Why A Road Trip Is The Perfect Adventure

A road trip is unique and makes for the perfect adventure in so many ways and that feeling as you leave home with the open road ahead of you, a stash of food and your favourite playlist cannot be beaten.

car at crossroads in iceland

Having completed amazing road trips in Iceland, Norway and Scotland I have learnt a lot about how to plan a road trip, what the down sides are and what the essentials for the adventure really are. All of my road trips have been completed while camping or using an AirBnB in a ‘normal’ car, if you have a campervan then go for it as this makes it all a whole lot easier.

Road trips aren’t for everyone and it is fine if it doesn’t appeal to you, but if you like to plan your own journey and visit remote and hidden places then it may just be for you.

Read on to discover that there is so much more to a road trip than breakdowns, pasta and public toilet hunting.

A road trip provides you with freedom

A road trip provides freedom that you don’t realise you have until you try it. Once you have planned your route and loaded up there is nothing stopping you living the dream road trip that you have spent months planning and thinking about.

Regardless of the destination it will be an adventure. Visiting Harry Potter locations across the south of England can be just as exciting as a month off road in Iceland exploring waterfalls and geysers. The adventure is as much or as little as you want to make it.


You will learn lots about yourself and your travelling companions

A road trip can teach you amazing life lessons about yourself and how you deal with situations and events. Putting a tent up in gale force arctic winds soon teaches you resilience and how to function when walking away would be much easier.

Road trips are exhausting and you may feel like you need a second holiday to recover. However, all of the strain and tiredness evaporate when you wake up in stunning locations and no one else is around.

Road trips also teach you things that you never knew about friends and family. Some days will be tough and keeping each other going and learning about each other will be a massive boost to your friendship and understanding of each other.

A road trip makes you appreciate the smaller things in life

Modern days life means that for most of us we have everything we need to hand. when we go on a ‘normal’ holiday we look for the facilties available. WiFi, washing machine and more than one bathroom are key to my holiday cottage planning.

On a road trip things become a little more basic. All you have with you is what you can fit in the vehicle. You will begin to appreciate the smaller things – a hot shower, a washing machine without a sign up sheet or a cooker that doesn’t keep blowing out in the wind.

You will find that different things on a road trip will become firm favourites and your recipe selections will adapt to the pots and pans or cold storage that you have available.

You will discover things that other travellers miss

When we road trip we have a rough plan for the day, but more than once have found amazing secrets. Having the confidence to pop up a little side road to just ‘see where it goes’ has provided some amazing treats. The journey is part of the adventure.

Don’t be afraid to stop somewhere that isn’t on the map and go for a wander. Over the hill may provide the most amazing landscape as I discovered in Iceland when a secluded glacial lagoon appeared on an unplanned wander for a leg stretch and driver swap. It wasn’t what we had planned but it was a highlight of the afternoon.

A road trip will also mean you can stay out later than those who are in a hotel with set meals. You can watch the tour buses leave for the day as you sit with a brew and enjoy an evening of solitude at a normally bustling landmark.


The road trip itinerary can be exactly what you want it to be

Planning a road trip means that it can be exactly what you want it to be. You are not tied to a tour schedule, bus times or anyone else’s plans.

Everyone has things that they want to visit which are totally different to the next person. For me it is wildlife, landscapes and historical places. I can spend hours watching birds on a lake but cooking on a crowded beach does nothing for me. I am happy to mooch around a museum but a busy shopping street has no appeal. A road trip allows me to plan my own itinerary seeing what appeals and missing what doesn’t.

A road trip also allows you to stay somewhere if it is amazing and you want more time to explore or you can just move on if it is not making you happy. Unlike a hotel or villa stay where you are there for a week regardless of what you find on arrival, a road trip allows you to move on at any point that you want. You are in total control of your holiday (weather and road conditions may have other ideas).

Organised tours also have a set itinerary and to keep to schedule and keep everyone happy you may only get a short while at each location. This can be frustrating if you find somewhere you love. Look at the itinerary and make it you own (and do it in reverse so you aren’t following the tourist trail!).

You can try different dining experiences

A road trip isn’t all about pot noodles and baked beans. You can get skillful with basic ingredients. Food plan as much as route plan and you will be amazed how far you can get from tinned meals. There are some delicious one pot camping meals that work perfectly for a road trip.

If you are only road tripping for a few days or have a night ‘off-road’ somewhere with a kitchen, batch cooking can become your friend. Cook a few easy meals and freeze them overnight. Put them in the cool box and allow them to defrost slowly. This will give you two to three nights of reheated proper food or even longer if you have a freezer box.

A road trip will also allow you to explore different places to eat. When you are on an all inclusive holiday or stay at a resort you become lazy and will get comfortable with eating somewhere that you know is ‘safe’ every night. On a road trip you don’t have that security and it becomes fun to hunt out and try amazing places to each when you want a break from cooking.

Pets love road trips

One of the biggest draws for a road trip is the ability to take your dog with you. Most dogs love a road trip and it can save a fortune on kennels or dog sitters.

It does take planning as you will need toilet breaks and walk time for them, but neither are a problem if you are planning your own itinerary. Look for dog friendly places to visit and stay, beaches that don’t have a summer dog ban and pubs or restaurants that are dog friendly.


Just keep in mind what you will do with them if you spend extended time at attractions especially in the warmer weather. You do not want to be leaving a dog in a hot car.