sure everyone has always had enough rest and knows when it’s their turn to be designated driver.
Before you set out on the trip it’s important to give everyone unique jobs to do in the planning process. Leaving it all up to one person can cause them to get frustrated and make the trip a non-starter. An efficiently planned trip where everyone knows their role is a great way to ensure you have the best chance of enjoying the music, the signs, and the open road.
Plan playlists (more than one)
What’s a rock and roll road trip without the perfect playlist? Between visits to musical hotspots and concerts you’ve waited months for, it’s important to have the perfect jams on the go in the van to keep people’s spirits up and bring them into the next city full of energy.
Before you set out, make sure you’ve got suitable playlists ready for all stages of the journey. The same songs over and over again will bore everyone after too long, so make sure you’ve got more than one ready to go. Don’t forget to deliberate with the driver before though!
What makes a rock and roll road trip is unique to you and your group. You don’t have to have everything planned out in detail, part of the fun is going with the flow. However, these tips, and many more, are vital for making sure you make it through the road trip in one piece and have the best time possible.