Your Overland Experience: Top 5 Things to Achieve the Perfect Adventure Image

Your Overland Experience: Top 5 Things to Achieve the Perfect Adventure

October 2022

Who doesn’t dream of hitting the open road, wind in your hair and sunny skies lighting your path? For many, that dream never crosses over into the realms of everyday life. The enduring sense of adventure remains stifled beneath jobs, bills and expectations.

An overland trip is a truly immersive experience, one which encompasses meeting new and interesting people, discovering cultures and seeing life at a grass roots level. The Great Overland Adventure comes with a level of personal achievement and an increase in self-worth.

But there are elements to planning your road trip that should be carefully considered - a lack of preparation can mean costly extra expenses and a waste of your valuable travel time. Crossing borders in your vehicle can be tricky if you haven’t acquired the requisite customs documentation such as a Carnet de Passage or Triptik. An unreliable vehicle, or lack of equipment could have you languishing on the side of the road, rather than exploring your chosen destination. These obstacles may be avoided with some foresight.

If you feel the allure of wanderlust and are planning your road trip then here are important tips on how to make it happen.

1 - Research and Plan

Depending on where you are headed, you may find yourself in some fairly remote spots. Let’s be honest, the most fascinating places are off the beaten track! When the local grocery store is a little further away than usual, forward planning is strongly recommended.

Food, water and shelter are basic necessities to include in your arrangements. Research your location, routes and climate, paying particular attention to the challenges you may face in terms of extreme weather and terrain. Understand what customs documentation you will need and be mindful of local laws and traditions.

Be realistic about distances you can cover each day and allow for flexibility: there will no doubt be some entrancing detours which beg to be explored as you go.

Once you have settled on dates, get your finances in order and save. Ensure as much as possible is automated and on-line (banking, mail, expenses) so you can access if you need to.

2 - Comprehensive Vehicle Preparation

Having a reliable vehicle is key for any overland trip - your vehicle will be your home from home. Ensure it is in a road-worthy state, kitted out with storage space, battery charging facilities, a spare tyre and a good tool kit. Make sure you have had any adjustments and alterations which would be needed for the weather and landscape you will be encountering. Depending on your budget, 4 x 4 capability, upgraded tyres, rims and suspension lift are all possible options. Don’t forget to test your vehicle thoroughly before you hit the road.

3 – Have the Right Toys: Equipment, Tools, Sat-nav

In addition to possessing a sturdy, reliable truck, carry spare parts and tools for travelling repairs. Other essentials are recovery gear, jack and tyre repair kit, snow chains and an air pump.

If you will be camping on your trip, you need shelter from sun, rain or cold. Your options are ground level camping equipment, or a rooftop tent.

Travelling to a remote area with no cell phone signal? Make sure you have satellite messaging device for emergency comms. You don’t want to be caught out in the dessert or a game reserve, with car trouble and no way to call for help! A reliable navigational app and GPS device is crucial, but also carry detailed maps and a compass (old-school sometimes works best).

4 – Travel Documentation and a Carnet De Passage or Triptik

Crossing borders in your vehicle means having all your travel documentation, passports and visas in order. But what about your car?

Cut out many of the challenges and long queues you would face as you cross border customs by ensuring you have a passport for your car – known as a Carnet De Passage or Triptik. This allows for the temporary importation of vehicles and simplifies border crossings. Apply to your local Automobile Association, (members of AIT and FIA organisations) and allow at least 4 weeks to process. This is a vital part of planning your road trip and is valid for a year.

Without a CPD you may incur costly customs guarantee cash deposits when crossing borders into foreign countries.

5 - Staying Safe

In addition to ensuring your equipment and vehicle are in tip-top condition, and you have emergency access to satellite navigation or a personal locator beacon, take a fire extinguisher and a good first aid kit. It is also important to be aware of any political unrest, or hot spots to avoid.

Once your thorough planning is complete it’s time to depart. Fully embrace the spirit of adventure, so encapsulated in this exciting form of travel and build life-long memories along the way.

Happy Travels!

Islamabad to Riyadh: Your Overland Guide-Thumbnail