While for many people a road trip and luxury are the complete opposites, there are those who are willing to sacrifice their passion for the top-class comfort for the unique experience of touring interesting places, taking detours, and exploring different points of interest. However, now we can get those two vacationing ideas to work together and offer ultimate advice for a luxury road trip experience.
Map the route to luxury
Setting the journey objectives is what makes or breaks a luxury road trip. In all countries, there are areas that are more or less luxurious, so you may need to stay away from small towns and backcountry roads. On the other hand, regions with abundant natural beauties often invest heavily in high-class small-town accommodation and dining, so there’s no definite rule. If you venture to places with rich country traditions such as France or New Zealand, you might be surprised by what a quiet B&B or a gourmet farm-to-table restaurant has to offer.
Choose stylish accommodations
Unless you rent a top-line RV coach with full beds, you’ll need comfortable accommodations at the end of each adventurous day. While upscale downtown hotels are always a good choice for sleeping in style, make your trip more authentic by booking high-end local lounges or villas in advance. Local hotels and guesthouses aren’t just bursting with rustic flavor but can become your home base for meeting locals and exploring hidden gems. As an exciting alternative to traditional accommodations, try glamping – glamorous camping. Glamping tents are fully furnished with en-suite bathrooms and lighting, as well as many amenities your backpacking tent from Cabela’s can only dream about.
Choose a luxury tourer…
Unless you already own a thoroughbred road cruiser, you should rent or buy one that is going to ensure you’re traveling with both comfort and style. Your family sedan is great for trips to the mall, and even day-trips into the next county, but for a multi-day road vacation, you need a spacious tourer with plenty of legroom, capable climate control, leather seats, a big infotainment/navigation display, and a quality sound system. If a new car is beyond your current budget, consider a used model with the luxury features you’re looking for. If you’re vacationing with your family, choose a top-line SUV like Subaru Outback, Volvo XC90, or if you’re in for a bit of off-roading, a Ford Expedition.
…And tune it up
Even if you’ve chosen a sturdy and trustworthy vehicle for your road trip, you should always do some preventive checks before you roll out. Replace the AC filter and windscreen wiper blades, and take it to your mechanic to make sure the fluids are topped off and there are no leaks. While at it, they can also check the tyres and recommend getting a new set if they show signs of wear. While significantly increasing both the smoothness and safety of your ride, a new set of tyres won’t set you back much, especially since now you can order almost any brand at online dealers that often throw in a discount or cashback for purchasing a full set. The more time you spend preparing your car, the less chance for a breakdown or accident that can ruin your deluxe vacation on wheels.
Avoid fast-food restaurants
While there was the time when Howard Johnson’s motor lounge chain offered fast food with style, these days there’s nothing luxurious about a big bucket of chicken and fries. The good news is that you can always find top eateries where reservations sell out quicker than hotcakes. Give the advantage to restaurants that depend on local produce and authentic regional cuisine. In the end, nothing rounds up a prime dining experience than chatting with the chef to learn a bit more about the local recipe varieties. Since your choice of restaurants depends on your road trip route, make sure you book in advance.
Leave something to a chance
An important part of having a luxurious feel on your vacation is having options and liberty not to stick to the itinerary. Planning everything down to the minute can only leave you stressed if things don’t go the way you wanted, so leave your options open. If you hear about a must-visit place by chance, don’t miss the opportunity to check it out, as some of the best vacation moments often happen when you turn right, when your navigation says left. On the other hand, make sure your trip is seasoned with out-of-the-box activities that boost up the anticipation such as ballooning, whitewater kayaking, joining a chocolate making class, big game fishing, etc.
While in the past road trips and luxury vacations had little things in common, with all the automotive and hospitality advancements, today we have a wide choice of options that cater to a new generation of road-trippers. These people value independence and freedom of choosing their own way, and to many of them, time wasted at airport procedures is better spent visiting one or two landmarks more at a leisurely pace, or shall we say speed.
About the author: Mike Johnston is an avid freelance writer and blogger. He is a regular contributor to numerous blogs and online magazines, where he writes about home improvement (his specialty!), interior design, family life, green living and many other topics. Mike’s goal is to create interesting and compelling content and then share it throughout the online community.