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24 Essential Tips For Surviving A Road Trip

Best mates, beers and distractive kittens - all the advice you need for a month in a van...

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Five years ago I burned a couple of bridges (read: ex-girlfriends) in Squamish, British Columbia and ended up moving down to Whistler, BC.

There, I met an illustrious English companion with whom I instantly developed a brother-like bond – shortly before the dastardly immigration system sent him packing back home.

After a couple of years apart, we decided to reunite on his home turf and surf our way from England, down the West Coast of France, dip into Northern Spain and then return to his homeland – all in his newly acquired Volkswagen T4 Van.

We learned all sorts of things along the way, so we figured we’d pass along a few nuggets of wisdom that should help you out if you decide to take to the road with a mate and a van.

1. Convince Your Dad That Your Travel Companion Is Not Your Gay Lover

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2. Then Remind Him Of The Intimate Nature Of Sleeping In A Van So He’s Still Unconvinced

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3. Drink Victory Beers Immediately After Your Last Surf Each Day. Blame Your Age For The Extra Toilet Trips. Not The Beer

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4. Drink Victory Beers After Any Other Semi-Accomplishment – i.e. Find A Parking Spot, Learning How To Say “We Should Stay At Your Place, Not Mine” In Basque

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5. Bring A Stove. Ignore It. Survive On Sandwiches, Beer And Alcohol Like A True Athlete.

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6. If You’re Going To Take The Channel Tunnel (a.k.a. The Channing Tatum), Do So Late At Night Or Early In The Morning. It’s Cheaper

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7. If Your Van Is Around 1.9 Metres, Deflate The Tires To Fit Under The 1.86 Metre “Regular-Sized Vehicle” Barrier While Boarding The “Channing Tatum”

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8. Travel Down The West Coast In September. It’s Calmer, Warmer And The Authorities Aren’t Dicks

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9. Bring Different Surfboards For Different Conditions. The More You Surf, The Less You Drink – Victory Beers Not Included

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10. Skateboards Fit A Van Better Than Bikes. Pack Two And Explore Areas Accordingly

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11. There’s Not Nearly Enough Room In A Van For Two Pairs Of Speedos. Take One And Share Them. Maybe Hit The Beach Seperately

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12. Make Your Van Look Like It Has Just Been Tossed By The Police. If Anyone Breaks In, They’ll Think Someone Else Got There First

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13. Build The Van Bed Out Of Material From A Building Site. Stolen Lumber, And Only Stolen Lumber, Will Provide You With The Support You Need For A Sound Slumber

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14. Every Time You Masturbate The Prime Minister Of Canada Kills A Kitten. Keep Pictures Of Tiny Felines Pinned Above Your Sleeping Area So You Remember What’s At Stake

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15. Don’t Use GPS. Kick It Old School – Keep It Analogue

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16. When You Get Lost, Pick A Direction And Stick To It. Whatever The Outcome, It’ll Always Work Out Well.

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17. Bring A Sex Tent, Not To Be Confused With A Sextant. On The Off Chance Of Action, You’re Going To Need Some Privacy

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19. Don’t Rename The Sex Tent ‘The Masturbatorium’. Think Of The Kittens.

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20. Do Not Acquire Any Mechanical Knowledge. If You Break Down, Grab A Tool And Hit The Van Until You’re Tired And Need A Victory Beer

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21. Wander Around Pantless With A T-Shirt On Between Surf Sessions. “Shirtcocking” Is Actually Quite In Vogue On The North American Music Festival Circuit

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22. Wear One Outfit For The Month: Boardshorts, T-Shirt And A Fashionable Jumper For Evenings.

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23. Don’t Blame Us When The Musk Of Your Month-Long Outfit Attracts Flies Rather Than Open-Minded, European Mega Babes.

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24. Con A Website Into Buying Your Shitty Tales From The Road. Then You Can Tell All The Girls You’re Writing For Mpora… That’ll Really Make Them Stay Away.

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