Article in brief: A reflection on what makes road trips so much fun.
For my honeymoon in October, my husband and I decided to have a bit of both; some classic honeymoon island relaxing and some historical road trip adventure. For the road-trip half of our honeymoon, we went to Spain and decided to rent a car and drive across the country (something new for me, but not for the Mr.). I am now convinced that this is the best form of travel for many reasons!
- You get to leave whenever you want. There’s no pressure of having to be at the airport or train station at a particular time. There’s no stress of lugging suitcases around stations and airports and on and off trains and planes and buses. There’s just one nice long drive to enjoy with just one loading and offloading of luggage.
- You get to stop wherever you want. That is something that adds wonderfully to the experience. You get to see small little towns you otherwise never would have been able to. You get to drive past an ancient looking fortress and decide to make a small detour and actually go walk inside it. You get to explore a small neighboring village as a post-lunch treat. You get to widen your travel experiences.
- You learn to navigate the roads of the country like a native. You learn skills of map-reading and road-sign reading and you see how transport networks are different in every country. Sometimes they’ll drive you crazy; other times you’ll breeze through.
- If you’re craving a particular cuisine when you’ve had enough of what’s around the area where you’re staying in, you just hop in the car and have a mini adventure for dinner!
- Daytrips become so much better. When planning a day trip by bus or train, you anticipate you’ll need about 7-8 hours to explore the new town. But when you get there, you realize you can see everything in 4 or 5. But too late, you’ve already booked your return tickets and they can’t be changed. Or you have to wait a couple of hours for the next train or bus. With a car, once you’ve seen the town, you can drive on to the next one!
- Sometimes there’s nothing more exhilarating than a long, open road into the unknown, some good company, nice music, and snacks!
But there is one thing to be wary of. Sometimes it can be quite difficult to find parking (especially in Europe) and some road systems can be extremely difficult to navigate. Take Seville for instance, where the center of the town is a myriad network of tight medieval roads most of which are one-way, and you end up seeing your hotel on the next street but have to drive around the whole neighborhood just to get to it!
But overall, road trips provide a much more relaxing, adventure-filled trip and are often the best way to see a country (or countries!).
Sidiqa is 25 years old and is half-Emirati and half-Pakistani. She has a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations from the American University of Sharjah and a Master’s degree in Conflict Prevention, Sustainable Peace, and Security from the University of Durham in the UK. Sidiqa owns and manages the boutique-café concept store “Spontiphoria” in Wasl Square, Jumeirah.