How To Roadtrip: A Brief Guide

There are many fine traditions in my life, one of which happens to be a tendency to go on a roadtrip at the drop of the hat. Unfortunately, another fine tradition seems to be my incredibly bad habit of waiting weeks before I share photos of the adventures on which I find myself with my exceedingly excellent friends, the Failboats.  For example, I happened to be seeking out a blog post about a Failboats trip that occurred during a particular new year.

I found it in my March archives.

Today, however, I am delighted to report that these photos are only three weeks old and I must thus be improving when it comes to sharing my roadtripping photos.  That means it’s under a month since I went to Canberra with the Melbourne contingent of the Failboats to commemorate the impending birth of another Failboat’s offspring.  (Next time, I’m aiming to have the photographs up within a fortnight.  This seems overly optimistic at this stage, but we’ll see.)

Join me as I share photographs with a bonus serve of My Thoughts on Roadtripping.

Unlike most of our roadtrips, this one started after we finished work, which meant we were talking about the glorious sunset rather than staring blearily at a sunrise.

Sunset

The setting for that sunset is Lake Benalla.  Not featured: the goose that thought it was a duck.

This is my sixth year of roadtripping with the Failboats and I believe we have learnt many skills and tricks along the way.  Here a few tips, should you feel like following in our footsteps.

1. Choose your friends wisely.

The first step to a brilliant roadtrip is to equip yourself with friends who are willing to stop for any reason, no matter how trivial.
Yellow Brick Road

To be fair, stopping because you’ve discovered the Yellow Brick Road is hardly trivial.  We’d call it compulsory.  Then again, stopping for amusing signs is high on our list of Reasons To Stop The Car And Take A Photo.  (The best sign we ever found was the one that showed us the road to Eldorado.  If only we’d had time to follow it…)  We are also quite keen on bridges and while we did, indeed, find a bridge in Yass, it wasn’t the pretty one we were actually after.  It didn’t matter, as the small quest for the bridge gave us a chance to walk off our post-breakfast milkshakes.

Yes, you did read that correctly.  Post-breakfast milkshakes.  We have no regrets.

2. Consider your down time.

Keep Yourself Occupied

You can’t be doing all of the things all of the time, which means you’ll often spend a bit of time in your accommodation, so keep this in mind. We love to play all sorts of games (or nap, depending on the person) but on one trip, we bought a whole lot of nail polish in different colours and spent part of our down time changing our nail colours.  I’m in the process of making photobooks for our roadtrips and I’ve realised that the nail polish thing has become a recurring motif in our travels.  It’s not a highly recommended occupation when in a confined space but it’s lots of fun!

3. Make vague plans.

Balloons in the Dark

Field of Balloons

It’s great to have an idea of some things you’d like to do or see but it’s even better to expect to do something completely different once you’re there.  We generally pick out one or two things that we’d love to see and let the rest happen as it will.  In this case, we went on a visit to see my friend’s brand-new building site, which will eventually become a rather lovely house.  And then someone told us about the hot-air balloon festival.

This meant rising at 5:45am so we could go and see hot-air balloons being inflated.

We did not mind.

4. Share a bed.

Accommodation

Looking at the size of our cabin in comparison with the car that brought us there, you could be forgiven for thinking there was only one bed inside, and a very small one at that.

There’s always going to be a compromise with your accommodation, unless your budget is limitless. Your beachhouse might not be right next to the beach. Your hot water might only last for one and a half showers. And the amount of beds and people might not tally exactly. This just means it’s time to get a bit cosier than normal with your friends!

So either share a bed or know what’s most important to you when looking at accommodation. If we’re spending a few nights in a house, we’re usually happy to share beds, although we do try to draw the line at bunks. Our must-have is enough chairs for everyone and a decent table for games; if we have that, we know we’ll be fine.

5. Take more than one camera.

I don’t mean per person, although I’m not going to judge you if that’s the case.  It’s just nice if there’s someone else taking photos, if only so you can prove everyone was there.  I tend to be the unofficial photographer of our roadtrips and I love it, but it’s great when someone else is taking photos, too.  Such as this one:

Katie & Emily

It’s me and Failboat Emily!  Looking tiny between the Prime and Questacon balloons!  (Thanks to Aimee to this photo and the Yellow Brick Road photo above.)

I have much more to say on the subject of roadtripping but I shall save it for another time, otherwise these photos won’t be posted until June.  Before I go, I have a question for you: What are three words that come to mind if you think of roadtripping?  Let me know in the comments!

17 thoughts on “How To Roadtrip: A Brief Guide

    1. It certainly was fun, even on that day when we were up before the sun. Hopefully you can convince your husband to stop the next time you see a sign worth photographing. It’s a great way to stretch your legs in the middle of a drive, for instance… 😀

  1. We always say we should do more roadtrips, but never quite get around to it. But we have done a few “Sunday drives” of late, mainly because my H has gotten into fishing, so we go somewhere and then on the way home go exploring for new places to go fishing! Growing up weekends were all about roadtrips ( and fishing!). So I guess roadtrips should involve – food/ snacks, an initial destination with time to meander home afterwards, and maybe a fishing rod in the back of the car too! The Museum Victoria app is great to help identify new birdlife spotted on the way too ( although we invariably forget to take binoculars!)

    1. Daytrips are every bit as good as roadtrips! You must see some interesting places in the quest for more fishing holes – I’m a teeny bit envious, actually. Every now and then, I think about investing in a car that doesn’t sit as low as ours so we can venture down those interesting unsealed roads we keep seeing.

      You’re so right – a picnic and time to meander are absolutely vital for roadtripping!

  2. Roadtrips are definitely an excuse to EAT ALL THE FOOD and go to cafes! Did you actually go in one of the balloons? If you have the chance I recommend it (did it in Turkey at crazy expense but worth it!)

    1. It’s definitely about the food! We love the humble bakery, too – it’s always a good time to stop for pie. 😀

      Alas, we did not go up with the balloons, although it’s something I’d love to do one day. We often see them floating about in the Yarra Valley when we’re driving to work, which just makes me wish I was up in a balloon instead.

      1. When I lived in Richmond last year I sometimes woke to those balloons sailing past my bedroom/living room window! I posted about a zillion pics of them on my Instagram!

  3. Three words – friends, fun, car karaoke (okay that is four words but I’m sure you know what I mean). In any case lots of silly entertainment…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *