Friday, December 3, 2021

Take the wheel with you: Top tips for summer road trips

As travel restrictions begin to ease, we’re bringing a refreshing new appreciation for road trips with us.

Booking.com | Special to Master Travellr

As travel restrictions begin to ease, we’re bringing a refreshing new appreciation for road trips with us. Last summer, staycations may have felt like the only option, but today, we’ve realized that those local adventures helped us appreciate the ease and flexibility of having our own wheels when on vacation. 

Determined to get the most out of travel this year, Canadians are looking for a more fulfilling adventure and to explore cultures as much as landscapes. Recent Booking.com research found that almost three-quarters (72%) of Canadian travellers want to have authentic experiences that are representative of the local culture when they travel, and 80% agree that increasing cultural understanding and preservation of heritage is crucial.

67% will go as far as avoiding popular destinations and attractions to ensure they aren’t contributing to overcrowding and are helping do their part to spread around benefits of travel to less frequently visited places.

Many of us are likely to take to the road this summer as we swerve the packed beaches and go in search of something genuinely new. With a mission to make it easier for everyone to experience the world, Booking.com shares some top tips for summer road trips.

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Short, long, pre-planned, spontaneous… there’s no one format for a great road trip. Nevertheless, there are a few simple tenets that make sense in any scenario:

  1. The journey is the vacation. ‘Making good time’ doesn’t mean going fast; it means making sure every minute is a joy. Motorways might be convenient, but the real adventures are to be found on the backroads, where we’re free to turn off and explore every interesting forest, building, abandoned amusement park or beach we happen to stumble across.
  2. The right car is vital. Above all, the car needs to be right for the trip. A compact car can make sense if the itinerary includes lots of busy city streets – but for a long trip with a few people and a good amount of luggage, you’ll want some extra space to stretch out. Whether looking for an SUV for extra comfort and space or something with a bit more horsepower, Booking.com offers travelers a broad range of rental cars with easy to use search functions.
  3. Planning pays off. Even the most spontaneous adventure is better with a bit of prep. Not just the physical stuff (like snacks and drinks, sunscreen and appropriate footwear), but answers to a few important questions, like “Who’s driving?” or “How many hours a day?”
  4. There’s nothing like organized chaos. It’s great to keep it flexible – within a few basic parameters. For example, a circular route avoids a long, boring drive at the end of the trip. And even the most laid-back itineraries can benefit from including a few ‘must-have’ experiences. A refundable accommodation booking allows for a change of last minute plan, and if you can’t actually make the trip for whatever reason, it’s worth bearing in mind that most Booking.com car rentals come with free cancellation 48 hours before pick up.
  5. Going off-grid? Mobile data’s a lot cheaper than it used to be, but that doesn’t mean the connection’s always reliable. Downloading maps and music ahead of time can make the trip a lot smoother and more enjoyable.
  6. Take ten. The experts say it’s healthy to factor in a 10-minute break every two hours or so. Stretching the legs is only part of it: taking a break from driving relaxes the mind, which means the driver will be alert and refreshed when back at the wheel. 

It’s a brave new world

As we get back to enjoying the world around us, we’re doing it with more gusto. Travellers are feeling brave, and many once-timid explorers have caught the ‘road-trip’ bug, and feel like taking control and flying by the seat of their pants. Does this herald a new era of exploration and discovery? Time will tell.

To help travellers plan their next road trip and unleash their inner explorer, Booking.com offers car rental in 160 countries, with 60,000 pick-up locations worldwide. The majority of car rental options come with free cancellation up to 48 hours before pick-up, so car rental can be as flexible as plans.

The company also offers Getaway Deals for travellers booking accommodations this summer. Discounts start at 15% and are valid for stays that start anytime before September 30, 2021.

In addition, Booking.com is bringing the great value of its Genius program to even more customers by giving all account holders access to the program’s Level 1 benefits, with no minimum number of previous bookings to qualify, including access to exclusive 10% discounts at hundreds of thousands of participating properties around the world.

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All you have to do is download the Booking.com app, log in and look for the Genius logo to identify associated benefits, discounts, and perks.

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