We love road trips! Long and short. Having the freedom to stop where you want, when you want, is great. It is often then that you have those little golden moments you think back on afterwards, when the journey is over.
Our first road trip together must have been Tonsberg–Stavanger (Jørpeland), to hike to the Pulpit Rock. Our French friend, who was sitting in the back seat, had also dreamed of seeing the county of Telemark, so it was natural to take the Suleskar road (Fv 987) towards Seljord heading back to Tønsberg. A lovely lovely road, we fully recommend, by the way!
On this site you will read a lot about our Land Rover and The Grand Journey. It is taking it’s time we know, however we have been on a few practise runs. Firstly with an extensive tour around the British Isles in 2013 over three months, where we had many high and low points. Many people were curious about our vehicle. Even in the birth place of Land Rover the ‘cambulance’ (campervan + ambulance) is quite special.
In 2015 we had a wonderful time with the vehicle doing a road trip in Norway. We reached as far north as Ytterøy in the Trondheim fjord, where we parked up at a Land Rover enthusiasts place. We’d have loved to drive further north, but the English couple we travelled with unfortunately had limited time. Also, we were tiring of the cold. Norway in May is still quite chilly.
With these previous road trips, we are left with some observations:
1. If you can, choose a vehicle suitable for your destination. If you are planning a long journey with a lot of driving, good seats are essential. Seats which support the back and knees are important. In places with narrow winding roads, such as Sicily, you will be better off with a smaller car.
If there are great distances to be covered, perhaps you should consider a motor-home or camper-van? Then you always have accommodation with you instead of wasting time searching for a bed for the night. Also you are not restricted to reaching a destination each day.
2. Do not underestimate distances. What looks easy on the map may not be so simple in reality. Check the current status of the road. Is it paved? Are there any road works? Or more important (especially in winter): Is the road open? How long will it take to drive? Check travel forums and read what others have experienced, or check the country’s national road site if there is one.
3. Take regular breaks. To drive for 10-12 hours is very tiring, wherever you are. It is therefore fair to respect point 2. Calculate regular stops, even if just to stretch your legs a bit. Don’t eat and drink to heavy. Having a full stomach is not comfortable. It is also important to respect each other’s needs for breaks, food and drink. Some may keep going half the day without stopping, while others need to follow routines to keep their blood sugar in check.
4. Provide plenty of time for impulsive stops. That’s half the charm with road-trips and having your own vehicle. On a bus or a train you have no choice but to complete the journey. Here you can stop and look at that waterfall, study that strange animal, or some weird attraction you have not read about.
5. Do the passengers get carsick easily? There are lots of tips and advice and what works for some may not work for others. Basically, the body needs to get used to the movements of the car. Also it depends on the driver. Erratic driving at high speed in the turns and abrupt stopping can trigger discomfort. Read our tips here.