After 3 weeks road tripping around NZ this summer, many long weekend escapes, a 3 week jaunt around the UK, 1 roadie from Brisbane to Cairns and 34 ish years of living and growing up in Aotearoa…. I know a thing or two about a good roadie adventure.
Growing up we spent almost every school holidays, and definitely every Christmas visiting family in the Hawke Bay. For the drive from Hamilton to The Bay, Dad had pretty stringent car trip rules.
- Go to the toilet before we leave the house.
- Next toilet stop is 2+ hours away in Taupo…. Unless your dangerously close to having an “accident” on the seat.
- Snacks, of potato chip and lollies will be purchased at a service station before leaving town.
- There is to be no debate, potato chips are bog standard Salt and vinegar or Ready Salted nothing fancy, and the lollies are jubes.
- Once the snacks are gone, that’s it.
- No detours, no sidetracking unless: we’re stopping at Taupo to paddle our feet, stopping at the waterfall immediately off the Napier-Taupo road or it’s an emergency loo stop or emergency carsick incident.
- We leave the house at 9am sharp.
- You were carsick once, you will take a motion sick tablet before we leave…. On every car trip until doomsday.
- You will go to the toilet before we leave, whether you need to go or not.
My Dad’s great, but he’s is old school and appreciates routine and apparently leaving early evening when you have no fixed arrival time. I on the other hand treat car trips a bit differently.
There are two types rules for rules for road tripping.
- Rules of common decency:
Don’t throw rubbish out the car window.
Chip in for gas.
Don’t hog the music.
Don’t smoke in someone else’s car.
Refrain from being a dusch-canoe, muppet, or dickhead.
- Rules (tips) for having an awesome road trip.
- Rules of common decency:
Let’s assume we’re all decent human beings and the common sense side of things is under control… I know the saying about assuming, but rules for not being a dick make for less interesting content. Lets be honest.
Determine where you’re going, and what you’re doing. Sounds basic enough, but actually this is the hard part, how often do you want to do something but literally can’t think of anything… like the whole world is suddenly boring, or the only thing that springs to mind is shopping or drinking.
There are some things that are pretty much always a winner, picnicking, scenic walks, wine tours, are an easy option and you can add other things onto these adventures to make an even greater adventure.
I’ve discovered a handy trick, using Instagram for good! As well as following people, follow hashtags… and save activities, or inspo for things to do for those “bored” moments.
I follow the hashtags #NZmustdo #newzealandnatural on Instagram and save things that appeal to me, even things that are out of town, that way when the mood strikes I have a go to list of options. Following hashtags morphs Instagram into what Pinterest once was before advertising and ‘click bait’ ruined it, it gives you great insight into a specific topic, location, type of activity… I’m quite stoked with this discovery.
Creating Your Bored List:
Pack The Essentials:
Always pack a water bottle or two, and in-car snacks if your travelling a wee distance. Stopping for a bottle of water and a CookieTime is a waste of time and money and of course Mother Earth could do with less plastic bottles.
My fav drink bottles are the metal ones, Zoku (from Stevens), they ensure your drink stays refreshingly cool rather than disgustingly warm from the car ride. My go-to snacks are a good crisp apple, Tom & Luke balls, pretzels and of course potato chips. If you require multiple coffees in a day, maybe take a Keepcup
If you’re a photo taking fiend, charge your battery and pack your camera, the lighting could be just right and inspiration can strike at any time.
Chuck some “just in case” walking shoes, nothing too serious, you’re not an American tourist fresh off a cruise ship in the viaduct, sneakers will be fine. Remember a jacket or jumper if your not wearing one already, you’ll feel silly when it gets cold and yours is sitting at home laxing out on your bed.
Apply sunscreen, and take some with you… this is NZ we’re talking about, plus regular sun protection will help you stay looking youthful.
- ** Please don’t be thinking sunscreen is a magical potion, saving you from sunburn, plan to avoid the hottest part of the day.
Given it’s 2019 and most of us (me included) would be lost without our phones, don’t forget your car charger AND cable. On more than one occasion I’ve left home with 1 out of 2… which is next to useless, and why I’m the proud owner of so many cables and car charges now.
I’m of the firm belief you’ll need to have a Spotify playlist rather than be subjected to the radio. When the husband and I travel, I general control the music, but I do take some requests. I’m a playlist nerd, I have one for every occasion, because we all know a road with your BFF requires different music than with your significant other.
Our playlist is full of fav songs, some cheesy, but all pretty good for a in-car concert. Check it out here on Spotify
Now for the nitty gritty. Bet you didn’t think there would be nitty gritty. But there is.
I’m not a huge fan of dicking around, apparently I am a little bit like my father after all, I like to hit the road or at least have a vague plan. Wasted time could just see you adventuring to Countdown for dinner supplies and toilet paper.
Where you’re going and what you’re ultimately planning on doing
If you have something specific planned make that the purpose of your adventure, don’t let sidetracking and coffee stops interfere with your ultimate plan.
What ‘opportunities’ for touristing and adventuring lie between your start point and your road trip destination?
i.e If your headed from Auckland to the Waihi Goldmine walkways, if it’s Sunday and you’re taking the coast road via Maraetai you can stop via the Clevedon Farmers Market, Paeroa for the obligatory L&P bottle picture and a nosey around the antique shops and via Miranda Hot Springs on the way home.
Your departure time.
Are you eating breakfast enroute or before you go? It’s kinda key that everyone is one the same page.
When and where are the coffee stops?
Are you stopping for coffee (or cold drinks) and are you drinking your coffee on site in a cafe or taking it away
(have you packed your KeepCup)?
Where will you be at lunch time and what are your plans? Are you BYO or dining local? If anyone has specific needs around food, it often pays to be prepare. I’d suggest if you’re dining locally have a rough idea of where and what type of food before everyone starts to get hangry… maybe decide while in the car.
Last but not least
Does anybody need to be home by a specific time (or day).
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to be a fun-sponge, I do know that not all adventures need a plan. Some of life’s best adventures started out with no plan, but with busy lives and limited days off, you definitely want to make the most of your adventuring.