Most of my road trips involve travel intensive itinerary aimed at covering maximum number of places in minimum possible time. During such trips, it becomes critical to save every possible minute, to be able to make the most of it. When in large groups, time is usually lost in leisure, refreshments and getting ready.
In this post I’m listing a set of practices, which can save time during a road trip. This works well for the group involving youngsters who can manage with minimal rest and stay active most of the time. May not work with family/leisure trips. Feel free to add your suggestions!
Saving time at Restaurants:
On entering a restaurant, first place the order, then go to washroom etc. This way food gets ready while you refresh. Else about 10-30 minutes will be lost by the time everyone gets fresh and another 20-30 minutes for the food to arrive, resulting in additional time loss
Do not wait for everyone to finish and wash hands to ask for the bill. Do it when almost done, so that some time can be saved in bill settlement
Saving time at tourist places
While visiting tourist places like parks, museums etc which are large by area, team members easily get separated as each one might take different direction, time to cover the place. While visiting such places, before starting identify rendezvous point and time, so that everyone can re-unite at the identified point (may be parking area/food court etc). Also define what needs to be done if someone causes major delay (should he come to next destination on his own etc). This saves time otherwise spent in locating other team members or waiting for everyone to finish.
Do not leave an itinerary open- Identify all the places to be visited and the sequence before the trip, share among participants, get buy-in, cross check if the same is feasible based on distance and time factors and freeze it. Once freezed, stick to it unless absolutely necessary to modify. Trying to decide something on the ground can be chaotic due to difference of opinions and preferences.
Sequence in which places are to be visited also plays a key role in saving time.
Also set the objectives for the trip- is it say visiting as many places as possible or focusing on one or two main attractions or leisure stay at the destination or something like that
Know the opening and closing time of tourist places and plan accordingly. Some open places (park, beach etc) can be open all the time and can be covered early morning or late evening. Places like museums might have specific timings. Highly popular tourist places are best visited during early hours of its opening, before crowd pours in. Activities like shopping can be done in evening
Travel in the night where possible:
Take night train/early morning/late evening flights-this saves the day time which can be used for visiting tourist places.
Have backup location/activity in mind- will be useful when a venue is not yet open or closed for tourists.