In the beginning of May , with just one week left before the Trip 2017, it was time to finalize the small details and finish the last steps to make the start of the journey as smooth as possible. Did I have everything in check? Was all the paperwork done? All visa’s/insurances and other important documents in check? A million questions rushing trough your mind and mistakes could easily be made. To make this process as smooth as possible I developed the 3 P’s of road tripping: Plan, Prepare & Packing. These important steps will help you prepare your trip and make your journey as smooth as possible!

Plan

The plan of your road trip depends on two important questions;

What is your road trip route and what car do you want to use?

You might think that these questions are not directly related to each other, but let me show you why these are the two most important questions.

Once you have determined your route you can see if your car is suitable. Once you have a suitable car you can determine your route. You see, you won’t be able to do an arctic road trip in a Volkswagen Bus and doing a California road trip on a snow mobile, might be a bit ambitious.  Therefore, choose what is most important for you. Is it the route or the car?

You would be surprised to hear how many people automatically say route, but really mean the car; so set your priority first and then we can move to the next step; Preparation of your road trip!

P.s  There is no wrong answer here. You can be as bold, crazy and ambitious as you want. What do you think people said when I mentioned a VW Beetle & 25.000 Km! You might have guessed it! 😉 Just make sure to use common sense and don’t get suckered into the Instagram fantasy that only certain cars are allowed for road trips. From bikes to tricycles to van’s to sports cars. If it makes you happy on the road, you are a road tripper, my friend!

Prepare

Now that you have decided the route or the car you can start the preparation of your road trip. If you have chosen the route you now need to find a suitable car and if you have chosen the car you now need a suitable route.

See below the marks of your preparation based on Route or Car.

When based on the Route:

– Does the car need to be comfortable?
– Do I prefer just looks or also functionality?
– Is the car fuel-efficient?
– Rental or purchase?

When based on the Car:

– How long is the route?
– What kind of terrain?
– Time of the year?
– Will I sleep in the car or in accommodation?

These are important questions you need to ask yourself, if the route is your number one choice. I chose for the Volkswagen Beetle for the looks, the seats are comfortable, it was ok with fuel efficiency (1:12) and I wanted to buy the car and not rent it for 3 months. Another advantage was the simple Volkswagen 2.0 Golf engine that is present in the car. It can be fixed anywhere!

I also planned for the trip to take place in the summer. Therefore, air-conditioning was a must-have, but I had no desire for convertible, as I would have limited protection against the weather elements, chassis would shudder and additional noise.

As you can see I just mentioned a whole bunch of valid points in just a few minutes. So take your time, make a list and really ask yourself the right questions.

Packing

Now that you have answered all the above questions you can start making your very own packing checklist. If you want an example you can download my free E-book: Road Trips for Dummies that includes the 31-road trip check list.

Clothes

I noticed that the biggest space takers are clothing and camping equipment. For the both items I used foldable baskets, which could easily be placed and locked into the rear trunk. It is more durable than just plastic backs and is easier to organize everything.

Advantages of baskets over bags:

  • Better to organise and keep clothes neat and clean
  • Stronger material
  • Easy to install and dismantle for a fixed position in the car
  • Does not mix all clothes together after carrying

Disadvantages:

  • More expensive
  • Sharp edges can leave marks on the interior
Camping Equipment

I purchased all my camping equipment at the Decathlon. It is one of Europe largest sport and outdoor equipment companies.

I used the 2-sec Tent from the brand Quechua. This tent has space for 3 people and is super easy to set-up. Because it is foldable it take’s in very little space. It is shaped as a disc so although it is flat it is a bit wide. Put it somewhere straight like behind the backseat For the airbed I choose a simple INTEX inflatable airbed. My sleeping back is comfortable at 10 degrees Celsius. I have additional thermo clothing in case it gets colder in Northern Europe.

Sport Equipment 

As I want to stay in shape on my trip I will doing my usual 5K & 10K’s, but for strength training I also wanted to try something new. Since a few months I have been training in movement, calisthenics and gymnastics. All forms of sports that I will be able to do with bodyweight without any gym equipment needed.

Plan, prepare & packing
Back to basics with the sports! Gymnastics and calisthenics are a great way to do so.

Protein

Just basic Whey Protein from Optimum Nutrition. It’s a cheap source of protein and combine it with a banana and some nuts and you have yourself a quick and healthy breakfast for under $1.

Gymnastic rings

I have the highest respect for gymnast and anybody who thinks differently should try a gymnastic ring workout. A set of rings can be used pretty much anywhere. Just look for a callisthenic park on Google or a good playground, hang them up and start working out!

Price: $40

Yoga mat

The yoga mat allows me to do all my stretches, planking, push ups and sit ups in a comfortable way. No fancy yoga poses just yet but I might hit a double bicep pose just for the fun of it!

Price: $7

Running shoes

Comfortable running shoes which I already have for ages. They look that way a well! 

Push up bars 

I love these small push up stands. They super small, cost less then 8$ and are great for any floor work, handstand variations and of course lot’s of push ups!

Price: $8

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