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The BMW X1 in its diesel form takes this writer close to 350km around the western side of Portugal in search of good food and exquisite sights.

14 Feb 2020

Road trips aren't exactly an easy thing. It sounds easy, but there are a lot of things you need to take note of, a good plan being key.

With that in mind, we took the opportunity to drive around the western area of Portugal after a test drive in Lisbon and we found several things that are definitely crucial to fulfilling a smooth-sailing, happy-go-lucky sort of road trip. Here are five tips you need to take note of.

1. A car for everyone

The BMW X1 is a car for everyone indeed
Road trips are, more often than not, a form of travelling expedition that's done with several other people. This would also mean that decisions have to be made as a group instead of individually.

Hence, pick a car that everyone is comfortable driving. I mean, you could pick a BMW Z4 or a BMW X7 but, at the end of the day, if the people who are travelling with you aren't comfortable with the car, you're better off without it. Not unless you want to be the only driver on the entire trip, which could be a bit of a pain.

2. Comfortable companion

Travel with people who make you feel comfortable
What could also be a pain is travelling with people you aren't comfortable with. You know the sort of people who aren't exactly easy-going or the sort who makes a fuss over something that don't even matter? Yeah, that's the kind of people you need to stay away from. They have the tendency to shorten your life, especially on road trips.

Hence, it's important that you choose your travelling companions based on how comfortable they make you feel. And in return? Well, be easy-going enough to make them feel comfortable.

3. Proper planning

Planning is key - it's the best way to enjoy a road trip
I can't emphasise this more than I already am... but planning your work and working your plan for a road trip is like the heart of a person or an engine of a car. It's literally the foundation of a road trip (and arguably, everything else in life).

In our case, everything was well-planned - from driving destinations and hotel locations to the well-informed tour guide and talented photographer - there was nothing that could have made our road trip better. Yes, you do have to pay for their knowledgeable services, but at least you know it's going to be worth every single cent.

4. Go anywhere sort of car

The BMW X1: Perfect for a road trip? You bet
Yes, a car for everyone is fundamental, but being able to get a car that can go anywhere is definitely a plus. And I don't mean go anywhere as in off-road go anywhere. Assuming it's a regular road trip, it's good to have a car that has enough power to go up slopes and yet be comfortable to drive over cobblestones.

With the BMW X1 xDrive 25d as our weapon of choice, acceleration is effortless, thanks to 228bhp and 450Nm of twisting force coming from the 2.0-litre turbocharged powerplant. Plus, it's a comfortable and practical compact crossover that will tackle everyday tasks confidently.

5. Let's rock and rolla

Oh yes, music is a vital consideration for your road trips
With proper planning comes proper music - the sort that your friends and yourself can enjoy together in the car. You know, like The Beatles and The Kinks and The Hollies. You get my drift, I'm sure.

In our case, the Rolling Stones 500 Greatest Songs of All Time album worked perfectly well. On the go, my driving partner and I enjoyed a couple of golden oldies and rock and roll melodies - something that will definitely spice up your average road trip. Or average anything.

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