The Do's and Don'ts of a Great Indian Road Trip
An exciting Road-trip is one of the best ways to break up the monotony of hectic city life. Planning a great road trip is actually as much an art as it is a skill. Do correctly and you get an unforgettable experience of a life-time. Done wrong, all you could get lot of pain. This list of Do's and Don’ts for planning a road trip will help make your road trip an all fun affair.
1) DO bring snacks and water with you
Not only you save some money by not buying it on the road but you also save on time by avoiding unneeded stops and on slowing down on lookout for shops. Frequent but short eats and sips keep you “energy full” and hydrated as well.
2) DO bring essential accessories from home.
There are some things you cannot live without on a road trip like a phone. So bring a phone car charger. Do buy a phone stand so that you can easily keep track of your location and see the directions. A travel charger also comes handy. Aux cables to plug in your ipod or music player.
3) DO have a rough itinerary in place.
Do plan early and don’t leave it for the last minute. Have a plan that includes backup route plan for any sudden eventualities like a road block, landslide, bad weather. On a road trip in India, you can expect just about anything. So do not be rigid about your itinerary, keep some flexibility to allow for spontaneity or for last minute changes.
4) DO bring printed maps.
Though Google Maps on your phone mostly work but never blindly depend on them. Almost every one we know has had a bad experience this way for some reason or the other. You NEED to go Old school and have physical, fold-out maps. You don’t know how cell coverage would be on the entire stretch of the road. And in such times, having real maps on hand is a lifesaver.
5) DO enjoy the road.
Once you are on the road, your trip is on. Remember ‘journey is the reward’. The whole point of doing a road trip and not taking a flight is to make the Road Trip a memorable experience as well. Be ready to take those unplanned stops. Stop at unusual roadside attractions as more often than not it’s these experiences that stick to your memory and makes the journey fun.
Also Read: Preparing for a Perfect Road Trip in India
1) DON’T forget to get your car checked at least 2-3 days before departure.
Not only is a thorough car check-up necessary, in case you are getting your car serviced – do it few 2-3 days before your departure. This way you make sure everything is running smoothly after the car service and you don’t end up finding some service snag on the highway.
2) DON’T drive through a town during rush-hour if you can.
Plan your arrival/departure from major cities if you can help it. Take an early break for your breakfast or dinner if you have to avoid the city rush hour. Not only will it decrease your drive time, but you will avoid unnecessary stress and frustration.
3) DON’T underestimate Indian roads.
In recent past quality of Indian highways has gone up considerably but you never know what state they would be in currently. This is especially important around Monsoon season when many roads end up littered with potholes. Even if roads are good they may be just a single lane, winding, crooked and unforgiving. Always be ready for bullock cart without tail lights right in the middle of the road at night.
4) DON’T just depend on ATMs on the roads and cities.
This can be frustrating when you don’t find one ATM when you need one or you find one out of cash. Keep enough cash with you to make it until your next night halt in a major city. Also do not keep all your cash in one place. Best would be to only plan to withdraw money at major cities and towns in your trip. Indian ATM network has improved a lot in recent years but still there is a good chance to find that sole ATM out of cash at tourist places.
5) DON’T pack too much.
Just because you are traveling in your own car and you won’t have to pay for extra luggage, doesn’t mean you carry your house with you. Clothes and shoes end up taking most space. All that extra stuff makes your car cramped and heavy and thus uncomfortable. A lighter car (especially Indian hatchbacks) gives you a better power to weight ratio and might give you that extra muscle while a steep stretch.