A well-planned road trip can be one of the most memorable experiences of a lifetime. We often times here of those who travel across Europe or the family who decides to pick up and cruise the United States from coast-to-coast. Indeed, these journeys represent an adventure in and of themselves, but the question frequently arises whether it is possible to drive from North America down to South America. While this is of course physically possible, there are a few concerns which need to be addressed before undertaking such a long and eventful journey.
Plan a Budget Carefully
One of the primary concerns for any intercontinental traveller is the amount of funds it will take to finance the trip. Never forget that buying an airline ticket can prove costly and it is highly recommended to shop around online and find the best deal available. Also, one must consider the physical length of the journey and the time frame in which it will be completed. These trips can prove quite costly and discovering that a credit card has been overdrawn or that physical cash has dried up can be fatal to a journey’s completion. Finally, remember to take into account the exchange rates of the different countries that will be encountered. Such sites as http://www.exchange-rates.org can provide real-time information.
Consider the Weather Conditions
Recall that in the southern hemisphere the seasons are reversed. Therefore, summer in the United Kingdom is in fact winter in South America. While this may be of little consequence in Colombia or Brazil, when one drives further south to Argentina, a summer excursion could quickly lead to harsh, frigid conditions. Many websites such as www.gosouthamerica.about.com can give specific information on which countries are the best to travel through at what time of year.
A Vehicle is the most Important Asset
Very few would trek from Canada to Cape Horn in a Mini Cooper, but it may be just as ludicrous to attempt the journey in an older car or in an SUV which guzzles down petrol as fast as it is filled. It is important to recognise that some countries in South America do not have nearly as many service stations and rest stops as are found in the United States or the United Kingdom. Choose an economical vehicle that gives good gas mileage and that is reliable over multiple types of terrain. Online resources like www.europcar.com can give numerous choices in deciding what vehicle to choose.
Plan Your Route Ahead of Time
It is all too common to see a group of foreign travellers parked along the side of an anonymous road in Mexico staring blankly at a map and wondering how they missed the last exit. Not only can this eat away at the time it takes to arrive at the destination but it can be potentially dangerous in certain parts of Central America. It is not possible to travel over the Darién Gap by traditional transport, so you may require either a ferry to transport your car from Panama to Columbia or fly over on a budget airline and then pick up a car in South America.
Keep Your Wits About You
As with any journey, one has to remain vigilant at all times. This is not to say that this journey is rife with danger but instead travellers need to remember some basic principles. Keep passports securely stored yet within reach, as these will need to be presented at most border crossings. Sites such as http://www.roadtripwise.com can help with additional checklists to make certain that other essential items are not forgotten.
Above all, remember to have fun! The journey from North to South America will provide the traveller with some of the most breathtaking sights that the planet has to offer. With a bit of forward planning, financial awareness and common sense, this trip can truly be an unforgettable experience.