Roadtrips are by far my favorite way to travel. You can take in all the sights at your own pace. And stop wherever you want to. Or just stay one day longer. We barely ever travel with a set plan. Which makes roadtrips the perfect way for us to travel, because you don´t have to keep to a set schedule. I especially love to combine roadtrips with camping.
So what are our 5 roadtrip essentials?
1. Good music
We absolutely love music and there isn’t a day that goes by that we don´t listen to some of our favorite artist while at home. So what better way to start a roadtrip, then with some of our favorite artists. That is why music is essential to us for a good roadtrip. We will always bring our ipod and a bunch of cd´s.
Especially driving through France, it is a good thing to bring your own music. Unless you want to listen to French radio all day. It might be a good idea though if you want to learn French.
Whenever we go on a roadtrip, I make sure to keep some food handy. You never know when you might get stuck in a traffic jam or just want to eat something. So we always bring a lot of food.
3. A map
Even though we all have 4G internet on our cell phones these days and navigation, we always make sure to bring a map on a roadtrip, especially going to remote places you might run out of a signal.
4. Your camera
As a photographer I obviously always bring my camera everywhere, so I will also bring it along on a roadtrip.
5. Comfortable clothes/blankets/pillows
When I will be in a car for a while I always make sure to wear comfortable clothes, like a sweatshirt and leggings. Nothing worse then being stuck in a car for hours and not being comfortable.
We also always bring blankets and pillows. We always start driving in the middle of the night, so I will sleep in the car for a while. So we can switch places driving.
What are your roadtrip essentials?
Two years ago, in 2016, we went on a 4 week roadtrip through France. Which took us to many incredible places and hikes.
One of the places we decided to make camp at was the Auverge. The Auvergne is a beautiful part of France, and luckily it isn´t yet overflown with tourist. Which for us was a big plus. If you love nature, the Auvergne is definitely the place to be. The Auvergne is known for it´s volcanoes. One of them is the Puy de Dome, which is the most famous volcano of the region.
The Puy de Dome is a very popular destination for paragliders, but it is also a beautiful place to hike.
There is a big car park at the foot of the Puy de Dome, from where you can either take the train up to the top or you can hike, ofcourse we decided to do the hike.
The first part of the trail will take you through a forest until you get to the start of the trail going up the Puy de Dome. From there it is a long trail going up and up and up, until you reach the summit at 1415 meters. There are benches along the trail everywhere, so you can enjoy the view of the surrounding volcanoes.
When you get to the summit you will find a restaurant, where you can have a bite to eat. There are also benches where you can eat your own sandwiches.
When you want to head down, you just follow the train for the first few meters. After a couple of hundred metres you will find the entrance to the trail down. There are stairs to take you back down to the car park and this part of the trail will take you through an incredible landscape. I was waiting for the hobbits to pass me on this part of the trail.
In 2007 I was an exchange student in Ohio for a year. After that year I did go back quite a bit, but I had never been back to properly introduce my boyfriend. So in 2014 we decided it was time for me to go home and introduce him.
Ofcourse we couldn’t do this 5 week trip without taking a roadtrip in the States. So we decided to fly into Washington DC, where we stayed a couple of days before we would drive the entire Blue Ridge Parkway.
The Blue Ridge Parkway is 754,8km long or 469 miles and crosses the Appalachian mountains. We planned 2 days to drive the parkway. It was sure worth the 35 mile/hour drive the entire way. Everywhere there are vantage points and hiking trails to explore, so we took it easy and made sure to enjoy the views and the environment as much as we could.
At milepost 176 you will find Mabry Mill. This was one of our stops on the Parkway. We grabbed some coffee at the Restaurant and wandered around Mabry Mill. It is one of those sights you will always remember.
For me the most special moment of this trip was right before the end of the Blue Ridge Parkway. There is a vantage point that looks out over the Smokey Mountains and it had just rained when we pulled into the parking lot. When we got out of the car the sun came out and made the mountains look even more magical than they already did.
It is one of those things you should do once in your lifetime. For me it was a roadtrip to tick off my bucket list. The list which unfortunately never gets shorter, but longer as time passes.
Driving the Blue Ridge Parkway at the beginning of september put it back on my bucket list to visit it during fall, because this road must look incredible during fall.
Have you ever visited the Blue Ridge Parkway?