What is a road trip?
You regularly hear about it in travellers' stories, in movies, and even in the songs you like. But do you know exactly what a road trip is? What defines it, what are the essential elements, and how to prepare it? Don't wait any longer, come and find all the answers to your questions in our article dedicated to road trip. So, are you ready for the adventure?
Road trip definition
The expression contains two important words: "road", and "trip". We could therefore say that it simply means a journey that takes place mainly on the road. This is true, but it is also much more than that.
When we talk about road trips, there's a notion of a fairly long duration. Indeed, leaving Paris to go to the sea for 2 days is not a road trip. There is no precise time, but let's say that you still have to drive a long distance and see the landscape. Moreover, the road trip is often associated with the crossing of the United States by the mythical Route 66. This is an excellent example that shows the changes of settings, the long hours of driving in the monotonous plains, and all the adventures that this can bring.
In fact, road trips existe since the construction of the first roads. In those days, they were called pilgrimages, but they were a form of travel on the road. Nowadays, most people prefer to talk about "road trip" when a crossing is made with a motor vehicle. Long distances travelled by bicycle, on the other hand, are more properly classified as bicycle tourism. But since there is no precise definition, everyone is free to have his or her own opinion.
On the other hand, people agree on the style of the trip. Indeed, road trippers like to travel in an alternative way, away from organised tours and all-inclusive hotels. They don't always know where they will sleep, what they will see, or even when they will stop. But one thing is for sure: they all love the feeling of freedom provided by the noise of the engine on the asphalt, and the unexpected events that will punctuate the journey. Because the goal of the road trip is not the destination, but the journey itself.
The essential elements of a road trip
For a good road trip, you need a road. It's up to you to see if you like it winding, snowy, straight, foreign, far away... Anything is possible. The world is strewn with roads of all kinds, so do your research and go for it!
You will also need a vehicle. Here again, there are many possibilities. The purists will of course take a van fitted out like the mythical Volkswagen Combi. But there's no shame in driving a simpler vehicle, such as your own car, or a rental car. If you can afford it, the motor-home is also a very practical solution, very popular with older people for the comfort it provides. Finally, thrill-seekers can of course opt for a motorcycle. It's not the easiest vehicle, as there's little storage space and the weather has a big influence on driving, but the motorcycle is definitely the most exhilarating.
Now that you have the main road and the vehicle, you need to prepare your trip to a minimum by establishing stopping points and places to sleep. With a converted van or a motor-home, the answer is more obvious, but you will still need to find authorised parking spaces or campsites. With a car or a motorcycle, you will need to anticipate your nights according to the weather conditions. If the weather is nice and warm, a hammock or a tent is enough to sleep under the stars. On the other hand, when it starts to get cold and wet, it is better to have a reliable place to stay, such as a motel or youth hostel.
All you need to do now is grab a bag with a few things in it, and that's it! A road trip is above all a simple trip, during which you hit the road just for the pleasure of getting away. So don't think too much, and let the road trip take you away.