There is something very special about road trips – the joy of driving through miles and miles of unexplored roads or the excitement associated with exploring new places. The flexibility that a road trip can give you is unmatched by any other means of commute.
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Ever since I got my driving license, I never let off any chance to be a part of a road trip. As soon as I relocated to Bangalore, I realised that Bangalore is ideally located to explore the entire Southern part of India. You can easily drive down to any tourist attraction located in the states of Tamil Nadu, Goa, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Telangana and off course Karnataka. Over the years, I have done many road trips in and around Karnataka and with the roads getting better in India, I expect to drive more in the coming years 🙂
The itinerary for all my trips were put together painstakingly, after spending hours and hours on web. I would rely on websites like, TripAdvisor to choose the perfect resort or hotel where I should stay. Most of the decisions related to my route were based on the suggestions from fellow TeamBHPians. To shortlist the places to visit during my trip, I had to rely on various blogs from fellow travellers and look at TripAdvisor for their suggestions. I always hoped for a website that could help me out with my planning and customise my itinerary.
A visit to Chikmagalur has been in my bucket list for a long time and finally I have made up a plan to visit it in the month of August. Over the past couple of weeks, I have started going through my usual routine of planning for a road trip i.e. – research the route, hotels to stay etc. To my surprise, this time around I discovered the site – www.GoRoadtrip.com.
The key to have a trilling road-trip lies in the amount of time you spend in planning for it. There are many aspects that you need to take into consideration when you are heading out on the road. Following are some of the key aspects that you should consider:
- The route: It takes considerable amount of time to zero in on the perfect route to reach the destination. Road conditions, eating joints, Gas stations, Toll booths etc. are few of the factors that you need to factor in. You will find many sites on internet where people discuss about the road conditions, best route to travel etc. Do factor in the safety aspect of the route also, especially if you are not travelling with a family.
- Accommodation: It would be advisable for you to have your hotels booked before heading out on the road. It is that much more reassuring to know that there is a place to lie down after the journey
- Get your Vehicle checked – brakes, tyres, engine oil etc. A vehicle in good shape ensures that you can enjoy your road-trip.
This is where GoRoadTrip.com blends perfectly – it provides a detailed itinerary highlighting the route, accommodation and places to visit during your road-trip. The look and feel of the site is very user friendly and the site offers an array of road trip plans for people visiting tourist destinations in Southern part of India. The site allows you to customise your trip or select one of the trips that a fellow travellers have documented.
One can go through the travel plans of fellow travelers and select a destination of your choice which would suit your interest and budget.
The other option which drew my attention was the option of customizing your own plan. I quickly realized that the website practically cut down on my research time that I usually went through while planning for a road trip. The site is extremely easy to navigate and is designed even for folks who are not extremely tech savvy.
Step 1: I went ahead and tried to customize a plan for my Chikmagalur trip by clicking the “Create Plan” option.
Step 2: The site provides you the option to either plan a trip to a destination that you have decided or it would prompt a destination based on your responses to few questions like:
- How far would you be willing to drive to the destination
- The month of travel
- Origin place of your road trip
- What would you prefer to see in your destination – Beaches, Heritage, Relaxation etc.
The site will suggest the places that you could visit based on your inputs. Since I had already decided on visiting Chikmagalur I went ahead and started customising the plan for Chikmagalur.
Step 3: I entered the destination as “Chikmagalur” and entered the place of origin of your as Bangalore. The site would ask you for Trip preferences. I went ahead and selected “Wildlife”, “Heritage” and “Relaxation”
Step 4: If you have a date in mind, enter the travel dates. The also site takes into consideration whether you would like to visit places en-route to your destination. Since there are many great places of historical significance to visit on the way to Chikmagalur I checked “Yes”.
Step 5: One of the key aspects of any trip, the budgetJ. The site does take that into consideration. And just like that, you are all set to get your detailed itinerary. Go ahead and click “Generate Plan” if you do not want to pick the places of your choice. If you do not have any prior experience about the place that you are visiting or recommendations from your friends, I would suggest you follow the plan that is being generated by the site.
Step 6: The site provides a detailed road trip itinerary which would make your life that much easier. The site allows you to register as a user and save the plan, you can also download the plan and take a printout so that you can have a hard copy while travelling. The plan gives you suggestions on the places to visit, the eating joints that you can choose on your way to your destination and leverages the ratings of TripAdvisor to suggest the hotel or resort where you can stay. All the suggestions can be easily customized if needed and the best part is “It is absolutely FREE” 🙂
Over the years, I have done many road trips and this tool has to a great extent made my planning that much easier. It took me less than 30 minutes to have a detailed customised plan for my trip. Most of the inputs to the suggestions are based experiences of fellow travellers. This makes the plan that much more assuring since they have gone through the plan and have had a great vacation. I will keep you posted about how my Chikmagalur trip pans out.
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