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Self-drive

One of the drawbacks of an organized tour is being shunted along with lots of other people to tourist attractions but then only having a limited amount of time to appreciate them, or spending time in the confined quarters of a coach, bus or train with people you have little or nothing in common with.

We highlight a few simple reasons why you should consider a road trip vacation as an alternative to the normal way you travel.

The benefits of a road trip vacation:

  • You decide the overall pace of the vacation.
  • Regardless of the car type you choose, you have the total freedom and flexibility to get to places off the beaten path, and then spend as much time as you want there.
  • You can enjoy greater comfort and privacy.
  • The countries we recommend road trips in generally have excellent road networks so getting around should pose no problem.
  • Our specialists will have driven the route and visited the accommodations, so you can rely on this first-hand knowledge.
  • They will provide you with detailed notes of these trips, giving directions, distances and any other relevant information such as nearby sights of interest. As a back-up, we even provide a road map with your rental car in case you do get lost.

It's all very easy! Audley can arrange all aspects of your road trip vacation, including flights, accommodations and car rental. All you need do is turn up at the airport.

Road trip itinerary ideas

Start thinking about your experience. These itineraries are simply suggestions for how you could enjoy some of the same experiences as our specialists. They’re just for inspiration, because your trip will be created around your particular tastes.
Namibia's roads have little traffic on them

Namibia's roads have little traffic on them

Road heading towards Cape Town, passing the Twelve Apostles

Road heading towards Cape Town, passing the Twelve Apostles

Australian road sign

Australian road sign

Tips For a road trip vacation

We only choose safe countries for road trips and the majority of these will be done on roads which are well signed and generally well maintained.

However, there are a few simple measures you can take to ensure your road trip is enjoyable and trouble-free.

Tips to remember on your road trip

  • Obey speed restrictions at all times. These will vary slightly from country-to-country and some will be enforced very strictly. If caught speeding, under no circumstances should you attempt to bribe the police.
  • Ensure you know about any significant differences in traffic regulations in the country you will be driving. Our specialists will advise you about the most common issues for any road trip.
  • Remember, the journey is often as interesting as your destination, so don't be in a hurry to cover those miles. Instead, set off as early as you can each day, as this will enable you to make regular stops along the route to take photos or simply admire the scenery. 
  • Although you will be following your own Audley tailor-made itinerary, it's still a good idea to take a good guide book (e.g., Lonely Planet) so you can visit those little-known or out-of-the-way places that might be nearby.

If going off-road

Technically, rental car companies will not insure you to drive "off road" in their 4x4 vehicles. However, you could find yourself traveling on badly potholed or corrugated dirt roads, so you should note the following:
  • Reduce your speed on bad roads and take your time.
  • Do not drive too close to the edge of gravel roads.
  • Stay a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you when driving on dusty roads to ensure good visibility.
  • Make sure you know how to change the tire.
  • Know what to do if your vehicle gets stuck. You might require at the very least a shovel and sand mats, possibly even a winch.
  • Ensure you have plenty of food and water, a basic medical kit, and a mobile phone.
  • If possible, give your route and expected arrival time to someone before you leave.
Road towards the Fitzroy Massif, near El Chalten, Argentina

Road towards the Fitzroy Massif, near El Chalten, Argentina

Road to Death Valley, California

Road to Death Valley, California

Road heading towards Cape Town, passing the Twelve Apostles

Road heading towards Cape Town, passing the Twelve Apostles

Car types for a road trip vacation

If you undertake a road trip with Audley, we will book your rental car(s) for the duration of your trip.

There are essentially four different types of vehicle from which to choose:

  • Budget/economy - ideal for couples who may be driving short distances
  • Intermediate - probably the most common type requested and ideal for couples or families
  • Large/luxury - for those who want to travel in more comfort or who have larger families.
  • 4WD - for those going on roads which are not always tarmac.

Depending on which part of the world you visit will depend on whether your rental car will have an automatic or manual transmission. For example, in North America and Canada cars will tend to be automatic, whereas in Africa they will all have manual gearboxes with only a small number of automatics being available.

Budget Vehicle

Budget Vehicle

Intermediate Size Vehicle

Intermediate Size Vehicle

Large Vehicle

Large Vehicle

4WD Vehicle

4WD Vehicle

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Tell us about your plans and one of our specialists will be in touch to plan a unique trip for you...

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